Exploring the Three CPA Disciplines: BAR, ISC, and TCP

Exploring the Three CPA Disciplines BAR, ISC, and TCP1


Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Qusai Ahmad

Introduction to The Three CPA Disciplines

The field of accounting is evolving rapidly, and as a future Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you have the opportunity to specialize in one of three distinct disciplines within the CPA Evolution initiative. These disciplines are Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC), and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP).

Each discipline offers a unique skill set and opens doors to specific career paths. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at each discipline, highlighting their content, career implications, and real-life applications.

Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR)

Overview of BAR

Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR) is a discipline that revolves around assurance services, financial analysis, and reporting.

CPAs who specialize in BAR play a crucial role in evaluating the financial health of organizations, providing insights into financial data, and ensuring compliance with accounting standards.

Content Covered

BAR encompasses a wide range of topics, including financial statement audits, risk assessment, and financial performance analysis.

CPAs in this discipline delve into areas such as data analytics, financial risk management, and advanced technical accounting topics. They are well-versed in financial statement analysis and reporting techniques.

Career Opportunities

For those with a penchant for financial analysis and reporting, BAR offers diverse career opportunities.

CPAs in this discipline often find themselves in roles related to financial statement analysis, internal auditing, and advisory services. They may also work in areas like financial risk management and business valuation.

Real-Life Application

In the real world, BAR specialists contribute to informed decision-making by providing accurate financial data and identifying areas of improvement.

They help organizations navigate complex financial scenarios and ensure compliance with accounting regulations.

Information Systems and Controls (ISC)

Overview of ISC

Information Systems and Controls (ISC) is tailored for CPAs interested in the intersection of business processes, information systems, information security, and IT audits.

This discipline focuses on ensuring the integrity and security of an organization’s data and IT infrastructure.

Content Covered

ISC covers a broad spectrum of content, including IT governance, internal control testing, and information system security.

CPAs in this discipline gain expertise in areas such as network security, software access control, and endpoint security.

Career Opportunities

ISC specialists are well-equipped for roles related to IT audit, IT governance, and information security. They play a crucial role in safeguarding an organization’s data assets and ensuring that IT processes align with business objectives.

Real-Life Application

In practice, ISC experts help organizations implement robust IT controls, conduct security assessments, and develop strategies to protect against data breaches.

They are instrumental in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical business information.

Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP)

Overview of TCP

Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP) is the discipline of choice for those passionate about taxation, both for individuals and entities. CPAs in this discipline navigate the complex landscape of tax regulations, offering expertise in tax compliance and strategic planning.

Content Covered

TCP encompasses topics such as personal financial planning, entity taxation, and tax compliance. CPAs in this discipline have a deep understanding of tax laws, regulations, and strategies for minimizing tax liabilities.

Career Opportunities

TCP specialists often pursue careers in tax advisory, tax planning, and consulting. They work with individuals and businesses to optimize their tax positions, ensure compliance with tax laws, and identify tax-saving opportunities.

Real-Life Application

In the real world, TCP professionals assist clients in making informed tax decisions, maximizing tax deductions, and ensuring compliance with tax codes. They play a vital role in helping individuals and businesses navigate the complexities of the tax landscape.

How to Choose the Right Discipline

As you embark on your journey to become a CPA, choosing the right discipline is a crucial decision. Consider your personal interests, career goals, and existing skills when making your choice. Reflect on the aspects of accounting that resonate with you the most and align with your long-term aspirations.


In conclusion, the CPA Evolution initiative introduces three exciting disciplines—BAR, ISC, and TCP—that cater to diverse interests within the accounting profession. Each discipline offers a unique skill set and presents an array of career opportunities. Whether you’re drawn to financial analysis, information security, or tax planning, there’s a discipline that aligns with your passion and expertise. Make an informed choice and embark on a rewarding journey toward becoming a CPA specialist in your chosen field.

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