David is a NINJA CPA Blogger.
After my second consecutive 74 in FAR, I took solace in the fact that I could focus on something other than financial statements, government accounting (BAE BAE!!) and pensions.
My first 74 on FAR caused me to lose REG, so I had to prepare for the retake. It had been 20 months since I looked at the REG material. I recently moved and misplaced all of my REG NINJA Notes during the move.
On top of my back to back FAR 74's, as if it couldn't get any worse, the company I was working for hired a new CFO, and in doing so, couldn't justify a CFO and Controller's salary, and my position was eliminated. Triple whammy. Someone “up there” was testing me.
My firm had bought review courses for me in the past, but since I had already passed REG, I didn't need that review course at the time. So I was stuck with me, the library, a notebook, the Wiley book, 2 years of law changes and 4 weeks to study for it (I was determined to take it in 2013).
So with my new found time, I studied. Went to the library from 8-5:30 like it was my job for 3 weeks. Then the unexpected: Salmonella poisoning. One week before the exam. Not fun. I wouldn't wish it on anyone (other than the ones who stamped 74 on my two FAR exams).
I literally was in bed for the entire week, up until the day before my exam. My books were in bed with me, but I had no energy to study. So after 7 days of illness and one day to cram for the exam, I endured an 18 hour non-stop cram season from 5 am until 11 pm.
Background: I took REG as my first ever exam, since I'm a tax guy, in the hopes of passing my first attempt and giving me momentum. That happened. But coming out of this retake, I was clueless, since two of my SIMS were straight out of Jupiter and I was still not at 100% health.
The stress of unemployment, unpaid bills, back to back 74's, the unknown on my REG retake, sickness, a very stressed (yet understanding) wife, time away from her and my kids, were boiling up. I was at wits end.
And then three things happened in a span of 3 weeks that put life in perspective and shot me back into a world of normalcy and happiness: 1) my wife and I had our 9th wedding anniversary and we had a nice alone dinner where we talked about life and priorities and put things in perspective. 2) The day after our anniversary, I received an incredible offer from a Fortune 20 company as an Accounting Supervisor. And 3) I found out I passed REG.
Four weeks ago I was in despair. Today, elation. One exam away from licensure. Life is full of trials. I've been to hell and back on this journey. But it has taught me some life lessons.
One of the most important ones is never give up on this exam. There are people I've met through Another 71 who failed their first 8 exams, and are now CPAs. There are people that have taken this exam over 24 times, and are now CPAs. They did it. They inspire me.
We all can do this, it just takes focus, determination, and the ability to overcome the disappointment of a “less than 75” hurdle. Because that's all it is: a hurdle.
Have a great holiday season.