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Advanced Equity Compensation Accounting (AECA) Certification

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 offers an exam solely focused on accounting; the Advanced Equity Compensation Accounting Certification.

Person explaining accounting to others

What Does it Mean to Hold an AECA Certification?

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. The AECA Certificate 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 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 exam is open to those who already understand the basics of equity compensation and want to demonstrate their accounting expertise. 

If you wish to obtain an AECA Certificate but lack an understanding of the basics of equity compensation, you should consider taking the Equity Compensation Associate (ECA) exam first.

Learning Objectives

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

Registration & Study Materials

Registration for the November 2023 AECA exam is currently open. Please click here to log in or create an account.

You can complete the entire registration process through the CEPI Connect portal by selecting AECA at the bottom of your homepage. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email that contains your exam information. In the month leading up to the exam, you will receive an email from Pearson Vue (in-person) or ProctorU (remote), allowing you to select a testing date and time within the allotted testing window.

Exam Registration Info

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. The CEP Institute updates all study materials on an annual basis in early February. We estimate preparing for the exam requires 40-50 hours of study time.

Access Study Materials

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