Four months ago, before I actually started to prepare for the CPA exam, I thought FAR would be the easiest part of the exam. I was very confident about my accounting knowledge and skills, especially considering my background in the field. I was also confident that I would have a mastery of at least 80% of the material. However, the more I've studied, the more I realize that I was wrong!
Id like to share a few lessons I've learned during my FAR preparation journey. Please keep in mind that I thought FAR would only take 50 hours of study time. Again, I was completely wrong. I highly recommend allotting more time to FAR than expected and incorporating the following lessons:
- Dont make assumptions by thinking that you already know most of the FAR material. Government and not-for-profit accounting are only 20% of the new material that youll learn. You should set aside a minimum of 20 hours for those topics alone.
- Dont forget to do progress practices. If you review chapter by chapter and dont frequently review questions from previous chapters, you will forget the key points that you tried to remember one or two weeks ago.
- Pay special attention to the differences between IFRS and US GAAP. The reconciliation between IFRS and US GAAP is quite painful. If you have learned both, it is easy to mix things up the wrong way.
- Understanding theories does not lead to quickly solving problems. For some chapters, even though you are very familiar with the material, you will still need to practice the questions in order to keep up a good pace at the time of testing.