Sunday, August 28, 2011

Plan A, B, and C

I could easily sit here and be depressed and have this woe is me attitude but I will not, I'm not going to have a pity party and complaining takes too much time. Instead I've decided on my action plan.

I will be calling Prometric first thing tomorrow. I'm hoping the testing window will get extended until the second week of September. If it does then I will be taking FAR during the second week. This week isn't a good time to take FAR because I have plans. May sound crazy but thinking about FAR wasn't in my plans. I'm going away mid week and I have a ton of things to do related to that, I'm not going to add more stress to my week, I'm trying to live a stress free as possible life. I feel like I have a good grasp on FAR. I took some quizzes today and I was scoring in the 80's and 90's. I definitely want to work on some more sims but other than that I feel good.

Now if NASBA doesn't extend the window I will have no choice but to take FAR until 10/1. Wasn't in my plan but hey I gotta deal with it. If I take FAR on 10/1 I will be taking Audit before 11/15. That means that I will be starting my Audit study in about 2 weeks.

So yeah at this point it time my situation is not the best but hey it could be worst....

Friday, August 26, 2011

???????? Days Until FAR

Well thanks to Hurricane Irene Prometric is closed on Sunday. I'm totally clueless on whats going to happen because the lines to NASBA and Prometric are either busy or closed.

My feelings are bitter sweet. Happy because that means more study time but sad because I just want to get this over with. I'm taking a break from it all tonight and tomorrow I will be calling Prometric and studying.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3 Days Until FAR.... I think??

Ok so Hurricane Irene is trying to mess up my flow, at least temporarily it is.

I called Prometric today and the testing center has a strong possiblity of being closed on Sunday ( I have to call back tomorrow).

At first I was a little upset but an extra day of studying would be great. There is no way I'm waiting until next window while all of this is fresh in my brain. My prayer is that I get to take the exam on Monday. I'm actually flying out of town on Wednesday so Monday would be perfect since it give me one day to prepare for my travels. So we shall see.....

Anyway on to the good stuff

So as of tonight I have done quizzes on every single chapter in Becker. I've also answered 1141 Becker questions alone. As far as Wiley questions I would estimate around 350 questions. The Becker questions do not count the quizzes I've taken so if I had to give my best estimate in all it would be around 1700 questions (OMG!!!!) I've also done a ton of sims.

Of course there are areas I want to read on but as far as doing a boat load of questions, I'm going to keep that to a minimum. I need to save my brain power for test day,

So of course I'll be back with another update tomorrow...and hopefully a confirmed test date.

FAR Notes- Indirect Method of Cash Flows- Hope it Helps

So today some light bulbs when off and I thought that I would share. While working some practice questions with cash flows I could not rationalize how to figure out the reconciliation to cash. I kept getting mixed up on what to add and subtract when trying to back out certain things from net income (you know the indirect method)

This is one of the problems I got stuck on

Sooooooo this is how I figured it out and then it all made sense. First let me tell you that journal entries are your friends. If you know what side to put a increase and decrease on you already know the answer.

So here it is

Accts Receivable increased by $6000 Dr. Accounts Receivable $6000

Allowance Uncoll Acct Increased $200 Cr. Allowance $200

(remember allowance is a contra rec so its a normal credit balance. Increases are Cr. decreases are Dr.

Prepaid Rent Decreases by $4200 Cr. Prepaid Expense $4200

(this is where I was getting confused. I couldnt understand the effect on cash and what direction it should go since its a prepaid)

Accounts Payable Increases $3000 Cr. Accounts Payable $3000

Now I know what your saying, the entry doesn't balance and yes your correct but setting up the j/e will show you what to add and what to subtract from net income. Net Income has a normal credit balance so you add all the credits to Net Income and Subtract the Debits. And your answer is

$150,000+$3000+4200+200-6000 = $151,400

Hope that helped!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

4 Days Until FAR

Tonight started off pretty bad. Seems like I was getting everything wrong. I got so frustrated and felt like screaming. However by the end of the night I was scoring in the high 70's to low 80's. Some sections have high 60's but I'm going to review those again. Honestly as a CPA candidate you will never feel 100% ready, and you won't master everything but you just need to be familiar with alot of topics, so you might as well just do your best and put your all and then pray for the best. That's what I'm going to do.

Tonight I did practice quizzes on F2-5. My weakest area was F2, 1 hour later and some dumb mistakes I know look out for. I feel that if I get in at least another 2 days of full studying I'll be prepared enough to pass. Tonight I put in about 4.5 hours. Tomorrow I plan to put in atleast 8 hours, Friday 4-5 hours and Saturday I will only be re-reading sims and text and relaxing. No questions. I need to save all my brain power for Sunday.

And that's todays update....

p.s. I think tomorrow is going to be a great study day I have a feeling my update will be 10 times better

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5 Days Until.FAR

Please forgive me...I'm drained...all I will say is that I did A LOT memory is more and more refreshed and to top it off I will be working a half day on Thursday so I can come home and study. Never thought I would be this happy to study


The Life of A CPA Candidate

Until Tomorrow

Oh and P.S. I hope todays earthquake is shaking some favor in my direction ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

6 Days Until FAR

I'm beyond exhausted. My brain is fried and back is killing me. Ive been up since 5:30 am. I did 4 TBS's and I did bonds and other ransom questions at work.

I also reviewed my Wiley focus notes on the train.

Came home and did a ton of Govt questions...the results weren't too bad. I've actually learned a lot.

Now NFP that's another story. I blame that on just doing the questions and no reading. I'm going to get up at 5:30 tomorrow to turn that around.

6 days and I pray to be 75% CPA!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

7 Days Until FAR

I'm baaaackk....with another FAR update of course.

I woke up today at 7:30am. I started the day off with business consolidations. Im glad I took my time with it. I feel better about this section but there is still a area that confuses the mess out of me (elimination of intercompany  profit). I have to look at this again.

I did two quizzes on Marketable Securities and Business Combos. I scored well on Marketable Securities and business Combos would have been equally as high if I didn't get confused with NCI's but I have that under control now.

I also did 2 sims on business Combos.

Next up I did about 80 questions on Govt. Tomorrow I want to be done with NFP and Govt. Then I will be doing Sims and random Q"s for the rest of the week. I think I will be OK. Just gotta stay on track.

Tomorrow I will be waking up at 6am to get in 2 sims before work. I haven't decided what section yet. I'm also going to be doing sims on the train and questions.

And thats todays update..

See you tomorrow

Saturday, August 20, 2011

8 Days Until FAR

I started my day early. I woke up at 7:30 am and made my way to Whole Foods to study. I know Whole Foods may seem unconventional but they have a huge cafe that is much quieter and cleaner then other places Ive been. I also wanted to go there because I wanted a change of scenery.

I finished up my review of Inventory as well as I started my review of consolidations. I thought I would get more covered there but honestly those inventory questions took forever and it wore me out. I also managed to complete questions on acquisitions. In total I stayed there for 5 hours.

Later (after some much needed retail therapy) I came home and read my notes on consolidations. I did more questions on those. Next I finished the night with re reading some of my notes on Govt.

Tomorrow I MUST do some consolidation.sims and do Wiley questions on consolidations. I must also get through atleast half of the Becker MCQ'S on GOVT and NFP.

And that's todays update.

Side note... (in a way I'm glad that I have sufficient.time to review. Although I complain that I want this to be over, there is NO WAY IN HELL, I would remember this stuff if I.didn't go over it multiple times). So yes its good to CRAM but FAR is on another level.

My overall goal is to be in heavy random MCQ mode by Tuesday. YIKES!

UNTIL tomorrow

Friday, August 19, 2011

9 Days Until FAR

I must say that today was quite productive.

I finished the Wiley fixed asset questions.
I also finished the Wiley Monetary Liabilities questions. I also took notes on that section.
I listened to audio lectures on Government. I also did a ton of sims.

Oh just a disclaimer. I'm doing the Yaeger minimum questions in Wiley. Between this and doing ALL the Becker questions twice I feel I will be in good shape.

I've also circled the questions I got wrong so I can review those next week when I'm closer to test date.

Doing questions over and over is the key. Sometimes I will get to a section and I briefly forgot how to do the question but then I will replay the steps in my memory and BAM! I get a idea of atleast how to start the question.

Before I go to bed I may briefly run through the Govt and NFP Becker text. Tomorrow I plan on finishing up inventory and business consolidations and then finishing the day with Govt and NFP questions and Sims.

Well that's my update for today. Until tomorrow

Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 Days Until FAR

This update is going to be so quick I would suggest you read it quick before you miss it.

Today I went over fixed assets and Non Monetary Exchanges. I went over a few questions.

I also did questions on ratios

Tomorrow I wil finish up the fixed assets on the train ride to work and I will do fixed asset during lunch. Tomorrow I plan on doing Becker quizzes and watching the Roger Cram on consolidations.

I'm feeling better every day.

See ya tomorrow

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I know its been a while since I posted a study tip. I usually post them as they come to mind. So todays tip is.......


Basically don't do a half ass job of studying. You have to be focused. No distractions. The amount of info that can be retained when you have absolute focus is unimaginable to when your not focused. Also, don't study when you feel like your going to pass out from lack sleep. Take a QUICK nap. Notice I said quick.  Study on a refreshed mind

Remember you have to put the time in to pass.

11 days until FAR

Before I pass out due to my extreme desire to go to is my progress:

I finished the deferred  taxes questions ...all 61... didn't do all that  great but I learned a lot from my mistakes... I think I will be ok. I need to do 2 sims from this section to be on the safe side.

I went over segment reporting and some accrued liability questions.

I listened to audio lectures today on random topics to keep my memory fresh.

I wrote out note cards on my train ride to work and answered MCQ'S during my lunch break. I plan on doing the same tomorrow.

Regarding videos tomorrow I will watch more of the Cram (don't have that much to do). I'm also going to re-read my notes on Govt and NFP. For some reason I have a strong feeling I will get a Sim from either of the two.

Well that is all for the night...until tomorrow

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

12 Days Until FAR

In keeping with my promise here is what I did today:

I went over error corrections and changes
I went over partnerships
I did 5 simulations
I wrote note cards
I answered more MCQ'S
I did 2 research questions
I reviewed components of the Income Statement and IFRS.
Finished up Cash Flows (which I did MUCH better on)
Did 3 stock holders equity sims..(which I did well on also, however I still need to do one over that I bombed on).

Overall I'm happy with my progress. Deferred Taxes is going to take me atleast another day to get through since there are so many questions. I don't want to rush through the questions I need to fully understand the reasoning behind the answers and the mistakes that I'm making. Since I've squeezed in some simulations today I can definitely finish up the cram this weekend since the other videos are shorter than the ones I've already covered.

See ya tomorrow with another update.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bad Blogger I am

Yes I'm a bad blogger, but I have a good excuse. You know how it is when life gets in the way and then your trying to study. So yeah that's me...but enough about that, lets get down to business.

So FAR is in 13 days (shivers). In 13 days I hopefully be 75% CPA. I'm doing everything in my power to be, including taking days off from work, no extra curricular activities and virtually no TV time. But in 14 days I will be able to do all of that right???

Here is where I'm at:

1) I've went through all of the material twice and I have gone through most of the questions twice.
2) I've done some TBS's but that is going to be my focus starting Thursday throughout next weekend. Next Saturday and Sunday is TBS day. I will go through at least 3 TBS's from each section. I will take notes on all the key points.

The topics I need to drill down on are

1) Liabilities and Accruals (Go thru Becker's MCQ's and take more notes)
2) Non Monetary Exchanges (do more MCQ's)
3) CASH FLOWS!!!! (Go thru all the MCQ's)
4) Bonds (do more MCQ's)
5) Pensions (do more MCQ's)
6) Long Term Construction Contracts (do more MCQ's)
7) Goodwill
8) Partnerships (Bonus and Goodwill methods, just refresh my memory)
9) Non Controlling Interests (Partial and Full Goodwill some extra MCQ's)
10) Leases (Do a quick run thru of random MCQ's)
11) Ratios (a quick run thru)

That seems like a lot but if I would have made a list last week it would be double in size.

To hold myself accountable I'm going to be updating daily until 8/27. Yes I know I said this before but I'm giving it a shot. Like my good ol friend Nano I think this is a great way to stay on track and hold yourself accountable. Since my last post I've been staying pretty much on track with no real slacking however these last couple of days are crunch time.

I have the Roger Cram for FAR and I'm definitely liking it. He has made the light bulb go off on cash flows, bonds and leases. I haven't watched all of his videos because some sections I'm comfortable with, HOWEVER my plan is to watch the sections that I haven't. How I'm going to fit that in is a mystery but I gotta make it work.

I will say that I definitely had to go through the questions a second time. If I didn't there is no way I would remember this stuff. It would be a miracle if I could get through the questions three times but at least twice is a must. Initially I was saying I would go through the Becker and Wiley questions more than once but I realized that there is significant overlap between the two so for right now I'm focusing on the Becker questions. I can see my performance right on my computer and I don't have to manually calculate how I'm doing, Since I'm in a time crunch every little second counts.

For everyone out there studying, GOOD LUCK!!! Just know that we are all going through the same thing and we are all on the same journey. The difference is the hours and commitment that we put into passing.

So with that said, I will continue studying for at least another 5-6 hours and I will be back at it again tomorrow.

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