worldoflucky: (Default)
Finished the test, I kicked ass on 2 of the 5 testlets, 1 testlet I bombed (it was new material never covered in my study guides, stuff that just became GAAP in July) and 2 others I did so so. I don't think it is quite enough to pass the first time, but its a hell of a lot better then I expected I would do. I will know more when they release the results in September.
worldoflucky: (Default)
Three weeks from today is the magic day I sit for the CPA exam (FARS section). I ask myself "am I ready"? The answer is not really. I have read all 1600 pages of hardcopy for the test, I have finished about 1/3 of the online study materials (about the same amount of pages, but there is quizzes on each section).

Could I have been more ready? Absolutely. When I first signed up and paid the money 5 months ago I assumed I would study for a couple months and take the test. I hadn't really paid attention to how much study it would take, so when I got through the 1600 pages in two months I thought I might be ready. I got to the online studying, took some tests and realized that was not the case.

At about that point in time is when I got promoted. Being an Assistant State Auditor 3 AIC (Auditor in Charge) means I am responsible for a whole hell of a lot more then I was. From start to finish the audits on cities, counties, water district, fire districts and about 100 other types (never had I realized before this job how many local governments there actually are). I can handle the job, I am good at it, but it took a lot more time getting into the swing of being in charge.

At that point I started the Snohomish County Financial Statement Audit. Its the largest audit of my team, and the third or fourth (depends on the year) largest state audit. I was a bit confused why I was selected (it is a tremendous resume filler if I ever decide to leave) and I know there were grumblings from people who had been with our team for 3+ more years and they have never been selected.

This audit required a lot of time and a bit of stress as I got the learning curve. This meant very little study for the CPA exam. Although it did mean a lot of exchange time built up that allowed me to take a lot of days off after that audit.

In addition we started Dying Light and that took time and effort away from studying, plus the fact that I have just finished a little over a year ago (well 18 months) about 10 years of college. I hate studying, and I definitely hate studying accounting stuff.

All of this leads me to now. I don't have a lot more time, and I have so much more studying to do. Does this mean I will buckle down and spend 4+ hours a day studying? No, no it doesn't. Too much is going on, Dying Light starts in 4 weeks, a new audit starts Monday and I want to see my beautiful wife and keep running games, and maybe even enjoy the remains of the summer.

Will I sit for the test? Absolutely. Who knows, maybe I will luck out. The actual test usually only covers 5-7% of our study materials (its a four hour test designed to cover almost 200 areas of financial statement treatment and GAAP pronouncements). Maybe I will luck out and that 5-7% will be in the area I feel good in.

If I don't make it, I will probably purchase the video aspect of the study materials for this section. I have always learned better in a classroom setting with someone lecturing. For about $200 you can get the video part of the study materials for this section, if I don't pass it this time then maybe I should invest in it. This means next time I wont even register for the test until I have passed all the study material and feel ready to go.

I will get this CPA, but I think I just wasn't ready to put that much time in studying.

I do have to say I feel better. I know my beautiful wife wont hate me, and she knows I will get the certification. Overall, having accepted my situation I feel much calmer and can now enjoy the rest of the summer.
worldoflucky: (Default)
Was studying for CPA today, and experienced frustration

cut for your sanity against my whining )
worldoflucky: (Default)
Evidently in July GASB has introduced a few new areas (well actually they introduced a few other areas a few months ago as well, just a bit of detail changes). So this means that starting July the CPA exam for the FAR section has been changed. Basically they have added a few more sections that they can pull from.

In the end they only test on about 5% of the material, but the material is so far flung that there are about 260 different sections my CPA study guide uses. I have about 220 more to go through (it was only 193 before this). True its only about a 10% increase, but with things being so busy (and honestly me being so lazy) I am not sure if I will have it all finished before the exam in August.

In the end this was my mistake for putting money on the test before I was done studying. I had misidentified how large the study material was for the FAR section (the Auditing, Tax, and BEC sections are all less than half as big, this is the largest section). Unfortunately you can't request an extension, you either sit or just just forfeit the fee. This means I will sit, but it also probably means I will not do well.

Oh well, at least you can retake the test unlimited times (but only once during each three month window that the current test exists). I know better now to wait until I have finished all the sections. I just hate having spent the money on it to not get very far on it. Although I may get the lectures on video to go with that section, the section is the most difficult and its the hardest area I had in school.

Update

Apr. 16th, 2009 07:18 am
worldoflucky: (catgirl)
Just thought I would pop in and say things are going fairly well. We have quickly adopted our college budgeting system (except we have more free money then we did then) and things are sailing smoothly. Its funny how easy it is to adjust to making less money, I think [livejournal.com profile] imake1tgirl is much happier and in turn that makes our life much less stressful. I am definitely happier about our situation.

This week I am working at the City I actually live in, working on Single Audit planning. Its a new thing I am learning and its going smoothly (and already it looks like I will finish it with less budget then the fastest time before). I am also wrapping up the School District that was my first AIC. I have to do some edits and then we will conduct an exit interview with the entity.

Next week I start the county's financial statements. I am a little worried, its our biggest entity we audit and I am running the Financial Statement and CAFR audit for it. Although its a great learning experience and I am finding I do like my job. This is a rarity, out of the 50+ jobs (and that is not exaggeration) that I have had in the past, this is the first one that might be longer then a year I have worked at (there was one job that was 2.5 years, but it was a very part time web design job, so it doesn't really count). Of course this makes me a little nervous that the other shoe will drop, but I highly doubt they will lay me off :) especially with the recent promotion.

The only thing bad about all this new stuff I am learning and in charge of, is trying to study for the FARS section of the CPA exam. I have about 40 days left, and they say it takes about 140 hours to use the computer study program. Now I have read 1600 pages of textbooks for this already so it might not take that long (nor does it usually take me as long as average anyways), but it does have me worried I wont have time to study. I guess my life will be work, [livejournal.com profile] imake1tgirl time, study and gaming with not much more (although that is a lot anyways). Maybe I will do a count down for the studying like I did for tax season last year. Put it in a calendar and just do it. Ya I guess that is the best way to go.

I just need to not get stressed, and not worry about the passing rate. Although I appreciate those of you who have taken similar professional tests support, thanks :)

worldoflucky: (Default)
This weekend I finally finished reading all of my CPA exam supplements. It encompassed approximately 1600 pages of textbooks that took me almost 6 weeks to read. I now have 6 more weeks before my exam to do the computerized course of that same material. I will need to reread all that material and then take the practice tests. There is now part of me that is debating pushing my CPA exam back until the next testing period (as long as I do it at least 30 days before my test date, it doesn't cost me anything). The next test period is July and August (June is the "exam" grading period, as is the following september, it goes two testing, one grading months and then continues). 

Originally I wasn't worried if I had fully studied, the pass rate for the FARS section of the CPA exam is less then 40% to begin with. I know several people that had to take it two or three times. I figured I would study however much I could, and then take it with the knowledge that I will need to retake it. Now that I got the textbook reading done, I am not so sure I have enough time to cover that amount of material along with practice tests. On top of this coming up with $300 for each retake is a bit harder (definitely can still be done, but not so cavelierly). I keep wondering if I should push the test back until the end of the next testing period (or whenever the six month limit is that my testing window is open). It would give me weeks more time to study and not be too panicky. I just worry that I may get lazy from doing this, and that is something I don't want to happen.

So i will continue to debate this in my head.

Oh, and I found out the state will pay for additional education. However, because my promotion came before my year probation, it pushes out my education waiver/reimbursement benefits another year until 4/2010. That is a bit frustrating to say the least, but it is just a tangent.
worldoflucky: (Default)
I took yesterday off so the wife and I could go see our new doctor. Turns out our new doctor sucks. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying she doesn't know what she is talking about, rather she doesn't care. She didn't cover any of our specific problems (it sounds like she expects us to go in separately for every specific problem). I identify that as an insurance scam (trying to soak the insurance for as much as possible, the doc I worked for had started doing that before I quit managing his office). She didn't even look at most of our issues, and what she did respond to she sort of blew off. I don't think I will be going back to her, time to get a new doctor (good thing my insurance is not HMO).

I went home and slept, then got up and dinked around with the burning twilight campaign. I will have a website up for that pretty soon. I also got asked by another friend to join in. That means we technically have seven people playing, although knowing my group I will have 5 or 6 steady players. Its always good to have to many rather then not enough.

I woke up this morning at 400am, had the weirdest dreams all night and now I am exhausted. However getting up that early allowed me to study 60 more pages of my FARS section for my CPA exam. My goal with that is to quickly read through all 1000 pages or so of study material (a 700 page book, a 200 page book and a 135 page book), by the end of the month. I will then use the online/computer study course to redo the material and test on it. I am doing pretty good, I am already on page 173 of studying with only 2.5 days worth of study (probably 5 hours total). I am sure by the end of this month (or sooner) I will be done reading the books. It then gives me from April 1st - May 28th to do the online/computer courses. This is supposed to be the hardest part of the four (hence why I am taking it first).

Well out of here, evidently time is slipping by and its time to get to work.
worldoflucky: (Default)
I forgot to mention 2 things, I get to sit for the FARS section of the CPA exam on May 29, 2009 at 8:00am. Whether I pass or not (it has less then a 42% pass rate first time through) it is the kickoff for me attaining my CPA. This has me both excited and a bit nervous.

The second thing is we unexpectedly received our deposit back from our old place. It is enough that I can scrounge the remaining (plus what we saved) to get my bike. WOOT!!!
worldoflucky: (Default)
Here it is Monday, and I am getting ready to head out to another audit. This week will be interesting, I am scheduled at three different audits during this week. At least it wont be like my last one, I always start getting ansy when I am on an audit longer then a couple of weeks (not looking forward to Snohomish County, I bet thats at least 6 weeks).

I worked a little on the game for Saturday, I also worked a little on the game for [livejournal.com profile] imake1tgirl. I did some CPA studying this weekend, and this week I will start real studying. I got notified that they have tentatively accepted my qualifications to take the exam. The request wont formally clear the CPA committee and I probably wont get a test approval from NTSB until after March 5th. At that point I can then make an appointment to take the test for sometime in the next six months. I will take it as late in the next testing period as possible. This is because if I pass the test, I have 18 months to pass all four before it rolls off the availability (you have to pass all four tests within an 18 month time frame, otherwise tests start not counting if its longer then 18 months). They wont notify if I passed or not until a month after the testing window closes, the 18 months is measured from the day I took the test.

So if the next testing period was April and May, they wouldn't notify me until sometime in June. Unfortunately I don't know I have passed and can't sign up for one of the other exams until I did, I am stuck until they notify me. So lets say I take it April 5th, they don't notify me until June 18th. I still only have 18 months to pass from April 5th (that means October 2010 is when I have to finish, even though from the date of my onotification it would have been December 2010 was 18 months). I learned this from some of the others that have taken the test. So I will probably take the test at the end of May to buy me until end of November 2010, if I even pass the first time. I found out today there is only about a 42% pass rate for any single test, especially for the FARS section.

I am excited about the prospect of gaining my CPA certification (I then plan on getting CMA - Certified Management Accounting, CIA - Certified Internal Auditor, but most importantly getting my CFE - Certified Forensic Examiner). My goal is to die with as many initials as I can possibly get. All of these offer additional possibilities for employment, and I want to do anything that gives me the ability to support my wife so she can stay home and create art.



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