Questions on selecting CPA exam materials.


B

Brett

I'm in DC and not exactly sure what their education requirements are.
They list continuing professional education (CPE). From the website:

Requirements: An applicant seeking biennial renewal of a permit to
practice shall provide proof of having completed no less than eighty
(80) hours of acceptable continuing professional education (CPE)
during the two year period preceding the date the license expires.
Current biennial renewal of a Permit to Practice for CPAs licensed in
the District occurs on October 31 of even numbered years.

What exactly are CPEs?

I have a BS in Business Administration with a minor in mathematics and
almost another in computer science. Would this qualify?

I'm currently trying to get into any position that will allow me to
gain the necessary work experience for the license. I have been
maintaining bookkeeping for the last 7 years for my software business
(sole proprietorship with me as only employee). Would this qualify?

I've read a few suggestions in this group on exam review materials.
Most suggest Gleim for self study and Becker for classes. I'd get
more out of the self study. Would this be everything I need
http://www.gleim.com/products/productdetails.php?proID=4204

I chose the books and software because it gives me a chance to
interact with the learning. I didn't want the audio CDs or online
version. Any opinions on this set
http://catalog.bisk.com/CPA/Product...=12&IsInstructorLed=false&ProductMediaID=2032

Will the only additional cost be the $533 fee for the 4 part exam?

Do I need to be a member of anything to take the exam?

I was surprised at how much less expensive the CPA route is than the
CFA route (In time and money). I'm going both ways.

Thanks,
Brett
 
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T

tippy

Renewal is different than getting your license. Once you have your
license, various professions require continuing professional education
--- doctors, lawyers, and Indian Chiefs. CPAs,CIAs, CGFMs, etc.
require it in our profession, for example.

I recently recruited and hired a UDC grad who recently passed all 4
parts of the exam for Virginia. We work in DC.

CPE is generally provided in units not hours. Hours are converted to
units. Conversion may be different for meeting government auditing
standards (the yellow book) than it is for CPAs and perhaps the
others. The yellow book requires 80 units of CPE every 2 years with
no less than 20 in any one year. Generally, one gets a unit of CPE
for every 50 minutes of contact time. GAO is going to reissue/revise
its interpretation of CPE soon, I'm told, but not the 50 minutes to 1
unit ratio.

I can place you in contact with the UDC grad who is familiar with the
requirements of both VA and DC for CPA licensing. I know she chose VA
because licensing was easier-- but that may not be true now. While
she does not need her CPA to work for the government as an auditor, I
did suggest that she consider getting licensed in DC, too. Shouldn't
be hard to do, once you are licensed somewhere else.

Feel free to email me but place "District" as the first word in
subject line so that I can distinguish it from Spam. You may also
check the web site for DCRA at www.dcra.dc.gov

You know what to do with the return address.

I'm in DC and not exactly sure what their education requirements are.
They list continuing professional education (CPE). From the website:

Requirements: An applicant seeking biennial renewal of a permit to
practice shall provide proof of having completed no less than eighty
(80) hours of acceptable continuing professional education (CPE)
during the two year period preceding the date the license expires.
Current biennial renewal of a Permit to Practice for CPAs licensed in
the District occurs on October 31 of even numbered years.

What exactly are CPEs?

I have a BS in Business Administration with a minor in mathematics and
almost another in computer science. Would this qualify?

I'm currently trying to get into any position that will allow me to
gain the necessary work experience for the license. I have been
maintaining bookkeeping for the last 7 years for my software business
(sole proprietorship with me as only employee). Would this qualify?

I've read a few suggestions in this group on exam review materials.
Most suggest Gleim for self study and Becker for classes. I'd get
more out of the self study. Would this be everything I need
http://www.gleim.com/products/productdetails.php?proID=4204

I chose the books and software because it gives me a chance to
interact with the learning. I didn't want the audio CDs or online
version. Any opinions on this set
http://catalog.bisk.com/CPA/Product...=12&IsInstructorLed=false&ProductMediaID=2032

Will the only additional cost be the $533 fee for the 4 part exam?

Do I need to be a member of anything to take the exam?

I was surprised at how much less expensive the CPA route is than the
CFA route (In time and money). I'm going both ways.

Thanks,
Brett
_____________

Tippy
 
P

Preston

On 19 May 2004 18:02:11 -0700, (e-mail address removed) (Brett) wrote:

Brett,

Generally, you do not have to worry about taking CPE courses until you
become licensed. In order to become licensed, you must pass the CPA
exam and also satisfy the experience requirement by working under the
guidance of a CPA for a certain number of years. (determined by the
state where you are applying for the license)

You mentioned that you have a Business Administration degree with
minors in math and almost computer science. Since you do not have an
accounting degree, it makes me wonder if you have taken the core
college accounting courses that most states require before allowing
one to sit for the CPA exam. You should check the CPA exam
application booklet for your state thoroughly, and see what accounting
courses they require you to have. Many people without accounting
degrees take the CPA exam, but they usually have to go back to school
to get some additional accounting courses.

Let me know what you find out.

Preston Singleton, CPA
Austin, Texas
 
B

Brett

Preston said:
On 19 May 2004 18:02:11 -0700, (e-mail address removed) (Brett) wrote:

Brett,

Generally, you do not have to worry about taking CPE courses until you
become licensed. In order to become licensed, you must pass the CPA
exam and also satisfy the experience requirement by working under the
guidance of a CPA for a certain number of years. (determined by the
state where you are applying for the license)

You mentioned that you have a Business Administration degree with
minors in math and almost computer science. Since you do not have an
accounting degree, it makes me wonder if you have taken the core
college accounting courses that most states require before allowing
one to sit for the CPA exam. You should check the CPA exam
application booklet for your state thoroughly, and see what accounting
courses they require you to have. Many people without accounting
degrees take the CPA exam, but they usually have to go back to school
to get some additional accounting courses.

Let me know what you find out.

Preston Singleton, CPA
Austin, Texas
Thanks Preston. The person I need to speek with for DC is out until
May 21. Will keep you posted once I find out.

On study materials, I know for the CFA exam, it is important to have
current study materials. For the CPA exam, I can purchase the Bisk
33rd edition 4 volume for about $150. That is copyrighted 2003. How
do I know if the CPA study materials I'm purchasing are up to date?
Does it only have to be the latest?

BTW, what do you recommend out of Gleim, Bisk, and CPAReady?

Thanks,
Brett
 
P

Preston

Thanks Preston. The person I need to speek with for DC is out until
May 21. Will keep you posted once I find out.

On study materials, I know for the CFA exam, it is important to have
current study materials. For the CPA exam, I can purchase the Bisk
33rd edition 4 volume for about $150. That is copyrighted 2003. How
do I know if the CPA study materials I'm purchasing are up to date?
Does it only have to be the latest?

BTW, what do you recommend out of Gleim, Bisk, and CPAReady?

Thanks,
Brett

Brett,

You should have the most recent CPA exam study materials available.
That being said, the 2003 edition of the Bisk guide you referred to
might not be much different from the 2004 edition. Just to be safe
though, I would study from the most recently published edition.

If you are going the self-study route, I've heard good things about
both Gleim and Bisk, but I've never heard of CPAReady. I took
Conviser myself, which is now merged with Becker, and it was
definitely worth it

Preston Singleton, CPA
Austin, Texas
 
B

Brett

Preston said:
Brett,

You should have the most recent CPA exam study materials available.
That being said, the 2003 edition of the Bisk guide you referred to
might not be much different from the 2004 edition. Just to be safe
though, I would study from the most recently published edition.

If you are going the self-study route, I've heard good things about
both Gleim and Bisk, but I've never heard of CPAReady. I took
Conviser myself, which is now merged with Becker, and it was
definitely worth it

Preston Singleton, CPA
Austin, Texas
Preston,

Thanks. I'm just noticing that the CPAReady name is Bisk -
http://www.cpaexam.com/content/textbook.asp. Borders has the 4 volume
set in 3 books for about $150. Not sure what the difference is. I'll
get the ISBN and chat with Bisk online tomorrow to find out. It seems
the online versions will be newer and thicker (4 books vs. 3).

In your opinion, will employers view having the CPA and CFA as being
to broad? Perhaps because they believe the person didn't spend enough
time on one of those particular areas.

thanks,
Brett
 
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C

Chris

Go for Becker, it blows Bisk out of the water. Yes, it is more
expensive, but it is that way for a reason. One of the other staff in
our office for the November exam had Bisk and my old Becker books. He
used my books more than his Bisk because of better organization and
explanation. He conditioned the exam, and ordered new Becker for the
final parts he has. He wouldn't recommend Bisk to anyone (nor would I
having gone through them).

Make sure that the books are geared towards the new computerized
format and not the old paper format.
 
B

Brett

It will be between Gleim and Bisk. Becker isn't an option because of
the price. I'm paying for the materials, not a company. Becker
doesn't sell books alone.

Brett
 
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C

Chris

You are correct in that Becker will not sell the books alone, and that
you are not "buying the company." From my experience w/ Bisk vs.
Becker, Becker is far superior. Its like comparing a Yugo and a
Ferrari. The Yugo might get you there, but its just not the same kind
of machine. I was underimpressed the two times I've seen Bisk
materials vs. materials from Becker for the same test. Becker is just
better organized, laid out better, and gives better explanations and
examples.
 

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