Hi. My name is Lawrence Otremba. I'm the one on the far left in the photo below. My road to passing the CPA exam is not typical. I graduated from Gettysburg College in 1997 with a degree in Economics. I got a job right out of college working as an analyst at an economic consulting firm in Washington DC. I always had financial statements to review and quickly realized I wanted more training in accounting.
A few years later, I enrolled in the MAC program at UNC and earned my Masters in Accounting in 2001.
I enjoyed school and planned on taking the CPA Exam in Maryland. After graduating, I worked in the tax department at KPMG for one year. However, I left KPMG to take over a failing franchise business with my twin brother. We turned the business around and sold it a few years later for a nice profit.
My parents also owned a franchise in the same system and we told them we would help reorganize their business.
What was supposed to be a 6-month project turned into 10 years! I became the Controller and handled all of our back office affairs and my twin brother ran operations. Our goal was to run the business profitably until our parents wanted to retire. We sold the business in 2015 and it was time for me to move on.
To improve my job opportunities, I decided to finally take the CPA Exam.
The first step was to take an ethics course that was now required in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. The next step was to find the best CPA review course. I tried the free demo version of several courses and read a lot of online reviews before choosing Roger CPA Review.
I started studying in May 2016 using Roger’s 9-month planner.
I knew I couldn’t take any shortcuts since it had been 15 years since I graduated. I followed Roger’s guidance like a recipe: I watched all of the lectures, read all of the chapters, did all of the IPQ problems (sometimes twice), and used the Cram Course for my final review before each exam. My results were better than I expected: FAR 89, AUD 96, BEC 89, REG 88. I really appreciated Roger’s energy and enthusiasm throughout the course.
My advice is to take your time and not cut any corners so you pass the first time.
It will probably take longer than you think it should to get through all of the material, but patiently working through everything will pay off, even if you have to reschedule your exam. In addition, here are a few tricks that have really helped me:
- For each exam, make a word document with all of Roger’s mnemonics, it will help you review at the end, especially for Audit. I attribute my high score for that section to dedicating a lot of time breaking down the mnemonics and taking notes for every important topic.
- For each course section, make a document of IPQ solutions; then copy and paste each solution to the document. If you don’t have time to do each problem again, you can at least read all of the solutions.
I hope you enjoyed reading my story and wish all of you the best of luck. I know you all will be telling your own CPA Exam success story in the near future!