By Lee Facey, Partner
Not only is tax going digital but now the ICAEW (Institute of Accountants in England and Wales) is phasing in computer based exams at professional and advanced levels. These will be introduced over two years from March 2017. Audit and Assurance and Tax Compliance are the first modules scheduled to move over.
Trainees will continue to study, practise questions and prepare for computer based exams in much the same way as always but it will now be essential that they are familiar with the exam software in advance of the exam(s).
Having conducted extensive student testing on the new system, the ICAEW is confident that the software contains all the functionality required to complete the exams. Pilot tests indicate that that the results are directly comparable to students taking the same exam on paper.
There is plenty of guidance and support available ranging from what to expect on the exam day to how to navigate through the software and explanations of the key functionality.
A series of short webinars are also available to watch, on-demand, before taking the exam and these provide an overview of what to expect on the day. There are also practice sample exams to enable practise answering computer questions as in an actual exam, with illustrative answers from examiners and guidance on exam technique.
The ICAEW website offers a wealth of information about the new computer exams and that can be found here: https://www.icaew.com/en/for-current-aca-students/exam-resources/computer-based-exams-guidance-and-support