Preparing for the CPA, or certified public accountant, exam is a very lengthy process that starts the moment you enroll in your degree program to study accounting. From there, you will spend years learning the basics of accounting practices and procedures, until finally your graduation semester arrives with all of its attendant joys and new challenges. One of those new challenges is the exam that you yet have in front of you - the CPA exam. Preparing for the CPA exam is not for the faint of heart as any CPA will tell you. Even though you have spent four and sometimes five years studying accounting, many aspiring CPA's still elect to take an exam preparation course to help them refresh their memories, and this is a wise move for an exam that is known both for its difficulty and for the entre it gives successful exam takers into the lucrative world of CPA licensure. With a CPA license you can do people's taxes, start your own business or joining a CPA business, and finally begin to make income from your years of study, preparation and education. Learn how to best prepare for the CPA exam and choose the tips that work best for your needs.
The CPA exam certifies that the people who are doing other people's taxes are qualified and licensed to do so by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) cites the CPA exam as one of their "three C's" of becoming a CPA. The other two C's are education and experience.
The first step you will need to take is to register to take the exam. The CPA exam is only offered during certain times each year so you will need to find out when the exam is offered in your area and make your plans accordingly. You will need to register for the exam through your state board of accountancy and you should do so early, because it can take your state agency some time to review and process your application before granting you a test date.
The next step is to prepare to take the exam. To do this, you can either simply study your textbooks and coursework to prepare, or you can purchase a book, DVD set, or review course to prepare. If you are pressed for time, a review course may be the most efficient option because it will give you specific guided review lessons through a self-paced system that will let you plan for the time you have each week to study for the CPA exam. Some highly rated CPA exam review courses include the Becker review, the Yaeger review, the Bisk review, the Wiley review, the Gleim review, the Lambers review, the Rogers review, the Kaplan review, CPA excel, and CPA Review for Free. Many of the courses are taught by their founders, and some come with online or in-person learning while others feature books, discussion forums, videos, and even iPod audio courses.