NINJA Blogger Bev Returns!

    BevHello fellow Ninjas!

    My name is Bev and I will be studying for audit for what will be the fourth time.

    I first decided to take the CPA exam in 2009 as a bet from friend. He said that I could not pass so I was on a mission to prove a point. I didn’t really study and did not expect to pass after I took REG. Since then I have taken year- long breaks due to life and the desire to have a social life.

    As many of you know, in order to be successful at passing, a social life while having a full time job and a fiancé is not at the top of the list.

    My score has consistently gone up from 47 – 68 – 73. I have always thought I was an auditory learner but have realized that I am far from it. When I scored the 73 I sat down and read my textbook from cover to cover and worked the questions. I am not going to lie but I studied harder.

    I took my time in making sure I understood the concepts. This was the first time that I could truly say I was “studying” for the exam. And then I was 2 points shy. I was mad and once again have taken 2 months off from studying. With a wedding looming 2 months away, I am also freaking out about wasting a testing window.

    For my next retake, I honestly could not stomach rereading the CPA Review books I had. Luckily, Jeff has finished the NINJA Book and I purchased AUD.

    I am now armed with the NINJA Book, MCQ, and BLITZ. I am full-on NINJA (HIYA!). I know that having all these products is not going to be the secret sauce to me passing but I am going to have to put in the same amount of passion into studying as I did when I got my 73.

    Here we go again. As if things aren’t too stressful already with the exam and planning a wedding. I thought it was a great idea to adopt a dog from the Humane Society so our basset hound could have a companion.

    Needless to say the new pup has zero house training and I sleep with eye open because as soon as I hear her moving around in the middle of the night I hop out of bed and usher her outside to “go potty.”

    Good Luck to everyone studying!

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    April 01, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Welcome Back, NINJA Blogger Christie!

    Christina FMy name is Christie, and I’m on this crazy journey to pass the CPA exam.

    I have taken FAR and AUD and did not pass either one, although I came much closer with AUD than I did FAR. As much as I wanted to go for it, I had to pause my CPA journey because my husband and daughter were both having surgery and I had to focus on them, not to mention at the same time I got a promotion at work.

    Now that I can focus again, I’m ready to jump in and get going. Since it’s been awhile, I am starting fresh with BEC.

    My husband is finishing up school in May, my 6 year old is in school and I have a very wild 2 year old son, so finding time to study may prove to be challenging, but I found a few things that can help my studying. I never studied in high school or college, I hate studying and I’m not that great at it. One thing I found I must do is write out a schedule and make sure everyone knows when I need study time.

    One tool I found helpful was the NINJA Flashcards. I was able to sit down for 5 minutes during my son’s nap and pull out my phone or tablet and go through a few, or at the dr’s office, etc. I also used NINJA MCQ, and I liked them and the setup much better than other courses.

    I’m sure as I dive back into studying, I’ll find more that works and some that don’t as well! It’s important that we all support each other because the only people who know what we’re going through are those that have taken the exam and are doing the same thing. Good luck to us all!

    April 01, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Welcome New NINJA Blogger Francine!

    FrancineHiYa!!

    My name is Francine and I am ready to become a Certified Public Accountant, now I just have to pass these CPA exams.

    I work as an accountant for a small pharmaceutical company. I have my B.S. in Accounting and I always thought about whether I was going to go for the Master’s or the CPA license. I constantly went back and forth with this decision for quite some time.

    I applied to 3 graduate schools and got accepted to all three. I took one class and decided that the Master’s route was not for me. Kudos to those who have their Master’s degree.

    I applied to become a CPA candidate and so far I have passed BEC. I was so excited when I checked my score and saw that I finally passed on the third try. I guess 3 times is the charm, because I took AUD twice so far and got a score of 70 on both exams.

    I’m going to study even harder, work through the NINJA MCQ and re-write the NINJA Notes so that I can pass on the third try. I plan to re-take it in April.

    Reading through the CPA Exam Forum and Another 71 Facebook page posts has really encouraged me to keep pushing myself and remain motivated. True failure would be giving up on something that I really want.

    Giving up is not an option, because I know there are plenty of opportunities that await me when I pass the remaining 3 exams.

    Good luck to all those that are taking the exam. Keep studying and stay focused on your goals!

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    March 31, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Welcoming New NINJA Blogger Dustin

    dustinski 2

    The dreaded sound of my alarm is blaring in the background again. I was studying for the CPA exam until midnight last night and it’s 6 AM, but there ain’t no rest for the wicked.

    I am attempting to complete my exams faster than most, and my hope is that I have success. I’d love to pass them all the first time, but trying to do them all in five months is a little ambitious, and who knows what kind of wrenches life may throw at me.

    Like last week when the boiler broke and carbon monoxide was all over my basement-I loved that. Or when a bearing on my vehicle broke and I spent half a day at Midas. There is only so much you can do. I don’t think it matters if you study 100 or 200 of 400 hours, you will never feel totally comfortable.

    My name is Dustin. I am 22 years old and from Maine. 22? Wow he is so young! Naw, not really, I will have my 150 credits at the end of this semester, am starting at Big 4 in Boston this coming fall, and have met all requirements for both Maine and Massachusetts (definitely had to spell check that since I still can’t spell Massachusetts!).

    I was told that I am too young to take the exam now and I should wait for my “real-world” experience. I think those are words coming from somebody who wishes they had their exams done before they started working. Fighting words? Maybe.

    I am in my last semester of a 5-year BS in Accounting and MBA in Maine, and am quite ambitious. To be honest, I don’t need any awards for outstanding scores or anything of that sort. Being the 300 Club is good enough for me (75’s all around).

    I study hard, but still find time to stay active (playing intramural sports a few nights a week) and attempting to stay sane. I didn’t leave my house for three days once while studying for Audit and it wasn’t ideal. I almost never wear sweats in public, and I have definitely been doing that quite often.

    I got my first haircut in almost 2 months the other day and it was glorious, and I planned a mini weekend getaway for after my next exam. I used to drink sometimes for happiness, now I drink out of sadness (just kidding, I can’t even remember the last time I drank).

    Lucky for me, it is Maine, and it is winter- so it is pretty well cold and snowy all the damn time. Only thing I hate is that I can’t be skiing or snowboarding or something a tad more exciting than vegetating and losing sleep.

    I am one week from BEC and still have to get through 1.5 chapters, and yet here I am, writing this. I think it is good to take your mind away from the hustle once in a while.

    It is a marathon, not a sprint. Well, I’d sprint like hell if my mind could handle it. Only so much I can do.

    My social life is essentially gone- which is not ideal for a guy in his last semester of college. Luckily a few of my friends are in the same predicament, so we suffer together. I have a long-term girlfriend that sees very little of me these days, but I try to make an attempt to go out to dinner with her occasionally, or even get a coffee at Tim Hortons (yes that is right- we are ‘basically’ Canada- so we are drinking Tim’s).

    I think I looked at the news last week for fifteen minutes and was shocked at all of the crazy things happening in this world. That ISIS nonsense got me fired up, so I tend to avoid the media a week before an exam.

    I took Audit the day after the Superbowl. Wasn’t great planning on my part, but I am attempting to get these all in by May, so time was limited. I didn’t even know it was the day after the Superbowl until a week before my exam, so it is what it is.

    I reviewed during the first half and only started watching about half way through the third quarter. We have to make sacrifices to get what we want in this life, and I am attempting to make mine now, so that I won’t be making them in the future when I am working full-time with all sorts of other responsibilities.

    REG is in April and FAR will be in late May. If all goes well, then it is over. If not, then time to hit the scratch pads again and finish studying for the CPA exam in the months of July and August. Nobody really understands the CPA exam until you take the CPA exam. I tell people it is like the Bar Exam of accounting, doesn’t help. I usually just avoid questions now.

    Study hard, stay on track and I will try to do the same. You’ll look back on this and laugh. Actually, no you probably won’t. You will probably say that it sucked and was awful, but you only have to do it once. Keep working.

    CPA Exam Review

    March 30, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    Welcoming New NINJA Blogger Ashley!

    Slow to Start Ashley

    My journey to CPA didn’t start with me. My story is unique in that I began college as a mechanical engineering major, who turned into a math major, and fell in love with an accounting major.

    My (now) husband began the CPA journey for us during our engagement (while I was still hoping to be an actuary) which carried into the early years of our marriage. His CPA journey took its toll on our marriage as newlyweds both in lack of time and in finances.

    His CPA journey ended sometime after I had decided that I, too, was going to be an accountant, but before I graduated. Somewhere in the midst of, “How is this marriage going to work?” and “How in the world could I possibly have gotten ANOTHER 74 and lost my (insert exam of choice here) credit?!”

    It was brutal.

    There are truly no words to describe it. My husband was feeling defeat in the worst way. I was feeling neglected and lonely. Something had to change. So, we said “Goodbye” to CPA exams, for a season.

    In May 2010, I graduated with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Mathematics, minors in Economics and Insurance and Risk Management. I had internships. I was in Beta Alpha Psi. I was marketable, but the job market was, in the words of a professor, “the worst I’ve ever seen.”

    I recall one point where he was persuading my class to MBAs because he had not seen it this bad in his entire career. In hindsight, maybe I should have listened.

    Instead, I accepted the first job offer I received. It was a really great offer and it was my first grown up job. I couldn’t pass that up! I went to work for a local financial consulting firm owned and managed by a CPA. Including myself, there were three people in the office. Let’s just say, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

    At one point I recall thinking I should have just given into becoming a math teacher, despite every bone in my body uttering my mother’s famous words, “Don’t go into education.”

    Many of my classmates were still searching for their first professional position, so I committed to stay the course and gain valuable experience. And, ultimately, I wanted to begin studying and put a nail in the CPA coffin. However, the week after I received my NTS, I was let go from that first job. Most would think, “Awesome! Now is a perfect time to study!” I did not.

    I was stressed about how we were going to pay for my student loans, vehicle that was purchased after I obtained the (now nonexistent) job, mortgage, food, etc. I was defeated and made my job finding a job, not studying for the exams that were already paid for and scheduled. I did sit for those exams. Needless to say, we won’t talk about my first three scores.

    Fast-forward five years post-graduation and here we are. I now have two corporate accounting jobs under my belt. My husband (yes, we are still married) is a CFE. I’ve spent ample time serving in my church, loving my family, and enjoying life.

    But it’s time.

    I started my journey as a NINJA in February and would love for you to follow along with me as I put the final nails in this CPA coffin once and for all. Would you care to join me?

    HIYA!

    CPA Review

    March 30, 2015 NINJA CPA Review

    The NINJA500 Weekend Challenge

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    Update 3/30/15: 60+ NINJAs hit 500 MCQ this weekend, earning the NINJA MCQ community over 2 months of free NINJA BLITZ Access.

    You can take advantage of their hard work and sign up for NINJA MCQ.

    Access to NINJA BLITZ will be open until at least June 1, 2015 for NINJA MCQ subscribers.

    The NINJAs have had a lot of requests for the NINJA500 weekend challenge to return.

    So here it is…

    1) Between now and late Sunday night (whenever you call it a night) – do 500 NINJA MCQ.

    2) Post in THIS thread that you finished the 500 MCQ

    3) Every NINJA who posts in the forum thread, earns the rest of the NINJA MCQ ninjas one day’s access to the NINJA BLITZ cram-style videos.

    Example: 5 people post … 5 days of NINJA BLITZ are unlocked for the NINJA MCQ community.

    Example: 100 people post…100 days of NINJA BLITZ are unlocked (the ninjas are capping it at 100 days)

    Q: Does it have to be 500 MCQ from NINJA?
    A: Yes

    Q: Are you going to double-check?
    A: No. If the profession trusts you to protect the public interest, then so will the ninjas

    Q: Do I have to get the 500 MCQ correct?
    A: No – but if you’re going to spend the time – do it right. The goal here is to move you towards passing, not clicking through a bunch of questions to accomplish an arbitrary number of questions completed.

    Purchase/Renew NINJA MCQ ($47): http://www.another71.com/products-page/ninja-mcq

    Login to NINJA MCQ: http://www.ninjacpareview.com/

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    March 26, 2015 NINJA MCQ

    Test Your Might: BEC – Financial Analysis

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    The NINJAs are giving away a free section of NINJA MCQ.

    Answer the free BEC CPA Exam question in the facebook post below to enter the drawing.

    Deadline to enter is today (Thursday March 26, 2015) at 5pm Eastern.

    Cook Co.’s total costs of operating five sales offices last year was $500,000, of which $70,000 represented fixed costs. Cook has determined that total costs are significantly influenced by the number of sales offices operated. Last year’s costs and number of sales offices can be used as the basis for predicting annual costs. What would be the budgeted costs for the coming year if Cook were to operate seven sales offices?

    A. $700,000
    B. $672,000
    C. $614,000
    D. $586,000

    Answer on the Another71 Facebook page in order to enter the drawing.

    Test Your Might: BEC – Budget & AnalysisA NINJA MCQ winner ($47 value) will be chosen randomly. To enter, post your…
    Posted by Another71 on Thursday, March 26, 2015

    March 26, 2015 Test Your Might

    Welcome Back NINJA Blogger Rollie!

    Rollie SHello!

    My name is Rollie and I am a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. Since graduating in 2011, I worked a few different jobs before landing my position as a staff accountant for the Good Samaritan Society at their national campus.

    I primarily focus on the accuracy of the financial statements for 16 individual Good Samaritan nursing homes in Kansas. I enjoy my job, but I want to keep moving forward in my career and pass the CPA exam!

    I have attempted REG, AUD and FAR; all three of them were colossal failures. So I took 8 months off, got married and adjusted to my new married life (this was a huge change for me).

    Beginning the 2nd week of March 2014, I started studying again, but this time was different. This time I am doing the NINJA method.

    Fast forward a year, and I have only passed REG. I have 2 attempts at FAR and then went to Mexico. I was going to take BEC at the end of February, but my doctor advised against it until we can get my depression/anxiety issues figured out. She said by the end of March, I will be ready to start testing again.

    For anybody with mental health issues, I understand how difficult it can be to study some days. My goal is to take BEC in the first week in April and then move on to FAR for the end of the testing window! I have until November 30th to finish passing the CPA Exam before losing REG.

    I am going to start passing! I look forward to being back and to hopefully share some encouraging and entertaining stories throughout this journey!

    CPA Review

    March 26, 2015 NINJA CPA Review
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