Seems like no news is good news these days, what with the poorly-performing dollar, increasing costs of living, and continued freezing of credit and lending.

But once again, CPAs come out on top!

In a landscape of financial unknowns, it helps to have an expert on your side. This could explain why CPAs continue to be in demand - individuals concerned about their financial futures want to confide in a trusted and experienced adviser to guide them through the economic landmines. Consumers and businesses looking for breaks wherever they can find them are turning to CPAs to unlock the secret treasures of tax returns and for assistance with loose internal controls to tighten their grip on the bottom line.

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When preparing for the CPA exam, without a solid foundation and a legitimate and well-thought-out plan, you're almost guaranteed to fail. As Roger always says, the CPA exam is a test of discipline and in order to succeed, you're going to have to overcome procrastination, poor planning, and the temptation of outside distractions.

In her book "You Can Pass the CPA Exam: Get Motivated", Debra Hopkins shares a story of a CPA candidate who left her CPA review class early because she wanted to watch her favorite baseball team play in the World Series. The candidate said that she chose watching baseball over CPA review because she thought her team was going to lose and she didn't want to miss the last game of the year.

It is these sorts of mixed-up priorities that stand in the way of you and your goal of CPA licensure.

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With the recent financial turmoil in the U.S. economy and beyond, there has been a lot of talk about bad accounting. First, fair value came under fire after mortgage-based securities took the first painful hit in a long line of economic beatings and again when Congress was mulling over the $700 billion TARP bailout package. Just this past week, bad accounting was back in the headlines after the arrest of former Nasdaq Chairman and veteran investment banker Bernard Madoff in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme

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While academia and the accounting industry remain largely unprepared for the transition to IFRS, there is a new expectation on the classes of 2010, 2011 and beyond to be prepared despite lack of a decent opportunity at being prepped by college curriculum.

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In November 2008, NASBA released its behemoth of a draft re-examining the importance of the 150 hour education rule required by 48 states to be considered a living, breathing Certified Public Accountant. More specifically, NASBA worked to address the 120/150 connundrum; should CPA exam candidates be allowed to sit for the CPA exam with 30 hours less than required for licensure?

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In November of 2007, the California Board of Accountancy began discussing allowing out-of-state accountants to practice in the state without making their qualifications available to the state. The rule has been that if you are a licensed CPA and want to practice here, you've got certain hoops to jump through; this protects California consumers from shady business practices and interstate scams perpetuated by unqualified and unethical individuals.

Though the CPA exam is uniform (meaning exam candidates receive questions from the same bank and are tested on the same subjects regardless of in which state they are applying for licensure), state requirements are not. Some states, like New York, are notorious for being difficult to get licensed in while others, like Colorado, are preferred for foreign candidates for their more relaxed requirements.

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On November 14th, 2008, the SEC finally released its much-awaited proposed IFRS roadmap, a document that was meant to serve as the holy grail of international accounting standards adoption. Now that nearly a week has passed and we've all had a moment to collect ourselves, much of the industry is left wondering "What now?"

Key milestones of the document, as summarized by the Journal of Accountancy, are as follows:

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They call it TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and its original goal was to pump much-needed funds into the constricted loan market, freeing up capital and breaking through the financial clogs that seem to have our economy by the throat.

Public Law 110-343 was signed into law by President Bush on October 3rd, 2008. The official White House press release reads something like this:
"H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions; provides Alternative Minimum Tax relief; extends expiring tax provisions and establishes energy tax incentives; and temporarily increases Federal Deposit Insurance limits."

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From retirees to new college students, a frightening truth is becoming painfully evident in America, one that dominates the country regardless of race, gender, age, or economic status: the blatant deficiency of substantial or even elementary financial literacy.

What IS financial literacy, exactly?

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Recruiting butterflies have settled in your stomach just in time for MORE networking opportunities, but this time its over chicken and cheesecake! Yes, fellow recruiters and future CPAs, BANQUET season is upon us and what better way to prepare than to blog about it!

Making the most at a banquet is as simple as being assigned Cash on an Audit! All you have to do is show up and do your best to swallow what is placed in front of you!*

Banquets exude a much more relaxed atmosphere than Meet the Firms, however, it is important to balance your professionalism with your lighter side.

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Proper Table Etiquette Bread plate on the left, don't start until everyone has their food
Networking Before and after festivities don't be first to leave. Utilize the time you get with the professionals
Professional attire Business Professional

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