Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Career Tips For Aspiring Accounting Students by George Hillston

Let me introduce my Guest blogger today, George Hillston. He shares with us Career tips useful for Accounting students. 

For students and professionals entering into the job market, an accounting career offers a variety of rewarding opportunities. The accounting field offers stability for individuals seeking these jobs. Businesses need employees to report and analyze the finances of the company and the accountant meets this need. When someone decides to pursue a career in accounting, they should look at what companies need from accountants and how they can serve the company. These career tips will help you advance in your own accounting career.

Know the basics

While you may not be an expert in every area of accounting, especially if you are still a student, you should know the basics. Understand the primary financial statements, such as the income statement and balance sheet. Learn the basics of recording financial transactions. Companies hire students and beginning accountants for entry level positions. However, these companies also want to see that the people they hire have an initial foundation of knowledge in place. This allows the company to train the employee on their own specific accounting practices.

Understand Different Accounting Roles

The accounting field consists of several different specialties. Some accountants focus on financial reporting. Others work on analyzing costs. Some spend their days reviewing the costs of fixed assets. When looking at various
jobs in accounting, understand what role each job expects the accountant to fulfill. The skills needed for each role vary considerably. Prepare for the position by researching the needs of each particular position.

Join Professional Organizations

Professional organizations, such as the Institute of Management Accountants or the American Institute of CPAs, provide resources for accounting professionals to continue developing their skills. Accountants who maintain current with industry knowledge provide greater value for their employer. In addition, these organizations provide networking opportunities where accountants meet and build relationships with colleagues. Accountants use these networks to hire new employees or to find new accounting jobs.

Pursue Certification

In an accounting career, people hold a variety of qualifications. People come into an accounting position with varying levels of education. Most have undergraduate degrees. Some have graduate degrees. Others hold certifications, such as a Certified Public Accountant or a Certified Management Accountant. Certified accountants hold an advantage over others competing for accounting jobs. Certification also opens opportunities for accountants to receive promotions in the workplace.


Find opportunities to volunteer and share your accounting skills with others. Volunteering allows you to demonstrate your skills while helping out your community. Volunteering opportunities for accountants include serving as treasurer for a nonprofit, counting donations collected, filing tax returns or compiling financial data for reporting purposes. Many accountants make professional connections with others by participating in activities like these. These activities also add to the qualifications listed on your resume.

Speak At Public Events

Many nonprofit organizations seek speakers for their events. These organizations may or may not have the resources to pay a speaker. However, those accountants who choose to speak at these events gain recognition as an expert. When companies are seeking an accountant, they often remember the speaker at that event. These companies may seek you out directly to discuss opportunities within their organization. You can also add public speaking events to your resume.

Publish Your Knowledge

Take the opportunity to write articles on various accounting or financial topics. Write editorials and send them in to your local newspaper. As your name gets published on a regular basis, you will develop a reputation as a skilled accountant. You can draw on this reputation as you pursue accounting jobs. Share your publications with potential employers by listing these on your resume.

While job seeking in the accounting field can represent a high level of competition, there are also many different opportunities for accounting professionals to take advantage of. These tips won’t guarantee you career success. But they will greatly improve your chances.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ex Boy friend attitude

Hi Rose,

For the last 2 yrs I was studying hard for the CPA. I passed FAR but the credit expired. I took REG four times (last time I tried I got 74!), I took BEC four times as well and like REG last time I tried I got 74. In 2012 I decided to take a break because it was hard to keep studying and failing. Now I would like to try again in 2013. But my energy and motivation levels are really low. After reading some of the post here I feel the urge to start again and pass the CPA. I used Wiley, CPAexcel and Gleim. I had spent so much money between the fees and the courses. But something inside me tell me I can do it, but I need a push to start again. Any advice how can I start? Any words of advice and wisdom for me?! Thanks for any help

Dear Anon,

Wishing to Pass this exam is always a good start. Candidates who passed this exam, are not extraordinarily intelligent, they told them selves they have the will to pass this exam . You might ask me, Is it enough to have a will to pass this exam ? As I said, It's a very good start. And then every one of us should sit few hours before the study material. And we should tell our selves, This is very hard. But like an old boy friend we must hang on, We will come back to our study material. We sit there with a trace of tears in our eyes. But we will smile once our study material is open. ( we may never know when we will get a smile back, LOL just kidding).
Well the point is having a little sense of humor when our backs ache and we will have an urge to watch movies/videos, play games ..etc which will eat our time and burn the little fuel left in our vehicle. We must tell our selves.. its hard, but I am going to do it today. I will complete this chapter as planned. I am tough , I am tougher and this thing aint going to bring me down. The harder we feel the closer we move towards giving up. So let that frustration,doubt and difficulty pass by. Smile a little, You are a real Super man/girl. You are willing to endure those difficult moments of sitting before books and trying your very best to concentrate and complete the planned schedule. Your difficulties of every nature are accepted with love and you still choose to complete those MCQ's. 
Every single second, every single minute when our backs ache, eyes burn and we are left behind and no one ever going to believe we can do it, including self denial and at the bottom of  confidence levels.. Still hang on every single day .. and study..Don't try to learn tricks of trade..learn the stuff...

Read Understand Revise Retain Practice Perform

Every person go through all the stages, including me, I get very depressed some times, I cry, I ask for help, I feel like quitting too. They are all part and parcel of our emotional development. But still our will to pass this exam is like haunting. Its like that ex boy friend . it's the hope, it's the madness and it's the motivation. Even if you are not sure whether you have that will, Which I presume is not correct because even at this moment when you are reading this.. You want to become a CPA. Oh yes !! you want to .Don't worry about start and fail.. Choose your study material, make a plan and study, forget about your past. Don't repeat mistakes. If you feel less motivated at times, its okay, don't worry, just tell your self, "its ok to feel bad at times. But now I feel good when I study". Make some changes in your life. Use good positive affirmations. Visualize 74 turning to 77 or even 99. Try managing your energy, negative thinking eats up most of your energy. Please study well , If we don't invest enough time for our study its difficult to pass this exam. So plan it well, study smart and you will pass this exam. 

Image credit: http://www.gettyimages.com

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mind Math

Last Saturday we went to lunch at our friend's house and her daughter was practicing her Abacus tuition home work. After watching us observing their daughter moving fingers in air, my friend told me,' She is no more using her abacus now, she moves them in her mind'. 'aha'. She was doing bigger calculations in seconds.
I really felt proud and good watching  my friend's daughter but inside I was humiliated and was questioning my mind math. My husband always makes fun of me saying , you are studying to become a CPA and you rely too much on calculator.  I don't have mind math, all I do is pressing buttons and I am sure teenagers who send messages press buttons pretty faster than me.
So I decided to spend like at least two hours a week to learn abacus. A few minutes daily. Never feel too shy to learn.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A letter from Mr.Grant Webb

Hi Rose,
My name is Grant Webb. I’m a learning facilitator with Bisk Education’s Accounting to CPA training program. It is my pleasure to reach out to you today. This morning during class we went online in search for some real life examples to supplement our classroom discussion when we came across your site info sleeponcpa.com. We often go online in search for supplement to our daily lecture. I applaud you on how resourceful you have made your site. Very well done. You even have an archives section with content covering some of accountants weakest points or curiosities. 

Based on the usefulness of your website and accurate messaging we have recognized your website as a Top Accounting Resource for our students of 2012. 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Keep up the great work Rose! 


Grant Webb
Bisk Education 
9417 Princess Palm Avenue Tampa, FL 33619

Friday, September 21, 2012

Aud Retake

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.
-Aldous Huxley

I was almost giving up but my friends encouraged me and stood beside me. I realized even though we tell our selves thousand times to stay calm and focused, if we are really disturbed and we have too many things on our mind, it won't help us to concentrate.
If you have too many issues in your head, please attend to them and come back to study with a clear head. You cannot concentrate and think about thousand things at the same time. Happiness is no doubt a boosting factor to study well.
I am using Yaegar CPA Review and supplementing it with Gleim test preparation software for Auditing and Regulation. My Auditing credit expired so I am retaking it next month.
If  you never used Gleim test preparation software before, Please take a look at Gleim Software. Gleim is offering this software for free download. You can download and use the trial version and even access one chapter for free. Try it and see it your self.
Special thanks to my #twudygroup friends.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why am I not passing REG?

I am asking myself this question again and again. I need answer to this question. I appeared for this exam 4 times now and all I can get is 74. I can tell myself there is something wrong with my preparation or there is some philosophy behind getting 71. But in reality I don't know what to do. I am almost on the verge of giving up. It's a financial burden to appear for the same exams again and again and it is frustrating to family members. It's not like I am not preparing well or I am not putting enough effort or smartness.. but that is not clearly enough. I would love to know what you have to say. What should I do? I am listening ..

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Believe Even When No One Else Believes in You


Prayer to forgive and self affirmations

“I forgive the tears I was made to shed,
 I forgive the pain and the disappointments,
 I forgive the betrayals and the lies,
 I forgive the slanders and intrigues,
 I forgive the hatred and the persecution,
 I forgive the blows that hurt me,
 I forgive the wrecked dreams,
 I forgive the stillborn hopes,
 I forgive the hostility and jealousy,
 I forgive the indifference and ill will,
 I forgive the injustice carried out in the name of justice,
 I forgive the anger and the cruelty,
 I forgive the neglect and the contempt,

 I will be capable of loving, regardless of whether I am loved in return,
Of giving, even when I have nothing,
Of working happily, even in the midst of difficulties,
Of holding out my hand, even when utterly alone and abandoned,
Of drying my tears, even while I weep,
Of believing, even when no one believes in me.”

 I liked this prayer so just posting the extract..
Extracted from -  Paulo Coelho (2011-09-27). Aleph (p. 155). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Dance

 Sara is my #twudygroup friend and a CPA Exam blogger..I felt inspired, happy and danced along with Sara when she passed all four parts of CPA Exam. I cant wait to do my own happy dance.
 Visit Sara's vlog to know more about Sara
You can also send a request on her twitter page
Find your motivation and pass the CPA Exam
My best wishes to you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Don't wait till last minute to book appointment

I was reading this post @goingconcern 'CPA Candidate Discovers That Scheduling an Exam on the Last Day of Testing Window Is a Bad Idea 'and it reminded me my own last minute drama this window. I tried to book appointment one week before  REG exam. It's really risky to do something like that ..But I never faced something like- not having any appointments available situation before. So I didn't even checked. I was quite sure!

And then it bombed, No appointments!!! There is only one center in entire St.Louis and we have no appointments. I was in panic, I searched for near cities. Only center that's available was in Peoria IL.  With a drive of  nearly 4 hrs and a kid to baby sit for nearly 4 hrs and then 4 hrs driving back.  My husband said ,'NO'. I was like tweeting crazily for feedback on this. Some of my friends advised me not to give up and not to waste time. I was desperate and blindly believed in fate. Some said, People always cancel appointments in last minute, Don't worry..

I checked for dates four or five times a day for next two days .. Interestingly on third day my husband called and said ..there is a slot available on 30th go ahead and book it. My mouth was open when the truth slowly sinked in .. Who was more desperate than me to see me complete this exam..He checked every hour.. Catch that.

I was not so happy with the fact that some one cancelled their date, but found relief on getting one. Well the gist is, I am advising you not to go through this drama, Please book your date in advance.

And about giving only one center for St.Louis sounds just ridiculous to me. Students should not face such a problem. I wish NASBA looks into this.



Thursday, May 31, 2012

Audit report notes

Std Audit Report

Aud preparation Introduction

I started Auditing preparation. I am using Yaegar CPA Review again. I am thinking of sharing my notes along with my posts. Just finished the introductory chapter ..So this is my notes .. Don't worry about my handwriting , it's just fine..I am using bamboo so it looks like I am in kindergarten. Aud Introduction Notes

REG Exam update

Yesterday was my REG Exam. I waited really long before my exam started. Some Prometric senior staff must understand that we are patient but we don't have all the time in the world. I was there 45 minutes before my appointment time but my exam started 15 minutes late, appointment time. I might not have mentioned this if my baby didn't waited for me.

Key points of this exam are :

  1. Some questions repeated twice in same module, same question just answers were at random.(ya! I know the answer)
  2. Same questions repeated in three modules
 Those people who think if they want to guess , answer C, thing , I don't know I was never convinced about that , But looking at this experience you might understand that their questions may be same, but their answers are changing at random. I told you earlier, it is just a small program and their answers can be changed at random. I was right.

About getting same questions in the same module and same questions in three modules. I cannot explain why? May be NASBA should look into this.

Few of Simulations are like can be answered straight forward from what we prepare for exam, but for some I  looked into the Authoritative literature to confirm and do the problem.So for MCQ's don't eat all the time. The recommended 30 min duration for three test-lets is enough and good. Stick to your clock and finish them with in 1and half hour. its okay if you take a few mins more but don't eat up the time more than 5 mins into the sims. Some of your simulations need time. Over all I did well. Don't want to sound like I did amazing but this was better than any of my earlier REG exam. Don't know if it is my feeling..but that's what I am feeling..I did better.I used Yaegar CPA Review for this exam and Thanks Mr.Phil Yaegar .

Again, Don't forget your Government Ids and NTS to exam center. Prometric Appointment confirmation is not required, If you carry that print out, it is a good thing but not necessary. But if you forget your NTS you won't be allowed in.

Prepare well and you will Pass this exam..

Img credits : http://babieswallpaper.blogspot.com/2011/06/cute-baby-girl-thinking-something.html

Saturday, April 14, 2012

REG preparation so far

Preparation with a baby by my side is really different. I am going to share exact facts of my daily preparation. All you mothers out there and people who have very little time to spare, be careful with your preparation. Don't try to be Jack of all trades, its going to make your life really miserable. First priority being able to complete our preparation goals.Babies never ask for permission. They take up your energy and time and of course make you happy too.
Try to reduce your chores to minimum, Learn creative ways to keep your baby engaged or hire a baby sitter. As and when my baby sleeps or busily engaged in playing I turn my book pages to revise and listen to Yeager CPA online Review , I can write my notes or doubts there itself . I prepared a plan , to be honest I revise my plans but I at least know how to proceed. I keep my mind on lesson and listen to Phil's lecture keeping one hand on my baby. I am sharing the picture of Yaegar CPA Review online page so that you can see how it looks.
What ever the situation is I am managing to proceed and study , so never give up friends you can do it ..You can prepare for this exam walking on a treadmill too.. Keep pushing your self.. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not giving up

Sometimes I feel, I don't know when to give up. In fact I am not planning to give up. Why should I give up? But I do understand that I should not repeat same mistakes.And I fully understand the reasons why I failed my previous attempts.
I want to blog and track my preparation so that I know what is important in my life. Though for others, my problems look silly but if it is a problem to me, I will attend to it. I am following Phil Yaegar this time.
I started preparing for REG. First thing I did is to print a calender and filed all required things. I decided to do MCQ's and Simulations every day. I realized irrespective of what ever my preparation is, if I fail to perform well in exam, it doesn't really matter how good I prepared. So this time my strategy is getting myself ready for the exam.
My new Yaegar materials arrived. I will start with Individual Tax. My earlier post on Yaegar preparation http://www.sleeponcpa.com/2010/09/my-yeager-preparation.html

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Death and Birth

Dying is like getting audited by the IRS--something that only happens to other people ... until it happens to you.- JEROME P. CRABB

Last year was really tough  for me. I was pregnant and my dad was sick. I tried my best to keep myself engaged. I prepared for BEC and passed it. But later because of increasing stress my doctor advised me to reduce my stress as less as possible. I couldn't avoid stressing out because of my dad's illness and pregnancy. And in my 7 month of pregnancy my dad passed away. I was in a shock and couldn't even understand what exactly happened. My dad lives in another country and I was not allowed to travel. I wish no body should be in such a position. I didn't saw my dad and probably will never.

Later in October last year I delivered a baby girl and ever since I was a busy new mom. I can't believe how time passed and she is already 4 months old. Everything is so great but inside I am little sad that I lost my AUD credit and didn't passed REG or FAR. I did a minimal preparation and attempted REG and FAR this January and ended up getting 73 and 65 .. Its kind of sad that I am still lingering around 74 and 73 for REG and if it is not my bad preparation, its definitely my bad performance.

I started preparing for REG again. I want to say its not because of any review that I failed. I used Roger CPA Review and Gleim test preparation software but I want to say they are the best. If Roger didn't helped me I don't think I would have landed on 73. But its just my lack of proper preparation I ended up like this. 

This time for preparation I want to change my material and books and everything, just want a change that's it. I chose Yaegar CPA Review this time. And really want this to be my last attempt and I want to do this as my one final attempt. I will do everything to pass.