Jeff worked two tax seasons before he escaped through the emergency exit door and then got lost and couldn’t find the building again.
It starts out so quiet, so innocent.
It’s Monday January 6th and you settle into your chair. Tax season eh?
Maybe this year won’t be so bad after all.
But you’re wrong.
January … then February … then March … 6 days a week … and then 7 days a week …
… and then finally 8 days a week as it crescendos into a three-hole-punched-sign-here-sticker-zombie-utopia where you’re willing to slam day-old Folgers just to stay awake.
Every Day is the Same.
Every Day Sucks.
At least you’re getting
But wait – there’s more.
You wanted to start the year off with a bang, so you back in December, you scheduled Financial Accounting and Reporting for April 21.
No Rest for the Weary.
How to Study for the CPA Exam 20 Hours a Week During Busy Season.
To fit it in work, family/friends, sanity, and studying 20 hours a week, you’re going to have to plan.
Plan or Die.
The first thing you need is the NINJA CPA Exam Study Planner (Just click the link and I’ll send it to you right away).
From there, follow the ELL (Early Lunch Late) Plan.
The plan is simple.
The sacrifice is not.
Most people will not implement it, but the payoff is huge if your family (and your sanity) suffers less from you being missing in action because of it.
How it works:
Get up 1.5 hours earlier than normal. If you are already getting up at 4, don?t shake your head in disgust. This plan isn?t for you. For those who normally get up at 6 or 6:30am, start getting up at 4:30 or 5. Stumble to the coffee pot (which you loaded the night before) and hit the ?go? button.
While the coffee is brewing, go take a quick shower and wake up. Head back to the coffee, grab a cup and sit down at your computer and books (which you also set up the night before).
Study for an hour.
Notice that checking your e-mail, Facebook, sports sites, or news was nowhere in this sequence.
Did you really sacrifice an hour and a half of sleep to check celebrity gossip? No you didn?t.
Don?t even fire up the Internet browser. Not even once.
Say no to the co-workers heading down the street to grab lunch and talk about how dumb their boss is for an hour. While that sounds fun, you?re here to study so that instead of hanging out with people that you otherwise wouldn?t outside of work, you can spend more time with loved ones.
You take your lunch to your desk (which you also packed the night before). Start eating and hit play on your CPA Review course.
Your legal pad and pen will get food smears on it while you take notes, as will your mouse, but who cares. Same rule applies as the morning: no e-mail or Internet.
Study for an hour.
If your boss frowns on one-hour lunch breaks, consider asking for permission because you are trying to study. Unless there are pressing deadlines or they are just a jerk, they will likely have no problem with it.
This is where it will differ greatly based on your home situation. If you are single with no children, married with no children, or married with children but your spouse is at home, then this could possibly work for you.
If none of these apply to you and you need to get home after work, then you will need to defer your study time until later in the evening from 9-11pm.
At 7pm – or as soon as culturally-permitted in the workplace during Tax Season, either start studying at your desk or bolt the office and head to a coffee shop or library.
Study 2 hours.
Do this four days a week, staying late 2 of those days.
Take Friday night off.
Monday: ELL 4 hours (Study late @ work)
Tuesday: EL 2 hours
Wednesday: ELL (Study late @ work) 4 hours
Thursday: EL 2 hours
Friday: EL 2hours
Sunday: All Day 6 hours
Total: 20 hours
If your family is feeling left in the dark from you studying all of the time mark this schedule on the calendar and let everyone know your plans.
When you study study.
When you?re with your family, leave the laptop and study books put away.
If you’re reading this and shaking your head because you struggle just to find 5 hours to sleep and eat during busy season, then this plan isn’t for you and you probably shouldn’t study for the CPA Exam during this time.
I realize that this isn’t a perfect system that will fit everyone’s schedule exactly, but if you want to make a “go” of it during Tax Season, then hopefully this will give you some sort of game plan to follow.
Adjust accordingly to your life circumstances.
To Your Success,
The AICPA has released the CPA Exam Score Release Timeline for the January/February and April/May 2015 Testing Windows.
January/February Testing Window:
April/May 2015 Testing Window:
Get the latest score release news in the CPA Exam Forum.
The AICPA has released the Q4 2014 CPA Exam Pass Rates.
The Q4 Pass Rates are bad relative to the rest of 2014.
However, Q4 is basically a push compared to previous years.
Q4 2014: 42.06
Q4 2013: 42.95
Q4 2012: 44.15
Q4 2014: 51.95
Q4 2013: 54.44
Q4 2012: 50.57
Q4 2014: 45.96
Q4 2013: 45.28
Q4 2012: 45.53
Q4 2014: 44.49
Q4 2013: 46.61
Q4 2012: 46.02
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Note: The AUD NINJA Book is updated for 2015.
The rest of the NINJA Materials are still undergoing 2015 updates.
MP3 Download (Right-click and Save): Death and Taxes
IRS, the taxes amounting
Let’s go through cash basis accounting
Allowed for individuals owning a business
But corporations, they can’t get with this
Carryovers, passive activity loss
No carryback, no not at all
Investment interest expense
Is greater than investment income, yes, yea
Gross profit divided by contract price, that’s right
Home Mortgage Interest, we doin’ it real
Deductible on loans up to $1 mil
Business Gifts, Schedule C
$25 dollars per person, don’t ya see?
Service awards up to 400 bucks
Are deductible, yea that’s what’s up
Death and Taxes, both unavoidable
Death and Taxes, both unenjoyable
You got Death, You got Taxes
The IRS always coming after
Business losses are no fun
But they only offset active business income
Like W2, yea that’s true
But Passive Losses, nah they don’t do it
Conventions, personal property
Equals mid-year divided by mid-quarter
Honestly business start-up costs can ruin my day
But at least I can deduct up to 5k
Medical expense, paid on behalf of another
Like a mother, father, or brother
Then they don’t gotta live with you
But if they more distant than a cousin, then yes they do
Foreign income and real estate tax, schedule A
They are deductible on tax day
Investment expense doesn’t include interest expense
So that I hope don’t forget
Tax audits, no statute of limitations for fraud
Or failure to file, you did wrong
Non-business bad debt, well
It’s treated as short-term capital loss, STCL
Tax refund claims
3 years of return due date or 2 years of tax being paid
Scholarships are not taxable if you took
The money and used for tuition and books
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MP3 Download (Right-click and Save): Unmodified
Unmodified, no longer unqualified
These standards are clarified
Financial Statements verified
Yea, unmodifed, I gotta say welcome to the other side
Audit Reports must be in writing, must be signed and
The location, city and state, where to find ‘em
And the Unmodified Opinion
The title must include “Independent”
Who, what and when, management’s responsibility
Fair presentation of financials, you feeling me?
Internal control, design and maintenance
Don’t forget the implementation
Auditor’s Responsibility, GAAS
Audit in accordance in the US
Plan and perform the audit
Obtain reasonable assurance, you better be on it
Performing procedures to obtain evidence
About amounts and disclosures, now you gettin’ it
The info is appropriately presented
But the auditor wants to bring something to attention
The modified opinion, the financial statements
Is when they are materially misstated
Unable to obtain sufficient appropriate evidence
Just listen, yea here’s the mission
Title, introduction, you see
Management and Auditor’s responsibility
Basis for modified opinion, audit opinion
Modified opinion, we winnin’
Referencing component auditor
If group engagement partner assumes responsibility for their work
Additional audit procedures, let’s do it, yes
And performing risk assessments
If group engagement partner doesn’t assume responsibility
Gotta reference the auditor’s work, see
Requirements for referencing that
It’s gotta be in accordance with PCAOB
Need more NINJA Rap Videos? (of course you do).
MP3 Download (Right-click and Save): Economic Cycles
It’s the E-C-O to the N – O – M – I- C -S
Better do good on your test
Supply & Demand, that’s the plan
Economic cycles all across the land
Yo, let’s talk about supply curve
When an item price increases, supply does for sure
Positive Supply Curve Shift, shift right
The market’s flooded with companies sellin’ all night
Shift left for a negative supply curve shift
Cost of producing an item increases
If gold goes up, less gold watches are made, see
Lower equilibrium GDP
On the demand curve, when the price goes up
Demand goes down, they don’t want that stuff
If demand changes due to somethin’ other than price
A demand shift occurs, ain’t that nice? Yea
Quantity supplied = quantity demanded, yea that’s right
Marginal revenue = marginal cost, am I gettin’ through?
When we’re talkin’ ‘bout the GDP
Remember, that’s goods & services produced domestically
Even a foreign company with a U.S. factory
But a U.S. company abroad, that don’t get added on
The consumer price index
Gives prices relative to an earlier time, like when you chewed on Chicklets
The GDP deflator
Converts GDP to Real GDP, gettin’ that green, yea
The discount rate is the rate the bank gets
When they borrow money from the Fed
The prime rate, well that’s the rate that you’re gonna get
If you’re a customer and they love you the best
If the real interest rate is what you wanted
Remember that’s inflation-adjusted
The risk-free rate
Takes into account certainty of payback on a certain date
Currency, coins, and deposits, M1
Highly liquid assets be M2, we havin’ fun
A tariff is the imported goods tax
The quota is the limit that they got you at, yea
Need more NINJA Rap Videos? (of course you do).