Tuesday, April 7, 2020

I Passed the CPA Exam... and that's why the world is ending

I Passed the CPA Exam...
If you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog, you’ll remember I started writing in 2009 when I was looking for a new job and taking the CPA Exam. I first started taking the Exam in 2000 (20 years ago!), back when it was a pencil and paper exam. In these 20 years, the Exam has changed to become computerized, and many areas of Accounting and Tax have changed as well.

In 2018, I started studying again using the Wiley Platinum CPA Review course (link), which I highly recommend (Note: this is NOT an affiliated post at the time of publishing). The videos were very helpful for someone like me who hasn’t taken accounting classes in a long time. The professors explain the differences between old and new concepts. With REG, they compare TCJA changes to the old tax laws. For FAR, they explain changes in GASB and FASB pronouncements. They also offer an app that includes flashcards and a test bank to quiz yourself. I can’t say enough about how great this course has been for me.

The order I took the parts of the CPA Exam was: BEC, REG (failed), AUD, REG (retake), FAR. I found out that I passed FAR just days before my BEC credit expired and days before our state went into lockdown. Talk about down to the wire!

…and that's why the world is ending
It's only been 3 weeks, but it feels like a lifetime ago.

I did not celebrate passing the CPA Exam because New York was body-slammed by the Covid-19 virus and we have been under lockdown at home. In my NYC suburb, I hear the sirens all afternoon from the volunteer firehouse whose ambulance is picking up the 911 calls when the system gets swamped. It’s a constant reminder that something is terribly wrong outside. As bad as this is, it's much, much worse in some the 5 boroughs of NYC where the hospitals are full, and the people are very sick. The virus has reached our family and friends and affected our daily lives. Every day, I pray that the ones who are sick will recover soon and that the rest of us stay healthy.

A few weeks ago, I wrote several letters to CEOs of companies in other states pleading for their help in making the essential gear that nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and first responders are running out of (PPE – personal protective equipment). I called and wrote to my Representatives to ask the President to enact the Defense Production Act (DPA), which would compel companies to manufacture the needed goods and equipment (instead of volunteering to make few quantities of them). There are mechanisms for the Federal government to use in a national emergency that they are refusing to use, and I am extremely disappointed in their inadequate response.

While my State, Country, and the World are dying, my own Representative and the Federal government are instead engaged in political nonsense instead of helping the Governor and hospitals save lives. A Representative from upstate is even refusing to temporarily lend downstate hospitals equipment. The lack of empathy and common sense during this pandemic is just ridiculous.

However, there is a bright spot in all this insanity. Some Governors, led by the Governor of Oregon, are lending our hospitals the much-needed equipment to treat people afflicted with this virus. I am so grateful and will never forget the example she set by helping us. As our Governor said, New Yorkers are the first ones to help. We never forgot the generosity of people that helped us after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and I along with many, many other New Yorkers gave supplies to help the people of Houston, TX after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. That is what New Yorkers do. We remember and we help.

I'll close this post with a few lines from a Jay-Z song (U Don't Know) that matches my mood lately. How are you guys doing? I hope you and your families stay healthy and safe throughout this pandemic. And to my fellow New Yorkers, WE WILL NOT LOSE, EVER.


Jay-Z (U Don't know)
(See AZ Lyrics for the full song lyrics)

M*****f***er - I, will, not, lose

"You don't know.. what you're doing, doing, doing, doing.."
Put somethin on it

I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in h*ll
I am a hustler baby, I'll sell water to a well
I was born to get cake, move on and switch states
Cop the Coupe with the roof gone and switch plates
Was born to dictate, never follow orders
D***face, get your sh*t straight, f**ka this is Big Jay
I.. hahahaha..

"You don't know.. what you're doing, doing, doing, doing.."
.. will, not, lose, ever.. F**KA!

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