Introducing NINJA CPA Blogger Spencer

Spencer is a new NINJA CPA Blogger.

Hey Everyone, I’m Spencer!

I live in Lafayette, Louisiana, and work at a local CPA firm. I attended Tulane University and graduated in Accounting almost 4 years ago.

The first two years after graduating I worked for a local non-profit. It was a great experience as I attained a working knowledge of fund accounting and dealing with federal and state grants. I was also able to see the auditing process from the client’s point of view, which has been very helpful in my public accounting work.

The great thing about working at a smaller CPA firm is that you have the opportunity to work in both the Audit and Tax areas, instead of just focusing on one.

Also, my firm specializes in Healthcare clients (Hospitals, Home Healths, Hospice, etc) so I have been able to complete Medicare Cost Reports.

The only setback of working for a firm that also does Cost Reports is that when everyone else gets to relax on April 15th, we have to gear up again and work until May 31st. Needless to say, after busy season is over my Comp balance is quite large.

The CPA exam process has taken me a bit longer than most because I took a nonconventional path. When I graduated in 2008, I only had 124 credit hours. I was enrolled in the Masters of Accounting program which would have given me the 150 hours I needed, however, I decided to graduate early leaving me with 26 additional hours needed before I could apply to sit for the exam.

Over the past few years I have taken the additional 26 hours, while working full-time, through a combination of regular and online classes. I was able to finish my last remaining class in October 2011 and registered to sit for my first exam in January 2012.

I decided to tackle FAR first upon advice from co-workers of mine. I figured since FAR would probably be the most difficult for me, I might as well start there. The first error I made in preparing for the exam was that I totally underestimated the time commitment that would be involved.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all went by and studying somehow took the back burner. With that being said, I did not go into the exam with the preparation that I felt I needed. When the scores were released I was not shocked to see a failing score.

Even though I never thought I was going to pass, I have to admit that not passing bothered me. A combination of being overwhelmed at work and a sudden feeling of self-doubt made me temporarily abandon any further exam attempts. I decided at the end of busy season, May 31st in my case, I would start back up again.

During the few months I had off from studying, I decided that the time for excuses is over. I need to buckle down, make an exam strategy, and finish this once and for all. For the past few years this test has totally consumed my thoughts and I am ready to get on with my life.

I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck to my plan and recently sat for AUD. I’ll elaborate on my experience with that section more later. I am so thankful for the great support system I have in my life (family and friends) and can honestly say that reading the personal experiences on Another71 has helped me tremendously.

I’m very excited for this journey and happy I have people to share it with. Until next time…

Spencer

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