Students report CPA exam still has technical problems

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Three and half years after the introduction of the uniform CPA exam administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), accounting students are still reporting technical problems with the exam. Among the most common are delays and interruptions in the long exam that just add to the stress potential CPAs experience.

With a national failure rate of 58 percent, and with the demand for CPAs at an all time high, accounting firms and organizations need to pay more attention to the errors and glitches in the test because it is just one more area of frustration for accounting students, says Andrew Rosman, associate professor of accounting at the University of Connecticut, the Hartford Business Journal reports.

The Connecticut State Board of Accountancy has agreed to discuss problem reports from test centers with NASBA. New York's society of professional accountants and state accountancy board have also written to NASBA about a number of problems with testing and scoring, saying that the program is difficult to use, the Journal says,

Ken Bishop, Director of CPA examination operations for NASBA, says that it is important to look at problem reports in context. Centers report every problem no matter how minor, the Journal reports.

But in 2006, 14 of 82 University of Connecticut accounting students reported problems such as computer crashes during the exam in 2006, Rosman says. And many accounting student do not report problems, he added. NASBA's 10-year contract with ProMetric has not set up benchmarks or targets for improvement, the Journal says.

Rosman expressed concern that actions recommended by the Connecticut Board may be ignored “because they're just one out of 55.”

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