What Took California So Long to Release CPA Exam Scores?

If you're a CPA exam candidate in California who sat the last testing window of 2010, you might still be waiting for your score. If this is your first exam, get used to it. If you've been around the block at least once, you are probably used to the waiting game but wondering what the hell is taking so long. Comments from the Peanut Gallery are that candidates have never had to wait this long for their scores, with the Board pretty quiet on what's holding things up. Since they won't tell you, I will.

Here's the deal (though the CA Board hasn't come out and said as much as far as I know): we won't know until official NASBA data is released but late 2010 was hit with tons of CPA exam candidates, so many that the already-overloaded Board just couldn't keep up.

The 4th quarter is always popular with CPA exam candidates (many of whom wait the entire year to get around to taking exams) and traditionally hard to schedule but this year, with the 2011 exam changes coming down the pipe, many candidates scrambled to fit in as many parts as they could before CBT-e takes over. Dumb move if you ask me, 2011's exam is actually going to be easier with fewer written communications, smaller simulations and a spell checker in BEC! So for the California Board, more applicants meant more work and less time available to roll out scores.

The other issue with California scores is that Furlough Friday is still in place (darn budget problems) and while the Board will tell you it takes them 4 - 6 weeks to approve your application, it really takes more like 8 - 10. So between higher applicant volume and fewer days to process, the Board is already overwhelmed. NASBA pulled out the last scores of 2010 in mid-December but California appears to be rolling them out way late to the game.

Furlough Friday is pissing off more than CPA exam candidates.

If you're into the CPA exam, check out my previous CPA exam columns on Going Concern, which will keep me in a job and therefore keep me from writing about it here on JDA.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.