Did your job help prepare you for the exam?

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  • #3138348
    Big Tasty

    I currently have an AP role and even though I have accounting in my title, my job has nothing at all to do with “real” accounting. I don’t do anything with the chart of accounts, bonds, depreciation, leases, nothing at all that I am trying to learn in FAR. I work for a large company and basically I answer questions all day that have to do with our company’s systems and people not being able to follow directions. I’m struggling hard with FAR right now. Made it all the way through Roger’s lectures and book but am only getting around 50% right now on the mcq’s and task based simulations. So for any of you that do or did have staff roles, do actually use this stuff on a daily basis? I feel like at our company, it’s pretty large, so people only do little slivers of accounting and FAR has a ton of topics so even if I do wait around for something to open up I’m not sure how much I’ll get exposed to. I thought about trying to make the switch to public even if it’s just bookkeeping somewhere small and local. For those of you in public do you actually get to do a lot or do you still focus on particular areas? It feels like I’m currently wasting 40 hours a week that I could be studying or reinforcing what I’m learning if I either get another job or quit until I’m done. I feel like I learn by doing, I want to see this stuff in action instead of just trying to memorize facts and formulas.

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  • #3138396

    I work in Audit and some of the day to day things helped some AUD material make more sense, but the vast majority of what you need to know will only come from the study material. I considered it a bonus if I found some overlap at work. Good luck!

    BEC - 90 (7/19, 8 weeks)
    FAR - 78 (10/19, 10 weeks)
    AUD - 75 (12/19, 8 weeks)
    REG - 90 (7/20, ~12 weeks, split up)

    Ethics - 97 (~6 hours to go through the material & take the quiz)
    Licensed in Virginia (10/20, ~1.5 weeks to process after submitting everything)


    I worked at a small public accounting firm before studying for the exam. I had a staff role and after a year I had worked in several different areas. Bookkeeping, tax prep, payroll, compilations/financial prep, and a yellow book audit. Despite this I would say that 75% of the FAR material I had not seen at my job at all. Derivatives, foreign currency, construction contracts, pension expense, bond amortization (we just plugged numbers in a software program to come up with amort tables), capital leases, consolidations, gov't accounting (toughest area to learn IMO), and of course IFRS I had never seen before. I think that is just the nature of FAR, it is quite comprehensive and tests very specific accounting principles. The key to learning FAR is to use T-accounts to solve missing numbers and also know every type of JE and which accounts are related for them.

    I also used Roger. My advice is don't worry about your SIM scores too much as Roger does not grade them like they are graded on the exam (partial credit). Just try to learn how to approach and answer each SIM and redo them if you feel you need to (read the answer explanation after each SIM). For the MCQ the key is repetition on areas you are weak in, taking notes each time you get the answer wrong. Use these notes to answer future MCQ's. Rinse and repeat until you are at the recommended targets (you need to redo your incorrect Q's in order to meet these) and that should be enough to prepare you for the exam.

    REG - 91 (May 18 2020)

    FAR - 89 (Aug 24 2020)

    BEC - 95 (Sept 28 2020)

    AUD - 90 (Nov 12 2020)


    I worked in public for about 6-7 months in Audit, and I feel like it helped me with the AUD exam. My first attempt was a 66 (before I started my job). My second attempt was a 92. This was after I had worked in public for 6 months and then quit and started working as a staff accountant at a retail company. Other than AUD, my jobs didn't really help me with the other 3 parts of the exam. Being in AP could be really helpful when you're studying the payables process. I also used Roger and the Wiley testbank. I felt like I had to teach/re-learn most of the material myself. Even if your job isn't preparing you for the exams, I would say you should still continue studying! Not everyone's jobs helps them. I don't hear a lot of stories about it tbh.

    Take notes, practice multiple MCQs cumulatively, and tackle a few SIMS each day.

    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Licensed CPA in IL

    FAR-72, 55, 82 (Roger + Wiley TB)
    AUD-66, 92 (Roger)
    REG-71, 81 (Roger + Wiley TB)
    BEC-77 (Roger)
    Ethics- 93


    The simple answer, like others have already mentioned, is no.
    Your job won't really prepare you for FAR, or any of the exams for that matter.
    The real world is so vastly different from the textbook anyway.
    It is also not abnormal to feel completely lost and over your head with the exams, especially on FAR.
    Trending 50% on MCQs isn't that bad, just keep practicing and eventually it will start to click and your scores will start to improve.

    Memento Mori - Kingston NY CPA & EA (SUNY Albany 2002)

    FAR-93 11/9/17 (10wks, 250 hrs, Roger 1800+ MCQs, Gleim TB 600+MCQs, SIMs)
    AUD-88 12/7/17 (3 wks, 85 hrs, Roger 1000 MCQs no SIMs hail mary)
    REG-96 1/18/18 (6 wks, 110 hrs, 1400 MCQs, no SIMs)
    BEC-91 2/16/18 (4wks, 90 hrs, 1240 MCQs)


    For the most part your job won't prepare you for the CPA exam. The exams are designed to be comprehensive and contain a lot of stuff that you probably will never even see in your accounting career. If you want to be prepared for the exam you have to use a review course. I used Roger and it covers EVERYTHING you need for the exams, from MCQs to lectures to flashcards and simulations. Personally I can't recommended Roger enough they have a lot of unique features like the Smartpath, study hub and their mobile app. Also, for a top tier review course their price is very affordable and you get access to their platform until you pass, which you probably won't need if you'll follow Roger's study plan.

    Don't rely on your job.
    Get Roger.
    If you study you will pass.
    Good luck!


    I work for a very large company. For the most part the answer is no. But working on a revenue accounting team. I did gain a deeper understanding of 606 and CECL and Rev Rec in general. Other than that though…

    FAR has a lot of govt and not-for-profit which I had never even thought about til I studied for FAR.

    AUD - 84
    BEC - 92
    FAR - 87
    REG - 78
    I have no desire to be a public accountant but my company wants me to be a CPA so...

    The answer could be yes and no. It depends how you see your job and what you actually do.

    Yes, a lot of the topics will be new and as AR you will never see them unless you worked in odd projects.

    But then I'm sure you will see something look similar, like AR, write off, journal entires, sales discounts, taxes, etc. And if you are involved in your units audit / year-end closing, you might be able to relate the background of your current job duties into audits and other stuff.

    You also mentioned a “system” and why people are not doing it correctly all-the-time. I'm going to assume you know how this system runs and why it's in a certain way, you might be able to relate the system to internal controls, audit controls, and accounting information systems (which might be FAR / AUD / REG).

    Lastly… If you really think you are wasting 40 Horus of your time every week, make it a little more useful by trying to understand the background of how things work, instead of just “doing it”. If all else doesn't work, convince yourself that once awhile you just need to work and feed yourself to survival.

    NY - CPA

    New York - NYC
    Passed CPA Exam (11/2014)
    In search for a position in NYC that will fulfills the license requirement.


    Yes my job helped me prep for the FAR exam. I was in accounts payable, then later promoted to senior accountant so i had to do some A/R adjustments too. A lot of things that i picked up easily in FAR was just because i remember doing it at work. I'm not saying it helped me on all the topics, but there were definitely a few in there that i was like wow i only really understand this because i did this at work

    FAR: 67, 69, 74, 81
    AUD: 72, 74, 78
    REG: 77
    BEC: 70, 77
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