Welcome New NINJA Blogger Sarah!

06 Apr 2015


By Sarah M

sarah2Sarah is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

I would love to introduce myself to everyone out there in CPA-Land! My name is Sarah, and as a 25-year-old non-profit accountant in New York City, I thought that I would have had my CPA license for some time now.

I always got amazing grades in college; so honestly, having to try so hard for something academic is a completely new experience for me. It’s also the first time I’ve ever wanted something to badly.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ve gone through countless highs of “I’ve totally got this” and lows of “Seriously, this time I’m quitting, who needs a CPA…?” But here I am a year after seriously beginning this journey, and I have had some serious life changes that have brought me to this point.

When I was in college, I remember the first time I ever seriously considered sitting for the CPA exam. I was taking a final exam in my second semester intro accounting course freshmen year, and it was a long test (by my 19-year-old freshmen standards).

I remember making a comment to the professor, whom I was friendly with, about how grueling it was. “You think this is bad, wait until you have to sit for a test 10 times this length with no breaks!”

She was referring to the dark ages of the CPA exam, when they took all the sections in the same day or during a two day time frame (and I think she was exaggerating about the no breaks thing).

I remember thinking “no thank you… I won't be needing that,” then immediately realizing how much of a waste it would be for me to invest countless hours and dollars into my degree in accounting and then NOT top it off with a CPA license.

That has been sort of my reason for starting on this journey for a long time, and I think it's why I haven't had much success yet. Doing this because I feel like I have to is not a good enough reason to get me through the endless days and nights of studying that are required to conquer the CPA exam.

I've only recently realized this, so now here I am almost 3 years after graduating, without passing a single section. But I'm close, so close – like a 74 on FAR close, and I’m not stopping here!

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Marwan Refaat 9 years ago

My situation is almost like you, i started my journey around 2 years and half ago and still did not pass any section ( failed FAR and AD (. i went through tough conditions during these 2 years.i'm an international candidate and i pay $ 300 extra fees + travelling costs as i don't have cpa exam in my country. imagine how hard it's to study and save money for the exam and then fail. i'm retaking FAR in may cuz like you said i'm not stopping here. Best of luck for you.

Susan 9 years ago

Hey, Sarah! Nice to meet'cha! I jumped on the accounting bandwagon a bit later and started studying accounting after graduating college with a bachelors in a completely non-accounting degree almost 3 yrs ago. I've been lucky enough to be able to take classes part time while studying for the CPA Exam instead of having to work full time like many people. And I've also just landed a job at a nonprofit organization! Just wanted to wish you the best of luck! :)

Jay 9 years ago

Hi Sarah, You need to keep going and never stop until you get your CPA. I wish I can give myself the same advice. I have been on and off with these exams. Originally about 2.5 years ago I passed REG. with job changing and moving along with being newly married I fell behind and lost that credit. Here I am 3 years with nothing to show for. Doesn't help I also work for big 4 with tax seasons grueling hours I just can't find the strength to go back to studying. I've told myself constantly why do I need a CPA. I hate accounting and I'm on the verge of quiting tax for good after one of the most crazy tax season I have been in after 6 years. To escape the CPA I went the easy route by passing the EA exam, helps a bit being in tax to have the designation but it's still not a CPA. Right now my contemplation with career change is to no avail due to lack of CPA and I'm stuck in a place where I don't want to be. So get your CPA and live the dream of doing what you want. With that designation you can go anywhere. Don't be me.

Katie 9 years ago

hey Sarah, this is super encouraging. I started taking the CPA right out of college and have not passed any sections yet either - almost 3 years later- but like you have had some very close ones.. It'll be worth it in the end!

Sarah 9 years ago

Thanks everyone! I know it sounds weird to say that I have been encouraged by grades that weren't passing - but I strangely get so much satisfaction out of a grade that's even close. I mean this is one of the hardest tests in the world! If I can score a 74, then I can definitely score a 75 (someday, when the stars align), and THAT means that I will be a CPA. I know that if I ever quit I would regret it for the rest of my life. I just keep picturing the day in the future when I can sit down and just read a book without the tiniest nagging feeling of "i should be studying.." It's going to feel like a triumph every time!

John V 9 years ago

hey Sarah! Hope my story won't bore you and hopefully will encourage you so I'll try to be brief---right around 2009 I completed my MBA and have been removed from my bachelor of accounting for some years. I was an industry accountant at the time and had no real idea how to approach this exam since I also didn't have all the abilities to study and pass it not having any accounting classes in some years. I passively studied with others that year. Wasn't until 2010 until I got into becker and ended up at a brutal staff position in industry. I tried to take the exam several times that year and failed. In 2011 I lost this position and ended up working for a major media company that had me on an airplane to Chicago from Dallas almost every week. I spent months and months trying to pass regulation that year and never could do it. So many barriers but I kept trying to learn and pass. 2012 rolled around and I finally passed regulation which was my first section passed after 2 years. I already started to see my peers become CPAs and moving on while I still spent many many nights alone in empty classrooms and libraries. The remainder of 2012 I was met with failure in audit and bec. 71s. As 2013 started, my company was looking to do layoffs and I had to start a new position that was real progressive in manufacturing cost accounting. Long brutal hours and a tough learning curve. With that stress alone, I was met with more multiple failures on both those sections. I bought my time and learned all I could learn that summer 13. Being a single man eventually someone would walk into my life. That fall 2013 I would pass both audit and bec but only by breaking up with this lady. Now I lived to regret that and also only had FAR to pass in three months in order to save regulation which took me 2 years to pass. Long story short I failed far last min in 2014, lost the girl, lost regulation, and my career was plummeting--and I felt the most failure I could ever have had in this journey. Long story short--the rest of 2014 I continued to fail REG and FAR----however in early 2015 I passed them both back to back to my disbelief and at the same time was chosen to be a senior accounting manager of a major public company based overseas. My multiple year journey has been one built on success but not with out years of tears, failure, and heartbreak! You can and will do it