FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Al Rickard
Registration Open for Fall 2014 ACAT
Tax and Accounting Accreditation Exam
Those passing the exam and earning the ABA and ATP credentials
are exempt from the AFTR course and exam
WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2014 - Registration is now open for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) Fall 2014 exams for accountants, tax preparers and students seeking to earn the Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA), Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) credentials.
The opportunity to earn some of these credentials takes on added importance this year because ATPs and ABAs are now exempt from the requirement to take an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam that is part of the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).
ABAs and ATPs automatically qualify to receive the AFSP-Record of Completion and will be included in a public database of tax return preparers scheduled to launch on the IRS website by January 2015. Beginning in 2016, ABAs and ATPs – as AFSP participants – can also represent clients before the IRS regarding returns they prepared and signed.
The Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy (ABA), the Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) exam, Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) exam can be taken between November 29-December 22, 2014 at PSI test sites across the United States. Students completing the semester-long accounting course at one of the ACAT “Capstone” colleges can take the proctored ABA exam at the end of the course.
Achieving ACAT accreditation provides a distinction that sets accounting and tax professionals apart and open doors for practice development and career advancement. Earning ACAT credentials provides evidence to clients that accounting and tax professionals have achieved a high level of knowledge and skills and abilities needed to effectively serve their clients.
ACAT credential holders must meet ongoing continuing professional education (CPE) requirements and adhere to a code of ethics.
The ABA is a high-level credential that tests the technical proficiency of accounting and tax professionals in financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law and ethics. Emphasis is on a practical approach to public accounting. Achieving the ABA designation in Delaware, Iowa and Minnesota meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy.
The exam is divided into two parts: Practice 1 and Practice 2. Practice 1 covers financial accounting and financial statement preparation, presentation and reporting. Practice 2 covers the taxation, business law, business accounting and ethics.
The ABA is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), an independent resource recognized as the authority on accreditation standards for professional certification organizations and programs.
The ATA is a leading national credential for tax practitioners who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics.
The exam tests for sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans, and performing estate tax planning.
The ATP is also a leading national credential for tax practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics.
The ARA is a national credential that recognizes professionals with expertise in retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning and tax preparation for decedents, estates and trusts, and applying skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients.
ABA, ATA, ATP and ARA candidates must pass the exams and meet experience requirements to earn the credentials. A blueprint for each exam with more information on topic areas is available at www.acatcredentials.org.
The exam fee for both Practice 1 and Practice 2 of the ABA exam is $285 or $200 for one Practice of the exam, plus a $50 registration fee. The ATA, ATP and ARA exam fees are $200 plus a $50 registration fee.
The National Society of Accountants (NSA) offers preparatory course study guides for both the ABA, ATA, and ATP exams and preview exams, which mirror the topics and question format of the ACAT exams.
For more information about ACAT credentials and to register, visit www.acatcredentials.org or call 888-289-7763.
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The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT) is an independent accrediting and monitoring organization affiliated with the National Society of Accountants. ACAT accredits professionals in independent practice who have demonstrated measurable knowledge of the principles, practices, and ethical standards of accounting, taxation, information technology and related financial services. For more information, visit www.acatcredentials.org.