Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

AICPA Study of Public Practice

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

AICPA Study of Public Practice

Article excerpt

The American Institute of CPAs board of examiners recently completed an analysis of public accounting practice to ensure questions on the Uniform CPA Examination continue to be practice related. The 1991 practice analysis identifies the major tasks and activities CPAs perform and also describes the knowledge and skills CPAs need to perform accounting and auditing (A&A) and tax engagements.

The data were culled from panel discussions with CPAs, survey responses from almost 2,000 AICPA members in public practice, interviews with recently licensed CPAs and CPAs' work diaries.

Here are some important facts about CPAs in public practice found in the study:

* They devote about 45% of their time to A&A, 38% to tax, 5% to consulting and 1% to personal financial planning.

* Of CPAs who spend at least 10% of their time doing A&A work, those with five or fewer years' experience devote almost half their A&A time to audit engagements. About 60% of that A&A time is spent obtaining, documenting and evaluating information. Those with over five years' experience devote about a third of their A&A time to audits and almost as much to compilations; however, they spend only half their A&A time obtaining, documenting and evaluating information. In contrast, the more experienced CPAs spend 22% of their A&A time in activities related to engagement reviews and communicating results to clients, while the less experienced CPAs devote only about 13% of their A&A time to such activities.

* Less experienced CPAs spend 25% more time on A&A work than do more experienced CPAs. …

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