September 18, 2018

California Board of Accountancy

Protip for Future CPAs: Forging Signatures on Your Work Experience Form is Dumb

So, we're combing through the latest California Board of Accountancy Update, checking out the usual CPAs behaving badly toward the end. It's nothing spectacular, just the usual sloppy audits, kid-touching, and killing people with vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Seriously, that's all in there. Look for yourself starting on page 11. Then we […]

California Board of Accountancy Moves to Stop Incarcerated CPA From Providing Exceptional Client Service in Prison

Well, this lady is definitely going to have to find some other way to barter for honey buns and baby oil, as she won't be providing important financial services to fellow inmates any time soon: The Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego, North County Division, has granted the California Board […]

California Might Ditch the Attest Requirement for CPA Licensure

Before you get excited, note this is a big fat might. Here's the news release from the Board of Accountancy: The California Board of Accountancy (CBA) will be launching a study to determine whether it should continue its present attest experience requirement for prospective Certified Public Accountants. At issue is whether the current requirement is […]

This Guy Cheated on the Open Book Ethics Exam, Ratted Himself Out (UPDATE/CORRECTION)

This article has been updated and corrected. See details below. So here’s the deal. This guy Nathaniel Paredes was disciplined by the California Board of Accountancy, and we get to read all about it in the latest edition of the CBA Update. In case you aren’t aware, the CBA publishes a list of all the […]

The #2 Reason California CPAs are Disciplined by the Board May Surprise You

Forgive me for that Upworthy-esque piece of hit bait excuse for a headline, I almost went it "CPAs Are Getting Disciplined in California; You Won't Believe Why!" so I guess it's not as bad. In the Winter 2014 issue of the California Board of Accountancy Update, the Board takes a quick look at the top […]

The California Board of Accountancy Wants You to Facebook Them Your CPA Exam Worries

You're a busy CPA exam candidate with no time to read the Candidate Handbook or use Google to get the answers you seek. What do you do? Get on Facebook and holla at your friendly local Board of Accountancy, natch.     Post by California Board of Accountancy.   This is actually a pretty cool […]

California Board of Accountancy Says the Early Bird Gets the CPA Exam Worm

California CPA exam candidates now have the secret to taking their lives back around score release time, and you can thank the CA BoA:   Exam Score Hack- scores automatically load into your client account once a day -usually between 5am-7am. Good luck! — CA Board Accountancy (@CBANews) May 22, 2014 Now you know! It […]

California CPAs, Here’s an Opportunity to Serve Your Profession

Allow us a moment of seriousness here with a special request from the California Board of Accountancy: The CBA has established a new advisory committee, known as the Mobility Stakeholder Group (MSG), and is seeking CPAs who may be willing to serve on the MSG.  The MSG will advise the CBA on whether provisions of […]

How a New Graduate Can Pass the CPA Exam (Almost) Before May 2011

This CPA exam candidate changes her name too often on Twitter to be linked to but asks us the following:

I am graduating this fall from [University of San Francisco] with an undergraduate degree in Accounting. My goal is to study and pass the test by May 2011.

I appreciate your input and advice.

First off, I love specific questions like this. If you have them you are, as always, welcome to send them in for future columns. If you have a particular goal (like passing before the 2011 changes or learning how to balance work, family and the exam), I feel better about wasting my time yelling at you because you’re much more likely to succeed. ROI, we all want one.

Anyway.


– Let’s start with the California Board of Accountancy. If you call their exam unit, they will tell you to expect a wait of 4 – 6 weeks for your application to be processed and you’ll get really excited when they cash the $100 application fee check three days after you mailed it. Don’t get excited, that’s the first thing they do (duh, it’s California). In reality, you can expect to wait about 8 weeks from the date you submit your application if you’re freshly graduated and applying with many other accounting grads in the state at the same time. Expect to wait 10 days for your payment coupon and 10 days for your Notice to Schedule once you get your ATT (Authorization to Test). So let’s say your school already posted your degree to your transcripts and you sent in your application today (7/16). You may not get approved until 9/16. Best case scenario they get you approved quickly and you get your ATT on 8/16 (don’t count on it).

Once you have that, it could be another 3 weeks until you are actually scheduling your exams. This year (since your goal is 2011, we’re assuming you’re starting as early as possible before new exam changes hit), the last window of the year will be especially hard to schedule. We’re just guessing on that since everyone seems afraid of CBT-e. It will be interesting to see the actual numbers once they are released.

Get the Hard Stuff Out of the Way – If you can get in one part this year, great. If you had to ask me which one you should take I’d usually say the one that will be hardest for you (since your rolling 18 month window doesn’t start until you actually sit for and pass that first one) but because of the 2011 changes I’m telling most candidates to take FAR. A lot of them are also trying to squeeze in BEC – I imagine they don’t like the idea of written communications and more economics but I could be wrong. Don’t take the easy route, you’ll regret it when you’re trying to pass that last really difficult section you put off and end up losing scores because 18 months came and went.

Don’t Be an Overachiever – I know the old timers will pipe in on this and say back in their day they didn’t have calculators and had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to the exam center twice a year to take all 4 parts over 19 1/2 hours but we humbly suggest sitting for no more than two parts per testing window. If you can get in for Q4 2010, you will have one exam done then take two more in Q1 2011 and the last one Q2 2011. So you may not exactly hit your May target but it’s OK to adjust your plans (don’t get mad at the Board of Accountancy but if you want a shortcut around their 8 week application time, get in touch with me) and you can still say you reached your goal.

The only other issue is getting those extra units to actually be licensed under Pathway 2 (the best idea for your own mobility) since you are an undergrad but you can get those in anything and have five years to meet the licensure requirements before you lose your exam scores.

Worry about that later. As for how to study, we’ve talked about CPA review courses, study strategies and things not to do in previous posts. Good luck!