Ambition is great. Maybe you're really into Intermediate and thinking "WOW, I just can't wait to be a CPA, I'm going to plunk down a bunch of cheddar and start studying NOW so I'm totally ready for the exam later!"
Case in point:
Even though I'll be taking the CPA exam in a year from now, it's never to early to start studying… http://t.co/i0YxWYNyxQ
— Peter James (@Peter_JamesM) May 22, 2014
That's really adorable but unless that book is a hand-me-down you got from a pal who just finished the CPA exam, you need to return it.
Here's why you don't want to study for the CPA exam too early: it's pointless.
Once you are ready to sit for the exam, you're going to spend 18 months studying your little butt off (if you're lucky -- you could spend a lot longer than that), there's no reason to get a jump on that time. In fact, the last thing you want is to burn out before you even get off the ground. Remember when you were in high school and everyone would tell you to slow down and enjoy your last few years or months of being a teenager and you were all like "nah, man, I can't wait to pay rent and commute an hour a day and work so hard to be so broke!" And then once you were on your own you realized being an adult sucks and wanted to be 16 again? Studying for the CPA exam too early is like that; just enjoy the time you have left in college and save your energy for the real game time.
In theory, you've spent several years in college "studying" for the exam, building the foundation that will fill your eager little brain with all the concepts you need to know as an entry level CPA. Worry about that. You're going to want to save up your energy for focused studying closer to the time you actually sit for the exam, which, if it's a year down the road, leaves plenty of opportunity to study when you're actually ready.
Does studying too early actually hurt you? Probably not. But why would a sane person do that to themselves?