How to Pass the CPA Board Exam: 5 Tips

You have spent so many hours studying so that you will be able to get the job you so wanted, a good paying job and earn the prestige of being financially stable. Sure you graduated, you have earned your degree and is set to start a new career. If you are an Accounting graduate, your wish is to pass the CPA board exams first.

CPA Board ExamRemember that reviewing in a Review Center which has high passing rate is just one of the many things you have to do, here are some of the others.

Below please find some tips on how you can pass this cpa board exam, inspired by the same from Stephanie’s website on CPA exam prep.

  1. You have to know what resources to use. These study guides are very important, you must have them. I am sure that your professor has told you about good resources and specific authors to look for. Do not think that you will be wasting money when you buy these materials because you are not, you will be using it for your future! When you’ve bought them, make sure you read them from cover to cover so that your chances of passing will be high. Invest in good review materials. You will be happy with the results.
  2. Make studying everyday your mantra, commit yourself with this. It will help if you can create a schedule on what to review on specific periods so that you will not forget to review anyone of the study areas you will need to review. Do not be tempted to make your review a second priority, if someone invites you for a night out and you have a schedule to follow, decline the invitation. You have to be strong and follow the goals you have set on your study guide.
  3. You will need to identify specific areas you are having difficulty with. During your review, you will be able to self assess which areas you need more guidance so be sure to make notes on this so that you can spend more time with it reviewing or get some help from others. It is possible you have to seek help from people who are good with it.
  4. It is not a cliche but you need to practice, practice and practice. One of the things you will have to be really good at is solving accounting problems, you have to make sure you can solve all kinds of accounting problems.
  5. You have to be well rested before the exam schedule. End your study schedule one week before the exam date, this way you will be able to rest your mind and body, do this by eating the right food and complete hours of sleep, this will ensure that your mind is rested and will be rejuvenated when exam day comes.

With your positive attitude, you are assured that you will have greater chances of passing the CPA exam.

For your research, I include more links for your information:

Do You Need Help in the MBA Application?

Whether you are applying for the CPA exam or for a grad school, the application process takes a lot of time and effort. And the worse is, you never know whether you will be accepted!

MBA applicationSo, if you are determined to give it a go, then you should present yourself in the best possible way, stand out from the crowd and get picked for the School of your dreams.

Do You Need Help In Your Grad School / MBA Application?

You may think that describing your background and listing out your grades is as good as you can get in terms of preparing the application. Wrong! There are so many factors, many of which are subjective that you can “spin” it to your advantage… as long as you know how to do it.

But how? This is, of course, the million-dollar question, but help is now on the way!

Admissions Consultants — They Do Exactly What The Name Suggests

I have recently been introduced to this site called Admissions Consultants where you can get all the assistance from the “insiders” (well, former insiders) in the academic admission circle.

What’s good about them?

Why They Provide A Great Solution To Many Applicants

  1. Long and Proven Track Record

Admissions Consultants was established in 1996, i.e. 15 years of history. More importantly, a third-party accounting firm (Fitzgerald, Snyder & Co., P.C.) confirmed that, for business degrees at least, nearly 100% of their clients managed to secure admittance to at least one of their top school preferences.

  1. Seasoned Professionals

The consultants, the ones who will guide and lead you through the process, have an average of 3 years of experience in “admission committee”. In other words, they are supposed to be the insiders who know how we can best position their cases to gain the best exposure among the thousands of applicants.

  1. Quick Feedback

Need advice in a hurry? The consultants will get back to a new client within 72 hours and typically 48 hours. Also, it is going to be one-on-one relationship so you can get all the attention you need and ask any questions that you may have.

In short, that’s how I see it:

Working with an admissions consultant means you are getting your essays read by two admissions committees.

If you get a thumbs up from your consultant, I believe you will have a much higher chance of success.

My Recommendations

Obviously, a service of this quality will cost money. But if you are interested in giving this a try, I would recommend that you sign up for an one-hour initial consultation. This will likely be done via telephone unless you happen to live near one of the consultants.

How much you can get from this a single hour? A lot, if you get prepared!

If you are able to articulate your background and your goals in the first few minutes of the conversation, the consultants can:

  • Access your probability of attaining the degree of your choice
  • Recommend a program that best suits your background and future career
  • Advise on how you can highlight your strengths and hide your weaknesses in the resume/CV and application
  • Suggest a game plan that you can work towards to increase your chance of success

In order that you can optimize this one hour, I have prepared a summary sheet that you can refer to when talking to the consultant.

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi



Different Types of Credit Cards

Think of a credit card as borrowed money, only that the money is made available through the card, to be paid at an agreed date. Credit cards provide a line of revolving credit, and are different from what charge cards offer. They are obtained based on the customer’s ability to repay the money. Lenders are cautious about giving money to borrowers that carry a lot of risk, especially considering the money is often unsecured. The spending habits of the borrower are used to classify their risk level, usually referred to as their credit report. This is one of the most important reports in the financial sector, and is used by a variety of lenders to determine whether one is eligible for loans of any kind. It is usually quantified in terms of a numerical rating, a score considered by many lenders.

cardsWith credit cards, one does not have to carry any cash. A typical card contains the name of the customer, the series number, the bank and the account. These numbers together are called the card number. The idea of credit cards began in the 1800s, when merchants provided credit for agricultural and durable goods. The cards began to spread to other industries, but were mostly used in single localized areas. It was not until the fifties that the first bank credit card was introduced, by the Bank of America.

The bank created a separate division for credit cards that came to be known in the seventies as VISA. This was the first step in an industry that now contains such competitors as MasterCard. The credit card industry has been the subject of much debate over the years. On one hand are the supporters who value the freedom the cards give. On the other, there are those who blame the industry for the loose restrictions on the fees they charge, many blaming it on the deregulation of the industry in the 70s and eighties.

There are many different types of credit cards;

Standard credit cards are the ordinary general purpose cards that come with a revolving line of credit. They are often marketed to people over the age of 18 who either meet or exceed the minimum credit criteria for the financial institution issuing the card. The credit card issuer determines the limit, but there is no deposit required.

Reward cards

Many credit cards have reward systems which are meant to influence spending. The rewards can either come in form of cash, points or discounts. As the points accumulate, for instance, they can be redeemed for such rewards as free hotel stays, car rental or free flights. However, credit cards have complex rules and charge structures. The key is to make sure annual fees do not eliminate all benefits. There are different types of reward type cards.

Frequent flier mile cards

Frequent flier mile cards earn airline miles. As the miles accumulate, they can be used for future flights. Some card providers also partner with such service providers in the hospitality industry as hotels, car rentals and other travel services. Sometimes the miles have expiration dates, though, so one should not hold on too long to the cards.

Cash back cards

Cash back cards literally give back some of the money spent in the form of cash. The credits range from between 1 and 5 percent. However, there usually is a cap of up to 500 dollars of spending in appropriate categories. When one collects a minimum amount of cash or credit.

There are many different types of credit cards;

Standard credit cards are the ordinary general purpose cards that come with a revolving line of credit. They are often marketed to people over the age of 18 who either meet or exceed the minimum credit criteria for the financial institution issuing the card. The credit card issuer determines the limit, but there is no deposit required.

Reward cards

Many credit cards have reward systems which are meant to influence spending. The rewards can either come in form of cash, points or discounts. As the points accumulate, for instance, they can be redeemed for such rewards as free hotel stays, car rental or free flights. However, credit cards have complex rules and charge structures. The key is to make sure annual fees do not eliminate all benefits. There are different types of reward type cards.

Frequent flier mile cards

Frequent flier mile cards earn airline miles. As the miles accumulate, they can be used for future flights. Some card providers also partner with such service providers in the hospitality industry as hotels, car rentals and other travel services. Sometimes the miles have expiration dates, though, so one should not hold on too long to the cards.

Cash back cards

Cash back cards literally give back some of the money spent in the form of cash. The credits range from between 1 and 5 percent. However, there usually is a cap of up to 500 dollars of spending in appropriate categories. When one collects a minimum amount of cash or credit, there is normally the option of either collecting it via check or using the money for purchases at a designated store. Some card providers give a flat amount regardless of how much one spends.

Premium credit cards

Premium credit cards, the gold or platinum cards are generally referred to as upscale. They are normally offered to customers with very high credit ratings, who have retained this standing for a long time, and can normally afford limits of up to 10,000 dollars on their cards. The people issued with these cards are typically heavy spenders, have huge salaries and travel a lot. Some cards in this category are offered via invitation only. The downside is that the interest and annual fees are normally very high. Perks of having these cards might include round the clock concierge services, personal assistants, access to exclusive airline lounges, worldwide travel and travel assistance.

Secured credit cards

Secured credit cards are a different category. Also known as pay as you go credit cards, the card holder will typically deposit between a few hundred and a thousand dollars when they open the account. The amount deposited will determine the credit line given to the customer, normally a number between 50 and 100 percent of what one deposits. They have higher interest rates and annual fees, and are normally used to re-establish credit.

Specialty cards

Specialty cards are usually offered on affiliations or partnerships with organizations, service providers or major retailers. It could be an alumni association, professional organization or company that supports a social cause.

CPA Exam Pass Rates Are Rising: What Are Your Chances …?

We mentioned the CPA exam here from time to time. Today I’d like to give you guys more information on what it is, including the pass rate, structure and general exam content of this famous exam.

CPA Exam Pass Rates
The uniform CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam is one really tough exam. Less than 50% of the students who sit for it make the grade. And not just anyone can sit for the exam either. Most states require a minimum of 150 credit hours for anyone wanting to take a shot at it. And the typical bachelor’s degree requires only 120 credit hours. No wonder it’s not easy to pass!

In California, for example, roughly 16,000 candidates sit for the CPA exam each year, but typically less than 2,800 new licenses are issued. Remember that just about every one of these 16,000 candidates have 150 or more credit hours,  have a 4 year bachelor’s degree in accounting or business, with many having graduate degrees as well.

While the historical pass rate around 50% may not seem very encouraging, you may want to note that things are actually easier than they used to be in the past. With the computerized exam format, you can schedule your testing appointment anytime within 8 months of the year, and also choose to take only one section at a time.

The CPA exam uses the multi-stage adaptive testing model to asses a candidates proficiency using fewer questions than would otherwise be necessary. What this means is that if you get the first few questions wrong, your final score might end up being fairly low. On the other hand, if you perform very well on the first few questions, the exam starts getting progressively more difficult, and your final score may be higher.

This also means that you cannot review your responses. If you made a mistake and chose an obviously wrong response, there’s no possibility that you can go back and change it. This might also mean that the software assumes you are less skilled than you actually are and grades you as it deems appropriate.

The Nitty Gritty : Structure Of The Exam

The exam has 4 sections to it:  Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Regulation (REG) and Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR). Each of these sections have multiple choice questions. In addition to these, BEC has a portion on written communication and the other three have one portion each on task based simulations.

Operational and Pretest Questions

The multiple choice questions in each of the 4 sections consist of 3 blocks of “testlets”. Each candidate has to work their way through 3 testlets in a section. Every testlest has questions of two kinds – operational and pre test questions. Operational questions are scored while pretest questions are “dummy” questions that are not scored. But if you taking the test, you will not be able to tell one apart from the other. The pretest questions are not identified as dummy questions. Many of the pretest questions are used as operational questions in subsequent exams. The majority of questions in a testlest are of the operational kind.

Difficulty Levels

All testlets are not created the same. Some are of “medium” difficulty level and some “difficult”. Obviously, a “difficult” testlet has harder questions and a “medium” testlet will have easier ones.

Every candidate receives a medium testlet to start with. If the candidate performs very well on the initial testlet, they will get a difficult testlet. On the otherhand if the performance on the initial teslet is poor, they will get another medium testlet. A candidate getting 3 medium testlets is not very likely to pass the exam – unless the performance on the 3rd testlet is exceptionally good.

The AUD, REG and FAR sections also have task based simulations in addition to multiple choice questions. These sections allow candidates to demonstrate their proficiency by researching literature or using spreadsheets and generating responses to simulations of real life scenarios they are likely to encounter in the workplace.

The BEC section has no task based simulations. Instead, it has 3 questions that require the candidate to write a letter, a short memo or a passage.

Unlike the testlets, the task based simulations and the written communication portions are not “difficult” or “medium”.  They are pre-assigned, regardless of how a candidate performs on the multiple choice questions.

Which CPA course or program is the best for your requirements?

Finding a CPA course isn’t difficult. It does not get complicated until you get to the part in which you now have to decide on which course or program is best for your requirements. With the amount good ones on the market to pick from, it’s simply a question of time before you start to become stressed out with all of your options. Few things are more important than receiving the most beneficial guidance, though, so please give it some thought.

CPA course or programAccording to the analysis by,  students who have studied from the Surgent CPA review course materials have an 89.7% pass rate on the CPA exam. The founders, Jack Surgent and Liz Kolar, have been preparing applicants for the exam for twenty odd years. The Surgent team offers something that none of their competitors are presently offering: a set of practice questions delivered using the adaptive learning technology. Also, the customer service is great because people are able to call to inquire about questions on the training course materials or about the CPA exam in general.

All Surgent CPA review course products are refreshed annually, including lecture videos that are re-filmed yearly. Thus, each student can be certain that they’re studying from the most recent information.

Surgent is always advantageous if you would like for lots of clarification around the actual multiple choice questions you’re concentrating on. The lectures are offered as 10-20 minute videos online that anyone can watch at your home. Because of all the goodies include the ones mentioned above, as well as the free trial and pass guarantee, the overall quality is excellent and so, Surgent CPA products are priced slightly above many other CPA exam review courses. On the whole, I’m delighted with the Surgent CPA review course. I recommend it highly to anyone trying to pass the CPA exam.

Roger CPA Review is another of the premium CPA courses online specializing in helping individuals pass the requirements to become a a CPA . In the last 20 years, Roger’s peak performance style of training, referred to as a Roger Method put together with flexible study programs, top rated review software applications and excellent student assistance has assisted more than 80,000 applicants reach his / her desire to pass the CPA test.

The Roger CPA Review Cram courses are a superb boost of information prior to taking the CPA Exam, and are designed to add 5-10 points to your score.

There are many benefits to the Roger CPA review course. To begin with, unlike some of the other CPA exam course reviews, Roger’s doesn’t make the student spend the time to familiarize themselves with each individual topic covered by the CPA exam. Rather, the Roger courses puts far more emphases on content that has the biggest probability of coming up in the exam. With this particular approach, people studying from Roger’s course have an 88% average pass rate, that is considerably greater than the standard pass rate of all CPA exam participants.

In the quest to find the best CPA course for you, I hope this has given you greater insight into making that decision.

Good CMA Books for Exam

Good CMA Books for ExamIf you are a CMA candidate, there are so many books that you can choose from. When preparing for exams, it is important that you research the CMA programs that suit your needs and then get the right books that will help you pass your exams. The books differ in material and how they are written and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, some of the books are very technical and are preferred by detailed students and others may find such books hard to understand so it is important that you get the right book that will be fun and easy to understand.

Here are some of the books you can choose for your CMA studies, based on the helpful comparison in

Wiley CMAexcel Learning System

Wiley has great CMA books with good CMA program but even though the books are great, they are very expensive and the signature CMaexcel program is the most expensive compared to the others although its followers believe it’s worth the money. If you choose the CMAexcel program and books, you will also have access to video courses and be able to do your studies alone and much more. If you can afford Wiley CMAexcel books then try them because they are very rewarding.

Gleim CMA Books

CMA books by Gleim are all updated with the 2 volume set updated with new 2016 information. These books are very affordable and are among the least expensive CMA books you can choose for your CMA studies. They also offer software for exams with almost 3,000 practical questions which is liked by many CMA students as it helps in exam preparations. If you are a detailed student, these books are excellent for you but if you are not good with technical books, the books are perfect as supplements for practical questions.

Lambers Reviews Textbooks

Lambers CMA books cover all CMA exam topics and contain possible exam questions and problems and gives their detailed solutions and answers. The books are easy to understand as they have clear text lessons that are straight to the point enabling you to understand quickly and be able to remember the concepts during exams. The books are written by professors who teach the course and understand the challenges the CMA students go through and so they have written the books in a way that will enable you utilize your study arrangements.

You Can Pass The CPA Exam: Get Motivated By Debra R. Hopkins

This book is written for the CPA exam, but has excellent “how to” information regarding CMA program and is also perfect for offering guidance to CMA candidates who often loose confidence due to the tough program or exams. The book gives tips on how to prepare for CMA exams and also offers information on other important resources that a CMA candidate can make use of to pass their exams. If you are having second thought about your CMA exams or you are losing confident, try this book and you will get the motivation you need.

The Brutal Certified Public Accountant Licensing Exam

If you want to be a certified public accountant, you have to take an exam. The exam is legendary in its difficulty and complexity.

Brutal Certified Public Accountant Licensing ExamThe accounting exam is a test that is actually one of the most widely used professional certification exams in the world. As with most certification programs, the CPA program is intended to give a certain level of assurance and confidence to the public. In the same manner that one must first pass the Bar examination to become a lawyer, an accountant must pass the CPA exam to be considered a Certified Public Accountant. When we know that someone holds this certification, we are more likely to entrust them with our financial management requirements.

The CPA exam is not the only part of the certification process. The CPA certification process uses a principle called the “3 E’s.” These stand for education, examination, and experience. So, merely passing the examination is not enough to earn a certification. The educational and experience requirements differ slightly from State to State and it is important to make sure they are completely understood for the jurisdiction where you intend to be certified.

The minimum educational require is a Bachelors Degree with a certain number of credit hours devoted to Accounting based courses. Most States specify certain courses that are required before the examination can be taken. It is interesting to note that Professional Ethics is one of these requirements. This further illustrates the idea that the purpose of the entire program is to protect the individual who will be using the services of the CPA. These people will be putting their financial information and maybe even their future financial security in the hands of the CPA. The Certification Program can not guarantee 100% assurance that you will be in good hands, but can make it as safe as possible.

The examination is required by all 55 United States jurisdictions. This includes all the 50 States and the 5 dependent territories. In order to be a Certified Public Accountant, the exam must be successfully completed. The actual eligibility requirements for taking the exam and the education and experience ones as well vary from State to State. Information on these questions can be found on the Web sites of the various Boards of Accountancy

The CPA exam is demanding and somewhat difficult. In order to even be allowed to take it, you must meet strict experience and education requirements. This should give a clue to the other side of the picture. A Certified Public Accountant is in great demand in the public and private sectors. They can be doing any number of types of accounting from the handling of individual estate planning to tax advice.

To learn more about tips on how to take the exam, NASBA has a few ones to share here.


Live CIA Exam Classes – A Number Of Matters Right Before You Pick

You need to enroll in a top live CIA class if you hope to pass and be successful in the CIA licensure exam. However, you’ll find many individuals that are having problems getting the classes that are suitable for their needs. Several variables should be considered in order to make certain that you will choose the very best live CIA courses in order to pass the exam without any trouble. Those components that you need to consider are highlighted below.
Live CIA Exam ClassesTo start, you really should think about the different varieties of course materials that will be employed by your training program as well as any live classes provided. The majority of courses will give you work sheets which are rather valuable in preparing for the CIA exam, even so the program that you’ll be attending really should also provide you with books and extra resources that you can utilize to better ready yourself. Examine the resources supplied to ensure that you can be sure that these will allow you to prepare for everything which is included in the CIA exam. It will be much better if you’re going to choose a course which will provide free access to those resources after signing up to the course to ensure that less money will be spent for preparing for the CIA exam.

Whenever you think about taking live CIA classes, you really should choose instructional classes that will permit you to work together well with your instructors. Schedules ought to be well organized for you to understand how much time is required for every session.

The level of experience of the instructors need to be also considered in order to evaluate their proficiency with the subject matter. In the majority of cases, these courses are taught by a few of the best CIAs who have many years of experience in the profession and are thus extremely familiar with what it takes to be a CIA, as well as the content of the test that you will have to pass.

The most important thing that you really should think about prior to deciding to enroll in this live CIA exam preparation instructional class, is that their programs need to have supplied the best results for their students. You’ll find plenty of programs from various universities around the world, mostly using the IIA Learning System, but also Gleim and Hock.

While attending live classes is one way to begin getting yourself ready for the CIA exam, an alternative choice which is always well worth contemplating will be to try out CIA home study courses that permit you to ready yourself for the CIA exam. For several, this type of practical learning atmosphere is going to be fairly successful and maybe a lot more appropriate for them compared to getting enrolled with live classes.

A CPA Career in Corporate Accounting and Finance

Corporate accounting and finance is probably the most traditional area where you’d expect a CPA to belong in an organization.

A CPA career in corporate accounting and finance can be extremely lucrative, particularly if you aspire to become a controller, director of accounting or a CFO someday. Many CFOs also go on to become company CEOs.

Every company, big and small, needs professionals who understand and can execute accounting appropriately. If the company is a publicly traded company, it is subject to the securities and exchange commission laws (SEC) as well as other applicable regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and Dodd Frank.

CPA Career in Corporate Accounting and FinanceAlthough there is no such documented mandate that a CPA license is required to practice in this area, most companies will not hire you, at least for higher level positions, if you are not a CPA. And if you want to progress within the organization in this area, your employer will likely push you to get your CPA certification.

This is not a bad thing. In fact it’s the opposite. If your employer does this, it means that they see the potential in you to rise through the ranks. Many employers also reimburse you for the cost incurred to study and sit for the exam if you were to pass it.

What Do CPAs in Corporate Accounting and Finance Do?

They count beans. No really, they do. This is where the stereotypical phrase for an accountant or CPA as a “bean counter” comes from. Why? Because it is corporate accounting and finance’s job to ensure that the company’s activities are accurately captured, accounted, recorded and presented.

Accounting, in its most basic sense, means the accurate gathering, compilation and recording of all activities that translate into numbers (dollars and cents). And to ensure the records, or books, are correct, there are several functions that have to work together.

For example, journal entries have to be made to record transactions, reconciliations have to be performed to ensure we have account balances correct, technical accounting must be understood and applied to ensure we are complying with reporting presentation guidelines, and controls need to be designed, developed, executed and monitored that ensure the integrity of the accounting and entire financial reporting process. Hoooff – breathe…

Can you see why some corporate accounting departments can get really large? In addition to all the above, CPAs in corporate accounting and finance functions also interact heavily with the company’s internal and external auditors. It is not uncommon for public companies to leverage their internal audit functions to assist accounting management in SOX compliance testing, essentially testing the controls over the financial accounting and reporting process.

External auditors on the other hand are always interacting with the corporate accounting function to understand the organization’s processes, obtain documentation for testing and follow up with questions and address concerns.

This is why it is common for an external auditor to transition into a company’s accounting and finance function when he or she is ready to leave the demanding public accounting lifestyle. It’s just a natural match.

Career Path of a CPA in Corporate Accounting and Finance

Out of college you’d normally start in an analyst or accountant position and rotate through the various functions within a corporate accounting group. These will include basic reconciliations, journal entries and day to day tasks like compiling, reporting, number crunching, etc.

Later on you will do the same but get to do it with more complicated areas of the business, learning technical accounting concepts along the way. Eventually you will be involved in assisting with “closing the books”, a role often handled by a general ledger accountant. A GL accountant is also heavily involved with financial reporting.

Next is the Controller level, where you oversee the entire corporate accounting and financial reporting function. In larger organizations, you will often see a VP or Director of Accounting function, who oversees the entire accounting organization and who is well versed in technical accounting. The next level is the CFO, from which you can evolve into a Chief Operating Officer (COO), CEO or one of several other options.

Concluding Thoughts

The only other position I’d add to the list of corporate accounting professions is that of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A). The reason I did not include this above is because I’ve only seen this at larger organizations. It is not really part of a core corporate accounting and financial reporting function per se, rather a supplemental function in organizations with heavy need for analytics.

This function also reports up to the CFO, sometimes through the Controller and sometimes through the VP or Director of Accounting in larger organizations. I have also seen independent heads of FP&A functions report directly to CFOs in gigantic organizations.

How do I know all this? I know all this because I have been heavily involved in understanding and reviewing each of these functions in various organizations. Remember, I was in a big four public accounting firm conducting audits all year long.

Corporate accounting is the backbone of any organization, and a career within it can be very lucrative. If you like to be hands on, are detail and numbers oriented and have passion for technical accounting (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – GAAP), this may be a career you’d want to pursue as a CPA or soon to be CPA.

Insider Guide to Big 4 Accounting

You may heard of a book on the “insider’s guide” to Big 4 accounting interviews – yes it is the e-book titled Big 4 Book of Secrets.

Guide to Big 4 AccountingIntriguing name… but I heard you asking… is the content helpful for you to learn more about these “bulge brackets” in the accounting industry, and more importantly, help you get the job of your dreams?

At this stage of my career, there is no need to read such a book; but for the benefit of all my readers I recently purchased a copy and am planning to reveal just a little bit of its secrets to you all, as well as giving my opinion on whether the book is worth it.

(By the way, I don’t have a Big 4 background, but I do work in the finance industry all my life working closely with Big 4 auditors, and my husband got his first job at Coopers and Lybrand (now PWC) so I think I am in a good position to review this book.)

Big 4 Guru Target Audience

The book is obviously targeted to those who aspire to break into the cream of the crop of the accounting industry, the Big 4 accounting firms.

I understand that Big 4 isn’t for everyone, so if you are one of those who prefer a regional CPA Firm for a variety of reasons, your gut feeling tells you this book isn’t for you…

… but let me tell you this: after reading through the book I believe that Big 4 Book of Secrets is a guide that’s going to be a great help to any aspiring CPAs who is in the process of looking for jobs or upgrading their jobs.

Big 4 Book of Secrets Is A Great Insider Guide For Anyone Who Wants To Break Into Public Accounting

Why? Because if you read and master the skills outlined in this book, you’ll greatly increase your chance to get hired in Big 4; and if you have the ability to nail an offer from Big 4, you will have absolutely no problem getting a job in any CPA firm, be it local, regional or national.

How This Book Can Help Land You A Job Anywhere From A Local Accounting Firm To Big 4

  1. Big 4 Book of Secrets Gives You An Insider View Of The Big Guys In The Accounting Industry

The book gives a well-summarized description for each of the Big 4: PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG. Not only that it saves you time in digging around the websites for this information, it is written with a personal touch, as if you have a friend in the industry that tells you about each of this firm.

I personally like the way she chronicles how the founders of these firms became successful and how we can relate to them and their success in our own career.

Why This Is Important

Whether you are going for the Big 4 or regional and local accounting firms, the knowledge of the biggest players in the industry, in my opinion, is very important to show your commitment to the industry you are going into, which certainly helps in your interview process.

  1. Big 4 Book of Secrets Prompts You To Think Thoroughly On Your Career Path

This is probably not the intention of the book; but as I read the first chapter about “why Big 4”, I keep asking myself: if I were in the position to look for an accounting job, should I pick Big 4, vs regional CPA firms, or accounting jobs in corporate or the government?

While not everyone necessarily agree that “there is no better way to start your accounting career in Big 4”, the book certainly does a great job in listing the distinct advantage of this career path, and this information in itself is excellent for your own evaluation of Big 4 vs your other career choices.

A Step-by-Step Guide To The Entire Interview Process

But obviously this is the most practical section of the book and “Big4Guru” (i.e. the author. I believe she’d like to stay anonymous) dedicates 4 chapters explaining the process and the tips in great detail.

Just to give you a peep of what’s covered:

Before The Interview

The (possibly only) source that recruiters collect resumes and positions they are hiring

5 ways to shine in college job fairs

How to get yourself in as lateral hire (someone not fresh out of college)

One “high-risk-high-reward” job seeking method you can consider…

During The Interview

What type of person you should expect in your first interview

Where you can expect the different rounds of interviews to be held

Whether (or in which round) they will ask technical questions

The different skills in impressing an HR vs the auditors during the interviews

The 3 things to avoid at all cost during the interviews

Just how difficult the interviews can get, and it’s not about the questions

3 “ugly” technical accounting items that you better get prepared

Sample of great follow-up questions that you can use in any Big 4 interviews…

After The Interview

How to write an effective thank you note in the 21st century

3 action points you can do to maintain your advantage…

… and much much more!

Other Priceless Tips

I love reading the appendix on the insider look at the hierarchy of each firm, and I also find the appendix B a great life-long lesson for many of us.


The book is showered with tips here and there so it’s really motivating book to read for any aspring CPA looking for a good job (not just Big 4 jobs) in the accounting industry.

If I were a recent graduate, or someone looking to find a job in CPA firms (big or small) in the US, I will definitely get hold of this book (and secretly wishing the other interview candidates don’t have it!!)

Grab The Most Recent Update!

Big 4 Book of Secrets has just recently updated the book. Please check out the website for the her own introduction of the book.