Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nervous to Study?

Maybe I’m a strange person, but I equate studying for a part of the CPA Exam you haven’t taken in years to dating after you haven’t dated for a long time. I last took Audit in 2001, back when it was a pen and paper exam. I passed it along with Law (now known as BEC and the Law content was moved to REG) back when you had to pass your first 2 parts at once in order for them to count in New York.

Since then, I have worked as an auditor and internal auditor. I have also led the implementation of Sarbanes Oxley Act 404 at one company and was part of a team at another company more recently. Will I be able to pass based on what I remember through work, as I had done back then?

Yeah, right. Audit has changed so much since I was an auditor. The only thing that would be familiar to me would be SOX. The CPA Exam being what it is, I know that I can’t rely on my knowledge and study lightly (as I did back in 2001).

I learned my lesson with FAR. I wrote financial statements from scratch at one company and was the FASB “go-to person” but I still couldn't pass FAR. So I studied the hardest I had ever studied in my life to finally pass it.

So I plan to approach this as if studying for something I haven’t taken in years, rather than a subject I know very well. I haven’t even seen what AUD looks like since it became a computerized CPA Exam, so I am nervous. I don’t know what to expect. I will have to check out the AICPA’s website for a tutorial and sample questions.

Definitely like starting fresh. Similar to a blind date perhaps?

Have you had to re-take a part of the CPA Exam that you had previously passed a while ago but lost credits for? I’d love to hear your input!

Cooking Tips: Freezing Poultry and Meat

In this economy, it makes sense to buy poultry and meat in bulk since the prices for family packs are usually cheaper per pound. This strategy can backfire, however, if you don’t use the items right away and they go to waste.

Earlier today, I used half a package of chicken cutlets for dinner and froze the rest, since I know I won’t use it until next week. All I have to do is take it out of the freezer, unwrap it and place it in the refrigerator the night before I want to cook it (this way I don’t have to worry about taking it out in the morning). It will defrost and be ready to cook that evening.

The best way I have found to freeze poultry or meat is as follows:
- Wrap the package in plastic wrap to make sure the package is sealed
- Cover it with aluminum foil
- Put it into a plastic freezer bag
- Use a sharpie marker to label the bag with the name of the item and the date you are freezing it

I have heard that you should remove the butcher’s plastic wrap and wrap *each* item with plastic wrap to prevent air from getting into the food and causing freezer burn. I would heed that advice if you are freezing the item for an extended period of time. I freeze poultry and meat for a month at the most and I have never encountered freezer burn using my method.

Do you think it’s economical to buy in bulk and freeze? Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Madness of the CPA Exam

Have you ever taken a part CPA Exam and thought you passed but ended up failing?

It happened to me on Monday.

I was anxiously waiting to check my grade on Monday morning. I expected to have cleared 2 out of 4 parts. I thought with FAR and REG out of the way (and I took BEC last week), I only have AUD to go in April. I would be a CPA in May. I was so happy and thought finally this test is going my way.

But instead I wanted to cry (and I did) when I saw my failing grade.

What made it a hundred times worse is that it was the SAME EXACT grade I had the last time I took it!

How could it be? I studied many more hours and understood the material so much better this time. How is it possible that you could know so much after studying and taking an exam - I mean enough to believe you can teach it to someone - and end up failing? When other people ask me this I say "Welcome to the CPA Exam." When I say it, I think "There must be something wrong here. Did I enter the wrong NTS?"

Nope. The NTS number was correct. It is what it is, so I am going to have to get over it and start studying for the next part in April. This part I will re-take in May.

Have you had a similar, frustrating experience taking the Exam? Please leave a comment!

Lemon Chicken Cutlets - Simple or Extravagant?

I have on hand a family pack of boneless thin-sliced chicken cutlets and I don't know if I should go with a simple recipe or something more involved. I am going to use half tonight and save the rest for tomorrow or freeze it. Yes, they cost a little more than regular chicken cutlets, but they save time because you don't have to clean and fillet them. I also think in the end they cost the same after considering the weight of the fat and undesirable pieces that are discarded from the regular cutlets.

Depending on the amount of time I have tonight, I might stick with my trusted simple recipe, modified from my mom's recipe.

Let me know if you like my simple chicken recipe!
Kali Orexi

Welcome to The Cooking Accountant's Blog!

I'd like to introduce myself -

I am an accountant who loves to cook (in the kitchen, not the books). So I figured why not combine 3 of my favorite things: writing, cooking and accounting - well, maybe accounting is not that much of a favorite.

Currently, I am seeking employment as an Accounting Manager / Assistant Controller since I lost my job due to company-wide layoffs. Considering that the job market is slow, I decided to start studying for the CPA Exam until it recovers and to devote more time than usual to providing financial planning and tax services to my friends and family. This time off has also given me the opportunity to indulge in my passion for cooking.

My original idea is to blog daily about what I am cooking for dinner that night and post the recipe and my tips and techniques. I will also write about my accomplishments and setbacks as I search for a job in this tough market and try to pass the CPA Exam.

Hopefully, you will find this interesting.