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Yaeger CPA Review – Any Good?

March 3rd, 2008
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Things are moving along nicely.  A couple things happened since my last blog entry.

First of all, I’ve been doing some research on cpa review courses.  The most popular ones I could find were Yaeger, Becker, Bisk, Roger, and Gleim.  I spent a couple days just doing straight reading online to see what people’s experiences have been with these cpa review courses.  I was using cpa Becker Review before and didn’t find it too helpful so Becker was out.  People’s opinions on both Gleim and Bisk were mixed – some liked them some didn’t.  For the next couple days I debated between Roger and Yaeger.  They both got good reviews and people that have used them seemed to have gotten good results in terms of exam scores, which is all that really matters to me.

In the end I decided on the Yaeger cpa review course because more people have used it (people talk about it more than they do other review courses) so to me it seems that they’d be more reliable.  A bonus is that it’s cheaper.  Not that I really care because at this point I’d gladly pay more to pass the cpa exam and put it behind me in as short a time as possible, but I didn’t mind not having to pay more than I had to.

I actually called the number on the Yaeger website and talked to Phil Yaeger himself!  That was a complete surprise.  I thought I’d get one of his “people”, but instead I got to talk to the guy himself.  He gave me some pointers on how to prepare for the cpa exam.  For example, he suggested that I spend at least 3 months studying each of REG and FAR and 2 months on BEC, since I’d be working full-time.  We must have spent a good half hour on the phone and in the end he said to call back anytime I had a question.  I was quite impressed – yet another reason for me to choose Yaeger.  After our phone call I went ahead and purchased the Yaeger Complete Homestudy Course.

Also, I sent a mass email to my co-workers asking if they or anybody they knew were also trying to pass the cpa exam and whether they wanted to study together.  I found 2 people who lived within a 15 minute drive from me and we’ve set up a tentative study schedule.  Although we’re all studying different sections (I’m starting with REG, and they’re studying AUD and FAR respectively), we should still able to figure out things together and give each other encouragement when the going gets tough, which is what I need more than anything at this point.

Lastly, I received my NTS some time ago and had the 3 cpa exams scheduled (keeping in mind the study timeline from Mr. Yaeger).  Here are the dates:

REG 5/23/2008

BEC 8/29/2008

FAR 11/18/2008

I know I’m not devoting a whole 3 months to REG like Dr. Yaeger I should, but I want to do the REG ASAP because that was the last section I took and I want to re-sit that exam before I forget everything.

The course is set – I just need to keep my head down, stay focused, and pass all three cpa exams in time for Christmas.

That would make this Christmas the best EVER!

Wish me lots of luck!

David

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Average CPA Salary – How Much Does a CPA Make?

February 1st, 2012

One of the main reasons why many accountants choose to become qualified as a CPA is the higher salary associated with the CPA title. Just how much DO CPAs make? According to Payscale.com, the average CPA salary for a CPA working in the United States ranges from $39,668 – $89,973 per year.

This is a wide range, and the variance can be attributed to many factors, such as the particular company, job location, the candidate’s work experience and level of education, the industry the job is in, and the particular work position and duties.

If you are an accountant or accounting student considering getting CPA certified, you’d probably want to know how much MORE money you can expect to make after you become a CPA. The answer, according to ThisWayToCPA.com, is 10-15%.

Exactly how much is 10-15%? Well, if you’re a Jr. level public accountant with 1-3 years of work experience, working for a small firm, with your current salary being $50,000, then you can expect to be making $55,000 – $57,500 after getting your CPA license. And of course, as your work experience increases, your salary should increase accordingly, which would make the 10-15% translate into increasingly larger amounts.

You may also be interested in knowing the following trends with regards to CPA salary data for the United States:

-The average salary of a CPA varies from city to city, with New York paying the highest salaries ($63,067 being the median), followed by Chicago ($61,963), Los Angeles ($60,300), Boston ($60,248), Houston ($60,181), Dallas ($59,738), and Atlanta ($54,718).

-Generally speaking, CPAs earn more than the other types of accountants. For example, a senior tax accountant with 20+ years of work experience makes around $60,000 – $85,000 a year, whereas a CPA with the same level of experience makes $65,000 – $110,000 a year.
(Source: http://blogs.payscale.com/salary_report_kris_cowan/2010/04/cpa-salaries.html)

However, a salary increase isn’t the only perk you will enjoy as a fully licensed CPA. Aside from salary considerations, you should also know that being CPA licensed comes with it additional job security, as well as more career path choices, in your future working years. According to the AICPA, 75% of the currently working CPAs are expected to retire in the next 15 years, many of them occupying upper management positions such as CEO/CFO positions. What this means is that by getting your CPA early on, you’d be significantly increasing your chances of getting into management later.
You may have heard many people say that the CPA exam is very hard to pass, and therefore you may be tempted to put this monstrous task on hold. I’ve got one piece of advice for you: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! The earlier you get started on preparing for the CPA exam, the less time and effort it will take you, because 1)the longer the you wait after graduating from school the more academic materials you will forget and have to relearn, and 2)the older you get the longer it will take you to study and learn materials, and your ability to retain the knowledge you learn will decrease with your age.
So, don’t put it off any longer!

You know you want to become a CPA, so you may as well start today by getting yourself a good, solid, and comprehensive CPA review course. Click here for recommendations of CPA review courses. To see one of the few genuine Yaeger CPA Review Reviews you can find online, go here.

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Choosing a CPA Exam Review Course

September 13th, 2011
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A lot of people who are currently doing their studies to become a CPA – Certified Public Accountant will use a CPA review course that will make preparing for the exam a lot easier. There are good reasons for that: a quality review course is going to reduce the amount of time spent studying and also increase the candidate’s chances of succeeding in the CPA exam. While there are plenty of different CPA review courses available right now it can sometimes be quite hard to select one that will allow you to do both these things. Here are some things that you need to take under consideration when you are selecting a CPA exam review course:

The Materials of the Course

Even if all of the courses will go through the same accounting concepts, each instructor will have a different way of providing the explanations. The best review courses are the ones that are taught by instructors that are able to explain difficult topics in a way that will be easy for everyone to understand. In order to increase the efficiency of the whole course, a good instructor is one which will focus more attention on concepts that are difficult while just lightly reviewing the ones that are pretty easy to understand. Some of the best CPA review courses are going to have samples of lectures available that you can listen to before you make a decision as to whether you will buy the course or not. There are some other ways that you can check out the quality of a CPA review course: take a look at discussion forums that deal with CPA exam preparation and also sites that review products. You will then be able to read the opinion of various people and read what they have to say about a certain course.

The lectures themselves can come in various formats and media like DVDs, a USB drive, recorded webcasts or live presentations. When you evaluate the course, you should consider the media that it comes in to determine whether it would be practical for you.

When you are thinking of buying a review course, you need to check whether there is any expiry date for the course materials. In some courses, there will be parts that will only be available for a limited amount of time after you activate the course. To avoid this, you should look for software which does not require you to be connected to the internet and will therefore not expire. If you do purchase an online course and it has an expiration date, be sure that you are given enough time for you to go through all the course materials before the expiry date.

The Practice Questions

Once you are done studying the materials required for the course, very often you are provided with some practice questions that allow you to put in practice what you have learned in specific case scenarios.

There are plenty of approaches when it comes to practice questions and they will differ depending on which CPA review course you use. Some will take an approach that is more complete and will ask you to answer every question that has a possibility of being found on the CPA exam. While this will give you ample amounts of practice, it will also be quite time consuming. There are plenty of students who do not have enough time to go through all the questions and never actually finish them, which will leave them poorly prepared when the actual exam comes around.

Conversely there are certain review courses which just don’t give you a sufficient amount of practice questions to correctly prepare yourself for the CPA exam. Now this is obviously a situation that you would not want to be in either.

The best CPA review course will be one which only has the questions that are more likely to be on the actual exam. Course creators will analyze past exam questions and then include the ones that are the most frequently found on the exam in their course. That way, you will optimize the time that you spend preparing for the exam as you will be focusing on the questions which will be the most important for the exam.

Support For Students

The amount of support that you will be provided with will depend on the course that you buy. If you are someone that would like to ask questions to an instructor over the phone, you will need to select a course that offers it. There are various levels of support provided by courses, some will only give you very minimal support, some let you email questions to instructors while others have full level support that allows you to call an instructor. Certain courses make a message board available where students can share information with others and talk to instructors. Before you select a specific course, ensure that the support level provided is adequate for your needs.

How Often the Course is Updated

There are sometimes changes to regulations and laws regarding the accounting profession. Therefore, CPA exam review courses will need to be updated often to reflect these changes. Make sure that the course that you are buying is complete and up to date.

Of course, there is always the price factor. But when selecting a course, you are much better off buying a quality course rather than a cheap one. The results will pay off when you get your CPA certification. Remember that the pass rate for the CPA exam is less than 50% and you do not want to lose time having to study again and re do the exam because the course you were using was inadequate.

If you’re looking for a cpa review course that satisfies all of these criteria and more, do check out Yaeger CPA Review. You can find out more about this course here.