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September 18, 2019 at 10:31 pm #2712780
This sounds terrible, but I am only one module into Becker's FAR review and I already feel like giving up. I have really struggled with the accruals/adjusting journal entries module from F1 because most of the MCQ are not addressed in the lecture. There is just so much I feel like I don't know, I spent most of tonight just zoned out and trying not to think about how much I suck. How do you all deal with this inevitable feeling of discouragement and overwhelming sense of failure? I don't really WANT to give up… but my motivation to keep trying drops further and further with every wrong answer. Any advice at all is highly appreciated.September 18, 2019 at 10:40 pm #2712816a_baker7Participant
OMG. I got 20%s on most of my FAR MCQs when I first started. I was doing worse trying then just randomly picking. AUD and BEC I was averaging 60%s from the 1st MCQ. REG I started in the 30%s. Ugh, I was so mad and discouraged. But, you didn’t tie your shoe perfectly the first time I tell myself. It takes practice. It takes time. Then I’d get another 20%. I literally wished for scores in the 30%s. It gets better. It takes time.September 18, 2019 at 11:06 pm #2712882Space MountainParticipant
I specifically remember that module. Don't get too caught up on it. Adjusting entries is definitely more common in AUD. I do remember some adjusting entry sims from Becker for FAR. Definitely do those at least.September 18, 2019 at 11:11 pm #2712906
Has it been a while since you had Principles or Intermediate accounting? Maybe watch some youtube videos to refresh all those debits and credits.September 18, 2019 at 11:13 pm #2712918bigstakkParticipant
It sounds like you need more accounting classes. What was your major?September 18, 2019 at 11:21 pm #2712942
I know how to do debits/credits, but half the time I don't know about the little nuances that are addressed in different modules. I have a Master of Accounting from USC and aced most of my classes. I was a non-accounting major undergrad, as was a third of my cohort.September 18, 2019 at 11:34 pm #2712963
You said you're having problems with accruals and AJEs, what specifically are you struggling with about these two things? Do you have any work experience? I did an internship and I think that helped a lot get me through FAR because a lot of my internship was putting TBs into AdvanceFlow and learning to have that flow into the F/S.September 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm #2712981
Yes, I have work experience. it's not the AJE that I have a problem with. it is figuring out what the y are asking me for. For instance, one question states: UVW Broadcast Co. entered into a contract to exchange unsold advertising time for travel and lodging services with Hotel Co. As of June 30, advertising commercials of $10,000 were used. However, travel and lodging services were not provided. How should UVW account for advertising in its June 30 financial statements?
a. Not reported
b. Both the revenue and expense of $10,000 are recognized
c. Revenue and expense is recognized when the agreement is complete
d. An asset and revenue for $10,000 is recognized.
I couldn't figure out if the company *actually* incurred these travel and lodging expenses (even if they were not provided by the Hotel Co), so was wavering b/t answers b and d. I guessed correctly on d. But nowhere in the lecture (and this is module F1, mind you) does it discuss any exchanges such as these.September 18, 2019 at 11:51 pm #2713017
Here is the example I referred to before:
On December 31, special insurance costs, incurred but unpaid, were not recorded. If these insurance cost were related to work-in-process, what is the effect of the omission on accrued liabilities and retained earnings in the Dec 31 balance sheet?
Accrued Liabilities Retained Earnings
a. No effect No effect
b. Understated No effect
c. Understated Understated
d. No effect Overstated
I put c, which was wrong. Apparently b is the correct answer b/c “the unrecorded liability affects work-in-process inventory (rather than cost of sales/retained earnings).” It also says inventory is understated as a result. Never discussed in the lecture. Maybe it's addressed in a future lecture re: inventory. But the answer provided is incomplete. I've never even heard of special insurance costs affecting work-in-process inventory… but I assume that since they are affecting how an asset is getting ready to be used/sold, those costs are capitalized rather than expensed?September 19, 2019 at 12:02 am #2713056
I think I see your problem. These are all “rules” within GAAP. If you don't work in a manufacturing facility and haven't become a complete nerd by reading the FASB Codification you wouldn't know that certain costs that are incurred in the production of inventory are capitalized. Same thing with the exchange. For the SIMs you will have access to the Authoritative Literature, but not for the MCQs. Maybe someone has a better recommendation but I would suggest looking into the FASB stuff on Revenue Recognition and Expense/COGS Recognition. Revenue Recognition is a BIG part of FAR. There are articles in, for example, the Journal of Accountancy on these issues, just make sure you've got a recent article because the rules have changed in the last few years. Personally, I read a bunch of the Codification on Revenue. Yeah, I'm a complete nerd LOL.September 19, 2019 at 12:07 am #2713071
Do you think I am better off re-taking intermediate accounting or just slogging through with a CPA review course? And if the latter, do you have a particular recommendation for courses for FAR that are more comprehensive? Thank you for all your advice!
I have read the ASC before… we had a class that was all case-based. There would be an accounting issue and we would have to formally write up the proper accounting treatments with specific codes to back up our choices. The ASC is written like legal jargon and purposefully vague. We all used the firms' white papers to decipher what was actually the right and wrong treatments for certain situations.September 19, 2019 at 3:31 am #2713410ahugemistakeParticipant
Ok so the two questions you just posted up there are definitely on the “hard” side of the CPA exam. The actual questions on the exams are not that much in the weeds. Also you mentioned that these concepts weren't discussed in the book? Probably because they are both such specific topics that it has a low chance of actually being on the exam.
I struggled with FAR when I first started studying, there's a lot of information. It does get better though, as you keep going. So don't beat yourself up over these questions because doing the MCQs is part of the learning process. Read the explanation, take notes and move on. You can also google the concepts you are stuck on because you will find plenty of resources that will break it down for you.
Push through F1 take notes, and then review your notes, and then do a set of 30 random multiple choice and see how you do. If you get a score in the 60s, move on to F2. If it's lower than that then narrow down your problem areas and focus there.
Lastly, if you are actually a little burned out from studying, push back your exam and take it easy. If you haven't tried the Ninja notes yet, I would look at those as well. Also the SuperCPA notes. They also break down the concepts pretty well.September 19, 2019 at 10:42 am #2714043MomOnTheMoveParticipant
Like the previous commenter, the question is definitely on the hard side and probably won’t be on the exam. That been said, how do you like Becker? It definitely wasn’t my favorite and found Roger to be so much greater. If you feel you already paid for the course and don’t want to spend any more on additional courses, there are other resources out there that may help. For example the Investopia short videos and the accounting tool website helped me. You may be able to find something that helps. Don’t give up, FAR is a tough section and I had to take lots of notes, watch Roger’s lecture multiple times and did lots of practice MCQs and SIMs. You will do great.September 19, 2019 at 12:05 pm #2714265AllisonParticipant
@Ahugemistake I noticed your signature, ‘all scores expired', what did it mean? Thanks,September 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm #2714394sayParticipant
I felt the exact way you did. I graduated from College in 2006 and I got a C and B in intermediate 1 and 2. I was not that great of a student honestly. Anyway, I do have 10+ years of work experience. That is what helped me with this exam but that wasn't everything. Going through the MCQ I would be floored with some questions and go through the chapters over and over and I wouldn't see the topic covered in the book that relates to that specific caveat in the questions. It was frustrating. Stick with it, don't get discouraged. As you get through the material you'll find that some topics build on each other. I found myself going on the FASB site to research certain topics because I felt that it wasn't in the book. When that didn't work, I would go on youtube. I found professor Farhat on youtube. I mention him so many times on this forum that it may seem like I'm sponsored by him LOL but he really saved me on FAR. His lectures were understandable, precise. He works out MCQ and SIMS for you on a variety of topics covered in FAR. You have to be flexible when studying and accept that maybe the study guide you have may not be enough, but the good news is there are plenty of resources out there at your disposal to help you. For the questions you posed. Those are the “harder” questions. On the first one you posted I had that one in Wiley. Basically the gist of that question is to test your understanding of deferrals/unrecognized rev. For the second one, that one makes your brain go through some gymnastics, but it intertwines inventory accounting and accrual accounting concepts. There is a list of costs that go into inventory. Insurance is one of those costs, b/c it is associated to WIP it is not going to touch the profit loss because it is not in a form that is saleable, and as such won't touch the income statement. However, accrued liabilities are understated. You think with accrued liabilities, there is a corresponding expense associated to it, but in this case, it is inventory or WIP. That is why it is understated, and retained earnings is unaffected.September 19, 2019 at 1:21 pm #2714412
@momonthemove and @ahugemistake – Thank you for all your words of advice and encouragement. I will keep pushing through! I trust you all that say it gets better/easier as you go along.
@momonthemove: my firm purchased Surgent's review package for me, but I really disliked the book. Their “adaptive” format seems like it would be helpful once you already have studied for it because it focuses more on your areas of weakness, but for someone like me that is just starting out and is weak all over, it felt really haphazard and disorganized. I switched it to “outline” mode, which is a linear format and that helped a bit, but Peter Olinto cracks me up and keeps me more engaged. I have only tried a 3-week trial of Becker (expires today), but I preferred it to Roger's free trial because it provides a clearer methodology to me. Roger's lectures kind of stressed me out, tbh, because he is SO high energy that I found it distracting. Now I am at the point where I am not sure if I should purchase Becker's full course (the in-between package for $3000), but since it is so pricey and there are no coupons, I am not sure if I should go another way. I am about to start a trial of Wiley CPAexcel, and I have considered Gleim and Yaeger as well. I am totally open to any and all suggestions.
Thanks to all who have replied to this post!! 🙂September 19, 2019 at 6:17 pm #2715156ahugemistakeParticipant
@Allison The scores with a * next to them are expired, and I had to retake them. It's a long story but the first time I took them I didn't pass all parts in the 18 month window, and then let all my scores expire because I was bogged down with working and family things. I started restudying last year again and passed all of the parts within 18 months, so no more studying!September 21, 2019 at 1:52 pm #2717901ak_cpawannabeParticipant
When I started studying for FAR, I did not remember anything accounting related. I remember I had to google what is accounting equation and that was my first formula in my notebook for FAR journey. I used Wiley Cpa excel. Sooo… software was so good that it taught me everything I needed to know! I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours studying through pain and tests and frustration. Reading, taking notes, googling and YouTubing if I needed more info, doing and redoing mcq until I got at least 90% on them. It took me 4 months total dedication before I sat for far. I got 71! That’s when I got pissed and started studying even harder. Re-read all chapters again, memorized all ratios, re-read all my old notes several times and still after second exam felt like I failed. So I decided that this is the test of dedication (and it is) and I will continue to study until I retire. But scores came and I got 78!!!!
My suggestion, dont get frustrated or discouraged. Go to library or somewhere quiet and just do one chapter at a time. Give all your energy and attention to that chapter. If you see hard questions, don’t focus too much on them. Just do your best guess and flag it so it pops up in your test bank again and just move on. Remember this is one of the hardest tests in human world. It really separates dedicated people from not dedicated. Cpa boards want the most dedicated coolest goal oriented people to be in their elite Cpa club. So keep going! If I was able to pass without even knowledge of an accounting equation, so can everyone! Just make sure you really want it those 3 beautiful letters next to your name CPA! 🙂 Thanks for reading.September 21, 2019 at 5:42 pm #2718177
Ok, here's the deal. Revenue Recognition is a newly overhauled standard so all of the rules are new. Some of the overall concepts are the same as before but if it's been a few years since you were in school, this is all going to seem new with all new terminology. I just happened to have gone through the implementation process with revenue recognition at my job so it was fresh on my mind. But I feel like the best source for me was the accounting guides that the various Big 4 firms put out on the subject. PWC's guides are free and available on their websites (see link below). Sometimes, if the material seems foreign, I feel like looking things up here helps before diving into the lectures. For Audit, it had been a while since I was in public accounting and I wasn't aware of all of the changes to the audit reports for non-public entities and FREAKED OUT!! So I went back and read all of the rules on the AICPA's website for non-public companies and it made sense after that. I know it seems like overkill to do that but I promise, all of the stuff I had to look up that way, I will NEVER forget it…ever.September 21, 2019 at 5:46 pm #2718186
Also, I would DEFINITELY use Becker if you liked the free trial. That's what I have been using almost exclusively. It's worth the money. I used Roger for AUD for the audio files to listen to in my car but then failed it with a 73 (that was devastating) so switched back to Becker and have ONE MORE to go now. And don't get discouraged on FAR. Keep going. I failed it 3 times before I finally passed. The first time I took it, I cried during the exam and almost walked out.September 21, 2019 at 5:56 pm #2718204
let's try this again, this time with the links to the guides :0)
PWC's Revenue Recognition Guide:
PWC page where you can see all of their accounting guides:
there's about 13 of them. At about the middle of the page, is a section that says “All Accounting and Reporting Guides…filter by topic”. Click on the filter by topic and you should be able to see them all. You can just click on one and download the PDF. I have all of them on my hard drive and have several printed out and bound on my desk at work for my own personal little library.September 24, 2019 at 3:16 am #2721252NbmortyParticipant
Look here is an alternative to boost your confidence, try studying backwards (from the end) do gov. And nfp first, see how you are at those, you even can try pensions and equity or even ppe then get back from the start (the point here is to gain some confidence thats is).
I sucked at f2 but did good later, and i have an explanation for it, since the accruals are *basics* and there is not much going there they tend to complicate it by all that vagueness and extra curveballs , in the other had pensions gov and nfp are hard by themselves, or rather unfamiliar to most of us, so the questions tend to be more straightforward (assuming u get the concept) , at least thats what i have noticed personally.
Try it that why, u have nothing to lose, but confidence to gain.September 24, 2019 at 9:22 pm #2722545sdollen64Participant
@Momonthemove – don't want to hijack this thread – wish there were a way to message people on this forum. I am using Roger and wondered how you used his review course. Working on FAR and struggling. Did you watch the videos, do the IPQs and move on to the next section? Watch all the videos first and then did IPQs? Just curious what worked for you.September 29, 2019 at 10:52 pm #2728359LidisParticipant
Professor Farhat en YouTube has a very good accounting videos you can check them out
He also has a website Farhatlectures.pathright.com
LidisSeptember 30, 2019 at 9:14 am #2728824LeeTParticipant
@Sdollen64 – i am also using Roger and passed REG + FAR so far with only Roger. i was confused at first how to use it, but i think the best way is to go through each section at a time, do all the videos + take notes, then do the IPQ for that section until you hit the suggested # of questions and suggested score. try your best not to memorize answers, since if you get some wrong, they will show up as the first 3 questions on your next IPQ question set for that section. even if you memorized it, if it's a calculation question, write out the calculations and understand WHY it's that answer and why you did those calculations.
it would also be really good to go over some older sections as your get further in the material, it's easy to forget the old stuff. for final review, i liked going back to his lectures and doing the questions that are in the videos of each section, and the TBS if you have time. the point of those seem to be the biggest highlights from that section, so those are really good to review. you probably won't get any TBS that are the same, but it helps hammer home the concepts. one thing i missed doing was the sample AICPA tests.. i glanced at them before FAR, and got really upset at the exam because some of the questions i got were nearly identical, but i didn't go over them ahead of time! still passed but was an upsetting moment for sure which is never good during the exam.October 6, 2019 at 2:39 pm #2740239sdollen64Participant
@ LeeT – thank you for the advice! I'm currently through all the videos and now going back to each section and reviewing my notes and then doing the IPQs and making short notes on any I miss as I go. I have 55 days until my exam; so will definitely do as you suggested and review TBS and AICPA questions. Glad to hear that you felt Roger was enough. I keep reading other posts that say they felt Roger IPQs were too easy compared to the actual exam question. I find that odd and hard to believe since almost all of these review courses seem to have many of the same questions – which actually come from old AICPA released test questions.
Good luck on your last two exams!!
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