October 2020 CPA Board Exam Updates

The Certified Public Accountants’ Licensure Exam (CPALE) in the Philippines scheduled last May 10, 17, and 18 was postponed and rescheduled this coming October 11, 12, and 18 due to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). There are, however, important updates regarding its conduct should it push through this coming October. The filing of online application for the October Board Exam started last May 25, 2020, and will last until August 26, 2020.

Latest Update

As of August 9, 2020, the PRC has released an advisory that postpones and resets in 2021 the conduct of examinations scheduled in October and November 2020. This includes the CPALE that was supposed to take place this coming October 11, 12, and 18.

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The postponement is due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our country that resulted to fear and anxiety to the health and safety of all concerned. The examinees are advised to check the PRC official website and social media accounts for important updates.

Once scheduled, the place of examination still remains to be held in the following cities:

  • NCR
  • Baguio
  • Cagayan de   Oro
  • Cebu
  • Davao
  • Iloilo
  • Legaspi
  • Lucena
  • Tacloban
  • Tuguegarao

Last July 17, 2020, Chairman Noe G. Quinanola presented to the National Association of CPAs in Education (nACPAE) the proposed guidelines for the upcoming October 2020 CPA Licensure Exams.

Here are some of the important key takeaways in his presentation:

  • As of July 17, 2020, no announcement has been made yet with regards to the suspension of the October 2020 Board Exam
  • Only 14 examinees will be allowed in each room
  • All examinees are required to bring and wear facemasks and alcohol-based sanitizers
  • Body temperatures will be taken through thermal scanners upon entry to the testing sites. Those who are found to have cough, colds, and fever will not be allowed to enter the testing sites. Those who will be sent home due to display of symptoms will be allowed to take the next schedule of examinations without having to incur any additional costs
  • Any assembly or gathering in groups whether in the examination rooms or in the hallways of the testing sites are strictly prohibited
  • Examinees and examination personnel will not be allowed to go outside the room during lunch and break times. Everyone is advised to bring their own snacks and packed lunch. This will be placed under their seats and only taken out during break time
  • The revised syllabus and Tables of Specifications (TOS) will be released in the middle of 2020. This will be effective starting on the October 2022 Examinations
  • The PRC created a task force for Computer-based Licensure Examinations
  • One of the modes of examination considered was similar to the AICPA Examination wherein an examinee can take one subject at a given time and opt to complete the rest within one year. However, there is no definite decision regarding this yet.

These are only some of the important points taken from Chairman Quinanola’s presentation. If you want to see all other matters that were discussed, you can visit the Facebook Page of NACPAE for a copy of his whole presentation.

Final Note

In my opinion, the CPALE should be deferred until the country has shown a significant improvement in flattening the curve. As of today, the number of confirmed COVID cases continues to rise at an alarming rate. Following the trend in its movement, it is possible that the number of cases would reach 100,000 by September. Pushing through with the examination regardless of the measures that will be taken would put the students’ lives at risk.

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Provided that the protocols will be strictly implemented in the testing sites, the students (and some, possibly accompanied by their parents) will have to travel from their place of residence to the testing sites. That alone already puts them at a huge risk of contracting the virus, much more to gather in the testing sites along with the other examinees. This pandemic also took a toll not just on everyone’s physical health but their mental well-being too. People have lost their families, their livelihood, and everyone is worried about their safety and security. 

Updates regarding this matter will be published once they are made available to the public. Stay tuned and share with us in the comments section your thoughts about this matter!

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