Those college students who are about to finish their accounting education tend to disregard the urgency of starting CPA review courses and scheduling the exam. They mistakenly envision having plenty of time available after they graduate. Avoiding this trap will help you transition smoothly and swiftly into a professional accountant.
College life is occasionally exhausting and even filled with worries about having time to absorb so much new information. But, it’s nothing compared to the daily grind of the workplace. This is especially true of a new job where the learning process is extended into new dimensions. You must discover new systems, office procedures, and the idiosyncrasies of co-workers. Then, after conquering this territory, you’re given increased job responsibilities. Soon, you can fall victim to having a full schedule with no time for CPA exam study.
Consequently, you definitely want to decline spending the summer backpacking through Europe. You need to seize these few months between graduation and starting a new job to complete a CPA review course and pass at least one exam section. Your life after starting work is too unpredictable for squandering valuable time immediately after graduating.
An even bigger time constraint is working in public accounting during the January to May busy season. Don’t expect this work experience to boost your CPA exam score enough to make up for lost time with online CPA review for the exam. You learn a lot on the job, but your superiors will only give you higher-level assignments after you finish the CPA exam. Much of the knowledge you apply with hands-on accounting experience was not covered in college courses.
Fortunately, an employer wants you to obtain a CPA license. By starting an exam study program without delay after graduating from college, you accomplish a major step toward that goal. This enhances support from your employer, who becomes inclined to allow studying at the office before and after working hours plus during lunch breaks. Don’t think you are helping your employer by waiting to implement your study plan after becoming acclimated at work. An employer expects that passing the CPA exam is part of your job.
Remember that you will soon find yourself deep into busy season, when exam study is placed in a holding pattern for those 60 to 70 hour workweeks. After that, you have about seven months before this routine is resumed. So, don’t procrastinate after college graduation. Make a study schedule, set an exam date, and start studying. A little work experience may help you understand some elements of the CPA exam. But, nothing substitutes for a diligence effort with an online CPA course. Although graduating from college is liberating, formal education is only one of the phases on the journey to becoming a CPA.
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