Not Holding Back: It’s Time to Pass FAR

02 Oct 2013


Carla is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

Some say the best way to prepare for and pass the CPA exam is to get mad at it after failing a section. This helps you to channel all your negative energy into the exam to achieve a positive result.

Well, I have attempted FAR three times now and have come up short every time. Yet for me, even that has not been enough to make me get mad at it and give it everything I’ve got.

However, something has recently happened that has made me mad and has pushed me over the edge …. Looking for a new job.

I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a MBA, which I received as part of my preparation to becoming a CPA. However, my work experience is limited to working in a small Public Accounting firm, where the vast majority of the client base is small businesses that utilize QuickBooks as their accounting software.

As such, they do not perform a month-end close, they don’t have SEC reporting requirements and not one of them is required to present annual audited financial statements. The firm does a number of audits that I participate in, but they are all governmental audits.

All of this leads to the frustration I am now feeling and what is driving me to study more than ever before. I am looking to get out of public accounting and into the corporate world, but I don’t have the right experience. So I am hoping that by passing the exam, I can overcome that barrier and make the transition into the world of corporate accounting.

Because of my strong desire to make the transition, I now find myself studying anywhere and everywhere when I have five minutes to spare. I have my iPad loaded with the Wiley test bank app, the NINJA Notes and Audio, and a PDF version of my review course book.

I have also discovered a great app for creating my own flashcards. This eliminates the hassle of having to carry around actual cards and I don’t have to worry about losing any of them.

I am constantly working on my study plan, pulling tips and tricks from forum posts and other bloggers on what works for them and trying to see what works best for me. Currently I spend two hours a night during the week at my desk, working through countless MCQs and taking notes.

I am also listening to the NINJA Audio in the car on my way to work instead of listening to music (and music is a huge part of my life because I’m married to a musician). My goal on the weekends is four hours a day, but I haven’t quite achieved that yet.

I have a blended family with four teenagers and the weekends are our only time together with some of the kids and we usually have family movie or game nights. Most weekends are a blur because we try to do so many things in such a short time.

Even with the hectic weekends, I am managing my work/study/home life and making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. I have set a goal to pass all four sections of the exam before my birthday next year, which gives me exactly 372 days (from the writing of this post).

This time I am determined to not let anything stand in my way and I will stop making excuses for not studying. I’m going all in and not holding anything back.

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