BEC in the CPA Evolution

Big changes are coming to the CPA Exam in 2024 because of the CPA Evolution. The largest change is the elimination of BEC as a section when the new exam model is released for testing on Jan. 1, 2024. However, based on the draft CPA Evolution Blueprint released by the AICPA, content from the BEC section is here to stay. Instead, it will be diced up and distributed to all the non-tax focused exam sections.

Replacing the BEC core section will be a candidate’s choice of BAR, TSP or ISC as their remaining fourth section. This is in addition to the legacy core AUD, FAR and REG sections remaining in the new format. Candidates in 2024 will select one of those disciplines tracks in lieu of taking the standard BEC that all candidates currently take.  

Candidates who previously passed BEC will have that carry forward and those candidates will not take a specialty track section.    

I’m sure many current candidates will read that BEC will be gone with a sigh of relief. Despite its standing as the section with the highest historical pass rates (roughly a 60% pass rate), it certainly has also garnered the reputation as the section with the most random content. BEC covers everything from cost and managerial accounting to internal controls, to capital structure, to variance analysis, to economics concepts, among others. It’s essentially a catch-all for anything business related that wasn’t covered in FAR, AUD or REG. Right now, all those unique topics are aggregated in one spot – the BEC section of the exam.  

Once the CPA Evolution takes effect, that content will be diced up and reorganized into FAR, AUD, BAR and ISC. Essentially, the content associated with BEC today will be distributed to all the non-tax focused exam sections in 2024. Cost and managerial accounting will appear in BAR. Economic concepts, such as supply and demand, will appear in AUD. ISC will absorb much of the internal control and IT-related BEC concepts. Financial statement ratio analysis and performance metrics will migrate to FAR. Essentially, the exam will be five sections worth of content spread across four testable sections (3 core + 1 specialty + BEC spread across sections).  

Given these changes, we believe candidates should make every effort to sit for and pass BEC before the new exam model is released in 2024. The earlier the better – exam spots at Prometric are likely to fill quickly as 2024 approaches.  

Candidates that pass BEC will already be familiar with some of the content that will be redistributed, and thus will avoid becoming the pilot exam candidates for the new specialty tracks.   

Ready to tackle the CPA Exam? Sign up for a free trial of Surgent CPA Review today and you will be well on your way to passing the exam before the CPA Evolution takes effect.