Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CPA Exam Study Progress so FAR: Feeling Out of Touch with the Material and a Cram Course to the Rescue

I am not one to complain about feeling old and out of touch since I usually feel young at heart (I wore Hello Kitty and Star Wars bandages this week). And I know that it’s perfectly normal for financial accounting rules to change over the years. But when the fundamentals change, it can cause some fright and panic. Even scarier, it can make you feel out of touch with the material.

If you haven’t taken FAR yet this year and you are like me (more than 10 years out of school and haven’t worked in public accounting for a few years), here are some changes you will notice while studying for FAR in 2011:

  • Forget SFAS 109 Accounting for Income Taxes; it is now known as ASC Topic 740 – Income Taxes (check out this link explaining the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC))
  • You have to know the rules for IFRS vs. US GAAP
  • You also have to note the differences between the FASB Conceptual Framework and the IASB Framework
As I am slowly progressing through my FAR studies (I’m working on Financial Statements this week), I can’t help but feel a bit out of the loop on certain rules. Things I had learned in school, as an auditor or while preparing financials for a public company have all changed. It’s like the ground has shifted underneath me. I am getting through the material, but I just need some reinforcement.

In order to kick things up a notch, I decided to order the Roger CPA Review Cram Course to supplement the Yaeger course that I have been using for FAR. I have used a Roger Cram Course for REG before and he did a good job explaining difficult concepts, so hopefully, this will help. I expect to receive the Cram later this week and will be sure to write something about it.

What has helped you get back in touch with the material when you’ve felt lost studying new or significantly changed topics?

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