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Is Preparing for the CPA Exam Any Different than Busy Season?

Over the years in the accounting profession “busy” season has been both an attractor and detractor to those working in the “public accounting” arena.  With that said, what is busy season?  Is it that time of year that you put in 50, 60, 70 plus hours a week?  How is that different than other times of the year?  Are you only putting in 35-40 hours a week the rest of the year?  

Most likely not, in reality most of you are putting in over 40 hours a week all year long.  Aren’t you thinking about work on the way to/from the office?  Are you making calls from your car?  Are you e-mailing clients on the evenings and weekends?  Are you working on projects and/or ideas from your home computer while the family sleeps?  Are you getting to the office early or staying late to make sure that your day goes smoothly? 

Remember, as an accountant we must be ready for that inevitable “Accounting Emergency” that keeps many of you on call during those cherished weekends.  

So, how is preparing for the CPA exam different?  Or is it?

Sure, you are preparing for a test vs. providing a service for payment.  However, don’t you need to take preparing for the CPA Exam as seriously as you do an Audit or a Tax return for your client?  Don’t you need to put in those “extra” hours to ensure that you give yourself the best chance in passing the CPA Exam? 

So, you are working 35-40 hours a week, and studying for an additional 15-30 hours a week.  Outside activities are on hold, the family is anxious and you are at home, at the library or even that favorite coffee shop grinding away at those multiple choice questions.

The bottom line is, you need to put in those hours both at work and throughout your CPA Exam preparation.  Do NOT slack off, and Do NOT give up.

Carry that “Busy season” drive with you throughout the CPA Exam preparation process.  Just think, after you pass the CPA Exam, and busy season ends then you will have all of that extra time to enjoy your family and those other activities that you wanted to do.

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