My CPA Exam Story – Jeff Elliott, CPA

Hate the CPA Exam? I Did Too.

Do you ever feel like no one close to you “gets” how hard it is to study for the CPA Exam and balance all of life's other demands?

Have you ever dreaded telling a boss/spouse/father/nosy co-worker that you failed yet again?

Are you sick and tired of the CPA Exam and ready to either pass this thing or quit?

If you answered “YES” to any of these, My Story might resonate with you.

“Few people are more familiar with the stresses of exam prep than Jeff Elliott, licensed CPA and the face behind”

Wiley (affiliate partner)

Family & Background

Balancing “life” and the CPA Exam? I've been there. (2022)

My name is Jeff Elliott, founder of another71 and NINJA CPA Review.

(I cringe at using the word founder, however, as self-important jerks normally throw that term around. I am surrounded by an awesome team of NINJA Dan, NINJA Bobby, NINJA Blair, NINJA Andria, and everyone's favorite: NINJA Mike).

More importantly, I am married with 10 children.

(Yes – they're all with my wife).

(Yes – we get weird/judgmental looks in restaurants).

(Yes – our life is blessedly chaotic at times).

I passed the CPA Exam when I was 30 and had “only” three kids at home at the time:

Two kids under the age of 5 and a newborn baby.

I know what it's like to study for the CPA Exam while trying to balance…

…a full-time job…
…a marriage…
…a family…
…church commitments…
…a mortgage…
…little league…

Whatever your circumstances, I can probably identify with them.

Newborn? Yep.

Three-year-old that's into everything? Check.

Six-year-old that spray-painted the garage floor? Yes.

Teenagers going through the “teenage years”? Absolutely.

19-year-old in college? Affirmative.

I'm doing all of these parenting stages all at once 🙂

I began my long (too long) journey toward the CPA designation in late 2005.

I wanted to be a CPA, but I didn't really want to be a CPA enough to study like I needed to.

I wasn't fully committed to studying (who wants to go home and study after a full day of public accounting?), and I would try to “cram” for two weeks before my exam and was coming up short.

Maybe you can relate?

Everything changed, however, in February 2008.

I said “enough is enough” and created a new approach, which I would later dub “N.I.N.J.A.”. Then I passed all four sections of the CPA Exam by the end of the year – each exam on my next attempt.

In 2008, I was a desperate CPA Candidate on the verge of throwing in the towel.

I'm a Taekwondo Black Belt, so it (kinda) fits with the whole NINJA theme. 😀

My CPA Exam Scores:
FAR 4x (70,71,76*,76)
BEC 4x (71,71,71,80)
REG 4x (69,74,74, 92)
AUD 2x (69,79)
AICPA Ethics (89,92)
* = I lost my credit due to the “18-month rule”

(By the way, did you catch that I scored back-to-back 74s on REG? It was brutal. It also cost me my FAR credit.)

Today, I am a Licensed CPA (KS) and an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

If you're struggling with the CPA Exam, this site is for you.

Right now, you might find yourself in similar shoes – a desperate CPA Candidate on the verge of throwing in the towel.

There was hope for me, and there's certainly hope for you.

Just stick with it, follow my NINJA Study Plan (it's free), and you'll be adding those three letters after your name faster than you can say “HIYA.”

If you're already finding success with the CPA Exam, this site is still for you.

Maybe you find yourself in the enviable territory of kicking butt and taking names on the CPA Exam. This site is for you as well. You're firmly on the path to passing, and I can help you get there a little faster and you can taste freedom a little earlier. Imagine extra months of doing whatever you want instead of having to study.

Work Experience and Education

Education: Undergraduate degree in Accounting from Kansas State University and some graduate classes (for my 150 hours).

Work Experience: I've been in the accounting profession since 2001 and have worked in public accounting (two tax seasons were enough for me), private accounting, and industry for two public SEC Registrants.

I've been self-employed (i.e. it's always “busy” season) 🙂 and running and helping people Pass the CPA Exam full time since 2010.

I don't do taxes (except for my sweet mother-in-law).

I don't have accounting or audit clients.

The “CPA Exam” is all I do, and it's been that way for 12+ years (that's a lot of score releases, btw) 😀

Licenses: Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Kansas since 2009

Memberships: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) (2008 – Present)

Back in 2008, when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I started a blog.

This was pre-social media, and some blog posts had 3,000+ comments.

In 2009, we added the Another71 Forum, which has 600,000+ posts, so there's something for everyone.

NINJA CPA Review (2011 – Present)

“Why We Chose It (Best Price): NINJA CPA Review works nicely as an inexpensive supplement to an online course. This is an efficient studying tool that can be used as your main course but serves best as an auxiliary study aid with an excellent online support community.”

– Investopedia – The 5 Best CPA Prep Courses of 2022

In 2011, we launched NINJA CPA Review (NINJA Notes, NINJA Audio, NINJA Flashcards), which has become the most-used supplemental study material in all of CPA Exam-land.

In 2012, we started the Another71 Podcast, the first CPA Exam podcast and one of the first accounting-related podcasts.

In 2014, we became an AICPA-Licensed Course and added the NINJA Book & NINJA MCQ (a full adaptive learning test bank with 6,000+ MCQ & 200+ SIMS) to our study package, making NINJA a complete CPA Review Course and putting an end to the notion that you need to spend thousands to pass the CPA Exam.

In 2016, we had our first Elijah Watt Sells Award winners, a trend that would continue year after year.

In 2018, we disrupted the CPA Review industry yet again with our NINJA Monthly plan, making it the only CPA Review company that offers the firepower of a complete study course with the flexibility to come and go as needed.

In 2020, NINJA added NINJA Sparring – live CPA Exam tutoring four nights a week with full replays if you missed the live session.

(See – something good came out of 2020).

In 2021, we added the NINJA CRAM, which has become wildly popular as a final CPA review.

“Back by popular demand, we’re happy to once again partner with Jeff Elliott and NINJA CPA Review to help you pass the CPA Exam even faster.”

Roger CPA Review (affiliate partner)

New in 2022:

NINJA CMA: We're NINJA-fying the CMA Exam.

NINJA CPE: Get 60+ hours of NASBA-approved CPE for $67 (hard to believe and impossible to beat).

Free Downloads

Can I send you free CPA Review materials that will help you…

  • Find The Time To Study
  • Know What To Study
  • Spend More Time with Friends & Family
  • Retain & Recall Information Better
  • Get Higher Scores with ANY Course
Brian Wright

Brian Wright

Elijah Watt Sells Award Winner

“The questions and practice tests were extremely useful, they helped me find some weak spots I didn’t even know I had and gave me the extra practice I needed to get my best score of any of the exams.”

CPA Study Question? Ask Me.

I'll answer it in an upcoming episode of the Another71 Podcast.

Thank You For Reading

In closing, thank you for visiting and reading My Story!

As you can see, God/Jesus has blessed me immensely.


To Your Success,

Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)