CPA self-study: Which NON-commercial/NON-review books ?


N

Nico

I would like to pass the CPA exam sometime next year and
need your advice!

I am unable to pay for are all these expensive, commercial
self-study materials and review courses. I would like to
purchase some college-style second hand books instead and
study on my own. I also consider using available resources
in libraries and on the Internet for up-to-date information.
I only had a couple of accounting classes at college so far.

I hear from many people who are accounting majors or take a
lot of accounting courses at the graduate level, that they
are well prepared to take the CPA. Since most college
professors almost exactly follow college-style books as
teaching material in their courses, I figure that I could
base my self-study on these kinds of books. But which books
are right taking into consideration the new style of the
computerized exam starting in 2004?

Did you use non-commercial review materials when you studied
for your CPA? What did you use? Any suggestions on what
materials to use or other ways to go?

I tried Google, but with all these commercial guys trying to
sell their stuff I can't really find much useful advice.

Have a great day !

Nico
 
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D

Dick Adams

I would like to pass the CPA exam sometime next year and
need your advice!
I am unable to pay for are all these expensive, commercial
self-study materials and review courses. ...
Let's stop right there. Can you afford not to pass all parts
on your first try? Can you afford the dollar cost of retaking
parts not passed? Can you afford the time cost of restudying
for parts not passed? Can you afford the opportunity cost of
waiting to be able to say you are a Certified Public Accountant?
Those are serious questions.

I used Micro Mash software and Total Tape audio tapes and
passed all four parts in one sitting.

Both advertise: if you don't pass, you get your money back.

Total Tape gave a special deal on their students to my
students for the last ten years. I have yet to have a
single student tell me they met the study requirements
for the money back and did not pass all parts in one
sitting.

My childbride took the CIA exam. She passed Parts I & II
on the first take and Part III on the second take. But
after three takes, she still had not passed Part IV.
I got her Micro Mash for Part IV and she passed on the next
take.

Total Tape ..... 1-800-874-7877
Micro Mash ..... 1-800-272-7277

As far as I am concerned Total Tape and Micro Mash are a
steal at twice the price. They are not expenses; they
are very sound investments.

Dick
 
J

Joel Berry, CPA

Nico said:
I would like to pass the CPA exam sometime next year and
need your advice!
First, let me wish you good luck on your decision. I passed
the exam in 1980, so I'd be surprised to find out that any
of the books I used are still in print, much less being used
today. Here are some general observations:

The exam is a "textbook exam"; the questions and answers are
based on what you learn from your books, not what you've
learned at work. I've known too many people who failed to
pass the exam until they realized that the authors of the
exam don't care how it's done in the real world. If you're
going to buy textbooks for study materials, find out which
ones are being used currently.

I took a CPA review course at the university where I
graduated. The main books used were the Gleim CPA Review
texts. They were available in bookstores; you may still be
able to find them there, but they're probably available
online. They had a lot of questions from old CPA exams.
Since the exam is now "closed", i.e. the AICPA doesn't allow
candidates to keep their exam books, I don't know where the
review courses get their sample questions.

If your college or university sponsors a CPA review course,
see if they need a proctor. My school allowed me to take
the course for free. All I had to do was take attendance at
two Saturday sessions each week for the duration of the
course.

Positive mental attitude is an important part of passing the
exam. You can pass it the first time you take it if you
really want. I posted the following saying in four or five
places so I would see it all day long while I was preparing
for the exam: "Inadequate preparation is a major cause of
failure on the CPA examination". The luck of the draw will
help you know the answer to some of the questions, but you
must be prepared when you finally take the exam.

Again, good luck.

Joel Berry, CPA
Sugar Land, Texas
 
J

Jeanne

I would like to pass the CPA exam sometime next year and
Let's stop right there. Can you afford not to pass all parts
on your first try? Can you afford the dollar cost of retaking
parts not passed? Can you afford the time cost of restudying
for parts not passed? Can you afford the opportunity cost of
waiting to be able to say you are a Certified Public Accountant?
Those are serious questions.

I used Micro Mash software and Total Tape audio tapes and
passed all four parts in one sitting.

Both advertise: if you don't pass, you get your money back.

Total Tape gave a special deal on their students to my
students for the last ten years. I have yet to have a
single student tell me they met the study requirements
for the money back and did not pass all parts in one
sitting.
I had Dick Adams for Auditing and I bought the Total Tape
Software. It was terrific. I passed it all in one exam.

Jeanne
 
J

Jo Firey

Nico said:
I would like to pass the CPA exam sometime next year and
need your advice!

I am unable to pay for are all these expensive, commercial
self-study materials and review courses. I would like to
purchase some college-style second hand books instead and
study on my own. I also consider using available resources
in libraries and on the Internet for up-to-date information.
I only had a couple of accounting classes at college so far.

I hear from many people who are accounting majors or take a
lot of accounting courses at the graduate level, that they
are well prepared to take the CPA. Since most college
professors almost exactly follow college-style books as
teaching material in their courses, I figure that I could
base my self-study on these kinds of books. But which books
are right taking into consideration the new style of the
computerized exam starting in 2004?

Did you use non-commercial review materials when you studied
for your CPA? What did you use? Any suggestions on what
materials to use or other ways to go?

I tried Google, but with all these commercial guys trying to
sell their stuff I can't really find much useful advice.
All I used to study was copies of old exams. And passed all
but theory on the first try. Not surprising as it had been
10 years since I'd taken theory in college. Used the same
study and passed that on the next try. (This was all 30
years ago so may well not apply) I did get a kick out of
the attorney sitting across from me when taking the law
portion. It was the only part he had to retake as he hadn't
bothered to study for that part.

Are there minimum education requirements to take the exam now?
 
H

Harlan Lunsford

Joel Berry, CPA wrote:

(snipped)
I took a CPA review course at the university where I
graduated. The main books used were the Gleim CPA Review
texts. They were available in bookstores; you may still be
able to find them there, but they're probably available
online. They had a lot of questions from old CPA exams.
Since the exam is now "closed", i.e. the AICPA doesn't allow
candidates to keep their exam books, I don't know where the
review courses get their sample questions.
And speaking of the the Gleim review course, one of the
writers and contributors to it, Dr Jim Hasselback, CPA,
Florida State University, will be out two day seminar
speaker in Birmingham on October 29/30, put on by the
Alabama Society of Enrolled Agents.

Cost of the seminar is very reasonable, and details may be
had at our web site, www.alsea.org

p.s. - what ever happend to the old Becker (?) review
course? I taught part of it one time.

Cheer$,
Harlan Lunsford, EA in LA
 
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R

Roger R

All I used to study was copies of old exams. And passed all
but theory on the first try. Not surprising as it had been
10 years since I'd taken theory in college. Used the same
study and passed that on the next try. (This was all 30
years ago so may well not apply) I did get a kick out of
the attorney sitting across from me when taking the law
portion. It was the only part he had to retake as he hadn't
bothered to study for that part.

Are there minimum education requirements to take the exam now?
In Texas it is 30 semester hours of accounting not including
the first two courses (36 total in other words), 150
semester hours of course work and at least constructive
credit for a batchelor's degree of some kind. (this allows
the five year accounting degree people to take the exam
before graduation for the masters.)

The real issue in Texas is that next year the computerized
version begins in April 2004. The last paper CPA exam will
be November 2003.

I think the computerized exam will be three parts, taken
seperately. Total time will be about the same as now. You
can take two parts in a three month quarter. they won't
offer it the third month. It is supposed to focus less on
memory work, and more on research abilities, so some of it
will require getting information from the internet. It is
clearly going to cost more, also. Sylvan Learning Centers
will offer it, and there will be a $25 per hour sitting
charge in addition to the cost of the exam itself. Pass one
section and you have three years to pass the rest.

So far, none of the CPA prep firms have offered any material
on the computerized exam.

Roger R.
 
R

Roger R

Harlan Lunsford said:
Joel Berry, CPA wrote:
And speaking of the the Gleim review course, one of the
writers and contributors to it, Dr Jim Hasselback, CPA,
Florida State University, will be out two day seminar
speaker in Birmingham on October 29/30, put on by the
Alabama Society of Enrolled Agents.

Cost of the seminar is very reasonable, and details may be
had at our web site, www.alsea.org

p.s. - what ever happend to the old Becker (?) review
course? I taught part of it one time.
Becker is still the caddilac of the test prep courses. It
presently costs about $2000 to take.

Roger R.
 
H

Helen P. OPlanick EA

I had Dick Adams for Auditing

Ah..... a student. Jeanne - give us ALL the dirt on Dick,
now that you have your final grade!

Welcome aboard!

Helen, EA in PA
Member of The Tax Gang
President, PA Society of Enrolled Agents
Campaigning for NAEA Board of Directors - Looking for YOUR vote
 
J

Joel Berry, CPA

Harlan Lunsford said:
Joel Berry, CPA wrote:
p.s. - what ever happend to the old Becker (?) review
course? I taught part of it one time.
As far as I know, they're still around. Isn't it funny how
you quit paying attention to that stuff once you're done
with the exam? As I tell others, CPA really stands for
"Couldn't Pass Again"!

Joel Berry, CPA
Sugar Land, Texas
 
J

Joel Berry, CPA

Jo Firey said:
All I used to study was copies of old exams. And passed all
but theory on the first try. Not surprising as it had been
10 years since I'd taken theory in college. Used the same
study and passed that on the next try. (This was all 30
years ago so may well not apply) I did get a kick out of
the attorney sitting across from me when taking the law
portion. It was the only part he had to retake as he hadn't
bothered to study for that part.

Are there minimum education requirements to take the exam now?
As I said, I was in a review course, but part of that
involved old exam questions. I'd work with an area of
knowledge until I could get 75% of the questions right, then
I'd move on to another topic. I never took auditing in
college, but read a good textbook, hence my statement about
it being a textbook exam. I passed all four parts on my
first sitting.

I believe there's a 150 hour requirement for being able to
sit for the exam. I haven't spoken to any student groups
lately, so I haven't checked the requirements lately.

Joel Berry, CPA
Sugar Land, Texas
 
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J

Jeanne

I had Dick Adams for Auditing
Ah..... a student. Jeanne - give us ALL the dirt on Dick,
now that you have your final grade!
How about three 100 question M/C exams, a team project and
an ethics paper. The [email protected]$%#^$* gave me a B+.

Professor Adams is handsome, sexy, and funny. It's never to
late to file a change of grade form.
 
H

Helen P. OPlanick EA

I had Dick Adams for Auditing
How about three 100 question M/C exams, a team project and
an ethics paper. The [email protected]$%#^$* gave me a B+.

Professor Adams is handsome, sexy, and funny. It's never to
late to file a change of grade form.
Jeanne, are we talking about the same Dick Adams?

Just teasing, Dick, you know, she may be right.

Helen, EA in PA
Member of The Tax Gang
President, PA Society of Enrolled Agents
Campaigning for NAEA Board of Directors - Looking for YOUR vote
 
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J

jake johnson

[...snip...]
Did you use non-commercial review materials when you studied
for your CPA? What did you use? Any suggestions on what
materials to use or other ways to go?
[...snip...]

I got word in August that I passed the May 2003 exam and I'm
14 years out of college. I used materials from Joe Hoyle, a
noted textbook author & professor, and I can tell you that
his reputation is quite strong. Check out his website at
www.hoylecpa.com

I was drawn to his near-obsession to see his customers
succeed and his non-corporate approach.

- Jake
 

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