MAcc followed by CPA

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  • #3279740
    Riptide
    Participant

    Alright you all I'm having a bit of a hard time studying for the CPA while attending graduate school for my MAcc. I already have a position with Deloitte as a member of their International Tax Group starting on June 28th and my graduation from my MAcc program is June 11th.

    I've read online and experienced many of my classmates completing CPA exams while in grad school, however I cant seem to concentrate the amount needed for grad school AND CPA at the same time. Some of the new hires already have 2-3 CPA exams done before they start and right now I don't have any completed. The reason is because I like to put all of my effort into school rather than slack with school and focus on CPA, I'm just unable to do that. Right now I have a 3.82 in my MAcc with 3 more classes to graduate, so I do fairly well.

    Does anyone have any tips or recommendations for me post grad school with taking the CPA? I'm planning on taking FAR, AUD, REG, BEC in that order using Becker. What are the average time lengths I should shoot for regarding working full time and studying?! I've already made my way through chapters 1-6 of FAR but intend on studying more seriously post grad school. Any and all advice is welcomed!

    #3280178
    monikernc
    Participant

    Doesn’t your MAcc program include exam prep classes? Is your undergrad accounting? Are you eligible to sit for exams? Go ahead and apply for exam status with your state board then get a NTS while still in school and just sit for an exam and see how it goes. I took FAR soon after school and passed without additional studying. If you are a good student you might be better prepared than you think. Besides, isn’t it time to get serious and apply a little discipline to achieve your goals? You have more time now than you will working in Big4.

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3280244
    CPA1219
    Participant

    I've been in public accounting, private industry, and a sole practitioner; this is not just my opinion but an observation of reality.

    If your undergrad was enough to meet standards for sitting, have you considered an MBA? Oftentimes people take the MAcc in tandem with an undergrad to attain academic requirements. Some undergrad programs are 150 hours and designed to satisfy the respective state's requirements for sitting. Unless you plan to be a tax/accounting SME for the duration of your career, an MBA/CPA opens a lot of doors into senior management in private industry, if that's something that interests you. Accounting is only one part of the financial profession. Finance and economics are equally important disciplines, and if you can demonstrate professional aptitude in that area, you will open additional doors for yourself. Even if you elect to start a private practice, an MBA adds additional credibility for small business consulting or attestation services if you decide to add those to your practice's repertoire.

    A caveat to an MBA program. Absolutely make sure it's a reputable program. Any typical state school would suffice as long as it holds AACSB accreditation. Most public/private universities offer night and/or online MBA programs.

    CPA, CIA, CFE, MBA, Big4 Alum, Private Industry (Financial Reporting & Internal Audit), Now Sole Practitioner.

     

    #3281285
    Riptide
    Participant

    monikernc, it’s apparent from your response that you think I’m lazy or unwilling to input effort. I am a medically retired veteran of the USAF, suffered a severe TBI and needed 3 brain surgeries, I wasn’t expected to make it this far. So please don’t insult me with “Besides, isn’t it time to get serious and apply a little discipline to achieve your goals?” I was medically retired and immediately went to undergrad for accounting, went for my masters and have a job afterwards.

    My disability provides me with double time for the exams. I am applying myself and I found your response to be a little insulting. I know you meant well but everyone on here isn’t 20-24 without a disability.

    #3281291
    Riptide
    Participant

    I've been in public accounting, private industry, and a sole practitioner; this is not just my opinion but an observation of reality.

    If your undergrad was enough to meet standards for sitting, have you considered an MBA? Oftentimes people take the MAcc in tandem with an undergrad to attain academic requirements. Some undergrad programs are 150 hours and designed to satisfy the respective state's requirements for sitting. Unless you plan to be a tax/accounting SME for the duration of your career, an MBA/CPA opens a lot of doors into senior management in private industry, if that's something that interests you. Accounting is only one part of the financial profession. Finance and economics are equally important disciplines, and if you can demonstrate professional aptitude in that area, you will open additional doors for yourself. Even if you elect to start a private practice, an MBA adds additional credibility for small business consulting or attestation services if you decide to add those to your practice's repertoire.

    A caveat to an MBA program. Absolutely make sure it's a reputable program. Any typical state school would suffice as long as it holds AACSB accreditation. Most public/private universities offer night and/or online MBA programs.

    Thank you! I only went for the MAcc because it would get me my 150 credit hours and get me in the workforce sooner. I’m 33 so I’d rather get started sooner rather than later!

    #3281438
    monikernc
    Participant

    Oh good grief. Nothing I said was meant as an insult. If I thought you were lazy or unwilling I would have said so. This is a supportive forum. You don’t know my story either. I am not 20-24. I did all of my accounting coursework and exams in my late 50s. Take my advice or not but keep your passive aggressive responses to yourself.

    AUD - 93
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 76
    REG - 88
    How have you been?
    Ninja book and MCQs and the forum, all first try! 2016
    Licensed State of Montana April Fool’s Day 2020
    State of Colorado June 2020 - AICPA Ethics 93
    Experience was the worst part of the journey for me. You?
    If you want things to change you have to do something different.
    #3281648
    Herb Chicken
    Participant

    Riptide ,

    Try not to take offense, this is a VERY supportive forum.

    I personally have seizures from a stroke and am 32. I understand your frustrations and difficulties with the exam. I went back for my Master's at 28.

    Making your own personalized study plan is the the best. There's no secret or shortcut to passing quickly. If you take a little extra time to plan this out you won't regret it.

    Ideally, you want to get a few sections passed before graduating. It's not the end of your career if you don't. I couldn't pass any until I was finished my Macc program and dedicate more time.

    Good luck.

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 79
    REG - 77
    AUD-59,75
    BEC-84
    FAR-69,79
    REG-58,77
    #3281897
    Riptide
    Participant

    Riptide ,

    Try not to take offense, this is a VERY supportive forum.

    I personally have seizures from a stroke and am 32. I understand your frustrations and difficulties with the exam. I went back for my Master's at 28.

    Making your own personalized study plan is the the best. There's no secret or shortcut to passing quickly. If you take a little extra time to plan this out you won't regret it.

    Ideally, you want to get a few sections passed before graduating. It's not the end of your career if you don't. I couldn't pass any until I was finished my Macc program and dedicate more time.

    Good luck.

    Did you work full time immediately following your MAcc? I'm planning on studying FAR before graduating on June 11th, hopefully this quarter wont be too terribly time consuming so that I can focus on the material. I have a 3.82 right now and with only 3 classes I can sacrifice an A in those to get at least one exam finished.

    #3282074
    Herb Chicken
    Participant

    Yes, I worked full time.

    That sounds like a good plan.

    Most people in this community would agree it's worth sacrificing an A to get a section of the exam completed.

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 79
    REG - 77
    AUD-59,75
    BEC-84
    FAR-69,79
    REG-58,77
    #3282182

    Hello Riptide,

    I have been following this forum for a long time, and I have never responded to any posts. This will be my first time. I constantly follow Monikernc and Recked, and they have always provided great advice and guidance. Believe me, we all are in the same boat when it comes to these exams; every person has a different challenge.

    I am 100 percent sure you will be able to clear the exam, and you will come to thank this forum later. Even though I still have to pass my first exam, I failed 3 times for AUD and will be taking 4th time this month.

    Believe you can, and you're HALFWAY THERE.

    ---
    #3282299
    AGI
    Participant

    Okay. Let's stop fighting. I think both side got it's own points, and neither side is wrong.

    Personally, my undergraduate is also accounting, and I took a MS also in accounting. Some graduate school offer intensive accounting classes (like ACC 101, 201, 301, 401, 501) and it really helps to prepare you for the CPA exam. Other graduate school offer more like a 5th year step up program (which is the one I took, but people from non-accounting bachelor major can also take). None of my selective class give you any CPA prep, but more into specialize accounting. I took forensic accounting, hedge funds, S Corp… those will NOT help you on your CPA.

    What's important is to solve the current problem.
    ———–
    First thing – Stop compare yourself against other “future” co-workers. I don't know what good it will do if you know that they got the CPA faster. Yes, it's important during promotion, but that's not the only factor. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO.

    In terms of what you can do …. I would say the first 6 months will be the most difficult, because you will be trying to get use to the job while trying to study at the same time. I don't have an average time frame, but I finished the test in one year. I would say one year will be a good time frame, because it will also take you one year to finish the experience requirement. Can't go faster than that.

    I don't know how familiar you are with FAR and REG. I will get rid of these two first, most to study. I get worn out after 6 months of studying so I do the most difficult part first. It really depends on what you are good at. I am okay in FAR and REG is most difficult for me.

    There are strategies you can use to make life a little more easy, you mentioned you are going into tax, although it is international tax, I would say tax laws are …relatively the same (in terms of principal). So you should use your work resources to study. When you are “new” to the job, it's okay to ask questions. I would either do REG first and ask my mentor all the “I don't know the answer” tax / law questions, or do it later in the same where “by that time I get to REG I already know most of the basic from my job”.

    But in general I would recommend getting rid of FAR and REG first, because that will also cover 50% of AUD and BEC materials.

    ——
    Give yourself a relatively loose time frame. The truth is you WILL NOT get promoted in the first two years (unless you are genius). So don't push yourself too hard while studying, and give yourself also enough time to create some achievements at work. So when you are finally a CPA … you got something on the paper to argue for a promotion and not just “I got a CPA”. You will win in the long run.

    NY - CPA
    #3282308
    AGI
    Participant

    And it has nothing to do with ages…

    I worked full time even before I graduate from school. You don't have to sacrifice a A to get this done. Utilize your resources. I would talk to the professor and tell him/her you are studying for the exam. I use my professor as my “problem solving guide” and bring questions that I don't have an answer to the professor for solutions. Your professor can also give you good advice on your Big 4 position. Some good professors will give you extra credit (or sub for a group project / paper ) for your hard-working studying.

    My professor excused me countless times on homework and being late to class (because I had to work before and after).

    NY - CPA
    #3282599
    Riptide
    Participant

    Okay. Let's stop fighting. I think both side got it's own points, and neither side is wrong.

    Personally, my undergraduate is also accounting, and I took a MS also in accounting. Some graduate school offer intensive accounting classes (like ACC 101, 201, 301, 401, 501) and it really helps to prepare you for the CPA exam. Other graduate school offer more like a 5th year step up program (which is the one I took, but people from non-accounting bachelor major can also take). None of my selective class give you any CPA prep, but more into specialize accounting. I took forensic accounting, hedge funds, S Corp… those will NOT help you on your CPA.

    What's important is to solve the current problem.
    ———–
    First thing – Stop compare yourself against other “future” co-workers. I don't know what good it will do if you know that they got the CPA faster. Yes, it's important during promotion, but that's not the only factor. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO.

    In terms of what you can do …. I would say the first 6 months will be the most difficult, because you will be trying to get use to the job while trying to study at the same time. I don't have an average time frame, but I finished the test in one year. I would say one year will be a good time frame, because it will also take you one year to finish the experience requirement. Can't go faster than that.

    I don't know how familiar you are with FAR and REG. I will get rid of these two first, most to study. I get worn out after 6 months of studying so I do the most difficult part first. It really depends on what you are good at. I am okay in FAR and REG is most difficult for me.

    There are strategies you can use to make life a little more easy, you mentioned you are going into tax, although it is international tax, I would say tax laws are …relatively the same (in terms of principal). So you should use your work resources to study. When you are “new” to the job, it's okay to ask questions. I would either do REG first and ask my mentor all the “I don't know the answer” tax / law questions, or do it later in the same where “by that time I get to REG I already know most of the basic from my job”.

    But in general I would recommend getting rid of FAR and REG first, because that will also cover 50% of AUD and BEC materials.

    ——
    Give yourself a relatively loose time frame. The truth is you WILL NOT get promoted in the first two years (unless you are genius). So don't push yourself too hard while studying, and give yourself also enough time to create some achievements at work. So when you are finally a CPA … you got something on the paper to argue for a promotion and not just “I got a CPA”. You will win in the long run.

    Thank you so much for the well detailed response!

    I will definitely aim for the 1 year mark when I start working. I'd actually like to be finished in 9 months, I'll have to wait the other 3 for the experience but I think I'll be able to do it. I'm planning on starting FAR first then after reading your reply I'm thinking REG would be better to do afterwards. My last quarter in grad school just began and I only have class on Tuesday and Thursday, so I'll be able to practically finish studying for FAR before starting at the firm. Likely will use my Becker material first, then the NINJA CPA material as well.

    #3282701
    AGI
    Participant

    Good idea. Aim for 9 months and then take a vacation in the 10th. Whatever you do, just be positive.

    I didn't get my license until 8 years after graduation. Everyone have stuff to goes though. No one is perfect. It's a life lesson to learn to NOT compare with others. Just move on with life. No regrets.

    NY - CPA
    #3282725
    Riptide
    Participant

    Hello Riptide,

    I have been following this forum for a long time, and I have never responded to any posts. This will be my first time. I constantly follow Monikernc and Recked, and they have always provided great advice and guidance. Believe me, we all are in the same boat when it comes to these exams; every person has a different challenge.

    I am 100 percent sure you will be able to clear the exam, and you will come to thank this forum later. Even though I still have to pass my first exam, I failed 3 times for AUD and will be taking 4th time this month.

    Believe you can, and you're HALFWAY THERE.

    Thank you for the positivity! Having a positive mindset will only help us through this exam.

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