Forum Replies Created
July 2, 2019 at 8:47 pm in reply to: Which is harder passing CPA Exams or getting Masters in Accounting? #2526300
Hardest: getting past the CPA exams
Hard: getting Florida DBPR to accept 150 of my hours as satisfactory for their various hurdles. I had around 177 hours after a postbacc and Masters in Accountancy.
Laborious but not hard: Masters in Accountancy
As per the DBPR reference, I am in Florida though I did my Masters with SUNY.July 1, 2019 at 6:40 am in reply to: Anyone who passed the CPA exam but works in non accounting related field? #2520432
“Can CPA open doors to other fields (banking)? Time is ticking and i'm not sure what I should do.”
As ex-hedge fund manager of 15 years and 8 years of PM before that, I would hire a CPA over an MBA. A lot of slower money such as a pension fund or some of the other entities is going to want a CPA over an MBA. The CPA alone won't do it for you, as it is a personality test where several attributes sought would include non academic things like an athletic or gaming mind.
Warning to you in that a CPA takes a lot more work than it did >= 15 years ago. A lot more.
15 years ago people would want an MBA or CFA over a CPA. My personal opinion is that this has shifted much.
It would have been easier to bang out an MBA. I could have nearly done it in my sleep. The CPA required a lot more time and drilling.
Congrats to each and every one of you.
While not the hardest thing I have ever done, it was quite the dementor riddled soul and time suck where I lived at the public library as much as at home.
Have some chocolate, or whatever works for you, and enjoy the endorphin wave. It was a big one for me, and I am still riding it 18+ months later.
Class of 2017 checking in here too.
I largely agree with Aaronmo, Missy, and Tim.
You can basically buy an MBA – you're going to work for a CPA.
These days in many states you need complete half an MBA to become a CPA.
I started the CPA pursuit with about 15 years of finance & trading operations experience, plus a half dozen NASD (FINRA) licenses. I nightschooled an exec MBA program while my wife was getting MBA. Still, as a former science major, I was forced to take years of undergrad accounting, statistics, law courses, and complete a masters. Even with my science background and most of an MBA complete, I was required to take one more CS course before they'd let me sit for the exams. With over 200 college hours, they still dismissed enough of my science college work that it was a little touch and go at the state level to meet all their required ticklist when getting the CPA.
Over 25 years, Times change: collectively an undergrad Ivy league education, Ivy league MBA, CFA, and CPA- the CPA was the longest grind. As someone said, in the end you are basically super cramming for several final exams to be taken in a 4 or 5 hour exam. Then you will do it at least 3 more times.
The MBA and CFA are somewhat in decline, having seen their top pre Great Recession. No, not even a top Ivy MBA is that special anymore. George W. Bush had one, but I wouldn't hire him for my company's needs. Historically the CPA is least respected, as it was much easier to get pre govt regulation and there are still many pre Sarbanes ones around. When we hire an auditor, first thing I check is whether the auditor got their license pre or post Sarbanes. It tells me much about the level of competence to expect. But those will be your seniors for another decade or two.
I can say with confidence that there will be a shortage of CPAs in the long run. Govt regulation requires them on so many levels, in the USA, Canada, and internationally. It will take a decade before people don't think of CPAs as primarily people who do taxes.
When push comes to shove, I'd rather hire a CPA.
Korean isn't the easiest language to hear and mimic the pronunciation.
Still, even speaking a little impresses the snot out of most Koreans. The Alphabet which looks so daunting, is actually one of the easiest to learn. Beats Russian.
There are good resources such as Talk To Me in Korean online,
and the Korean dramas/TV are some of the best in the world [unlike Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, etc].
Frankly, it is painful to watch most American TV after you see what the small country of Korea can produce.
They make for great entertainment and listening comprehension.
The grammar and verbs are a lot more relaxed than some other languages, so I would recommend giving it a try.
It is one of two languages that I am studying now.
Written Communication is cornerstone to passing this one.
It is easy to rack up points in various ways.
Opening salutation getting name, position, etc. correct.
Acknowledgement of key points.
Closing, with politeness. Signify how they can best contact you for follow up…
Don't get too fancy. Just rack up all the cheap points you can, and then go for a few more if time allows.
***Go to library. Grab any decent book on business correspondence writing. Speed read it 2 or 3 times while in the tub, on the toilet, or waiting for a bus/train.
Bookkeepers and accountants will be consolidated by technology. Increasingly called Assistants to CPAs, they will not see much wage growth.
Those with considerable computer n programming skills will fair best.
From a regulatory point of view, many many companies will want or need a CPA on staff. Whether as CFO, COO, or other depends on the company.
Basically, you are the human that signs off on everything. My godfather sold out of the regional firm that still has his name on it. He amuses himself in
retirement as being a CFO for hire by small to mid firms in the area. As long as supply remains as controlled as it has been the last 10-15 years, there
will be demand for CPAs until Congress says that everybody can take the robots word for it.
Like Missy, I'm not in public practice.
I've been a senior trader / portfolio manager for decades. I've been taking over more of the CFO's role, though may totally leave in a year or two.
Yes, much of the FAR and BEC tax related stuff is relevant.
-Missy, for the record, I've often appreciated your continued participation in this forum.
Now a CPA myself, I will try and follow your example.
Aaron and Skynet: +1
As an older one greatly benefiting from current suicidal government policy, the lesson learned from the 2003-2004 suicidal policy was to jump ship within 4 years. While Yellen was responsible for a reckless dose of adrenaline to the heart pre Trump, the last two Congressional chest taps of methamphetamine have those of us managing financial firms- financial funds more than a little concerned. That much drug should take it high as a kite until the heart explodes.
–Enjoy the ride for a few years. Have a good parachute. You will probably need it. 2008-2009 may look like minor league practice. Goal is to be retired by 202. We're still debating whether to be out of the country by then, though US govt now greatly limits our ability to move assets. Currency hedges will most likely be the best thing we can do.January 20, 2018 at 7:36 am in reply to: State of Michigan – Licensed After Taking Test in Other State! #1695199
Thank you for this write-up guide of your experience.
I am in the middle of a similar experience, and I could never find a good answer.
In my case, we expected to move to Massachusetts (MA). Therefore I began the process for being licensed in Massachusetts.
During the 18 months of studying and exams, our family there passed away and our friends there moved to Hong Kong for significant work promotion and life quality improvements for both. Then MA also did away with the non-attestation license. Just to make sure that we totally gave up the intent to move to MA, right after passing the 4th exam the Dec 2017 Tax Reform cleared Congress. With our business' financial structure, moving from Florida (FL) to MA would have resulted in nearly twice the taxation.
Thus after taking the tests to be licensed in MA, I am applying in Florida.
In the MA to FL switch, I qualify in both states via the hours requirements. FL is not yet with NASBA (https://nasba.org/) like MA, but NASBA does have an online ability to request the scores be transferred. FL does require some physical paperwork to do this, but it can be submitted either electronically or via snailmail to NASBA and they will process it.
What is the status for you two?
How did you send in your applications? Online or via mail?
How do you check updates?
I have not submitted yet, and am wondering how long it will take.
Mitigating factors are: I am waiting on the final Congratualtions letter, then transferring scores from the state where we thought we would be moving when I began this process 2 years ago. As all 4 of our reasons for moving there got crossed off, we decided we are quite fine where we are at here in Florida.
Your advice and insight would be greatly appreciated, as the process influences how I block out the next 5 months of our company and possible 2019 full privatization of our General Partnership.
Ne'O in Sarasota
It is good you have CPAs around you. That will help.
I'm surprised Wiley lectures and servers are failing you. Over 18 months of studying, there were a number of annoying issues- but I only think I ran into “down server” once.
Color coding did help me. Usually the first pass through the books, I stuck to yellow highlighter and black finepoint pen for notes.
After doing some quizzes and short exams, the second pass through books would have me using different red or blue inks to add to the layer of notes.
Items I discovered from the quizzes to be particularly important might get further highlighted with pink. I tabbed up my Wiley FAR book, and photocopied some of the better Becker parts to tape into the Wiley.
Do whatever works for your learning style. Both my Audit and Far books are someone dog-earred and marked up fiercely.
Just early on try to develop a hierarchy as to how you mark up the books. Yellow highlighting 1/3rd of every page defeats the purpose. Also using 5 or 6 highlighters just turns your book into a bowl of Fruit Loops between 2 covers.December 28, 2017 at 7:29 pm in reply to: Took FAR and I need some thoughts and prior experiences #1687439
I couldn't recommend Wiley for AUD, and definitely NOT FOR FAR.
The phonebook that Wiley produces for FAR should be used perhaps after Becker?/Rogers? as a back up reference while doing exams or quizzes.
My opinion is that it shouldn't be the backbone.
You've been around the same forums I have for quite some time. It is great to see you, mtaylo, and a 2 or 3 other long term GI Joes and Janes finally get up and over the Wall.
I'm with Ana in being one of the two bosses in my work. It isn't financial gain for us, but certainly going to help long term in the operation of our companies and partnership.
It will probably be at least 2 months before I get my CPA paper and can put it next to my other 2 qualifications. It probably the last one I will ever get, and was the toughest of the three.
If our office, I'm going to be sure the CPA goes over the CFA.
I'm approaching 50 and just passed the last of the 4 exams. I too did it for professional reasons.
As someone who tried to do this 20 years ago before the govt took over, it has gotten much much much harder. You are in for a long haul.
Let me bulletpoint reply to you.
(#1) It might help to share your state. Be absolutely sure you have the education requirements. If an NASBA state, undergo an education review. My wife did. Even with her double Ivy League degrees, MBA from another Ivy, and having worked for two of the big NYC investment banks, they still wanted her to take 3.5 courses more. Yep, I'm serious about the .5 as they discounted half a course or otherwise managed to come up with that odd number.
Even with my Masters of Science in Accountancy and two other Certs in Accounting (former UPenn Wharton Program), they still had to review it twice to make sure I met all the education requirements. Though very American, one of my universities in New England followed a more traditionally English system. There was a sticking point about one course from that university meeting the state's requirements, due to the somewhat stuffy name the university had used for the course at that time- and not modernized on transcripts.
BE 100% SURE YOU MEET THE EDUCATION requirement per your state boards
. I think I had close to 220+ hours and they still felt I didn't quite make the 150hrs until they processed the one transcript they were missing. Even then, it was about 177? They'd shaved over 40 hours of various courses off my hours count.
(#2) You said, “I am finding that industry application so widely different then CPA principals tested. Any advice how to unlearn on the job principals?”
–Uhm…No. You will run into it a fair bit. I recently ran into it again on one of the exams. I knew what CPA / AICPA textbooks say, and I also knew the way it is really done >95% of the time on the Street. I was in such a rush, I did it the professional way. ON the way to the car after the exam, I cursed myself as I mentally remembered how they teach it and that it had been the answer under the one I chose- but was too cute and also violated their own rule of conservancy in accounting.
You are just going to have to have a switch in your brain for the way the CPA exams say do certain things. Their way vs the practical way differ now and then and can hurt you a little bit.
(#3) Budget more like 750 to 1000 study hours for the exams. Ignore whatever guidelines below that which you hear.
You will need a CPA exam course. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. I personally used Wiley. I found it too much information, too poorly organized, but it had huge test banks of questions. Part of why I needed so many study hours was because of the sheer quantity of information to chew through. <
strong>I highly advise cross training
. Have a primary, but mix it up with secondaries. I used Becker books and Ninja Testbanks as my secondaries. The Ninja testbanks differ a good bit from the Wiley ones, so a very good mix between the two.
For the FAR section of GOVT and NPOs, definitely don't use Wiley. Use Becker or something else, and the NINJA FAR testbank. I hated the Ninja FAR testbank because I believed it disproportionately weighs the weight of GOVT and NPO questions, but it was a perfect Wing-chun cross training for someone more accustomed to juijitsu.
You cannot PM on this board, but I will try and stay with this thread since I am very sympathetic to those of us who started this in midlife.
I too am applying in FL, as a transfer of Examination Grades from another state.
My primary issue is the state we intended to move did not require a CPA related work signoff. I am older, Co-CEO of one company and senior Options Trading PM of another.
I've been the boss for nearly 2 decades now. All the CPAs I know work for us on an outsourced basis. Half of our old ones have retired within the last 2 years.
Our auditor just changed the other year, and I don't particularly know them well.
I'm not sure whom to ask to sign off the FL CPA part.
[[ When beginning to sit for the exams, it looked like our house was just about to sell and that we would be moving to the northeastern state to be near wife's family and a half day drive of my grandparents. The house buyer's financing fell through, grandfather passed July 4th, and the family we were moving to be near got a promotion job offer requiring they move international. They've since found it suits them very well with a much higher quality of life [for them] than their former state of residence. They _ain't_ coming back!
We are staying in FL, especially after this tax bill has passed. Moving up north now would be financial self-mutilation. ]]
Hey Matylo24, you partially got me there too.
You stuck to it like the T1000 and I had to respect that.
It was one of the things tha got me to get out the door and to the library (or online doing practice exams) the last 225 hours of studying.
Your bloody resilience was motivation for a lot of nights I came home and ate my 8pm diner reheated from the microwave, then sat down and put in another hour or two before calling it a night.
Missy wrote, “It was a bit harder for me than typical candidates
because I'm OLD
, I have no public accounting experience, and while I have 20+ years excellent accounting experience it is all for very small companies”
It is good to know I am not the only
one here with only private accounting experience mostly with very small companies.
I've got jackets in the closet and fruitcake under the Christmas tree that is older than most of the candidates here.
Well, jackets at least. I should regift that fruitcake to the Aunt I don't like very much. She's a mean one.
emo215- My first job, I had a good degree from one of the best universities in the world and already experience by taking a year off from school and interning.
It still took over 500 resume/CV and talking to people as much as possible to get that first real job paying a whopping $30k in NJ/NYC.
Same as Lucy15, I took a screenshot.
ReckedRacing: not anticlimatic at all.
–Not at all–.
It is sinking in slowly.
I owe some librarians some gifts this evening.
Then pick up some Hardy XO and a decent petite cigar. I wish I could get some Hibiki 17.
Have nice dinner with wife and then a little of the XO and the cigar on the dock. Stare at the stars and be so glad I don't hafta hit the library tomorrow.
Ne'ODecember 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm in reply to: Shocking FAR fail-seeking advice from those who retook and passed #1681807
Advice for FAR:
I had to take it a second time and was gearing up for a 3rd.
My primary was Wiley, and it is phonebook thick. The testbank is 1500+ and good for much of the main body of FIN.
Criticism: Too much info and poorly written. Sometimes a minor sentence buried in 3 paragraphs would be key to the understanding.
The GOVT and NPO sections kinda sucked.
Using Becker for GOVT and using NINJA MCQ doing every GOVT and NPO question helped.
Tacking it on to 2 solid passes through WILEY, I think that added +10-15 pts to my score after nearly three months and about +200-225hours.
I disliked NINJA in that it was placing nearly 40% weight of score on GOVT and NON PROFIT vs the actual % on the exam.
GOVT & NOnPRofit are alien to me and I was getting 65-70, while averaging into the mid 80s on everything else.
The irony is that it forced me to focus on GOVT, which I crushed on the exam.
Meanwhile, I choked on a SIM that would have been easy for me with NINJA.
I'm extremely thankful to anything and everything that helped me get over the line in FAR.
Those exams were quite the mountain to climb.
As people say here:
(1) I get my life back.
(2) Wife gets hubby back.
(3) Things get repaired.
(4) Dogs get walked.
(5) Yard gets gardened.
(6) Librarians get gifts.
I gave up cigars long ago, but think I will track down one Opus X and take the dog for a very long walk.
I'll carry him back, if I hafta. I am having a Gallus and a wee Swally as soon as possible.
Not going to look. Not going to look.
They'll email it to me later.
Wow. At midday, I've got to go buy some librarians presents.
This is the best Christmas in a loooooong time.
The dog gets the walk either way, though he is old enough I think he'd prefer an extended car ride with the windows cracked open.
Last night I was out procuring for our guests, and started thinking on what the librarians might all like if I pass. Obviously, not alcohol. Can't have a bunch of drunk librarians. If so, it should be on their own eggnog.
Either way I should get them a gift, but I really don't want to see them before Christmas if I failed. Too much Debbie Downer.
A firm believer in Zen whenever I can, this one is subconsciously sideswiping me.
I'm a little more wonked by it than is consciously in my control.
Good luck to all of you.
You wrote, “There was a DRS question where I swear the support amount differed from the amount I was supposed to select in the memo. I'm pretty sure I got it right. … I'm pretty sure it was a mistake. Can the AICPA make mistakes on exams?
If you read my first post on this thread, that was my exact experience that stunned me.
I like DRS a good bit, as they are close to my after hours accounting work at the main partnership entity of decent size that I CEO.
I was rocking through one, loving it…
Then got to one where the second half [part b] of the answer was erroneous in regards to the supporting documents. They were primarily looking for [part a] correction, which was easy… but all the later [part b] values were off. It was rather cut n dried from the supporting documents, but I spend a good 7 minutes or so trying to figure out what I missed.
I eventually gave up and chose the correct [part a]. Since most of the [part b] were the same, and the one or two that weren't had the wrong value for [part a]…. my answer was clear to me. Still, I was rather sure it was a wrong question. I've seen some questions that look or sound like they went through Google translate into English, and some where AICPA vs common practice differ, but never one where I was pretty sure they'd Homer Simpsoned it.
I'd be unhappy if that one was a pretest, as I'm sure I did at least >75% on that one.
Celestial wrote, “Also I think I may have to contact the AICPA about one of my sims. I felt like I was missing information”.
Similar experience on my exam. The instructions were lacking and the information given was slapdash.
The info given was enough, if I inferred the super spartan “Here are numbers, go plug” instructions correctly. I would be happiest if that SIM was thrown out, as it would leave me only with one other that I gutterballed by being in a rush and not thinking it through. That gutterballed one should have been easy, and is on heavily tested material. There is no way they throw that one out. If they did, I think I could do one handed backhands or keep on trying (them) until not able to move anymore.
I'm dreading tomorrow. It is either going to be:
A) rounding out Top 5 Happiest Days of my Life
B) depressing funk day that I have to shake off as fast as possible before guests to stay for holidays
D) Take our very old dog for a very long walk day. He has almost given up saying hello when I come home from the library at 8pm. I owe him.
Dance like Jagger, or Bah Humbug?
Broag wrote, “Your way with words is something to marvel (i.e. Napoleon Dipstick). That made me laugh.”
[Look it up. Use it on your father and others.
Watch them pretend they know what it means, kinda like my dog listening to me.]
Broag- “Did your Godbrothers express any frustration or angst toward their dad over the years?”
Yes, significantly. And I had my own frustrations with him, as he was one of my clients. We lost him as a client because he was quietly giving it to his sons. Not that they knew, and not that I could tell them without breaking confidence with my ex-client godfather.
I'm old enough now that I can say godfather is a bit of a Napoleon Dipstick- so I understand his sons. But his boys owe him and their wives a lot more than they were able to accept for a number of years. It was hard, them feeling Under the Wheel. Yet in many ways I was envious- their father cared and at least had a clue.
Don't think people see you as “The Bosses Son” with a silver spoon in your piehole. Most 21st century people know from tv, film, news, etc, what it is to work under a dominant father figure. You probably get a lot more quiet empathy than you know. How you comport yourself will matter.
My godfather co-owns the large regional accounting firm now about 100 strong across 2 cities, about to hit their 50th year.
I watched my godbrothers grow up their father's career and expansion.
From their experience, I'm agreeing with “Memento Mori”.