Anxiously waiting

By Joshua Corcuera

The May 2023 Certified Public Accountants Licensure Examination (CPALE) concluded last Tuesday, May 23. Results of the said board exam are expected to be released on or before May 30, according to several sources, though it is also possible that such would be publicized later on.

As a graduating accountancy student now reviewing in preparation for the October 2023 CPALE (which is really a misnomer since the first day of the upcoming CPALE will be on September 30), I would like to congratulate those who took the test last May 21 to 23. Whatever the outcome may be, the mere fact that one was courageous enough to face the notoriously difficult test is already an achievement in itself.

Comments of wide variety were publicized in social media by some test takers. Some would say that a certain subject is too hard, while many would argue that a different subject asked questions that were ‘out of this world’. Despite this, however, it is not really the exam itself that caused anxiety and worry among those who took the test; rather, it is the seemingly endless waiting for the release of the results of the list of passers.

With this, it is possibly a good idea to do other productive things—play with friends, spend quality time with family, go out and roam malls or landmarks, stroll in the park or take an exercise, and so on. Anything productive so as not to overthink the results of the CPALE or what happened during the test.

In doing so, one would not be too anxious of what lies ahead. At the same time, one would be able to keep oneself physically and mentally healthy, and socially happy, which test takers deserve after completing a long and grueling academic challenge.

For non-accountancy students and graduates, the CPALE is notorious for its competitive nature and immense difficulty. In a column I wrote a few weeks ago, I highlighted the declining passing rates of the CPALE in spite of the fact that its passing rate is already low as compared to other licensure examinations in the Philippines. As an illustration, in recent years, the passing rate of the Bar Exam is even higher than the CPALE’s.

Still, despite the low passing rate, many, including myself, are hopeful that more test takers will become CPAs in the future. As more businesses grow at present, as the Philippine economy rebounds from the recession brought by the pandemic, the demand for accountants, and CPAs more so, remains high.

More importantly, there are sectors in which CPAs would be able to contribute to society on a grander scale. As an example, there is a need for more auditors in both the government under the Commission on Audit (COA), and in the private sector among various audit firms.

As we can see, the COA has been very active in issuing audit reports in recent years which expose red flags within government agencies as far as public expenditures are concerned—a matter of immense public importance. Moreover, audit firms provide assurance services to attest whether the financial statements of private companies are free from material misstatements due to fraud or error—a crucial need for users of financial information such as investors, lenders, creditors, and so forth.

With the important role being played by accountants in contemporary society, we can see that accountants have a huge responsibility to take once they enter the profession.

For those who took the exams just recently, whether they pass or see their success postponed, they deserve to be recognized for reaching this far towards their dream of attaining a CPA license. For the meantime, calm and move forward whatever the outcome may be. Advanced congratulations as well.