I know the single-most important factor in whether or not you will pass the CPA Exam. It's not the type of review materials you choose, the quality of your college professors, or your natural accounting abilities, although those are all important.

Whether or not you pass the CPA Exam depends on one thing: a choice.

Before I began studying for the CPA Exam, I decided that I was going to pass all of the sections on my first attempt, no matter what. I didn't worry about pass rates I had seen. I didn't worry about the fact that I had a job as a traveling auditor that made study time hard to come by. I had already made the choice to pass, so the only option was to figure out ways around those obstacles.

At my former job, after the travel season came the busiest time of all - year-end combination. During combination, we would compile all the financial statements of the hospitals in our organization to get a combined group of financials. Thirteen-hour days were the norm, as we needed to rush to get final financials completed and published before our deadline. To complicate matters, my long-distance girlfriend (now my wife) was visiting, and she didn't fly out only to watch me study in the evenings.

It would have been easy to tell myself that life was just too busy at the time, and studying would have to wait. I had already made a commitment to pass, though, and I needed to stay on schedule. So instead of arriving at work at 6:30 in the morning like my co-workers, I got to work at 5:30 for that two-week stretch to give myself an hour to study. It wasn't fun, but it was easily worth it.

You'll have plenty of obstacles of your own to overcome. Everyone has problems. Find solutions! Those who do are the applicants who pass the CPA Exam.

Before you continue in your study process, make a choice. Think about why you want to be a CPA and the benefits it will bring. Then think about the sacrifice it will take to get there. Is it worth it? If so, commit right now to passing the exam, no matter what it takes.

The CPA Exam was a success for me, and it started with a choice.

Andrew Lee, CPA, operates the Web site CPAReviewMaterials.com. Reach him at andrew.lee@cpareviewmaterials.com

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access