Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hang in There!

I just got home from work and I know a few of you (maybe more than a few?) are also working late and will continue to work late this week due to a quarter close. Some of you (like me) are at the same time studying for the CPA Exam. Hang in there!

I am currently studying for BEC. This will be the 2nd time I am taking it. I was able to do Business Structure questions on my commute to and from work on Monday and Tuesday, but today I napped on the way in and couldn't study on the way home. Tomorrow morning, I plan to start doing IT questions. I already know I will be working late tomorrow night, so I doubt I will have time to study. I tried to plan my studying in advance, so I am not disappointed – any studying that I can squeeze in will be great.

I have found the following to be good ways to study during work (I should say work breaks):
- Bring your book and lunch to work so you can easily study and eat lunch at your desk or work cafeteria, outdoors bench, etc.

- Bring note cards or notes written on regular paper (a legal pad is even better) that you can leave on your desk to glance at and it will look like you are working (sneaky but effective)

- E-mail yourself notes in Word that you can open on your computer, read, and think about (good for memorizing definitions)

- Try to structure what you are studying with what you are doing at work. For example, if you have to create a capital lease schedule, read that chapter in your FAR book and use a GAAP guide for more details. I have found this effective since you learn by doing.
The most important thing is to only show your book when it is clear you are on a break (lunch or otherwise). You don’t want people to think you are studying when you should be working. Your superiors want you to pass, but won’t be thrilled if you study on company time.

I also wanted to let you know that I have written a handful of posts but haven’t had time to post them. It’s amazing how I can write these things fairly easily, but I can’t get to my computer. I have posts written in my phone (in Word mobile), on scraps of paper in my purse, and in a journal notebook. I have to get them posted! I also have a delicious soup recipe that I made last week.

How are you dealing with a crazy work/school and study schedule? Feel free to vent!


  1. Good idea on referring to CPA review materials as you do work!

  2. Perfect advice... Hang In There!
    Regarding handling crazy work demands as well as preparing for the exam... I force myself to take a lunch break regardless of how busy I get, and study during lunch. I am lucky we have a few nice conference rooms at work. [Obviously, I like to bring lunch - because I am frugal like that!] Depending on how tired I am, I try to squeeze in a few minutes of study before I sleep. I also find (audio) CDs helpful to listen to as I drive to/from work.

  3. Thanks Steve! That's a good idea. I used to study in a conference room for an hour after work at a previous job (it was easier to focus than studying at my desk - I would see something and start working on it). Nowadays at this job, my desk is cleaned off (well not this week) and I lock my computer so I can't check e-mail.

  4. Great advice! You should definitely not read my blog about accounting life here:

    I wouldn't want to make you cynical!

    Great blog (speaking as an accountant who loves to eat).


  5. Thanks Bill!
    It's a little too late - I'm already cynical. I have been working in Accounting for almost 10 years (not including internships back in college). I will definitely check out your blog.