Introducing CPA Exam Blogger: Jacki

Jacki is a new Another71 Facebook blogger as she documents her journey through the CPA Exam.

Hi fellow CPA candidates! My name is Jacki York, and I have come to the CPA exam in a somewhat circuitous manner.

I was a Film Studies major at Temple University in the early 1990’s and was shocked to discover that there are not a lot of jobs available for Film majors. But I had student loans to pay and big dreams, so I took the first job I could find and began plugging away in the “real world.”

I pierced ears, helped other people find jobs, inventoried car dealerships’ parts departments, sold books, field hockey sticks, calendars, slippers, Legos, and Christmas ornaments, all while managing a staff of twenty plus.

While working as a retail manager, I realized that this standing all day and working every weekend, year-round, and never being home from Thanksgiving through New Year’s – it was for the birds!

So at the age of 34, I went back to school for accounting. Three years later I was the proud recipient of a bachelor’s degree in accounting! I now work for a small public accounting firm and I just sat for my first part of the exam, BEC.

It was such a relief when I found People who would know what I was talking about when I spouted off acronyms like BEC, ROI, MCQ and the like! Candidates who despaired of ever passing the exam! Candidates who placed their personal lives on hold while pursuing that elusive dream of CPA-hood! Candidates who alternately made me laugh, groan in despair, and sigh in frustration. Candidates, in other words, who were a lot like me!

I am not the only person in my office pursuing the CPA designation; two of my coworkers are as well. They both took their first parts in February and received the news that they passed during a Saturday in tax season. Both took audit and one passed with an 87 and the other with a 94.

I was very happy for both of them but a small niggling kernel of doubt began to sprout inside me – was I as smart? Was I as dedicated? Was I capable of passing this bad boy? I went home from work and I said to my significant other, what if I can’t do this? What if I make a mess of the whole thing?

And then the drama hit when I said “I will just die if I can’t pass and everyone at work will know what an idiot I am!” He looked at me and said, “Don’t be an idiot. Just study and you’ll pass. You went to school for three years and completely changed careers. This is it. The last step. You’ll be able to do it.” Hmph. And here I was, ready to have a good old-fashioned panic attack about the CPA exam and I was shut down in mid-attack.

So, that’s what I did. I cracked open the books, worked approximately one million MCQ’s, and I alternated between confidence and despair. Then I took the test. I felt like the test was what I expected it to be and that my studying had prepared me.

Did it prepare me enough to pass? Well, that’s up to the great testing gods, but I sure hope so because I do not want to admit that I have given up all those weekends and that that money was a complete waste!

I have just started preparing for FAR and I plan to sit for the exam on November 11, 2011. I am hoping that all those ones are a good omen. I have made my study plan and so far (in week one!), I am keeping to it! If anyone has any feedback about FAR, I would love to hear it! Thanks and I’ll be posting again soon!

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