Melantha is a new NINJA CPA Blogger.
My journey towards the CPA began in the Fall of 2006 when I was a first year associate at one of the Big 4 located in Philadelphia. I’ve always been an overachiever and at the top of my game no matter what I tried to accomplish.
I graduated at the top of my class in both undergrad and grad … so the CPA should’ve been a piece of cake, right? Well, not exactly.
My first exam was Regulation. I studied hard and actually got an 85. This gave me the momentum that I needed to study for the other parts, but little did I know how hard it would be to get a 75 on each part. I spent the next year and a half earning anything but a 75 or a passing score.
During those 18 months I earned so many 71’s, 73’s, and 74’s that after a while I got depressed and just gave up. And losing the only passing part that I earned didn’t help either. My super star shining light had been doused.
So in early 2008 I decided to hang it up … this CPA thing was just not in my future and I already had my MBA and a great job and that was enough at the time. Fast forward to 2010, after languishing at home for 6 months after an unexpected downsizing I realized that the only thing that was missing from my resume to set me apart from my peers was the CPA. I was being passed over for roles because I didn’t have it.
No one cared about my experience. I didn’t have the CPA so I didn’t get the job. So I again started down the yellow brick road so to speak with the ultimate goal being completion of all four exams. This time I started with Audit… got a 74. How in the heck does an experienced auditor get a 74 on an audit exam?
I attempted to study for the other exams but was unsuccessful. I got frustrated again and decided to focus on finding another job. The CPA would have to come later.
In 2012, I got the CPA bug again and this time my boss was really pressuring me to get it done. At this point I realized that if I’m ever going to advance I NEED TO PASS THE EXAM. So with the support of my friends, family and my boss I embarked on yet another journey towards becoming a CPA. I started with FAR, which I knew was my weakest area and I signed up with a well-known review course in my city.
I did everything that the instructors told me, I killed myself with MCQ and simulations, I did marathon study sessions on Saturdays and Sundays and I studied every night after work. One week before my exam, I had surgery, my relationship imploded and I lost my mojo.
I didn’t use my time wisely during that last week and I lost my focus. When the results came back I had received a 71.
It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve even attempted to go at it again and I’m preparing to start a new review course. But before I spend yet another small fortune on this thing I had to ask myself, what’s different about this time than the other times? How bad do you want it? What’s the real reason why I haven’t passed?
And the answer is ME.
In the past I chose to allow myself to become distracted by “life” and other things because it was easy to do so. I chose to get depressed when I didn’t pass an exam rather than going back to it with a vengeance. I chose happy hour or TV over studying. The buck stops with me.
This time really is different. I’m shutting everything down. No happy hours, no parties, no binge watching Netflix, and very little social media interactions. I’m hoping that my fellow NINJAs will keep me accountable. I want this so bad that I can taste it!!!
Melantha, (CPA One Day If It Kills Me)
Great story! Don't ever give up! (If you can pass one, you can pass them all!!)
I have faith that no matter what you do, it will work out for your good. You will continue to be successful and gain more wisdom with every challenge. Keep up the great work!
I'm so ready this time. My head is in the game and this time I'm making sure that I bring it to the finish line. Thanks for the words of encouragement. Off to start my next study session. No hardwork = no reward
It's wonderful that you now know what YOU need to do. I'm confident that you are going to succeed now that you got your mind right! Break a leg ;-)
Melantha, if you choose to go/become a CPA that already says you have something in you that would take you to that point to be a CPA. I myself allow so many shall I say unimportant events in life to distract me from getting where I want to be (Be a CPA). Thank you for sharing your story and yes you are not only one in this. I am the same way.... But shall I say we are going to be a CPA very soon.
Good luck, Melantha! I have a similar story- after putting off the CPA exam for many years- I finally came back to it and passed all 4 parts. I know you'll conquer these tests- you sound determined and dedicated!