Today's blog article is written by our new international guest blogger, Crystal.  In her first article for us, Crystal describes her fascinating journey of how she received her CPA licenses in both China and Australia and why she believes passing the US CPA Exam is important to her accounting career.
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Yesterday I told one of my college classmates that I am in the process of preparing for the US CPA Exam. A third CPA Exam? You must really enjoying torturing yourself. Her criticism was not unexpected.

My entire career has been accounting related.  My mom worked as an accountant for many years, so I was trained to manage my own cash flow as a small girl. I feel like being an accountant is truly second nature to me.

I received my Chinese Institute of Certificate Public Accountant license in 2009 and my CPA Australia license in 2010. I moved to the US in 2012 to study for the CPA Exam while working for a multinational company that operates in New York, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.  I also attended MIT and graduated at the top of my class.  However, I never thought that I would need to take another CPA exam.

There are many reasons for me to get my third CPA license. First of all, in a global environment, gaining a solid understanding of accounting principles, tax regulations, and business laws on the worlds largest economic entities would give me a great competitive advantage in the sometimes fierce and highly competitive public accounting profession. Secondly, accounting is a profession that changes every day. Im always learning new concepts and principles. Last but not least, in the US, CPAs who havent passed the CPA Exam dont receive all of the same benefits of those who have passed the exam.

So, here am I preparing for my third CPA exam.

I dont believe that I am the only international candidate faced with taking the US CPA Exam. With the globalization trend, multinational organizations are more and more common. Many accountants might have mastered the accounting principles in one country but are now facing the decision of whether or not to take an additional CPA exam in another country.  My answer is: The CPA Exam helps in the accounting world.

How to prepare?

My CPA Exam strategy was to study one subject per month and finish within two windows. So far I have taken two subjects: BEC and REG. Luckily I received good scores from both of those exams; BEC 94/100 and REG 90/100. As an international candidate, I perceived BEC and REG as being more difficult than FAR and AUD. The challenging part of BEC was mostly business communications.
My recommendations to any international candidates working on their business communication is to be professional in your writing, develop clear sentence structures and always use correct grammar. Of course for most of us, lets face it, using a second language to write a long essay within fifteen minutes can be difficult. So, really, I think its most important to be brief and accurate in your writing during the exam.

REG, on the other hand, was not easy either because of the unique and tedious taxation codes of US.  For REG, my recommendation is to TAKE IT REALLY SERIOUSLY! At the beginning, I had the attitude that I was reviewing something that I had already known, similar to when I prepared for BEC. But I was so frustrated because the concepts were really new for me. So I changed my attitude and told myself I was learning something totally new. I did not set too high of standards for myself the first time.  Rather, I chose to listen to the audio portion of the CPA review courses many times. I bought two sets of online courses and listened to the REG part of both of them. I always listened to Roger first since he was way more interesting than other audio lectures and then I would complete the homework portion of the material. This study method has continued to work well for me when studying for the CPA Exam.

I am continuing my studies for the CPA Exam and look forward to passing and receiving my third CPA license.

- Crystal
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We look forward to hearing much more from Crystal as she continues her CPA Exam studies for FAR and AUD.