In what order should I take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam? It is a question that many new candidates ask themselves, and others, when starting off on their four-part CPA journey. While people will suggest many different approaches, those who have taken the exams in the past will mostly agree that you should not leave Regulation (REG) or Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR) for last. There are several reasons for this. Among them, the pass rates for FAR (47.5%) and REG (49.3%) are considerably lower than the pass rates for Audit (AUD), at 52.1%, and Business Environment & Concepts (BEC), at 55.35% (all percentages as of the most recent quarter, shown here on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) website).Read More
The CPA Exam is without question one of the most difficult exams on the planet. It takes proper planning and preparation to get through this daunting exam. The purpose of this article is to provide you with some tips and tricks on which section you should take first.Read More
Understanding the time value of money for FAR is incredibly important. It appears in the accounting for leases, bond valuation, corporate finance (BEC), and pension accounting, just to name a few. Conceptually, it should be a very easy topic for students to master - a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow for the simple reason that with a dollar today one can consume, and without a dollar today one cannot consume. To compensate someone for delaying his or her consumption, interest is added to the principal amount (the amount of money that is being delayed). This interest represents the price of consumption today. The most common proxy used for this interest rate is the risk-free US Treasury rate. Any interest premium in addition to the US Treasury rate represents compensation for any other risk factors. This all should seem intuitive.
The AICPA does not allow the use of financial calculators on the CPA exam. Students are only allowed to use simple calculators that are provided with the testing software. This makes calculating present values and future values incredibly cumbersome and monotonous. Therefore, the AICPA relies heavily on discount factors and future value multiples to test students on these concepts. This is where the confusion ensues! Students need to be comfortable with this approach, so taking a step back and understanding the mechanics of what is going on is important. Here are some steps to take:
Studying for a CPA exam while juggling a full-time job can be an overwhelming task since it requires a lot of hard work and discipline. However, while the task of learning the material is hard, it is not impossible. In this article, CPAExamGuy.com offers tips for studying for the CPA exam even when you work full time.Read More
In our first series of articles, we’ll discuss ten concepts that students often struggle with before they decide to work with a tutor for CPA-FAR. Each post will offer guidance on how to prepare to master the topic or concept discussed. In this initial post, we’ll cover governmental and non-profit accounting.Read More