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Over 556,000 People to Attend CPA Exam

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Over 556,000 people are expected to join in the year's national examination for certified public accountant (CPA) certification, according to the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA).

Since 2009 is a transition year for the reform of the examination, 66,000 people will attend the examination based on the old system on August 28-28, while over 490,000 will participate in tests under a new system on September 19-20, said an official with the CICPA in an interview with Xinhua Thursday.

The examinees can use either Chinese or English languages in the examination, the official said.

The CICPA, the examiner, was founded in 1988.

According to the official figures published by the CICPA, as of May 31, 2006, it had over 5,600 institutional members (acounting firms) and over 140,000 individual members, among whom about 69,700 were practicing members and over 70,000 were non-practicing ones.

In January 2009, the CICPA launched a reform for the national examinzation, with a goal to follow the international practice in organizing the examination, in attempt to make the Chinese CPA certification internationally recognized.

Under the new system, the examination will be divided into two stages. Examinees have to pass the first stage before entering the second phase, according to the official website of the CICPA.

The results of the first-stage examination will remain effective within five years, while the applicants must acquire second-stage certification within the period. A CPA could not obtain a fully-qualified certification before he or she passes the second-stage examination.

In the first-stage test, there are six courses, namely accounting, auditing, cost control, corporate strategy and risk control, economic law, and taxation law. In the second stage, examinees will encounter merely one course, a comprehensive test on various subjects.

(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2009)

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