The coronavirus is changing the way people interact around the globe and around the united states. How will this impact the CPA exam?
CPA Testing Centers
Well unfortunately you can’t take the CPA exam remotely from your own home. You have to go to a testing center. Those testing centers are run by prometric.
Right now prometric has a special page devoted to coronavirus. Prometric is not responsible for only the cpa exam. They administer tons of different exams around the world.
Prometric says that they are currently monitoring the situation from a local organization level to a global level. This means they are monitoring information from the world health organization, the center for disease controls and local governments.
This means that they will likely close test centers if they are told to do so by local or federal governments.
They have said that test center closures are currently being evaluated on a case by case basis. Right now they are closing test centers in China, Italy and the Middle East. Prometric has a page specifically devoted to details related to testing center closures. Normally this page is for weather related closures, but now it will be related to coronavirus closures.
Prometric has also said that they will allow test takers to wear medical masks and gloves. This is a big deal because if you have ever been to prometric, you know how stringent they are on what you can bring to a testing center. Your items will still be subject to visual inspection.
Prometric has also said that they are working on making sure their test centers are adequately cleaned, and they provide their procedures on their website. This includes regular cleaning of high touch surfaces and providing disposable wipes to test takers. Who knows how long they will do this though since disposable wipes are in short supply around the country.
CPA Testing Windows
The testing windows for the CPA exam are January 1 to March 10. The next window was scheduled to be April 1 – June 10. Now testing centers are supposed to be closed until May 1. This extends the Q2 testing window until June 30.
This means that prometric and all the organizations involved will have about a week to get ready for test centers to reopen.
Studying for the CPA exam will be impacted in a couple of ways. If you already scheduled your cpa exam, you will most likely have more time to study if your testing center is closed. Your testing window to pass all sections of the CPA exam will also likely be lengthened. This determination will have to come from NASBA though.
As of right now, for those people studying for the second testing window of the CPA, you should proceed with studying for the test as normal until you hear more from prometric or NASBA.
If you are taking any in person CPA classes, they might get postponed as well. Many of the cpa exam course reviews now come with unlimited time options though, so this might not be a problem for most people.
If you haven’t started studying for your cpa test yet, you might want to hold off until you hear more from NASBA and prometric. This is a really good excuse if you are a procrastinator.
Scheduling Your CPA Exam
If you haven’t scheduled a single cpa exam yet, you might want to wait so you don’t start your 18 month time period to pass the cpa exam. The 18 month timeframe and how it is calculated varies by jurisdiction, so make sure to check your state board of accountancy’s website.
NASBA stands for the national association of the state boards of accountancy. They are the forum for the nation’s 55 state boards of accountancy. They administer the CPA exam and license more than 650,000 CPA’s. Unfortunately they do not actually administer the tests themselves. They leave this up to prometric. They do release the scores though. So far they have not delayed the release of scores. There also is not much update about the coronavirus on the NASBA website.
They are located in Nashville, Tennessee which recently had some terrible tornadoes. This might be the reason that they don’t have an update about the coronavirus. They have tweeted about the coronavirus though as it relates to SEC filers.
The AICPA is the American Institute for CPAs. Once you become a CPA you can join this organization. You think they would have information about the CPA exam as well since they have CPA exam information on their website. However, they do not have any updates on their website or on their twitter page about how the coronavirus will impact CPA exam candidates.
CPA score release dates
Make sure to check out our cpa score release page for updates on when scores for the exam are due to be released.