Tips to Successfully Earn Your CPA – The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is one of the most sought-after professionals in the industry today, and the certification can be a significant step in your professional development. Of course, employers know that CPAs are accountants who have met rigorous educational, testing, and on-the-job standards. But when hiring CPAs, especially for management jobs, companies generally look for applicants with a wide range of extra talents and traits.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors with a CPA have better job prospects. The current salary, as mentioned by the bureau, is $77,250 per year, much higher than the average annual salary in the country. While earning your CPA might seem like rocket science, it’s not as difficult as you think. You can easily become a successful CPA with a little research on industry trends, knowledge of various accounting platforms, and the right tools. Here are a few tips for you to ace your certification.
1. Choose the right study material
Although numerous companies provide CPA study materials, not everyone can benefit from the same tools. Like studying techniques, study materials don’t work for students the same way. You must choose the study materials that best suit you because everyone uses a different approach to help you prepare for the exam. Check out all Wiley CPA study resources and tools when you begin preparing for the exam. This study material offers an adaptive approach for each individual to experiment and learn what works for them.
2. Find a mentor
Becoming a CPA is not easy. It requires dedication, hard work, and time. If you want to succeed in this field, you need to find a mentor who can guide you and help you succeed in your career. A good mentor should be someone who has already been through the journey before you. They should be able to offer advice that will help you grow as an accountant and help you ace your exam.
The first step is to identify potential mentors. For instance, you can look at the list of members on your local CPA chapter’s website and see if they have been members for more than five years. You can also contact past clients who have had good experiences with their CPA for ideas about who is suitable for you. After you have identified potential mentors, it’s time to get started. Ask them questions about what they do and how they do it; what their goals are; and how long they’ve been in practice as a certified public accountant (CPA). They should be able to answer these questions without hesitation.
3. Make a study plan
Knowing what you need to study when you need to study, and how much time you have to study is crucial. You should keep track of all the activities you need to complete to pass the exam. This will help you stay focused on your goal and avoid procrastinating when it comes time for studying. Set aside time for studying every day and ensure that this time is dedicated solely to studying for your CPA exam, even if you have other responsibilities.
The most important thing about studying for an exam is that it must be done with focus and dedication. If you do not give it your full attention, then there is no way that you will be able to retain all of the information being taught throughout your study, which could lead to failure on test day!
4. Relax and take a break
You should plan your entire day’s schedule to ensure you are not overworking and tiring yourself. Catch breaks and give your mind and body time to relax and breathe. The stress alone of the exam can take a toll on your health. Take care of yourself by:
- Maintain a regular exercise routine. For example, use audiobooks or relevant podcasts during your morning jog for some light revision.
- Preparing your meals in advance for the week rather than ordering takeout.
- Decide on a time limit for when you’ll finish studying and go to bed. Sleep is extremely important.
According to studies, you learn more in each study session’s first and last minutes. Therefore, spend 30-45 minutes at a time studying, with breaks of 10-15 minutes in between. It would help if you did not try to cram in more than one hour of studying at once because it can lead to fatigue, which will decrease your retention rate and cause you to miss important details from the material being studied.
5. Use flashcards
One of the most effective ways to study for your CPA exam is to make flashcards for revision. The more you study, the more likely you remember what you learn. Study by making flashcards or notes that you can refer to later. Here are some tips for making flashcards:
- Make your own flashcards
- Combine words and images
- Make mental connections by using mnemonics
- Specify just one concept/question on each card
- Study both sides of your flash cards.
Keep in mind that there are other ways to revise content than flash cards. Many different methods might be more efficient for you, depending on the content you’re studying and where you are in your learning process.
6. Attempt a practice test
It could be due to poor preparation or poor test-taking skills if you don’t feel confident or comfortable taking the exam. We recommend taking a CPA practice test before the exam to improve these areas. A CPA practice test is a great way to see where you stand. It’s not just about passing the test; it’s also about seeing how much you know, how well you can apply that knowledge, and how confident you are in your ability to pass the exam.
Earning a CPA credential is a feat that will have lasting value and can be an excellent way to have a financially secure future. So take this journey seriously, but don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it—others have been where you are, and they’ve taken the same journey. Just be smart about it. Good luck as you begin your path to achieve what is a dream for many!
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