building-better-cpas

My name is Stephen Price. I’m from Birmingham, Alabama, and I’m currently attending UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham to obtain my Master’s Degree in Accounting. As someone who is switching career paths from international studies to wanting to become a CPA, I think it’s easy to say that I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me. 

I say this not only because my Master’s program is the first time I’ve been exposed to any accounting/business courses, but also because the CPA Exam can be viewed as an especially difficult feat to accomplish to obtain licensure.

 

But luckily for me, the journey toward graduating and studying for the exam has been less daunting than I thought it would be.

This is due in large part to the fact that I’m lucky enough to attend a university that realizes the importance of having CPA Exam resources in the classroom. 

As I said before, I received my undergraduate degree in international studies. I was interested in diplomacy and history and went to work for the state department. While the pay and benefits were great, I realized I wasn’t happy with the work environment I found myself in. As a result, I decided to go back to school and focus on another of my strengths: accounting. As I looked at what UAB had to offer, they gave me 2 choices: take 26 more classes to obtain my BA in accounting, or take 19 classes and obtain my Master’s in accounting. I went with the latter. 

 

In the beginning, many of my accounting courses were utilizing CPA Exam resources as a supplement to the curriculum.

Professors would recommend students use the textbooks or software to help them along with their studies. However, more and more, I can see that it’s actually becoming a mandatory course requirement that’s being integrated into the lectures and assignments. 

 

I believe it’s important to have CPA Exam resources in the classroom for a couple of reasons.

The first being that it’s just an overall great thing to have. It helps students understand what the field and industry are about by being exposed to CPA Exam content and academic theory simultaneously. 

For example, in financial accounting, we’re covering topics that aren’t normally tested on the exam, which tells me they’re fundamentals I have to learn to build a strong foundation for my accounting knowledge and education. On the other hand, our professor will assign us lectures and practice questions to do through our CPA Exam resources to learn about related topics we won’t be covering in class. By doing both, we become well-rounded students and future CPAs. 

 

Secondly, CPA Exam resources give students the ability to get different viewpoints on the same topic or to learn a topic taught in class a different way.

This was particularly helpful for me. In one of my classes, we are using Roger CPA Review as our CPA Exam resource. I was struggling with understanding a topic even after paying attention in class and reading the chapter in our textbook. I just wasn’t mentally grasping the concept. 

However, after watching Roger’s lecture video covering the topic, it clicked. As soon as it did, I immediately went back to our textbook and reread the material. It said the exact same thing as Roger, but the way Roger explained it worked for me. The examples he uses are more manageable whereas the book uses million dollar figures. The way Roger broke things down simplified the topic, causing me to understand it more efficiently.  

Therefore, having class textbooks and professor notes in addition to CPA Exam lecture videos and software gives students lots of options on how to format their studying and retain information. A popular structure many of my professors used was assigning lectures and quizzes from the CPA Exam materials to correspond with the chapters we were studying in class. 

 

What’s also great about having CPA Exam resources in the classroom is the amount of confidence it gives accounting students in regards to the CPA Exam and their future careers.

When I first heard about what it takes to pass the exam, I was overwhelmed and intimidated because you hear that it’s such a low passing rate, especially for first-time takers. You hear people talking about how they pretty much do nothing else but study. However, once you actually use CPA Exam review resources, such as Roger CPA Review, you get to see that the exam isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Especially when you’re getting the practice questions right and are using it to solidify and expand upon your accounting knowledge. 

 

Early exposure to the CPA Exam for students is also imperative for a more successful pass rate.

If you wait to finish your degree or get a job and then begin studying for the CPA Exam, it can be very stressful and overwhelming—especially if you have had no prior exposure. That’s why I believe it’s extremely important for CPA Exam resources to be made available in all undergrad or graduate courses. The earlier students are exposed to the exam and review resources, the more prepared they will be to pass successfully the first time they take it while they’re still in school or immediately after they graduate. 

 

If your campus does not currently have CPA Exam resources in the classroom, a great way to advocate for this would be to use Beta Alpha Psi (BAP).

Work with them and instructors who are part of that organization to invite different CPA Review courses to come and give presentations about what they can offer the classroom. This will give you a bigger voice and also help your university understand the importance of helping their students learn the subject better. It will also improve campus’ pass rates and, more importantly, prepare their future accountants for real world career experience as CPAs. 

 

--Stephen Price, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review 

 

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