Introducing NINJA CPA Blogger Greg

Greg is a new NINJA CPA Blogger.

HiYa! My name is Greg. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I graduated college with my bachelors in accounting in 2004. Took 6 months off (not by choice) and spent that time going on interviews to try to get my first real job.

Six months after graduating college, I finally got a job. It was with a small private accounting firm.

I did tax returns, bookkeeping, prepared financial statements, etc, etc. They didn’t really value the CPA like most public accounting firms, and I thought I needed 150 hours to sit for it anyway.

I’m not sure that PA at the time required 150 credit hours to sit for the CPA exam. But regardless, I again passed on starting my CPA exam journey, and decided to go for my MBA.

After getting my MBA (in a little under 5 years), I decided that it might be time for me to move on from the only job that I ever knew. Long story short, after 7 years, I wound up at a small public accounting firm that was closer to home. It was then that I made the decision to start my CPA exam journey.

I took the FAR exam at the end of January 2012. A month later I found out I passed! I immediately scheduled AUD.

Since my 1st tax season with a new company was just about to get crazy, I scheduled AUD for the latest possible date. I should note that I made the mistake of applying to take AUD and FAR at the same time. So the latest that I could take AUD (per my NTS) was less than a month after tax season ended.

Fast-forward three weeks after my AUD exam – I found out not only did I not pass, but I got a whopping 52! If you take nothing else away from this post, let it be this: If you are working full-time, do NOT schedule any CPA exam section immediately after your busiest time of the year.

Even if the exam is 3 months away and you think you’ll have plenty of time to study, you’re wrong. You will not be able to study as much as is needed to pass this beast of an exam. It’s also possible that after passing FAR I got a little cocky and that affected me negatively.

I took AUD again less than 2 months later, this time using the NINJA Notes to supplement my other materials. I should note that during this time I was laid-off from my new job. I was hired just before tax season, and let go just after tax season.

Apparently I was hired strictly for tax season, but they obviously failed to mention this fact at my multiple interviews. This was just about 2 weeks before my AUD retest. I saw it as a blessing of sorts. I now had plenty of time to study for AUD.

Of course I did not factor in how the loss of my job would affect my ability to focus on my studies and affect my overall well-being. I got a 71 on AUD #2. The only bright point here is that I now understood what Another71 meant. And it stinks.

I decided to take a little break from AUD and started studying for REG. I think went into this with a little too much confidence. I had done taxes for a living for over 7 years and thought that REG would be a breeze. After waiting an extra 2 weeks due to hurricane sandy, I finally got my score – 72. This was even worse than another 71.

I’ll start to wrap this up now that I actually see how long it’s getting. I took AUD for a 3rd time in the December 2012 extended window. I supplemented my materials & NINJA notes with the Wiley Test Bank. I felt a little better going into this one than the previous tests. I got a 69.

I just took AUD for a 4th time last week, and added the NINJA Audio to my arsenal. I felt pretty good when I was done with this one. The score is expected to come out on my wife’s birthday. So hopefully I will have 2 things to celebrate on that day.

Finally, I have BEC scheduled for the end of February. I just started studying last night. I plan to supplement with both NINJA Audio and Notes. Tax season doesn’t get into full-swing until early March, so I like my chances with BEC.

No matter what happens, I am committed to this now – 2013 will definitely be my year for CPA!!

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