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Earn an AECA Certificate

We hear it all the time: “I had to explain something basic to someone who should have understood what they were looking at!” To address this knowledge gap—and the risks it poses to corporations and their service providers—the CEP Institute is introducing a new exam solely focused on accounting. The Advanced Equity Compensation Accounting Certificate (AECA) exam is for financial reporting professionals in any organization that offers equity compensation, as well as the accounting professionals who are required to verify proper expensing under ASC 718 and other standards. It is open to any individuals that understand the basics of equity compensation.

Registration for the November Advanced Equity Compensation Accounting (AECA) certificate exam is open now through October 5. The exam will be administered November 9-21. To begin the registration process, please fill out the registration form here

The registration fee is $1,295, which includes all of the study materials. For current CEPs, the fee is reduced by $400, to $895.

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THE INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR EQUITY COMPENSATION ACCOUNTING KNOWLEDGE

  • Learn the theory and practice behind accounting for equity compensation, including valuation, measurement, and recognition requirements under ASC 718
  • Establish yourself as an equity compensation accounting expert

 

The Advanced Equity Compensation Accounting Certificate (AECA) allows professionals to demonstrate a deep understanding of equity compensation accounting at both the decision-making level and in day-to-day application. It is earned after taking a is a 77-question exam that is strictly focused on the accounting aspects of equity compensation. The exam covers:

  • Policies, processes, and procedures
  • Measurement, valuation, and recognition
  • DTA and EPS
  • Reporting and disclosures

The AECA is for financial reporting professionals in any organization that offers equity compensation, as well as the auditors who are required to verify proper expensing under ASC 718 and other applicable standards. It is open to those who already understand the basics of equity compensation and want to demonstrate their accounting expertise. 

Those who do not understand equity compensation basics should consider taking the Equity Compensation Associate (ECA) exam first.



A person who has passed the AECA has demonstrated deep knowledge of all aspects of accounting for equity compensation, including:

  • The implications of policy-level decisions, including those around amortization approaches, valuation models, and forfeiture application methodologies
  • The practical application of expense measurement and recognition, including the effect of different variables on valuation of grants
  • Accounting for the tax effects of equity compensation
  • Calculation of earnings per share
  • Reporting and disclosures required under ASC 718
  • Journal entries

All of the CEP Institute’s exams are self-study. The AECA exam is computer-based and open book, so registrants will have access to all their study texts on the same screen as the exam itself. We estimate preparing for the exam requires 40-50 hours of study time. 

The CEP Institute updates all study materials on an annual basis. The study materials for the 2020 exams will be available in early 2020. Candidates are responsible for ensuring they are using the current materials, so please check this page for updates on the 2020 materials list.

The Advanced Accounting Certificate will be administered Pearson Vue testing centers across the country beginning in November 2020. In order to register, please fill out the form here. Once that form is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email that contains exam information and payment options. Please note that your registration is not complete until you have submitted payment. 

In the month leading up to the exam, registrants will receive an email from Pearson Vue, allowing them to select a testing date and time within the allotted testing window. On the day of the test, registrants will have 4 hours to complete the exam.  

The AECA certificate is for financial reporting professionals in any organization that offers equity compensation, as well as the auditors who are required to verify proper expensing under ASC 718 and other applicable standards.

The CEP designation is for equity compensation professionals who have demonstrated deep knowledge of the tax, accounting, corporate and securities law, and plan design and administration that would be expected of a professional in charge of a company's equity compensation plan or a service provider who must understand all aspects of a plan.

The AECA exam is similar in difficulty to the accounting portion of the Level III CEP exam. Many of the topics covered are the same, with a few additional topics such as journal entries. The AECA curriculum includes text books used in the CEP exams.