How To Study For BEC CPA Exam: Best Definite Guide

12 minutes read
Nov 3, 2023
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Are you looking to pursue your career with BEC CPA Certificate? Are you looking to get tips on how to pass BEC CPA exam? If these are the queries you want answers to, you’re in the right spot. This is a guide to help you get tips about creating a road map and how to prepare for better results.

In this complete guide, I have pointed out some critical notes, such as: 

  • How To Study For BEC CPA Exam
  • BEC CPA Section Exam Content
  • BEC CPA Exam Time
  • BEC CPA Exam Format
  • How to Create a Study Plan 
  • And Many More!

So, let’s Pass BEC CPA Together. 

Key Takeaway

  • BEC CPA enhances the ability of Accounting Candidates to gain knowledge of Business Concepts and Principles in the real world.
  • Exam Content you should keep in your Bookmarks for BEC CPA
  • Exams are of total 4 hours
  • Divide into 3 major sections: MCQs, TBSs, WCTs
  • Practical Tips to Pass Exams Easily

Table of Contents

How To Study For BEC CPA Exam – Understanding The BEC CPA Exam

Before exploring the best ways to prepare for the BEC CPA exam, it’s critical to comprehend what this exam means. BEC, or Business Environment and Concepts, is one of four sections of the CPA exam that assesses candidates’ ability to apply business concepts and principles in various real-world scenarios.

BEC CPA Exam Content

In this section, I have provided details of BEC CPA exam content. Look at each topic and make notes of it so you don’t fail any opportunity to pass an exam.

1) Business Processes, Internal Controls, and Enterprise Risk Management

1.1) Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

The ERM framework is a crucial component of the Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) exam. It involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks within an organization. You must understand the ERM processes, which include risk assessment, risk response, and monitoring and reporting.

1.2) Internal Control (IC)

Internal controls are vital to ensure the integrity of financial reporting. You’ll need to grasp the IC framework, its components, and how to test and evaluate internal controls effectively.

Business Processes (BPs)

Business processes are the core activities of any organization. BEC covers BP analysis and design, as well as BP implementation and improvement. Knowing how to optimize these processes is critical to success.

2) Corporate Governance 

2.1) Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)

The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed due to several high-profile corporate accounting scandals, such as WorldCom and Enron. The SOX Act was designed to improve corporate governance and financial reporting by public companies in the United States.

The SOX Act contains several provisions related to corporate governance, including:

  • Creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board(PCAOB): The PCAOB is a non-profit, private-sector organization that manages public company audits. Setting auditing standards and conducting audit firm inspections are under the purview of the PCAOB.
  • Increased independence of audit committees: Audit committees are in charge of monitoring public companies’ financial reporting procedures. According to the SOX Act, audit committees must consist of independent directors and have specific duties, including selecting and managing the auditor, examining the financial statements of the business, and endorsing the audit report.
  • Increased disclosure by public companies: Public companies are required by the SOX Act to provide additional information about their operations and financial status, including information about internal controls over financial reporting.

2.2) Corporate governance structures and responsibilities

Corporate governance refers to the set of regulations, customs, and procedures governing an organization. The following are typical corporate governance structures and responsibilities:

  • Board of Directors: The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the company’s management and ensuring that the company is run in the best interests of its shareholders. The board of directors typically has many committees, including an audit committee, a compensation committee, and a governance committee.
  • Management: The management is in charge of running the business daily. A CEO and CFO usually lead management.
  • Shareholders: Shareholders are the owners of the company. Shareholders have certain rights, such as the right to vote on some issues and receive dividends.

2.3) Business ethics and professional conduct

The rules and guidelines that direct businesses’ and professionals’ behavior is known as business ethics and professional conduct. Typical elements of business ethics and professional behavior include the following:

  • Honesty and integrity: Businesses and professionals should be honest and ethical in their dealings with others.
  • Fairness and transparency: Businesses and professionals should treat others fairly and transparently.
  • Accountability: Businesses and professionals should be accountable for their actions.
  • Respect for others: Businesses and professionals should respect the rights and dignity of others.

3) Economics

Macroeconomics and Microeconomics

Macroeconomics deals with the broader economic factors affecting businesses, while microeconomics focuses on individual market behaviors. You should be well-versed in both to understand the economic environment.

3.1) Economic Indicators and Business Cycles

Economic indicators help monitor the health of an economy, and understanding business cycles is essential for making informed financial decisions.

3.2) Government Economic Policy

Government policies may significantly impact businesses. Understanding these policies is essential for all CPAs.

4) Financial Management

4.1) Financial Statement Analysis

Analyzing financial statements is a crucial skill for CPAs. You must be able to assess a company’s financial health and performance.

4.2) Time Value of Money and Capital Budgeting

Understanding the time value of money and capital budgeting is essential for evaluating investment decisions and managing the organization’s financial resources.

4.3) Working Capital Management and Risk Management

Working capital management involves managing a company’s short-term assets and liabilities. In contrast, risk management ensures that financial risks are appropriately mitigated.

5) Information Technology

5.1) Information Systems (IS) Concepts

IS concepts encompass the fundamentals of information systems, including databases, networks, and software.

5.2) IS Architecture and Development

Understanding IS architecture and development processes is crucial for managing IT projects effectively.

5.3) IS Security and Controls

IS security and controls are essential for safeguarding an organization’s data and information systems.

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5.4) Data Management

Efficient data management is crucial in the digital age. Knowing how to collect, store, and analyze data is a valuable skill.

6) Operations Management

Production and Operations Planning

Efficient production and operations planning ensures that resources are used optimally to meet organizational goals.

6.1) Quality Control and Inventory Management

Quality control and inventory management are vital in ensuring product quality and maintaining optimal inventory levels.

6.2) Supply Chain Management and Project Management

Understanding supply chain management helps streamline operations, and project management is crucial for successfully executing projects.

BEC CPA Exam Section

The BEC CPA exam is a computer-based test that consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), task-based simulations (TBS), and written communication tasks (WCT). You will need to complete these sections within a limited time frame.

1) Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)

There are 62 questions in the MCQ section. There are four possible answers for each question; you have to select the best response. Corporate governance, financial management, operations management, information technology, and economic concepts and analysis are just a few topics covered by the multiple-choice questions (MCQs).

2) Task-based simulations (TBSs)

The TBS section consists of 4 simulations. Each simulation presents a real-world business scenario and asks you to complete a task, such as preparing a financial statement or analyzing a business process. The TBSs assess your ability to apply your knowledge to real-world situations.

3) Written communication (WC) tasks

There are three tasks in the WC section. You must write a business communication for each task, such as an email or memo. The purpose of the WC tasks is to evaluate your proficiency in clearly and succinctly communicating intricate business concepts.

BEC CPA Exam Time

BEC CPA Exam Time

The total time allocated for the BEC CPA exam is 4 hours. So exam candidates must be more conscious about their time to complete their exams on time.

This time is divided as follows:

1) Multiple-choice questions (MCQs):

This section accounts for 50% of your score and should be completed in 2.5 hours.

2) Task-Based Simulations (TBS):

TBS comprises 35% of your score and should be completed in 1.5 hours.

3) Written Communication Tasks (WCT):

The remaining 15% of your score is attributed to WCT and should be completed in 45 minutes.

What Are the Average BEC Exam Pass Rates?

The pass rates for the BEC CPA exam can vary from one testing window to another. On average, the pass rates for the BEC section are around 50-60%, making it one of the more manageable sections of the CPA exam. However, passing requires a focused study plan and preparation.

According to Gleim Stats of the Q1 and Q2 2023 CPA Exam pass rates are below!

SectionFirst QuarterSecond QuarterThird QuarterFourth QuarterCumulative
AUD46.35%49.13%48.67%47.21%47.90%
BEC57.33%61.53%59.91%60.30%59.85%
FAR44.95%45.66%44.30%40.67%43.76%
REG60.03%61.25%61.78%56.41%59.85%

Tips for Passing the BEC CPA Exam

Now that you better understand what the BEC CPA exam entails let’s delve into the most effective strategies for studying and passing the exam.

1) Practice MCQs

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are a significant part of the BEC CPA exam. Practice MCQs regularly to get a feel for the exam format and improve your ability to answer them accurately and efficiently. You can find practice MCQs in CPA review courses, textbooks, or online resources.

2) Flashcards! Flashcards! Flashcards!

Flashcards are a powerful tool for memorizing key concepts and terms. Create flashcards for essential definitions, formulas, and concepts. Review them consistently to reinforce your memory and understanding.

3) Get Familiar with the Essay Format

The Written Communication Tasks (WCT) require you to write concise and practical responses. Familiarize yourself with the format and practice writing responses. Ensure your answers are clear and concise and directly address the prompts.

4) Stick To Your Study Schedule

The secret to studying for the BEC CPA exam is consistency. Make a study plan that allows time for every exam section, then follow it. You’ll be able to cover all the material and lessen the chance of cramming at the last minute.

Creating A Study Plan

Creating A Study Plan

To excel in the BEC CPA exam, you need a well-structured study plan. Here’s how to create an effective plan:

1) Define Your Goals

Set specific, attainable goals for the time you will be studying. Setting and achieving specific goals will help you stay motivated.

How do you set realistic goals?

  • Assess your current knowledge and skills. What areas are you strong in? What areas do you need to improve on?
  • Set specific goals for each content area. For example, you might set a goal of scoring 70% or higher on all multiple-choice questions in the corporate governance section.
  • Break down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, if you aim to score 70% or higher on corporate governance MCQs, you could set a goal of completing ten practice questions each day with a score of 70% or higher.
  • Create a study plan that includes time for each of your goals. Be realistic about how much time you must study each day or week.
  • Track your progress and adjust your goals or study plan as needed. If you need to meet your goals, feel free to adjust them or change your study plan.

2) Gather Study Materials

Invest in quality study materials. Consider enrolling in a CPA review course, using textbooks, and leveraging online resources. High-quality study materials are essential for comprehensive preparation.

3) What Resources Are Available to Help You Study?

It is the most frequent question of where to find the best resources for the BEC CPA Exam. Don’t worry. I have removed this concern for you and created a list of the resources that can help you in all aspects. Have a look. 

3.1) Books

  • BEC CPA Exam Review by Becker Professional Education
  • Wiley CPAexcel BEC Exam Review by Wiley
  • Gleim CPA Review BEC Exam Review by Gleim Publications

3.2) Websites

  • AICPA CPA Exam Resources
  • CPA Exam Study
  • Roger CPA Review

3.3) Online Courses

  • BoostMyClass Accounting Courses
  • Becker CPA Review Online
  • Wiley CPA Excel Online Review
  • Gleim CPA Review Online
  • Roger CPA Review Online
  • UWorld CPA Review

4) How to Choose The Right Resources For You

When choosing resources for the BEC CPA Exam, consider the following factors:

  • Your learning style. Do you prefer to learn by reading, watching videos, or listening to lectures? Choose resources that match your learning style.
  • Your budget. CPA review materials can be expensive, so it’s essential to consider your budget when making your decision.
  • Your needs. Do you need a comprehensive review course or just a few resources to supplement your knowledge? Choose resources that meet your specific needs.

5) Develop A Study Schedule

Create a detailed study schedule outlining topics you’ll cover daily or weekly. Allocate more time to your weaker areas and less to the topics you’re already proficient in.

6) Practice Regularly

Regular practice is the key to success. Set aside time each day or week for practice tests, MCQs, and simulations. This hands-on experience will improve your problem-solving skills.

7) Seek Guidance

If you need help with specific topics or concepts, feel free to seek guidance. Join study groups, hire tutors, or consult with fellow CPA candidates. Their insights can be invaluable.

8) Take Mock Exams

One of the best ways to mimic the actual exam experience is to take timed mock exams. It enhances your time management abilities and assists you in becoming accustomed to the exam format.

Effective Study Strategies

To make the most of your study time, consider these effective strategies:

1) Focus on Weak Areas,

Identify your weak areas, and allocate extra time to study and practice those topics. Improving in these areas can have a significant impact on your overall score.

2) Take Breaks

Remember to take regular breaks during your study sessions. Short breaks help improve concentration and prevent burnout.

3) Use Memory Techniques

Utilize memory techniques such as mnemonics, acronyms, and visualization to remember complex information and concepts.

Some of the best memory techniques I have used are listed below:

4) Revise Regularly

Regular revision is crucial for retaining information. Set aside time to review previously studied topics to ensure they stay fresh in your memory.

5) Simulate Exam Conditions

As the test day draws near, try to replicate exam conditions as much as possible in your practice sessions. To get ready for the actual test, time yourself and make sure the area is free of distractions.

FAQs

1) How can I register for the BEC CPA exam?

You must apply through the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) or your state’s board of accountancy to register for the BEC CPA exam. Make sure to check with your particular state board, as each state has different requirements and processes for applications.

2) What is the passing score for the BEC CPA exam?

The passing score for the BEC CPA exam varies by jurisdiction but is typically around 75.

3) How often can I take the BEC CPA exam?

The BEC CPA exam is usually offered once every testing window, which happens every three months. It is imperative, nevertheless, to review the particular guidelines established by your state board.

Conclusion

It takes commitment, discipline, and a well-thought-out study plan to prepare for the BEC CPA exam. You can improve your chances of passing the BEC by being familiar with the exam’s structure, practicing frequently, and adhering to the advice and techniques provided in this guide.

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