CPA exam leak may erode trust in profession

Updated: 2011-09-22 15:55


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BEIJING - After answers of China's national accounting certificate exam were leaked over the Internet last week, a debate has unfolded about the impact and some say it will erode trust in the exam and even the profession.

The exam answers were posted in a web forum before 2011 Chinese National Uniform CPA Examination, the top exam for Certified Public Accountants, was taken on September 17 and 18, candidates said.

For an industry that values truth and accuracy, the alleged exam leak and cheating by some candidates will obviously erode public trust in the exam and also perhaps the profession, said Zhang Jinhui, general manager of a tax agency in Beijing.

Some posts claimed, correctly as it turned out, the answers would help candidates preparing for the exams, said Peng Lianghong, a candidate from Northeast China's city of Changchun.

"It's really unbelievable as a lot of test questions were released on the Internet. My whole-year's efforts devoted to the exam preparations will likely be in vain," Peng said.

"In fact, we have received a number of text messages and phone calls over the past three months selling so-called keys to this exam," he said.

According to the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA), a comprehensive investigation has been launched.

The alleged leak also prompted many financial professionals to voice new concerns over the future development of the CPA certificate and profession in China.

Ma Jinghao, who works for the Accounting Division of the Finance Ministry, said those who passed the CPA exam will be the future watchdogs of the economy, so if the exam can not be conducted fairly, how can people trust the signatures on financial statements and reports?