Ali is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
NINJAs, I’m back.
I don’t remember the last time I cracked open a review book or watched a video lecture. I had to dig deep into the Another71 archives to remember what my last post was about – it was that long ago.
Since it’s been over a year since I wrote my first Another71 post, let me recap. I started at a Big 4 firm in my city back in January 2012. I started during busy season, and didn’t muster up the motivation to start studying until the following June.
I applied for all four exams. I dabbled with studying for BEC for a week, took about “break,” and then realized exam day was upon me. I didn’t even try to cram – I walked into the test center, thought “This couldn’t be that bad…” and took the test. 74.
And then there was AUD. I didn’t study until the day before the exam. I drove around my small city for hours until I had listened to the NINJA Audio twice over, and then spent the next twelve hours drowning in MCQs. I must have built up some good karma, because I squeezed by with a 78.
That is where my luck ended. The CPA exam isn’t about luck. I know that now.
In the absence of better things to do with half a day, I decided to take FAR during the last appointment of the last day of the last testing period of the year. I didn’t study. You might be starting to see a theme here. 70.
I had about four more years before my firm required me to become a CPA, so I decided that, for one reason or another, it wasn’t a good time to take the exams. There is never a “good” time to take the CPA exam. I know that now.
About a year ago, I moved to another Big 4 firm in my city where I was required to become a CPA within a year if I wanted to be promoted. So with a ticking clock, I started to take this thing seriously. I spent about four weeks studying for BEC, knowing that I had some major skills gaps to fill. Using Jeff’s Early-Lunch-Late study plan, I watched lectures and took MCQs until I was dreaming of COSO, and it worked! I passed BEC with an 80.
But the day before I got my passing score, everything changed. My father unexpectedly passed away, and it shook my world more than I could ever have imagined.
Just when you think you have everything under control, life will test you. I know that now.
It took me a couple months before I started studying again. I took a few weeks right before busy season to desperately try to fit in REG, but holiday fun with family took over what were supposed to be study days, and I ended up with a 72 on REG.
With busy season that lasted six months, that was the last exam I took. My AUD credit expired. I missed my promotion because I hadn’t passed my exams. Let me say that again – I didn’t get promoted because I hadn’t put in the effort over the last two and a half years to get these exams done.
My firm graciously offered me the rare opportunity to be promoted six months from now if I could pass my exams by then. So, with renewed motivation, I cracked open my REG textbook this morning and got started. I’m shooting for an early August test date.
I have learned a lot about this journey since I started. None of my scores have been below a 70, so with the right amount of perseverance and the willingness to attack my weaker areas, I know I have what it takes to pass these exams.
I can do this. I know that now.