If you are just starting in accounting or if you are an accomplished professional who is shooting higher, you can get always improve by working on your certification. There are a number of ongoing education options available. Two big names can provide you with a good CPA Exam Review: Becker and Wiley.
The reputed Becker Professional Education has been offering a comprehensive in-house and, more recently, online education to accounting and finance professionals for more than half a century. Wiley CPA has been around for more than 35 years, providing textbooks, software and audio CD’s, as well as online study materials.
My Personal Selection For A CPA Exam Review
The Becker CPA exam review system is impressive. I personally used the Becker CPA Review and passed all 4 parts to the exam within 6 months. The program is top notch, and in my opinion the best training program available.
The live courses provide 100 hours of expert instruction. Your tutor is well versed in accounting and knows exactly what it takes to pass an examination. The system also provides 55 simulations. Then there is the PassMaster software, which provides 6000 multiple choice questions, which are similar to the ones on the actual exam. All of them are linked to the correct answers in electronic textbooks. Next, there is the final exam software, which packages these questions in the same form as the official CPA exam. Candidates can also avail themselves of classic textbooks, which contain a wealth of questions and answers from past exams. Finally, there are flash-cards for easy review while on the run, an interactive study planner, a final review and more. The review software is available for PC and Mac.
Wiley CPA Exam Review
Wiley review programs cover pretty much the same thing by making use of books, software CDs and audio lectures (in CD and downloadable mp3 formats) and independent study. Some of the participant authors are Whittington, Antman, Feller, Stevens and Hopkins. The Wiley system is structured in three main components: intense study (9 textbooks), practice (5 software titles) and what they call “reinforce, review and recap” (13 titles). The last component includes:
– “Focus notes” – a few hundred drill-question flash-cards
– “Impact audios” – lectures on the essentials
– A software CD with simulations
– A textbook on accounting research
– A guide on how the test is given
Both the focus notes and the audios can be divided in units that complement each exam section, but they can also be studied as standalone units.
The Becker CPA exam review course costs about $3000. The optional final review package costs $570 at enrollment and $720 after. The printed flash-cards cost $210 at enrollment and $295 after. The electronic version of the flash-cards costs $295 across the board and is available for iPhone, iTouch, iPad, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.
Becker offers discounts to more than 1,500 of their most faithful clients from the academic, business and the government sector. Moreover, the school grants scholarships every year to 50 outstanding students and to students that promote the Becker review system on their campus. They also offer students the possibility of paying for the CPA tuition in 18 monthly installments, without interest.
Wiley’s combined prices are as follows:
– Intense Study – $490
– Practice – $570 - Reinforce
– Review, Recap – $840
Both Becker and Wiley provide excellent information for passing a CPA Exam. In the end, Becker is my top pick based on personal experience for a CPA exam review.