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Old 11-13-2017, 01:33 PM
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Starting to think of taking the CPA exam (pretty sure I've met the requirements on education credit hours)...

Been a while since I've been in the nuts/bolts of accounting so I will start to hone up on a lot of the basics again just as a refresher.

Have been looking at the Wiley products for CPA exam review. About $2k or so. I've heard more of Becker products, but can't remember if that was CPA or CFP stuff.

Any recommendations on what I should do or how I should start out? Not jumping straight into this with the intent of knocking it out ASAP (unless something drastic changes, which is a slight possibility in next year or so), but trying to do an hour or so most nights after work for studying/reviewing.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post
Starting to think of taking the CPA exam (pretty sure I've met the requirements on education credit hours)...

Been a while since I've been in the nuts/bolts of accounting so I will start to hone up on a lot of the basics again just as a refresher.

Have been looking at the Wiley products for CPA exam review. About $2k or so. I've heard more of Becker products, but can't remember if that was CPA or CFP stuff.

Any recommendations on what I should do or how I should start out? Not jumping straight into this with the intent of knocking it out ASAP (unless something drastic changes, which is a slight possibility in next year or so), but trying to do an hour or so most nights after work for studying/reviewing.
I used Becker about 7 years ago. I passed all 4 sections in one two month window. I was also coming straight out of school and had a lot of info fresh in my brain. To knock it out that quick, I was studying at least 8 hours a day so that is all I know.

Been around a lot of accountants taking the test through the years and the ones who did it while working had a lot more difficulty making all the sections in before the 18-month window closed.

If the test is still set up like it was when I took it, FAR was the worst so take it first. Then AUD.

Why are you thinking of taking it now? Are you an accountant?

Wish I had better advice for you. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:54 PM
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Best decision I made. I did it a while out of college. Took a review course on weekends, plus a software review. Took me a few whacks to get law done...I saved it for last if I recall.

It opens doors.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:58 PM
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I had the same exact experience (7 years ago, summer after MSA program, knocked all 4 out in 2 month window) as Trollin. Also agree that ive never heard of a good experience attempting to slow play. Mostly due to navigating work/study/life balance but also due to the testing window where successful exams begin falling off (18 months I believe). Strongly recommend Becker. I recommend allocating time and hammering it out. Good luck
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mhk4830 View Post
I had the same exact experience (7 years ago, summer after MSA program, knocked all 4 out in 2 month window) as Trollin. Also agree that ive never heard of a good experience attempting to slow play. Mostly due to navigating work/study/life balance but also due to the testing window where successful exams begin falling off (18 months I believe). Strongly recommend Becker. I recommend allocating time and hammering it out. Good luck
Had good luck with Wiley for CFA exams.
But no idea how that translates. Agree with others that banging it out quick is preferable
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:04 PM
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I took the Becker course in Atlanta where you go to a classroom. Treated it like my job for a month and then took the exam. I concentrated on 2 parts the first time and passed them and then 1 other part the next time and then got the last part . Best thing I have ever done as far as my career is concerned. I think it's a lot different than when I took it but I'm not sure. Seems like there was Auditing, Theory, Practice (2 days) and then Law.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:08 PM
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Becker.


Hammered on it 8 hours a day.


Passed three first try and missed audit by two points. Passed it the next sitting and was done.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Trollin4Tuna View Post
I used Becker about 7 years ago. I passed all 4 sections in one two month window. I was also coming straight out of school and had a lot of info fresh in my brain. To knock it out that quick, I was studying at least 8 hours a day so that is all I know.

Been around a lot of accountants taking the test through the years and the ones who did it while working had a lot more difficulty making all the sections in before the 18-month window closed.

If the test is still set up like it was when I took it, FAR was the worst so take it first. Then AUD.

Why are you thinking of taking it now? Are you an accountant?

Wish I had better advice for you. Good luck!
The info isn't fresh in my brain, unfortunately. Studied accounting (undergrad) and have MBA with emphasis in accounting, but have not done a lot of nitty gritty at current job. I'm more of a manager where I am now, which I throroughly enjoy, but have kicked around the CPA idea for a few years. My father is an accountant, but never did CPA as he got a good job and didn't "need" it, but he always regrets not doing it. My uncle retired from Ernst and Young and moved back here and was kicking the idea around of opening up a firm, but he ended up overseeing SCDOR for a year or 2, recently, after the hacking debacle or whatever it was that happened. I don't think he will open up a firm and is more into consulting now, I believe, so I haven't been in much of a rush to do this, but time is ticking and I'm thinking of starting this while working, but taking things somewhat slowly. I'm not much of a book learner, but more of a process learner so I'm hoping one of these courses will be a good match in that aspect.

To the others...thanks for your input. Don't want to do a formal course at this point, but that is probably what I need. Hoping I can bang out an hour or 2 most nights and, at the very least, get a great foundation for the next step.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:59 PM
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Unless you are planning on entering the field of public accounting working for a firm I would not waste my time, effort or money. If you envision a need to sign tax returns or enter into POA agreements with clients then I would go the much easier enrolled agent route (EA).

Really depends on your aspirations. Oddly enough I never got my CPA even though I have spent 28 years in public accounting. I would not advise the same choice for someone who wants a PA career. Worked for me but I am a bit of a unicorn in my field.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Trollin4Tuna View Post
I used Becker about 7 years ago. I passed all 4 sections in one two month window. I was also coming straight out of school and had a lot of info fresh in my brain. To knock it out that quick, I was studying at least 8 hours a day so that is all I know.

Been around a lot of accountants taking the test through the years and the ones who did it while working had a lot more difficulty making all the sections in before the 18-month window closed.

If the test is still set up like it was when I took it, FAR was the worst so take it first. Then AUD.

Why are you thinking of taking it now? Are you an accountant?

Wish I had better advice for you. Good luck!
Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Unless you are planning on entering the field of public accounting working for a firm I would not waste my time, effort or money. If you envision a need to sign tax returns or enter into POA agreements with clients then I would go the much easier enrolled agent route (EA).

Really depends on your aspirations. Oddly enough I never got my CPA even though I have spent 28 years in public accounting. I would not advise the same choice for someone who wants a PA career. Worked for me but I am a bit of a unicorn in my field.
Not sure I'd work at a firm or open one up, but I view this as 1) great for education purposes 2) opens doors to other jobs. There are 2 CPAs at a related company of my employer that handle a good bit of the stuff I don't.

Before I started current job, I was offered a job to work at a CPA firm that handles municipalities. Always figured that would have been a pretty good gig. I've done personal returns before and do keep up with my PTIN, though.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:22 PM
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Do you have the experience requirements for your state to become certified?

Actually SC looks pretty simple. Private industry will qualify
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:39 PM
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Yea, that shouldn't be an issue for me...I hope.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:46 AM
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My kid finished all four exams this summer using the Wiley products.
She graduated in accounting in May...used the summer to study and take all the exams prior to starting her job at PWC at the end of the summer.
She is glad she did it as she gets the cherry first year assignments, while her peers moan about the added pressure of studying for the exams while holding a full time job.

The products were essential for organizing her study schedule and material to the exams.

Go for it!!
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:07 AM
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I seen countless kids at our firm pass the exam and unfortunately it is not a test that only those that will be successful in the profession will pass. Those that pass are the ones that carved out the time to study. Whichever course you take if you devote the time you will pass. If not you will not. Remember you are not studying to learn you are studying to pass the exam.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Unless you are planning on entering the field of public accounting working for a firm I would not waste my time, effort or money. If you envision a need to sign tax returns or enter into POA agreements with clients then I would go the much easier enrolled agent route (EA).

Really depends on your aspirations. Oddly enough I never got my CPA even though I have spent 28 years in public accounting. I would not advise the same choice for someone who wants a PA career. Worked for me but I am a bit of a unicorn in my field.
My wife is a CPA but does not do public accounting. She is a controller and when she was looking for a new job a lot of companies would only look at you if you had your CPA for this position so we are glad she has it.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post
Yea, that shouldn't be an issue for me...I hope.
Schoolsout, SC looks to have lenient requirements but your supervisor needs to be a CPA for your experience to count if your in private industry.

Also, my wife is a CPA and it has become a requirement for many upper level positions even in private industry.

Kevin
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by doobs41378 View Post
My wife is a CPA but does not do public accounting. She is a controller and when she was looking for a new job a lot of companies would only look at you if you had your CPA for this position so we are glad she has it.
Ditto. The designation is very valuable even if you are not in public. I did my time and moved from the purgatory of PA and moved to private. I maintain a tax practice as well. That was my plan all along. When I "retire" I will go back to full time PA. I keep my CPE current, as well as my knowledge base.

Without the time in PA it is much harder to move to private (and make more money while having a normal life.)

The churn and burn, be a partner one day thing was not my goal. It works for some, but I never was on that track. I'm not a good employee for demanding partners. They piss me off.

Best way to get a job out of public is to have a client hire you.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kevincook View Post
Schoolsout, SC looks to have lenient requirements but your supervisor needs to be a CPA for your experience to count if your in private industry.

Also, my wife is a CPA and it has become a requirement for many upper level positions even in private industry.

Kevin
I work under a CPA to an extent...have been for 4 years or so.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:41 AM
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I used Becker, actually went to the classes and studied at home, but not a ton. Passed all 4 parts on the first try. i just followed the course schedule and took them shortly after the courses were done. Was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

son't really use it now, as I work in private industry, but keep it in an inactive status so that I can reactivate it if I have to.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by doobs41378 View Post
My wife is a CPA but does not do public accounting. She is a controller and when she was looking for a new job a lot of companies would only look at you if you had your CPA for this position so we are glad she has it.
Being that the requirements are so lax (at least in SC) I would agree it has merit. up here you cannot obtain a license without the public accounting experience and strict education requirements. Minimum of a year in MA and 1000 hours in attest.
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