BY ANDREW LEE
Passing the CPA Exam:
The most important
choice you’ll make
Iknow the single-most important factor in whether or not you will pass the CPA Exam. It’s not the type of review materials you choose, the quality of your
college professors, or your natural accounting abilities, although those are all important.
Whether or not you pass the CPA Exam depends
on one thing: a choice.
Before I began studying for the CPA Exam, I decided that I was going to pass all of the sections on my
first attempt, no matter what. I didn’t worry about
pass rates I had seen. I didn’t worry about the fact
that I had a job as a traveling auditor that made study
time hard to come by. I had already made the choice
to pass, so the only option was to figure out ways
around those obstacles.
At my former job, after the travel season came the
busiest time of all — year-end combination. During
combination, we would compile all the financial
statements of the hospitals in our organization to
get a combined group of financials. Thirteen-hour
Andrew Lee, CPA, operates the Web site CPA Review
Materials ( www.cpareviewmaterials.com). Reach him
days were the norm, as we needed to rush to get
final financials completed and published before our
deadline. To complicate matters, my long-distance
girlfriend (now my wife) was visiting, and she didn’t
fly out only to watch me study in the evenings.
It would have been easy to tell myself that life was
just too busy at the time, and studying would have
to wait. I had already made a commitment to pass,
though, and I needed to stay on schedule. So instead
of arriving at work at 6: 30 in the morning like my
co-workers, I got to work at 5: 30 for that two-week
stretch to give myself an hour to study. It wasn’t fun,
but it was easily worth it.
You’ll have plenty of obstacles of your own to overcome. Everyone has problems. Find solutions! Those
who do are the applicants who pass the CPA Exam.
Before you continue in your study process, make
a choice. Think about why you want to be a CPA
and the benefits it will bring. Then think about the
sacrifice it will take to get there. Is it worth it? If so,
commit right now to passing the exam, no matter
what it takes.
The CPA Exam was a success for me, and it started
with a choice. AT
WITh rEgArD To ThE Ar TIClE “reign of error” (Editor’s Desk, May 10-23, 2010, page 3), when
is any agency, business or individual accurate to
within a reasonable amount when attempting to
predict 25 years into the future?
I dare say that not even SourceMedia or its offspring, Accounting Today, would be capable of that
feat. And were your dollar amounts both in 1965
dollars, or was the $12 billion in 1965 dollars and
the eventual $100-plus-billion 1990 dollars?
While not attempting to defend the Congres-
sional Budget office, an otherwise non-partisan
accounting arm of Congress, I find it incredulous
to criticize a good faith effort, given the political
nature of the issue. Additionally, do you honestly
believe that virtually anyone would risk their So-
cial Security benefit on the vagaries of the market,
even given its uncertain recent recovery, as george
Bush proposed and to which you condescendingly
alluded with a reference to the “... other side of the
aisle,” thus positioning yourself securely.
You also fail to mention the most obvious funding
method, which is to simply raise the ceiling on the
taxation of benefits. Perhaps this is your oblique
reference to “raise taxes.” Maybe we should institute
a Social Security user fee and then take credit for not
raising taxes, as is the wont with most politicians.
Among other articles from the Editor’s Desk, I
am disappointed. I would expect a more in-depth
and nuanced analysis, even in short form, of a very
complex issue. I must begin to wonder how much
of this type of opinion finds its way into the reporting. Since your article is positioned front and
center, I am forced to believe much.
Harry H. Rabb, CPA
Off base on projection critique
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