Balance your life
Regional Budgeting and Financial Controller
I graduated from the Lebanese American University (LAU) with a major in finance and minor in accounting and joined one of the Big Four firms. At that time, I had the chance to continue my education and enroll in a full scholarship MBA at LAU, which I did while working. After completing my MBA and getting a taste for auditing field work, I decided to distinguish myself from other colleagues by earning my CPA license.
A good friend and fellow CPA introduced me to the Morgan team, a group that offered the Becker CPA review course, and provided me all the information I needed for the CPA Exam (such as how to get registered and obtain my Notice to Schedule).
Planning for the Exam
I planned to finish all four parts of the CPA Exam over the course of nine months, starting in the summer of 2013. My goal was to get licensed as soon as possible. I also wanted to be able to enjoy the next summer. I knew that the financials and regulation exams are the hardest and longest, so I budgeted two months to study for those two parts.
Going into my exam prep, I was confident and knew that any question that I faced and was unable to answer would probably be as difficult to everyone else taking the exam with me. Moreover, I knew that each exam includes 12 to 15 ungraded multiple choice questions (depending on the section) and one ungraded simulation.
How I Studied
I watched all the videos on the Becker system and completed the homework of each chapter three times along with around 13 progress tests (100 questions from all chapters). The hardest part for me was the commitment and discipline required to study this much material in such a short period of time.
The First Section
I decided to take Financial Accounting and Reporting (or FAR) first, and I over-studied. I knew the entire book by heart! I entered the exam confident I would score a high 90. However, I faced really difficult simulations but still managed to score an 86.
Taking the Rest
After passing my first section, I decided to take what I considered hardest section next — for me, this was Regulation (REG). I actually enjoyed studying for REG! With a lot of progress tests, I entered the exam confident I would pass. I found the remaining two sections to be quite easy. I studied for AUD and BEC in one month without taking any leaves from work and passed all exams on my first attempt.
The more you practice, the more confident you are. Practice makes perfect, do a lot of progress tests and you’ll be fine!