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?

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, then My Story may resonate with you.

Family & Background

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

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.

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

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

Teenagers going through the “teenage years”. Absolutely.

18 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 2 weeks prior to 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.

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, as well as in 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.

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, so some of the blog posts had 3,000+ comments.

In 2009, we added the Another71 Forum, which has well over 600,000 posts to date.

NINJA CPA Review (2011 – Present)

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

In 2014, we become 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 in order to Pass the CPA Exam.

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 in case you missed the live session.

(See – something good came out of 2020).

In 2021, we added the NINJA CRAM, as well as NINJA CMA Part 1 & 2 (yep, also included in NINJA Monthly).

We are the only mainstream CPA Review course that will allow you to cancel anytime for any reason (or no reason at all).

It's Netflix for the CPA Exam.

We are the only CPA Review course with a No-Questions-Asked 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

(Instead of hiding our refund policy like some companies, we brag about it) 🙂

Thank You For Reading

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

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

I wish the same blessings for you and your family as you pursue the CPA designation and your career.

Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)


PS – Check out our Free Downloads