10 Best CPA Review Courses and My Recommendation

CPA review course :
IPasstheCPAExam Community
Version:
Year 2014

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 15, 2014
Last modified:July 16, 2014

Summary:

Here is the most comprehensive analysis of best CPA review courses that you can’t find anywhere — because it is written based on my own experience, sharing of industry insiders and numerous CPA exam candidates around the world since January 2010.

Let Me Find The Best Course for You

I don’t believe in people who say their course is the absolute best, because different courses cater different needs. You can narrow down your choices based on your accounting background, budget and learning style.

Most Popular CPA Review Courses

Becker CPA review courseWiley CPAexcel reviewGleim CIARoger CPA review courseYaeger CPA review course
Overall
Impression
Biggest brand name
in the market
Bite-sized lectures
backed by Wiley
Online system that helps
self-study efficiently
Fun and engaging
lectures
Thorough explanation
Old-school approach
# Lecture hours
1008030 (FAR only for now)100+120+
# MC questions6,500+5,500+9,200+4,000+4,300+**
# Sim questions
250+460+1,000+200+164+**
Audio Review
smallcrosssmallcrosssmalltick$449 extra$465 extra
Flashcards$99 / $179 extrasmallticksmallticksmallticksmalltick
Final Review /
Cram Course
$495 extrasmallticksmallcross$645 – 970 extrasmalltick
Free Trialsmallcrosssmallticksmallticksmallcrosssmallcross
Money-back
Guarantee*
smallcrosssmallticksmallticksmallcrosssmallcross
Access 12 – 18 monthsUntil you passUntil you pass*18 months18 months
Pass RateTwice non-Becker students87%n/a88%88%
Price$3,360$1,800 (check coupon)$891 (with coupon)$1,695 (check coupon)$1,977 (check coupon)
Recommendation
and Analysis
becker-cpa-buttonYaeger cpa gleim-button2Roger CPA reviewyaeger-cpa-button3

* Conditions apply. Please check the respective review course providers for details.
** Yaeger is currently using Wiley test bank in the bundled package. Yaeger test bank (developed in-house) is in BETA and is available separately.

Top 10 CPA Review Course Comparison

Here is a more extensive and comprehensive list of top CPA review courses, each with my analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.

Becker CPA Review Courses

Strengths

  • Excellent lecture notes, MCs and software. The materials are comprehensive and user-friendly.
  • Big 4 endorsement. The live lectures are recommended by the Big 4.
  • Materials constantly kept updated. Becker has a professional team to update the materials on a very regular basis. Their proof-reading is also done well so there are few typos and errors. If there are errors, Becker does a good job in posting in their website and letting everyone to see.

Weaknesses

  • Overpriced. If you are paying full price on your own you are subsidizing those who get deep discounts from their employers through Becker’s partner program. Not Fair!
  • Live classes way overrated. They show you a DVD in a classroom, tell you to “circle this, highlight that” for 8 hours straight. Quality of “lecturers” (whose main job is to turn on and off the DVD) is really mixed. Check out my experience at the Becker CPA Review Course.
  • Expensive re-take. Software license expires in 12 months and this is often not enough time for many candidates. Re-take of classes costs $1,000+ (50% of retail price) with harsh attendance rate which I find ridiculous.

Recommendation

SKIP Becker. They do have great notes, but so do Yaeger (for lectures) and Wiley / Gleim (practice tests). Unless you are so lucky to get a star lecturer (who tend to set up their own shops), live classes are, in my own opinion, a waste of time.

Wiley CPAexcel

Strengths

  • Bite-sized lectures: This is a god-send for those who hate long lectures as much as I do. The lecture length ranges from a couple of minutes to ~ 30 minutes. A more efficient way to learn in my opinion.
  • Unlimited upgrade: Most generous in the industry — a real, no-gimmick no-nonsense offer. No more pressure of not finishing within 12 months and have to pay an extra $1,000 for a retake!
  • State-of-the-art technology: CPAexcel fully utilizes the online capability and churns out personalized exam plan and a collection of diagnostic charts and analysis for you, which I (as a financial analyst by profession) finds very attractive.

Weaknesses

  • A Bit Confusing At First… candidates can pick and choose the offering and I find it quite intimidating when I first visited the site. But then when you think about it, the fact that they give you a choice could be a good thing, if you are willing to spend some time to navigate around and learn about the various offers.
  • Better Suited For The PC-based learner. Since everything is delivered online or DVD, if you are a type of learner who needs “live support” (a real person to explain something to you, either in person or by phone); or if you are accustomed to highlighting, circling and dropping notes on the side of the textbooks, then CPAexcel may not fit your learning style.
  • Practice Questions May Underprepare Candidates. *Solved – see below* I got quite a few readers who only used CPAexcel that the practice questions were either very different or too simplistic when compared to the actual exam. Many got Wiley/Gleim as supplement.

*Update* CPAexcel is acquired by Wiley.

Recommendations

  • Another highly recommended program – users achieve 87% passing rate and the course is endorsed by one of the Big 4.
  • Especially suitable for busy candidates juggling with work/family commitments.
  • CPAexcel has recently been acquired by Wiley. In my opinion this will only make their product better.
  • Check out my evaluation on CPAexcel

Gleim CPA Review Courses

Strengths

  • Great practice test prep software. Practice questions are tough and great for those who want a higher comfortable level to pass the exam. Good supplementary to other lecture-heavy courses.
  • Thoughtfully designed. Some readers find the Gleim Online merely a voice over a powerpoint presentation, but once you understand how the Gleim “system” works, it’s an effective way to teach you how to self-study.
  • Personal Counselor is a great help. If you sign up for the Gleim CPA Review System, a personal counselor will be assign to take care of your needs in your CPA journey. These counselors are accounting gurus but they coordinate with the in-house experts to get you the answer, help tailor-made your study plans and cheer you up.
  • Affordable. The full 4-part CPA Review System costs just below $1,000 — most affordable among the major providers.

Weaknesses

  • Video Course for FAR, for Now. I am excited about the Gleim Instruct Video Course and I’ve got great reviews from my readers so far. Having said that, for other parts only the originalaudio-visual presentation instead of a video featuring a lecturer. I understand that many students need to “see a face” to learn a concept.
  • Books can be over whelming. It’s very detailed. While some of my readers really like the comprehensiveness, others seem to think it’s too lengthy. You will need to pick and choose what is necessary for you to study.

Recommendation

  • Excellent choice for those who prefer self-study but need occasional help through personal counselor.
  • A great alternative to Wiley test bank if you are looking for additional online test practice questions.
  • Check out my evaluation on Gleim CPA Review

Roger CPA Review Courses

Strengths

  • Entertaining lectures: Roger Philipp (the founder) has a very unique teaching style — entertaining and “intense”. Many of his students are die-hard fans.
  • Quality Is Guaranteed. Roger writes his own notes. He also records the lectures for every class so you know for sure who is teaching you.

Weaknesses

  • No More Live Classes. Roger CPA stopped offering live classes since Feb 2013. It’s not as entertaining watching him on video vs in person.
  • Talking Too Fast For International Candidates? Roger speaks fast. If you are not very used to the US accent it could be hard to follow.

Recommendations

  • If you like an instructor that can even make accounting somewhat interesting, give Roger CPA a try.
  • Check out my evaluation on Roger CPA Review

Yaeger CPA Review Courses

Strengths

  • Champion Of The Old-School Approach. If you like someone who writes on the board and explains concept to you in the old-fashioned way, you’d appreciate Yaeger. I personally like the way they “hold your hand” and explain the multiple choice questions and possible tricks.
  • Live Phone Support. This is quite unique, and you can often reach and talk to the owner (Phil Yaeger) himself.
  • Good Value For Money. One of the most affordable guided review courses out there.

Weaknesses

  • Old School. Obviously this can be a turn-off for some people.
  • Somewhat Unorganized. There are times when you would expect the team to retape the video (e.g. a typo on the white board, or the guy accidentally talked to his wife…) but Yaeger just let it go live. The ones I spotted did not affect the quality of the course but it could be a nuisance.

Recommendation

  • Great for people who need help in accounting concepts, or a “real person” that can explain things to you via the myYaeger forum or even by phone.
  • Check out the demo to see if you are fine with the old-school teaching style. The books and test prep software are good because they use Wiley’s.
  • Check out my evaluation on Yaeger CPA Review

Other Major Review Course Providers

Wiley CPA Exam Review

Strengths

  • #1 Selling Review Book and Test Bank. The book and test bank (test prep software) are both very popular and proved to be useful for many CPA candidates. Even competitors (Yaeger and Roger) choose Wiley to bundle-sell as supplementary material.
  • It’s Affordable. A good bargain in the world of CPA exam prep course: single-part test bank costs $150 $127 for single parts, and $575 $495 for complete set (discount is available at my site here).

Weaknesses

  • Book Could Be Overwhelming. Especially when there is no guided review, it could be discouraging to go over the entire guide. Too much material in my opinion.

Recommendation

  • Get the test bank if you need additional practice questions as supplement, or if you are a retaker.
  • Check out my evaluation on Wiley CPA Review

CPA Review For Free

Strengths

  • The questions are quite comprehensive and signing up is easy. There is no string attached — they may promote an ebook or something but they aren’t annoying.
  • Some of the practice questions e.g. Information Technology within BEC are very helpful.

Weaknesses

  • You can’t work on the questions in the Exam Mode: that is, do all the questions, time it, and get a score.
  • I may not have spent enough time to make a firm conclusion, but I think the overall “usefulness” or relevancy of the questions is not as high as the other paid providers. Afterall, it does take a lot of resources to keep the materials updated. There is no free lunch in my opinion.

Recommendation

Definitely a site that you want to bookmark to get some extra multiple choice questions in the future, but I wouldn’t rely solely on CPA Review For Free for my study.

Check out my evaluation on CPA Review For Free here.

Kaplan CPA Review Courses

Strengths

  • Established name: Kaplan is well known for standardized test preparation, and its Schewser brand is an authority in CFA exam preparation.

Weaknesses

  • Too comprehensive: If Wiley / Gleim book is a dictionary, Kaplan is an encyclopedia.
  • No one talks about Kaplan CPA: If you are good, people talk about it. But it is difficult to find any discussion at all on Kaplan CPA…

Recommendations

  • Can’t think of a reason to recommend Kaplan, at least for now.
  • Check out my evaluation on Kaplan CPA Review

Lambers CPA Review Courses

Strengths

  • Established Provider. Lambers CPA Review has been around for 45 years, although it is now part of a company called ExamForce.
  • AUD Is The Hidden Gem. Professor Garland is excellent and I can feel his passion of teaching and helping the candidates. I only watched his first lecture but what he says makes so much sense.
  • The iPod Courses Is Quite Popular. The ipod format is helpful if you are busy and want to utilize all your “dead time” during commute and between meetings and children’s naps. The screen is too small to view the practice questions though, so you can take this mostly as an audio review.

Weaknesses

  • Good But Not Great. I really like the AUD lecturer and one of the lecturers in FAR, but others remind me of the very average accounting professors.
  • Salespeople Are Quite Aggressive. I bet the salesperson has never taken the exam or even seen the study materials before, so stand firm and make the decision based on your own preference.
  • Few People Talk About Lambers. Similar to the issues faced by Kaplan.

Recommendations

  • Get AUD module if you don’t like your existing provider.
  • Check out my evaluation on Lambers CPA Review

MDS CPA Review Courses

Formerly known as Martin, Dalton, Spettle CPA Review, MDS is now headed by Steve Martin and is based in Ohio. Steve has been teaching CPA review courses for the last 28 years (since 1985). He is a former law update instructor and editor for the Becker course.

Strengths

  • If you live in Ohio and are looking for live classes, the MDS CPA Review looks like a great option.
  • I personally like Steve’s style — a down-to-earth type of guy who has the experience in teaching CPA review courses and writes his own lecture notes.

Weaknesses

  • I haven’t got access to the product so I won’t be able to comment on the features and specific product offering, but at $1,895 I can’t say it is very attractive in price and product offering when compared to other major CPA review providers.

Recommendations

  • Go to this MDS CPA page for my preliminary evaluation.

My General Recommendations

I try to keep this list as objective as I can, but since many of you are asking which provider I generally prefer (and I have a hard time keeping it with responding to comments and emails), here you go…

Go For CPAexcel If You Want To:

  • Study in short intervals by watching the bite-sized lectures
  • Track how much you study and how well you study using CPAexcel’s robust analytical system
  • Have no worries about any extra cost if you decide to take some time off or need a retake

Go For Gleim If You Want To:

  • Cut out the lectures and self-study effectively
  • Get personalized support from real people — the personal counselor
  • Keep your CPA review affordable with full version below $1,000

Go For Yaeger CPA If You Want To:

  • Have an instructor to walk through hundreds of multiple choices with you
  • Get a great value for money (good lecture, unlimited access, live phone help, quality homework)
  • Learn from someone with an impressive record (88% passing rate)

Thanks for going through this long post with me. Drop me a note below if you need specific recommendation.

Comments

  1. Emma says

    This is exactly what I was looking for!! I wish I read this article before I started studying. But lucky for me I didn’t purchase all 4 courses. Thank you very much!

  2. Stephanie says

    Emma, I am glad you find the info helpful. Feel free to list here (or send me a private email) the pros and cons of your program. I’d love to include everyone’s opinion here! Stephanie

  3. Frank says

    Thank you so much for your reviews on the CPA review courses. It’s been nearly a year and a half since my last accounting course, and I was very tentative about which review to choose. Your advice makes me feel beyond relieved about investing thousands of my very hard earned dollars on the right study material. Thanks again.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Frank, I have taken only one basic accounting course in college and I managed to pass. So you will be all right! I hope you can find a review course that best suits your need. If you have further questions on individual review course please feel free to post and I (and fellow readers) will try the best to help.
      Cheers, Stephanie

  4. Elton says

    Another fast growing CPA review source: http://www.cpareviewforfree.com.
    Pro: TOTALLY FREE FOR MORE THAN 2100 questions, save your hard-earned money. very good explanation and very inspiring partner with you.
    Cons: No Books, only online questions and PDF version questions plus explanation. But not matter because it is FREE!

  5. Stephanie says

    Thanks Elton for your personal view of CPA review for free. I actually have a page dedicated to this — I might try to move your comment to that page later, just that it will be more helpful to people who are specifically looking for their info. Cheers, stephanie

  6. Will says

    Hey Stephanie, this helped a lot. I found Yaeger a couple of months ago and was interested in taking it, anyone who answers cpa questions over the phone wins hands down.

    A question, though: For some reason I seem to still have all my textbooks from accounting. Audit from 2008, Tax 2009, Cost 2009, FAR books are the oldest from 2006, also Business law 2008. I know the CPA review tests recent updates, but it seems silly to say they’re useless for the CPA exam. Went to FSU, if that’s relevant, had a 3.5 gpa. Prefer the study solo appr0ach, with the ability to call or email someone with occasional questions. What would you recommend for someone who still has their textbooks, and can still remember most of the material somewhat? Thanks

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Will,
      If this is the case, why don’t you get a Gleim software for one section first (cheap, around $30 I think?). Study the section as if you are preparing for the exam, and hit the MC questions right away.

      If you can get say 70% of them right for the first time, then I would think you don’t need any review courses. Just keep doing it until you get a 100% correct and for the right reason.

      The alternative is to get a Wiley software; but in case you get a lower score and you sign up for Yaeger, they will give you a Wiley software so it’s kind of a waste.

      As far as I know, I don’t think there is a “tutor” who only answers questions on the CPA exam without selling the CPA review books… I guess it doesn’t make business sense :) Anyway, let me know how it goes!

      Stephanie

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Kary,
      Nope. Most states do count the credit hours of CPA review courses if they are offered by an accredited educational institution. Becker is a private business and not accredited. Same for other commercial courses I mentioned above.

      But in my opinion these courses are better than the average review course offered in the local colleges though…

      Hope it helps!
      Stephanie

  7. Sab says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for this wonderful website. I got a lot of good information about the CPA Review materials from you.

    Today is July 28, 2010 already. Is it too late for me to apply CPA exam (I’m in California.)? I mean I’m just thinking about the exam these two days that maybe I should take the exam before all the changes on Jan. 1st, 2011 starts to affect. (I thought I would wait and work first to get hands on experience before taking the CPA. But, California’s unemployement rate is quite high. I can’t get a full-time job, not even an internship. So I have some free time right now).

    I think it makes good sense to take FAR first. But, I’m concerned I won’t be able to pass it in 2010 since there are only a few months left. Then, I’ll have to prepare for the new material in 2011 with extra workload/new materials. What do you think? Should I take other subjects first in 2010 or postpone the entire exam to 2011?

    My second question is: the “18 months” starts to click ONLY after the first subject is passed? Does it mean if it takes me twice to pass the very first subject I choose to take, the “18 months” starts to count from the date I pass(the second try)? I am a little bit confused by this rule.

    I just graduated in May, 2010. I think I’m just an average “B” student in accounting courses(however, I got “A” in auditing class after lots of time investment on studying. It’s just pure memorization. Maybe that’s why I got “A”). I think I’m lack of confidence to take the CPA exam. But, my accouting professor encourages students to take it once no matter what. He said if we don’t try at least once, we might be regret someday.

    Are those who passed the CPA exam usually the top accounting students ( the first half of the “A” students)?

    Even though I just graduated in May 2010, I finished all my accounting courses in Fall 2009. So it’s been a while. Does Yaeger’s material really teach us from the basic?

    Is Becker’s lecture notes a part of its product bundle or is it distributed in a live classroom setting only? I’m just thinking about to purchase an used one on ebay if I can find it. Yesterday I saw its 2010 CPA Review materialwas $699 down from $2800. But, today I can’t find it.

    Thank you very much in advance for your time and patience to read my post. I really appreciate your suggention. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sab,
      Thanks a lot for your kind note on my site! responding to your questions…

      (1) whether to take the CPA exam in 2010: yes, this is one of the FAQs. My personal opinion is to get rid of as many of the sections as possible given the uncertainty that you are a recent accounting graduate (while memory still sort of fresh…)
      If in case you don’t pass FAR, my understanding from various CPA review courses (notably Yaeger, Becker and Roger) is that the 2011 syllabus is more like an addition of materials rather than a change of materials, so at least your study won’t get “wasted” and all you need is to study the IFRS (international financial reporting) bit, which of course is annoying but is doable.
      So in short, yes I would encourage you to take FAR and try your best to get it passed within 2010, but if you need a retake it’s not a huge deal.

      (2) the 18-month window: yes it starts to count once you PASS your first section. In other words, if you fail it doesn’t count. So it makes sense to get rid of the toughest one first which in my opinion is FAR.

      (3) Whether only A student can pass CPA exam: oh no don’t worry CPA exam is a very different animal than the regular accounting exams in colleges. It covers a very board range of topics but it doesn’t go deep at all in most of these topics.

      (4) Yaeger only teaches the stuff required for the CPa exam, so it’s hard to say whether it is basic or not, because it’s not complete in my opinion. But it’s similar case for all the major CPA exam review courses.

      (5) Becker: I think they have an online version so you don’t need to attend live courses to get the notes. But self-study/online version costs the same I think… so you can consider the notes themselves costing $2800. For second hand notes, yes it is much cheaper but you will have the pressure to get it passed within this year because next year the stuff could be quite different and as a second-hand purchaser you won’t have any discount to buy the extra new materials you might need for the 2011 format. So it is something you need to consider.

      hope it helps! Stephanie

  8. Sab says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for your thorough response! Your interpersonal site could really encourage and comfort the people like me. I feel you do care. Thank you!

    Sincerely, Sab

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sab,
      I am glad you find the site helpful. Yes, I do care because I have been there and I know it’s difficult any way you look at it. Anyway, all the best to you Sab! Stephanie

  9. Ruby says

    What is your opinion on Beckers Final review?
    I am planning to buy Gleim’s prep test, cause they are cheaper
    then get Beckers Final review two weeks before the exam. Thank you

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Ruby,
      Yes much cheaper!
      My personal opinion is that you get Gleim first (especially the software). If you can get all the practice questions right after a few times, then there isn’t really a need to get Becker. The best thing about Becker is the lecture notes. So if you get the final review you kind of miss the best part of Becker. Just my 2 cents… :) Stephanie

  10. John says

    Hey Stephanie this is amazing thanks for all the tips…my question is can you elaborate you mentioned “they don’t go very deep at all in most of these topics.” in an earlier post…so if a student was still in college and taking an exam on 3 chapters of tax, a student taking the cpa would be tested on more or less half of that same material, content-wise (say you were assigned 100 pages of the textbook, the cpa exam would cut down what you’re responsible for to 75 pages or so??

    Also do you have any comment on why there is a disconnect between accounting in college and cpa exam? Why cant we just take the cpa exam after college and do away with all these review companies we should be ready then…iguess because they want us to work for a while before we actually get the license+??

  11. Stephanie says

    Hi John,
    Glad you find the site useful for you!
    I have no affiliation with the CPA exam at all, but my guess would be that since they have to cram everything they want to test you in one big exam, they have to randomly pick a little bit here and there to make sure at least you have some understanding on the important topics.

    I would think that if they are given the “luxury” to test you in multiple of exams, the format would probably be much closer to the ones we experience in college.

    Another of my guess is that since the test is now computerized, the format has to be one that can be easily graded by computers. That’s why the majority is multiple choice with the remaining a “simulation” questions (which essentially is also MCs). There is a written communication tab but it counts for only 10%.

    Because of the multiple choice format the tactics become very different from say a midterm/exam handgraded by the professor and the TA. That’s why I said it is quite a different animal than the ones we have in the college days.

    Having said that, if you spend time in college learning accounting and business you will have a much easier time tackling the CPA exam than someone like myself who has only taken accounting 101. Hope it helps!

    Stephanie

  12. Vipula says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Many thanks for such a wonderfull site u have prepared for all the CPA aspirants and CPAs. and Thanks to you as an individual for helping and encouraging others.
    I would like to ask about course material of all the four papers. Is it going to be provided by the Colorado board (if i choose that state for CPA) or i will have to arrange seperately. In case they dont provide the course material then from whom i should purchase the material and how much it will cost me approximatey. If you have any other suggestion on this then please tell me.
    Thanks.

    Vipula

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vipula,
      Do you mean the CPA review course that teaches you how to tackle the exam itself, or the accounting courses used to fulfill the educational requirements?

      The above is the CPA review course for the sole purpose of preparing for the exam and does not contribute to fulfilling the exam requirements. For this you will have to take a course at any accredited college/university and you can do it either online or offline.

      I’ve got a lot of questions on this recently so I plan to write something about it. Stay tuned! (I will make an announcement in the mini course, and probably to say something on the side bar)

      Stephanie

  13. Chod says

    Hi Everyone, there is this website http://www.cpareviewforfree.com which provides free CPA questions and all you need is just register with your email. I have been using it for a while and it is very helpful. I think, anyone who is planning to take CPA exam might benefit greatly from this site. Good luck everyone and thanks Stephanie.

    • Stephanie says

      Thanks Chod! Yes I keep forgetting to add cpareviewforfree here. Glad you find them usefu!
      Here is my review of cpareviewforfree… please feel free to contribute in the comment section as well.
      Cheers
      Stephanie

  14. Vipula says

    Hi Stephanie,
    i mean to say the course materail or study material. for example in US CFA the CFA instutute send you the entire course material once you are registered. they send this in printed version. in the same way does CPA state borad also send any study materail or not; which consist all the topics, contents of the 4 papers.
    I hope u got my point.
    Thanks

    Vipula

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vipula,
      No CPA Examination Services doesn’t do anything like that. You’ll need to rely on the CPA exam prep courses and I have outlined the pros and cons of the major course providers above. Stephanie

  15. Andrew says

    Thank God I found your site. I am still in school and planning on taking the CPA sometime next year and I am truly overwhelmed and discouraged. I am currently researching review/prep courses and it is overwhelming.
    My professors seem to always recommend the Gleim books, and although its cheap I find it, (the books at least) boring and yes too comprehensive. For awhile I thought Becker was the only (besides Gleim) review course out there, (they’re heavily represented on my campus). I am now leaning towards Roger and Yaeger,( the latter I am now researching).
    Thanks for your recommendation Stephanie.

    Sorry, first post had errors.

  16. Mike says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks very much for all your recommendations!! I am thinking of using Rigos review (textbooks only) with the Wiley software for the exam. Do you think it is good enough for the exam preparation? Any comments on the Rigos review? Also, do you think the new CPA exam in 2011 will be significantly more difficult than the current one?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Mike,
      You are most welcome!
      On Rigos, actually my boss took their courses way back (like 15 years ago, and it was a live class) and got 4 parts passed on her first try. But she was the only one or two who managed to do that in her class…

      This is the only information I get on Rigos (I tried to search the term on major CPA exam forums, but not much luck). Somehow they are no longer as popular but if you can gather some good reviews from a few others, go ahead.

      As for the 2011 CPA exam, I guess my honest answer is I have no idea. In fact, I don’t think anyone has a clue including the examiners. But what I know from them is that they may adjust the passing score accordingly in the first few months of 2011 such that the CPA exam pass rate remains more or less the same (at round 50%). They promise that they will be very transparent in terms of the pass rate, passing score adjustment and so on by publishing the data on their site at cpa-exam.org.

      If you haven’t already, please take a look my writeup on the CPA exam changes in 2011.
      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  17. Stephanie says

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your comment for the site and I am really happy that you find the info helpful. Isn’t it amazing that professors around the country seem to stick with Gleim…? But I guess Gleim is very academic and that back then when they were candidates themselves there weren’t that many review course providers around.

    Anyway, either Roger or Yaeger will be good! Roger is a bit more expensive starting from this year (I haven’t updated my Roger CPA page yet, but they had a pretty big price increase for the live classes) but Roger has his unique way of teaching which can be quite appealing. And of course I like Yaeger as you can see all over this site :)

    Don’t worry once you pick one CPA review provider and focus on it, things won’t be as overwhelming. Best of luck to the exam next year!

    Cheers, Stephanie

  18. Ramya says

    Stephanie,
    You’re doing a great job of maintaining this site. As a CPA aspirant, I am in the phase of choosing a review program and am confused. Becker, with all the negatives, on the face of it looks to me as the most prepared as regards the new changes in 2011. Besides, they are still the big name in the business. Having said that, I’m not someone who can cram and study for an exam using mnemonics. And reading these comments tell me that Becker does exactly that – plus I have bought Becker books and attended 2 classes in India in2007 (though I didn’t study anything and moved on to other things in life soon). Yaeger, on the other hand, is cheaper and carries your recommendation and thats what is making me consider this. But I’m scared – (1) its not a program heard by many people – even those in the accounting academic profession. (2) Not sure of their preparedness for changes in 2011. So, I have a question – in your review, you state that handouts are very good. Does that mean that they cover all that Becker does – in terms of content and quality of questions? Also, I would love to hear from anybody who has actually used this review course and has benefitted – yup, I read the testimonials, but we all know testimonials on the webpage of the provider may be no good. I was also wondering why there is no ‘comments’ section at the end of your evaluation on Yaeger’s review. I was hoping to find some comments from other users.

    One last question, I have Becker’s 2007 materials. Do you think I could use those in conjunction with Wiley’s & Yaeger’s notes – or you think I could just throw the becker old notes (in case I sign up for yaeger or roger or something else).

    Thanks so much for your responses in the past. You’ve been really quick. You’ve been very inspiring!

    Thanks
    Ramya

  19. Ramya says

    Stephanie,
    I’m sorry – am gonna bother you with another question. I just want to make a really calculated decision before I put the money :) If Becker isn’t as good, why is that they carry the Big 4 recommendation?

    Thanks
    Ramya

  20. Stephanie says

    Hi Ramya,
    Thanks for your note and I am happy you are spending time to pick the right course for you.

    On Becker, yes I agree with what you said…

    On Yaeger, I totally understand your concern as well, because I haven’t heard of them before as well.

    Here is what you can do:
    1. Go to the various CPA exam forum and search “yaeger” and you can get a collective of the program (actually, any program). Depending on how much thread you want to read, it could take a while but you can certainly get the feel from past users.

    2. Watch the demo on their site and see if you like their teaching style.

    Yes from the last time I looked at the DVDs, they should be covering the stuff you need to pass the exam.

    On 2011, honestly I think every course provider can only try their best based on the new course guideline provided by AICPA. I would think they are pretty much the same in this aspect. I will keep an eye on people’s comment though at the beginning of the year.

    Lastly, on the endorsement of Big 4 on Becker, I think there are lots of reason… part of it is that they endorse the program way before there are any choices (so there is a relationship); then, I am just blind guessing, but I am willing to bet that Becker gives a big discount to them to maintain this relationship… Becker does say they have “partnerships” with 1,500 institution. My interpretation of this is discount offers.

    Anyway, Becker’s lecture notes is still excellent as I mention above. So in the eyes of the Big 4, why not.

    Just my guesstimate and 2 cents :)

    Best of luck in searching the right review course for you!

    Stephanie

    P.S. By the way, I have no idea why there is no comment on the Yaeger page. I wonder myself but this is something out of my control.

    I did ask some readers who used the Yaeger review to give me comments, but they always just reply to the email instead of posting here… I will try again!

  21. Jeff says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I think with your reviews I’ve decided on getting at least the Wiley software, but what about books? I have an extremely irregular schedule, so it’s impossible for me to ever attend a class. Also, I’d prefer to have some sort of books to review before I sleep in bed :)

    Out of the review courses…which one has the best books?

    Thanks!

    Jeff

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Jeff,
      Understand that you have irregular schedule, but is it possible for you to say watch a DVD or something? The only concern with just the Wiley books is that it can’t be integrated with other study approach so it is typically less effective.

      If you can at least watch some DVD at home, then Yaeger is a good complement to Wiley. If you can only spend say half an hour each time on the study, then CPAexcel could be good because of the bite-sized lectures. Otherwise, Lambers has a ipod course which could be handy…

      Sorry it might sound even more confusing for you… anyway my recommendation is Yaeger CPA if you want a direct answer.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  22. Russell Han says

    Hello,

    First and foremost, I must mention that you have complied much-needed, value-adding information in this webpage! It looks like you have put into words what most people like me have only given a cursory look at or, have thought about, but have not been able to break down into directly comparable bullet points. Really good stuff!

    I am composing this post to ask you about your experiences with the AICPA Ethics Exam. I plan on taking my final section of the CPA Exam, the Auditing and Attestation Section, next week. After this, the only remaining barrier left would be the (not so dreaded?) Ethics Exam.

    I understand that you can purchase either the TEXT version or the CD version from the AICPA webpage. Then you can take the exam online and see you score immediately. Could you please tell me which form you would recommend and why? I guess for me, whichever form that is easier to navigate during the open book exam seems to be the better choice, and I would also like to be able to take my exam ONLINE. At this point, I don’t even know how I should approach this exam. Should I study A LOT first then take the exam, or just skim through the material first and then answer each question while taking advantage of the open book aspect of the exam?

    I would greatly appreciate your reply. Thanks!

    p.s.
    I don’t understand why they let us take the Ethics Exam online privately; I bet the most UNethical people are loving this leeway (as they are getting together with their friends and family – just joking of course)

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Russell, thanks a lot for your kind note! I am glad you find the site helpful.

      There is more discussion on the CPA Ethics Exam here, but I would think taking it online is more convenient. It’s only 40 questions now (back then when I took it it was 75 questions) and it’s really not that bad.

      If you go through the comment section of that page a reader mentioned that you can sort of skim through the material and hit the questions immediately. So don’t worry it’s not that difficult at all, and you can have 3 attempts (and if you contact AICPA, they will let you try again).

      Congrats on being almost done with the exam! Stephanie

  23. Brian says

    Stephanie, I noticed in one of your post said that you can not use the Becker courses for credit. Actually you can. You will take the Becker course through Keller. It cost more, but you get credit that can count towards your MBA and your CPA. Four of the credits I needed to sit came from the Becker classes. Thanks for your review, good stuff!

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Brian,
      You are absolutely right – Becker (and other CPA exam review courses) can be counted if they are offered in accredited colleges. I guess what I meant is their “normal” programs that are offered in their centers, i.e. a commercial setting.

      This is a good point – I will find a way to explain it better above. Thanks again! Stephanie

  24. Vicki says

    Hi Stephanie:
    Lots of information here, will definitely help me in deciding which CPA review I should go with.
    I am going to attempt to take FAR in the middle of November and REG at then end of November. I’m going to start studying now for FAR and then plan on studying for REG at the end of September. Do you think this is a realistic amount of studying time to successfully pass both of these tests?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vicki,
      How is your schedule and commitment? If you have a relatively “easy” job and not much family commitment, then yes you should give it a try. But if you have to take care of kids and work >50 hours per week with occasional overtime then it would be tough…

      It also depends on whether you are familiar with the concepts. If let’s say you are not an accounting major and both financial accounting and tax are totally new to you, then you might want to postpone either one.

      An alternative is to exchange one with BEC which *generally* is easier for candidates.

      And in any case please make a study plan and stick with it!

      Hope it helps, Stephanie

  25. Vipula says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am planning to buy Yeager review course (Bundle Buy) for preparing for CPA exam. I would like to know do i need to buy anything from any other review course or Yeager would be sufficient to pass the CPA exam.
    I would like to apprear for all the 4 paper in one shot so based on your experience can u guide me how much time it will take to prepare for all the four papers. Currenly i m at Home and can spare alomst 5 hours a day for preparation. I m an average student in study with accouting backround.
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vipula,
      Based on the feedback of my readers, it seems like Yaeger is sufficient as long as you do as many practice questions from the Wiley book as possible. If you are super diligent you can consider getting Gleim as well (but let’s do it later, only when you think you have the extra time)

      Again, if you are very disciplined, you can probably get prepared within 6 months to sit for the 4 parts in one go. Generally you might need up to 1 year to study for that… so it really depends how motivated you are. Given you have the accounting background it should be easier for you.

      Hope it helps? Stephanie

  26. Mike says

    How does your advice and suggestions change for someone that has been out of school for sometime (15+), working in CPA firm, mostly auditing, want/need CPA, so took becker review and rec’d a 68 on AU..just took BE..not sure?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Mike,
      Hmm… on AUD, do you think it’s because of lack of study time, lack of motivation or you simply get tricked by the questions? (if you work in the CPA firm, you must be very familiar with the concepts so this should be the issue).

      I would think that if you get a Wiley book, work on your weakest areas (based on the report) and see whether you are able to get them all right (and for the right reason) after a few attempts. If somehow you still can’t get it, then it’s worthwhile to get Yaeger because they explain the MC questions in detail and where the tricky areas are etc.

      Best of luck to your next attempt! Stephanie

  27. Farhan says

    HI
    would you mind telling us how flashpointcpareview.com program is ? what are pros and cons? i ‘d appreciate a lot

  28. Stephanie says

    Hi Farhan,

    Never heard of it, but I have just taken a quick look with a bit of research in the CPA forums.

    I did find a couple of people talking about flashpointcpareview.com and it’s quite positive – easier to digest compared to Becker. They especially like the notecards. While this is great I haven’t got enough data points to give an opinion on this review program — if you do decide to get it, I’d greatly appreciate if you let me know what you think about it. Thanks!

    Stephanie

  29. Numan says

    Hi Stephanie,
    It is really great to see someone helping the people in such a way. I would request your advice on whether to go ahead with CPA or not? I live in Pakistan and have done CA and ACCA. I plan to move to the US in near future. What is the condition of the job market in the US/Canada for people having passed the CPA exam? Your reply will be a great help for me as I have to make a decision.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Numan,
      Theoretically, CPA is a title most applicable for public accounting (i.e. auditing) firms, but from what I heard from my readers recently, many corporations are looking for a CPA title among the candidates. So it is definitely useful. Having said that, many accountants can secure a job without the title so the CPA qualification is not like “mandatory” in order to get an accounting/finance job in the US.

      Is it a big hassle for you to go to the US and take the exam? Also, do you think you can qualify for CPA exam requirements from any state? This would be 2 important questions for you to consider whether to start your CPA journey. You may also find this page for international CPA candidates useful.

      Hope it helps – just come back if I can be helpful. Cheers, Stephanie

  30. Farhan says

    well Nauman, if you want to remain being an accountant and also moving to USA, then i would suggest you go for the CPA exam.With your background, i don’t think you will have much difficulty passing the exam. Remember much of accounting doesn’t change and the only thing that will be new to you would be US Taxation.

  31. Numan says

    Dear Farhan,
    Bundle of thanks for the guidance. I hope I am able to pass. And what are the chances of getting a job in the Big 4, or any other good organization in the US, once you pass the CPA? How much time it takes approximately to find one? I want to be on my own soon after landing. Can you please tell me about some good recruitment firms too.
    Thanks again,
    Numan

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Numan,

      Thanks for your kind note! Well it has been enjoyable (and a good break from my day job and kids) running this site :)

      And on the general note of using the CPA title to find a job in the state… I would think while it definitely helps, it is not a guaranteed ticket if you know what I mean. Is it possible for you to work in Big 4 in Pakistan (not sure if they have presence there)? It would be much easier for you to arrange a transfer or something like that within the organization. Alternatively, any US-based corporations in Pakistan might work.

      Anyway, if you are aiming for the Big 4, you can check out my recommendation on this book — the steps and tips to break into Big 4 / big accounting firms.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  32. Numan says

    Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for the information. It is really amazing to see how you could spare time for people, besides doing a job and looking after 2 kids. Thank you for this. I get almost eaten up by just one kid of mine.
    Coming to US is not a problem. I have got a business visa (5 year; multiple). So I can come and go anytime for the exam. Also, i can study day and night for the exam and that is not a major problem. My concern was just that if i take the step towards attempting the CPA, will it help me getting a sponsoring employer in the US? With my current visa, I can only visit for business purpose, and not for work. I want to move to the US with my family. I hope CPA will help me in that, because my current qualifications i.e. CA and ACCA do not seem to be very useful in US.

  33. farhan says

    Nauman,
    you can sit for the exam under Colorado Board, if you are a CA from another country, they would allow you to sit for the CPA exam. Also , NASBA will be allowing candidates to take the exam outside of the US in near future. I am not sure when they will include Pakistan. But i have heard they have included Japan so far. I live in Canada but since i live at the border, for me travelling to the States is easy so i am not too concerned.

    Stephanie, i am struggling with FAR and forgetting whatever i have learned in last two weeks. I haven’t bought the Flashpoint CPA stuff yet . Since i spent thousands of dollars on material already, i feel guilty spending more on the stuff.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Farhan,
      Thanks for your help for Nauman. Much appreciated! Also, it’s good that you remind me of the new CPA exam sites in Japan. I have done a quick writeup for those who are interested.

      Yes FAR is the most overwhelming of all! Why don’t you tackle one sub-section at a time — after reading/listening to the lecture, work on the practice questions for the concepts to sink in. This tactic works for me pretty well. Yeah don’t worry about getting extra materials if you have existing ones already.

      Keep working hard! Stephanie

  34. Vipula says

    Hi Farhan,
    Thanks for the information that NASA is considering to take exams outside of USA also. I live in Canada (Toronto) and its difficult to go to US to give exams.
    I just hope that they include Canada also to take exams.
    In case you hear anything related to this, it will be great if you can let me know.
    Thanks

    Vipula

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Vipula,
      So far no news on Canada as far as I know… Actually Toronto shouldn’t be too bad if you can drive or take the Amtrak there? At least it’s much better than India and other Asian countries…
      Stephanie

  35. Farhan says

    Vipula,
    Sure , i would let you and everyone know here . Look at the bright side, it is still easier for us to go to the states to take the exam compare to people from other countries, where they have to come specially to take the exam. I am in Windsor and the prometric site is 20 minutes drive from me. Logically speaking, Canada would be included in very near future cus we are neighbors lol

  36. Kontopia says

    Stephanie:

    Is the clearance sale for $799 at CPA Passmaster genuine? I am not sure if that website, CPA Passmaster, that is selling Becker products for half the price is genuine. Can you help me here? My Becker software is expired but Becker is asking a huge amount of money plus a registration fee before they will renew the software for me as a former Becker student which, I think, is unfair. The CPA Passmaster website is offering to renew my software for $100. Is that genuine and do you know of anyone who who has done business with them? Has any of your forumers tried them? I have all the 2009 Becker Notes and the CD, the only thing I need is the MC and the simulation in the Passmaster. I am only interested in the extension of the software.

    Thank you also for the info on Wiley and Gleim. I took the live fastpass class with Becker and it’s a complete waste of time.

    Please advise me on that CPA Passmaster website and their products.

    Thank you.

    Kontopia

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Kontopia,
      You are dropping me a note at the *perfect time* because I am in the final stage of due diligence on CPA Passmaster. I don’t want to give my recommendation (or the lack of) before my full investigation but I promise to have it done by next week. So please wait for a few more days.

      If I do recommend this Becker reseller I will feature it prominently in the header at the top of my website. I’m sure you won’t miss it :)

      Please come back next week and have a look! Stephanie

      P.S. Sorry to hear about your experience at Becker live class. I can totally hear you. I set up this site mainly to tell people there are other options…

  37. Zachary says

    Stephanie:

    I love your website. It’s the only place I have found that gives honest, thoughtful reviews of different CPA review options. Others seem to be too biased.

    I am a recent grad, again (undergrad in accounting in Dec 08 and a MBA Aug 10). I now want to go after the CPA certification and am pretty motivated to get it. I am very disciplined … I took my entire MBA program online and graduated with a 3.9 gpa (and it was a very good, accredited university). I am unsure of which review program to go after. Everyone I have talked to has used Becker, but they took the exam 5+ or 10+ years ago and got it discounted. I know Becker is great, I am impressed with their website but they are also extremely expensive and are really out of my budget. I can not seem to find another program that strikes me as much as Becker does though. I do not want to do live classes, or online for that matter. I am better at self-study. I do not mind reading or watching lecturers at home (as long as they aren’t boring and long). Do you have any suggestions on review courses that have good self-study programs and they won’t break my poor bank account?? Maybe ones that have a good mixture of text and software even? (If there is such a thing out there for me).

    Thank you for any advice you give :-)

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Zachary,
      Thanks for your kind note! I am honored that this site is seen as “honest and thoughtful” because this is the goal I am trying to achieve for this site.

      I would say you can focus on the following 3 CPA study material:

      If you are very disciplined and self-motivated (sounds like you are!), then Wiley should be good for you and you can get the discounted Wiley CPA books + software here.

      If you are looking for a more integrated approach, CPAexcel has bite-sized classes and you can sign up for a free trial and see if you like it. Their program has just been endorsed by 1 of the big 4, and they are considerably cheaper than Becker.

      Lastly, Yaeger is always good if you are looking for lots of explanation on the actual multiple choice questions you are working on. The lectures are presented in DVD that you can watch at home. The filming is a bit “unpolished” but that’s why you get it at a much cheaper price than Becker.

      Hope it helps! Would be interested to see which course/materials you end up choosing. And all the best to your exam! Stephanie

  38. Grezze says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I appreciate all the information here in your website it’s a big help for a person like me. I found http://www.accountingcoach.com and they’re selling such accounting materials in a very low cost. Do you think it’s a good supplement materials to prepare CPA exam?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Greeze,

      I also heard from a few of my readers that they are quite good and I like the “free” materials on their site. In fact, Accounting Coach is under my list of recommendations on my newly setup Facebook page.

      If you find it necessary to clarify the accounting concepts, I would think it’s helpful. Do let me know what you think if you decide to purchase so I can let other readers know in the future. This site is helpful because of helpful readers like you!

      Regards,
      Stephanie

  39. Svetlana Primacheva says

    Hi Stephanie;

    I am very impressed with your website and am grateful that you took the time to put it together. I was a chief accountant of smb’s in Russia. I was planning to sign up for Yaeger, but they told me that I need to take several US tax courses first. ( I have taken financial and business accounting at a community college but nothing specifically on taxes.) Do you know what courses are either required by NASBA or the California Board of Accountancy or recommended before taking the CPA exam?

  40. Noreen Dratch says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Just wanted to drop a quick note about CPAexcel. My story isn’t entirely unique, but somewhat different. I’ve worked as an accountant for 40 years – I’m 58 years old. I’m actually working part time and could retire.

    As a personal goal, I decided in late April (2010) to sit for the CPA exam. It’s, obviously, tough for someone with an MBA which was received 10 years ago.

    Using CPAexcel and the Wiley software, I passed BEC the first try, taken July 1, 2010 – Score 86.

    I’m so excited I can’t believe it!! CPAexcel is absolutely great. Wiley was a supplemental study tool only. The folks behind CPAexcel are intelligent and always there to help.

    Thanks for the forum.

    Noreen

  41. Alex says

    Hi, Stephanie,

    I was too worried about whether I was qualified to sit for the exam, so I only visited your CPA requirement page, and left questions for you few mins ago. Now I found a even better source you are sharing with us. I cannot thank you enough for helping us save time on the CPA. Hope that more people can benefit from you web and get their licenses. ( Also hope I will be one of them :) )

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Alex,
      I am very glad you find the site helpful! If you need anything else just drop a note and I’ll try my best to help. Good luck to your application and exam! Stephanie

  42. Dan says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I took your recommendation and have been using Yaeger since the end of August. I’m in the middle of studying for FAR.

    I believe there are 3 teachers for this course. Cindy (who mainly teaches FAR) is excellent. She has a great sense of humor and she hammers points home so you won’t forget. On a multiple choice problem, she will go over the wrong choices and explain why they are wrong. She will also tell you for said MC question, what other questions the CPA could ask based on the topic. She really knows her stuff backwards and forwards and tries her bast to get you to her level of understanding accounting.

    HOWEVER, the other teachers SUCK. Phil is so monotone and boring. And it’s more than that. He doesn’t go into nearly the detail that Cindy does. Not only is Cindy more entertaining, but she’s a better teacher: plain and simple. Phil does not go over the wrong MC questions, which really bothers me because on the CPA exam there are often at least 2 answers that seem reasonably correct. Phil also say “all right” every 5 seconds. It’s like when a teenager says “like” all the time. Maybe not that bad but almost. He probably says “all right” as much as one of those dumb athletes say “you know” before every sentence.

    The 3rd guy I haven’t taken instruction from yet but I saw the beginning of one of his lectures and he seems worse than Phil.

    So, not having taken the other courses yet, I would recommend only taking Yaeger for FAR (Cindy mostly teaches FAR but occasionally you will get the brutal Phil and the other guy).

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Dan,
      Thanks very much for your comment. It is interesting because many readers told me they like Phil… but I can see what you mean by the “monotone”… I will mention your comment in the Yaeger page so at least ask the prospective buyers to check out Phil’s demo and see if they find him ok.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to let us know your opinion. I am sure it is helpful to other aspiring CPAs.

      Regards, Stephanie

  43. Dan says

    I haven’t experienced too much of Phil’s teaching so any reader can take my comments with that in mind. I just finished Phil’s lecture on pensions. He did a decent job explaining the material prior to going into examples but I don’t like the way he covers the multiple choice. The other teacher also seem to do a better job of teaching test taking techniques. I guess I haven’t listened to enough lectures from Phil to completely comment on his style but I definitely feel confident saying Cindy is the superior teacher.

    Now the 3rd guy I just got done listening to his lecture on leases. He is actually not bad. He also does Auditing apparently. He is pretty dry and deadpan but he is good at emphasizing certain points of emphasis.

    Does Phil only teach REG? That would be good because I think that is the section I feel most confident.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Dan,
      Again thanks for your comments and the lively desription! I think Phil Yaeger also teaches in other parts, but they may have changed from year to year and so I can’t say for sure for the latest edition… but maybe you can come back and let us know after you have viewed everything? That would be immensely helpful. Thanks!
      Stephanie

  44. Kenneth says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m coming from Hong Kong, and I’ve been struggle for choosing Becker and Yaeger.

    With confirmation with Becker, there will be no live classes offered in HK starting from 2011, but we can still buy their material in HK, the cost is similar to United States. It’s no doubt that Becker is most expensive one, I don’t know is it worth or not.

    For Yaeger, I’m not sure the video lectures offer by them is update or not, as you know there are some changes for 2011 exam. And I’ve no idea about the CRAM series though I’ve read their website info.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Kenneth,
      I personally don’t like Becker live classes anyway so it’s good that you’ll be choosing Becker self-study vs Yaeger.
      I have written a page specially on becker vs yaeger CPA review. Please see if it’s helpful for you?

      By the way, your experience will be able to count if your work experience is supervised / verified by CPA from US, and possibly from Canada and Australia (depend on which state). Whether it has to be supervised or not will also be dependent on the state you apply to.

      Just let me know if you have further questions! stephanie

  45. Nico IL says

    Hi Stephanie!

    So… I’m scheduled to take REG on October 29. Using the Yeager CPA review materials, I’ve already managed to get through a significant amount of material.

    However, I’m kind of worried because Prof Yaeger seems to skip a lot of things in the Wiley Book. From my experience, I managed to pass FAR and AUD (with a reasonable margins – 94, 89) because of fine details that I studied from the Wiley Book and CPAExcel.

    Do you have any knowledge of how much dependable Yaeger is? I mean, if he says to skip that section, then is there really a “reasonable probability” that the section won’t be in the test?

    I bought the Yaeger course because of the efficiency it offers, but am worried on it’s effectiveness and scope…

    I appreciate any help or guidance!

    Thank you very much,
    Nico

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Nico,
      Nice to hear from you again!
      Yes your concern is certainly understandable. I understand Dr. Yaeger specifically skips those parts that has lower importance in the exam. This is the way to do it for people with limited time. So I would recommend that you follow the direction and get the basic done first; then if you have more time, you can still work on the rest of Wiley, but at least for time management wise this makes the most sense and you can feel more comfortable because the most important things got covered.

      An industry expert (who works for another CPA review course) told me Yaeger is among his favorites. That’s why I feel comfortable recommending the course to my readers. If you have any other thoughts on Yaeger (good or bad) please let me know so I can get a more comprehensive view on this course. Thanks!

      And all the best to the studying and passing of REG!
      Stephanie

  46. Alex says

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Thank you for your comment about my post on the “How to qualify for PA CPA exam.” One more question need your help. Recently, I use Becker for my BEC study, and its homework seems not that hard, as the teachers cover almost all the points in the lecture. Then I find out a free website: http://www.cpareviewforfree.com . I register online, and do their test. I had to say, really frustrating, I almost got more than a half of the questions wrong. Not sure whether the questions on that web is too hard, or Becker chooses too many straight forward questions. Please let me know whether I need to use more than one material for the study. Thanks a lot.

    • Stephanie says

      Hello Alex,
      Hmm… which BEC sub-topic did you try in CPA review for free? (by the way I wrote about the CPAreviewforfree here.) If it’s IT, then it’s pretty normal because Becker seems to underprepare candidates in this particular area. For other areas it shouldn’t be too bad.

      If you have time I’d recommend that you get a Wiley software CD and work on more practice questions… you can get a good discount at Amazon. Otherwise, many candidates do find CPA Review For Free useful.

      Keep working on the problems — this is the best way to do it!
      Regards, stephanie

  47. Claudia J says

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Wow your site is overwhelming! A lot of useful information(: Thanks for clearing a lot of questions!
    I have a question though, I’m trying to pass BEC in Nov (since its going to get harder in 2011). I was thinking of getting the Wiley book, software, and the Yaeger lecture. Is that enough? I know the schedule is tight but do you think its worth a try?
    Thanks for the advice and time!

    Claudia J

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Claudia,
      Thanks for your kind words – I am really glad you find the site helpful.
      Getting Yaeger + Wiley sounds like a good plan (by the way, Wiley books + software come with the standard Yaeger purchase, so no need to buy separately).
      But the more important thing is that you stick with a study plan and work on (1) the MC questions as suggested by Yaeger and (2) the rest in the Wiley software as much as you can. The more you practice, the higher the chance of success in my opinion.

      For IT, I’ll also recommend you try the free questions at cpareviewforfree.com. This is a site run by a nice guy who owned his CPA review course before selling out to Kaplan. They are really free — no strings attached as far as I know.

      Best of luck! hope you can make it before 2010! Stephanie

  48. Alex says

    Hi, Stephanie,

    I tried the Supply and Demand part. After I re-do the questions very carefully, I found out the good result of BEC homework is because I just listen the lecture, while when I do the CPA review for free, somethings get mess up. Thank you for the good tip of the IT part, I will pay attention to that. By the way, Becker have the Appendix for several charpter, how important is that? Do I need to go through these readings? Thanks a lot.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Alex,
      Great to know you score fine afterall. No worries then!
      Back then when I studied with Becker I skipped all the appendices and managed to pass. So I don’t think it’s necessary (for BEC at least). Actually, for FAR/AUD there is a page on financial ratios which can be helpful. That’s the only appendix page I referenced to.
      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  49. Alex says

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Thank you for your reply. I would like to mention an advantage of CPA review for free. For us who work and prepare the exams. It is easy to log online and take a small test while working, make sure you remember everything you study at home (using Becker or Wiley). The website making a small break at work useful for preparing the test.

    Thanks.

  50. Alex says

    Hi, Stephanie,

    Thank you for your suggestion, very helpful. Of course you can quote my thoughts about CPA Review for Free. I’m glad that I can help. Cheers.

  51. Marla says

    It has been so hard to decide between the reviews. Its like they all are apples but one is a grannysmith, the next is a gala and the last is a red delicious, same but different. I don’t have the money to spend on a review and it not work. If I havta get a loan to add to the mountain of student loans I want it to be the right one. Your site helped me so much, and I trusted your evaluations because your not a commissioned voice.

    Thanks

    • Stephanie says

      Thanks Marla! I am so glad you find the review unbiased. I do try hard to make sure I include both pros and cons for each program.
      Whichever course you pick, I wish you all the best! Stephanie

  52. sanjay says

    Hi Stephaine,
    I am Chartered Accountant from India and I want to pursue the CPA course.I have my friends in US who are working there as CPA’s. I wanted to know if my CA degree would be of any use in pursuing the CPA course.Will I get any exemptions in the papers to be written or any waiver in the examination or registration fees ? What are my chances of getting a job in the US after completing my CPA degree? I am going to finance my studies on my own which coaching institute do you think will be the best for me , here in India ?

    Regards,
    sanjay

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Sanjay,
      The CA was very helpful in the state of Colorado before Nov 2009 when you get automatically qualified for the exam. But now the state requires candidates to go through the foreign credential evaluation process. They do general give ~40 credits from CA (I heard from my readers) so it’s still considered an edge.

      Michigan still allow you to get qualified with CA certificate alone, but please pay special attention to the working requirements as it is rather strict. You can find out the details for Colorado and Michigan here.

      Hope it gives you some info to start with… STephanei

  53. Jeff says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Do you have a review or analysis of ExamMatrix? If not, do you have any quick thoughts about their review course?

    Thanks,

  54. Farhan says

    yes i wanna know about examatrix too
    i am studying day and night for FAR and i still not feeling well … i am physically sick from studying ( i am not kidding) .. i like exammatrix concept of keeping the material fresh by the structure of their software.. but i don’t wanna experiment by paying lol… anyone has positive results with exammatrix for FAR? they have sweet deal going on right now… please contact me if you are studying from exammatrix toronto_troubleshooter@yahoo.com

  55. Dang says

    Hello Stephanie,
    What the different between 2008 (or earlier) Becker review and the current 2010 Becker review? I can only afford to buy it on ebay and the older version is much cheaper than current version.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Dang,
      I don’t know the details, but there are accounting rule updates here and there so this should be the main changes. I personally think it is ok to use the old ones as long as you aim at a “higher” passing score yourself (like 80-85) to compensate for the mistakes made due to the new change of rules.

      Otherwise, just pick other CPA review courses — many candidates pass each year using any one of the above.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  56. nour says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I signed up to do my financial exam on Nov 30th of 2010, and I did it the first time was on April of 2010 with Gleim material, I didn’t pass it, found it very tough lecture and too much info to learn, then I got Becker CD with the book, I haven’t started to study for my Nov exam, but I’m lost because my friend suggested me to buy Roger as his way is interesting comapre to gleim and Becker, I don’t want to spend too much ( $400) on Roger and then fail again, what do you suggest me to do, I’m really lost and almost 5 more weeks to do my Financial test??
    thanks alot for all the info and replies,

    Nour

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Nour,
      If you’ve got the Becker material, I’d stick with it. As you said, you have already invested a lot in the courses! Becker works for many candidates and their materials are pretty good. The only thing I don’t like is the price and the live classes (which isn’t applicable to you anyway).

      Just focus on studying and get it done with in Nov. Best of luck! Stephanie

  57. Janelle says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’m so glad that I found your website…I just wish I found it a year and a half ago! In September 2009, my friend and I decided to finally re-sit for the exam. Coming from the Big 4, we really only knew of three different sources for review materials and decided on the Bisk self study materials. Being the huge procrastinators that we are, we only re-registered last week! We briefly heard about the changes effective January 1st, but only started researching the details recently and realized that we are royally in trouble!

    I’m thinking that we have the following options:
    1. Purchase the re-vamped 2011 materials from Bisk (they will give us a slight discount)
    2. Use the 2009-2010 Bisk materials and supplement them with the 2011 materials from Wiley
    3. Make a complete switch to Yaeger (that’s really intrigued us)

    I’m wavering more with options 2 and 3. With the Yaeger materials, the text and CDs are Wileys, and the only real difference are the “old school” lectures and handouts. Is that correct?

    In any case, your input would really help us right now.

    Janelle

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Janelle,
      Thanks a lot for your kind words on my site. I am really glad you find it helpful (though a little bit late!)
      First of all, do you like Bisk or find it helpful?
      If it’s so-so or you think it is part of the reason of the retake, then yes I encourage you to explore option 2-3.

      Between 2 and 3, it would depend on whether you’ll like someone to go over the accounting concepts and explain the reasoning behind the MCs, or you are fine with figuring out yourself. If former, pick 3; if latter, pick 2.

      Yes for Yaeger old school is their style. And many people like how they explain the MC questions and that they have a “hotline” that you can call and talk to a real instructor, even after office hours. But please do check out the demo on their site first because the style is not everyone’s cup of tea. Cindy Simpson gets raving reviews from all my readers, but Dr. Yaeger and other instructors get mixed reviews (on the way they talk — content wise no problem).

      Here is my Yaeger evaluation and this one brings you directly to Yaeger CPA review site.

      Hope it helps, and all the best to you and your friend! Stephanie

  58. Janelle says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Yes, I actually like the Bisk books. The last time I sat for BEC and audit (4 years ago…I scored 74s on both parts…if only I studied for another week or two! Ugh. Anyway, what I like is that they have plans for studying and preparing for the exam. For example, if you plan to study for two parts (FAR and BEC), they provide a schedule of which chapters you need to cover week by week, over the course of 20 weeks or so. They have plans for one part, two, three, or all four. It just helps when everything can get so overwhelming and you just don’t know how you’re going to accomplish everything and understand and retain it all!

    Interestingly enough, I also took the Becker’s live classes right out of college and agree with you that it is way overrated. Luckily I was a rep for them as a student and the fees were completely waived.

    After viewing the Yaeger demos, we’re most likely going to make the switch. In reality, we’ll have three sources of materials: 2010 Bisk, Yaeger DVDs and handouts, and the Wiley books/CD testbank (which comes with the Yaeger program). I know that Wiley’s books don’t provide the “plan of attack” so I’ll try to adapt the Bisk plans to the Yaeger/Wiley program and hopefully with our dedication and determination…we’ll find success!

    Thanks so much again. Your site provides us with so much hope!

    Take care,
    Janelle

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Janelle – sorry to reply late (out of country) but thanks a lot for your detailed story. I always love to know more about my reader so thanks.
      Glad to know your plan and even happier than you make the switch after doing all the necessary checking of the demo. Best of luck to you guys!

      By the way, love how you describe the “plan of attack”. You certainly need this for the CPA exam :) Stephanie

  59. Amy says

    Hi Stephanie.
    Thank you so much for this creating this site. It is great! Thank you for helping us sort through the information and the hype.
    I listened to the Yaegar and Kaplan demos and I think I will learn best from the Kaplan videos. After reading the posts on this page, I have decided to also get the Wiley software and/or books. Do you think I should get the book along with the software? Will the books add much value? Also, the Wiley software has been getting bad reviews on Amazon. Users have said it contains many errors, even calculation errors. Have you heard any negative reviews from users of the software? Are the benefits significant enough to justify the purchase? Would it be better to get the books and use free online simulations?

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Amy,
      Thanks for your note! From what I know Kaplan’s materials are even more comprehensive than Wiley so you probably don’t need to get a Wiley book.

      Yes there are comments on errors and typos in both Wiley books and software. Having said that, these are relatively minor in my opinion because the overall quality of the questions themselves are fine. I am not trying to pomote Wiley but the fact that there aren’t any platforms for other review books can explain the reason why there are more (good and bad) comments on Wiley vs others… you know what I mean.

      All in all Wiley is still the best selling software for CPA exam and apart from the fact that Wiley is a huge publisher, there should be some reason behind it. Alternatively, you can get Gleim’s software which I think get generally good reviews. You can check out CPAreviewforfree.com for extra questions as well.

      As far as I know there isn’t a free online simulation platform… maybe it’s something you can suggest to Joe Hoyle at CPAreviewforfree :)

      Cheers,
      Stephanie

  60. June says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you for the information.
    I pretty much set for Yaeger now, but have questions about their courses. I am going to graduate this December and have pretty high GPA. This is my first attempt to study CPA exams. Yaeger has the home study course and the cram course. I wonder how those two classes are different and whether I need both or just the home study course.
    I appreciate your suggestions.
    Best regards,
    June

    • Stephanie says

      Hi June,
      Congratulations to your graduation in Dec. And I am glad you are planning ahead. No wonder you are a top student :)
      Anyway, on Yaeger, I think it is better to get the home study course because the cram course is mostly for retakers who need 5-10 points to pass in the next attempt. Also, cram courses do not include the “hotline” service that they are famous for.

      In any case, either one is enough.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  61. CB says

    Hi, Stephanie.

    Your site is very helpful and I felt quite relieved finding answers. You mentioned you have a non-accounting degree , took only one basic accounting class and was qualified for the exam(not to mention you passed it on first try!). I have a non-accounting degree and currently taking my first accounting course. I’ve been searching how I can get the required 24 semester credits in accounting and eventually prepare for the exam. I’m wondering if I’m on the right track or will end up wasting my time and money taking accounting courses when I can proceed with the review courses and qualify for the exam. Community colleges have limited accounting courses and I can’t afford to go to a state university paying more than $200 per unit. I hope you can help me with my dilemma.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi CB,
      For the CPA review courses, if they are offered via an accredited university it can be counted. This is great but not a lot of universities carries “other people”‘s courses so it is hard to find one that fits your location and schedule. Please note that review courses offered in commercial setting / home-study courses cannot be counted.

      Other than that, yeah, you’ll need to take those accounting courses to get qualified… in my case, I did take one or two accounting courses from school but the rest I had to take courses somewhere else. Cheers, Stephanie

  62. Dang says

    Hello Stephanie,

    Which one has a unlimited time on DVD and/or audio lecture? Due to retrainted budget, I have turned to Ebay hoping to get a good deal. I have spent more than $300 already, but I got (except for flashcard) are boogus and expired items that didn’t even work. It’s so discourage, but I didn’t want to give it up or at least not yet. So if you know any CPA review provider out there with an unlimited lecture that I can purchase used or cheap new, then please let me know.

    Thank you.

    • Stephanie says

      Hi Dang,
      Yes eBay is no good. I have another reader who had the same experience.

      I understand that Yaeger’s DVD will not get expired, but the thing is that it won’t get updated either being a DVD. CPAexcel is better in this aspect because it is online and you get free updates with no expiration date. In terms of price, Yaeger is probably cheaper, but CPAexcel has this free update advantage.

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  63. Stephanie says

    Hi Gigi,
    Thanks for your note. I honestly think the above is one of the most comprehensive presentations on the subject — I did take a lot of time thinking through and asking advices from readers and industry insiders.

    You are right I do prefer Yaeger, but as the owner of this site I need to present my opinion up-front (otherwise I’ll get too many emails for recommendations). Hope you understand.

    Anyway, what you can do is to ignore Yaeger and see who else you prefer? Or you can check out this page on how to pick a CPA review course wisely where I try to write in a different perspective as the request of another reader.

    Lastly, if I have to pick between Kaplan and CPAexcel… definitely CPAexcel, with bite-sized, more user-friendly lectures and unlimited upgrade.

    Cheers, Stephanie

  64. Mani says

    Hi Stephanie;
    I am very impressed with your website and appreciate the time you put into relying to all the questions on the various topics.

    Would you say that the Becker Review Course is enough to prepare for the CPA exam and no further courses would be required. Have you used any other additional material for your exam preparation?

    Thank you

  65. Mani says

    Hi Stephanie;
    I am very impressed with your website and appreciate the time you put into replying to all the questions on the various topics.

    Would you say that the Becker Review Course is enough to prepare for the CPA exam and no further courses would be required. Have you used any other additional material for your exam preparation?

    Thank you

  66. Mike says

    After evaluating several prominent CPA review courses, a Big 4 Public Accounting Firm recently selected CPAexcel’s Video Gold Medal Course as the exclusive online/offline Review Course for its staff in 2011. You can now choose CPAexcel knowing it’s the top of its class.
    I called and they told me that will release the name of the company on Jan. 1 to who picked CPAexcel as their exclusive provider.

  67. Jill says

    Hi Stephanie –

    Question: I have 3 parts passed and lack Financial. I cannot seem to pass Financial…have made between 65 and 70 the last few times I’ve taken it. I have used Becker up to this point but I guess Becker doesn’t work for me when it comes to Financial. I have a 2008 book. What do you suggest I buy as a supplement or a replacement for my 2008 Becker book? I am hoping to take and PASS in January 2011. I need to buy a book/CD soon so I can start studying again but really don’t know much about the other reviews out there. And I don’t want to pay $900 for a 2011 book/CD combo from Becker. I know about the new content and know my 2008 Becker book won’t be adequate…or it might not apply at all! What would you recommend?
    (FYI – I am good at self study, do like Becker’s concise content in the books but the audio classes are useless to me)

  68. Mark says

    About Becker CPA review. This is concerning post # 13 & 14. I have not read every post, but I will set you straight about Becker. I graduated from Keller Graduate School of Management with a MAFM/CPA emphasis. Keller owns Becker. If you take Becker through Becker it is not accredited and you can not get financial aid. If you take Becker through Keller it is accredited and you can get financial aid.
    Keller has a MAFM/CFA emphasis. You go through the Stalla program. Keller owns Stalla.

  69. Rode says

    Hi Stephanie,
    After reading your site, I was set for Yaeger but after visiting and calling Yaeger, I realized you did not mention some key weaknesses for Yaeger. If the candidate does not pass, and they want to try out next 2 years for example, if CPA exams stays the same next year, you can use the same exact thing, but if you happen to take a long break for2- 3 years, you have to buy everything again. Customer service from the Yaeger sucks, they get frustrated very easily if you don’t jump and choose their programs. Hope you will post this so everyone can read it .

  70. Stephanie says

    Hi Mark,
    This is an excellent point — I should really mention somewhere that by taking Becker through Keller you can get credits and financial aid. I will mention it at least in the Becker page.

    Hi Rode,
    I appreciate you point out the weakness of Yaeger. Noted on the point of buying everything again if you take a long break. I think this is probably the case for all CPA Review Course except maybe for CPAexcel? Need to double check.
    Then, on the poor customer service, I am sorry to hear that. Did you mean that they quickly become not helpful if you don’t sound you want to purchase their course right away? I actually would love to have you elaborate more on this because supposedly, customer service is Yaeger’s selling point and if this is not true I need to alert people on this.

    Thanks, Stephanie

  71. Roman says

    Hi Stephanie, I respect and appreciate all your insights about the various review courses. So far, I have used Becker for BEC and AUD and have passed both the first time around with scores in the 80′s.

    Anyway, two things I really appreciate about Becker (which I feel have been significant to my success so far) are the following:

    1) the Becker MC questions are timed so you can practice solving them and track your improvement by your timed results

    2) the simulations are dead on very realistic representations of what you will see on the real exam – so again, you can really get the feel of the functionalities and will have few surprises.

    How does Yaeger compare in terms of these two areas?

    However, I will probably stick with Becker for FAR and REG, but I am very intrigued by Yaeger and will definitely look into it more. I may recommend Yaeger for my friend who is trying to pass the CPA exam but has a very limited Accounting and Audit background.

    Thank you so much!

  72. Bonni Yaeger says

    Stephanie — I love the layout of your site. Very easy to navigate around. Only one small suggestion. When you list your posts and comments, it would easier if you reversed the order to show most recent to oldest posts.

  73. Stephanie says

    Hi Roman,
    Yaeger uses Wiley materials (they focus on the teaching) so that would be a Wiley vs Becker comparison.

    I agree that Becker is pretty good – in terms of usefulness I would think both of them are probably the best. Becker is more user friendly so if this is put into consideration, Becker is slightly better in my opinion.

    If you have a good accounting background and don’t need much explanation in terms of someone to go through MCs with you, and don’t mind the hefty price Becker should be a great choice.

    Hi Bonni,
    Thanks for your suggestion — I am not sure if I can show this comment in reverse order but I agree that it would be more user-friendly. Will give it a try! Stephanie

  74. Anthony says

    Stephanie,

    Amazing site! I am now just re-starting this venture back into becoming a CPA and this is exactly what I needed as a guide for preparation. THANKS

    Question. I am 5 years removed from a single general graduate level course in accounting and 10 years removed from a pre-SOX accounting degree. I have been working primarily as a financial analyst and now as a senior management consultant (for a real estate firm) and have not used many accounting concepts in my day to day over the past 5+ years. I’m finally agressively pursuing certification in California and was wondering what the best prep program would be for someone like me.

    I hate the 4-8 hour lecture BUT …. I do need the structured setting to help get me re-ramped on accounting concepts. I was initially thinking Becker but was blown away by price. Through your review, I was really thinking about a combination Yaeger and CPAExcel (been getting emails from them for about 5 years now :). However, I am not sure what the best approach should be. Is Yaegar the strongest formal setting (in your opinion) and is CPAExcel the stronger supplemental for someone who has been removed from accounting for awhile? I have seen a lot of talk about Gleim and Wiley but I thought that was more directed to recent grads …. not those “old-heads” who have been working for more than a decade like myself. Any feedback would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Anthony

  75. Steven says

    I have taken audit using Roger’s and passed. I found the lectures helpful on some of the more boring topics. On the additional audits (Governmental etc.) it was a little too short, but I passed, so no complaining.
    For FAR I started with Roger and found it to be too unorganized (Besides that, in the ifrs videos even the lecturer doesn’t understand what he is saying). I wanted a course that would neatly package the concepts, the journal entries etc.. I purchase Bisk and I am quite pleased. I think the under-prepared rap that it gets, comes from people understanding that the videos will teach it all. However that is not the case. The textbook teaches it all and the videos are there to work through the difficult concepts.

  76. HITESH TILOKANI says

    Stephanie, i so desperately need ur help and its very urgent coz i realy need to make a choice as early as possible.. cn u email me ur phone no so dt i can give u a call at the tym of ur convenience. ur help would be appreciated.. please get me back to me as early as possible..

  77. Meoshi says

    Hi Stephanie:

    Thank you so much; I found the site very informative. I came across the Yaeger review some time ago and was very much interested. However, I live in The Bahamas and no one here had heard of it. Nonetheless, I thought I had made up my mind this morning after reading your recommendations. So, I went on Yaeger’s site and looked at the products but discovered that they are using Wiley’s textbooks. This contradicts your recommendation not to purchase these texts because they are overwhelming. I’d appreciate if you would kindly give me your position on my concern. Thanks.

  78. says

    After taking the Becker CPA review course some 18 years ago and didn’t pass. I now wanted to try Yaeger. I’m thinking of purchasing the 4-part Home Study course and was wondering if I also need to purchase the Webcast CRAM course. I’m trying to save some money here because I lost my job. Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

  79. Rama says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I completed 3 yr Bachelor of Commerce Degree and 2 years of MBA Finance from a reputed university in India. I have 2 yrs work experience in Finance company in India. Currently I am in US on H4 visa. I am planning to sit for CPA exam. I am staying in Maryland, am I eligible in Maryland state or should I have to go to any other state that qualifies me for the exam?

    It would be great help if you can provide me some details about the CPA exam and opportunities in US after I complete the exam.

  80. Peter Pan says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am on a budget, jobless, and want to utilize the Becker review courses 2009 edition. I am totally aware that the examination has changed in 2011. Are these textbooks (2009 edition) no longer useful? Moreover, If I could indeed use these textbooks to prepare for the exam, what other learning materials/tools could I purchase to supplement my form of attack? In advance, thanks for your help and God Bless!

  81. Inderjyot Singh says

    Hi Stephanie,
    If you have finished the due digilence on CPA Passmaster , please do let me know if they are genuine or not.
    Thanks….InderJyot

  82. Yiquan says

    I’ve started learning with Yaeger homestudy for several modules, the presentation of Cynthia is really good, I can learn something after her lectures.

    However, the customer service is terrible, a staff called Bonni Yaeger who has bad temper, be careful.

  83. Stephanie says

    Hi Yiquan,
    Thanks a lot for the comment. I especially appreciate “negative” comments because this is something I need to alert readers if this is indeed the case. So maybe that’s what Rode meant (comment on Dec 15)… I will put a note on Yaeger’s page.

    Hi Steven,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with Roger. I especially like the way you provide the details so it is easier for us to visualize what’s good and what’s not. And I like your point on how textbook teaches many things but the video help to explain difficult concepts.

    Stephanie

  84. Blake says

    Stephanie, I plan on sitting for the FAR section within the next 6 months. So far I only have Bisk 2009-2010 book so I know I need some updated material. I have a newborn at home and I spend some time in my car. I need to make the most of my time with some type of audio material. What would you recommend? I was thinking about just getting Gleim 2011 book, MCQ cd, and audio cds. On the other hand, I could watch Yaegar dvd while I’m spending time with the baby. I find it difficult to get into my book while on baby duty.

  85. says

    This comment was forwarded to me, so I will respond.

    If you can watch the DVD’s, that would help. As for audios’s, we are working on them. The FAR should be done by the end of the month. Listening to them is great, but we do not consider these as a “stand alone” CPA Review course. They work best when used in conjunction with our comprehensive HomeStudy course.

    Check out our demos, (HomeStudy, CRAM and audio) and see what will work best for you.

    Bonni Yaeger @ Team Yaeger

  86. Chris says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have passed 3 sections of the exam within 6 months at the first time with grades around 90. But I’m struggling withe the AUD section (don’t want to mention I worked as an auditor the last 7 years in Europe and now in the US). I have just failed for a second time with the exact same result of 73. So far I have only used the Wiley books and the Wiley test bank and I have to say, I don’t feel enough prepared with this solution for AUD. Especially the opinion part and responsibilities of a CPA are somewhat short in my opinion. Reading on your excellent website I’m thinking about the Gleim practice test since I’m already so close to pass the AUD section and I don’t want to rob a bank. However I’m feeling I have some deficits in AUD and only additional questions might not fix the problem. The Gleim solution also includes a textbook. How good is this textbook? I definitely don’t want to have another review book like Wiley and I’m looking for some teaching. Based on my experience I’m better studying with an online-course or video. Studying just from a book is not my best approach.

    Thank you
    Chris

  87. wendy says

    Hi Stephanie:

    I passed the BEC and REG sections. I used to have the Becker book for review. Now I used the Bisk books which I found is too complicated and mixed as you said. I tried the Wiley online bank these periods and found it is not enough for me. My audit section failed several times and each time the simulation is weak. I don’t know which software or other materials can strenghthen my weakness. Otherwise is there any other alternatives for the Wiley on line software? By the way, If I have some individual questions, where I seek for the help? I appreciate for your early reply as I am ready to sit for the April or May exam for other two parts.

    Thank you
    Wendy

  88. Rohan says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am planning to take Financial and Audit in August using the Becker CPA Review(already began my preparations) but reading the reviews and doing some research i get the feeling that Yaeger is a much better option but the thing is i dont think i have enough time to get yaeger and start from scratch… I know that you think Yaeger is alot better but still do you think if i put in the effort using becker i would have good enough chance of passing the exam??

  89. Stephanie says

    Hi Rohan,
    Sure just stick with Becker — in fact Becker is pretty good if you don’t mind the price!
    Many candidates pass by taking Becker (and in fact, all the CPa review courses featured here). All of them are good — so no worries you will pass if you study hard and with the right strategy.

    Cheers
    Stephanie

  90. Mike says

    Hello I have a quick question. I’m only 18 and I’m just starting my freshman year as an accounting major and I was wondering should I start studying for the CPA exam now with the 2011 material? even though I wont be taking the test for at least 5 years as I still have to get my bachelors degree and masters in accounting. So is it a good idea to start studying now?

  91. Stephanie says

    Hi Marie,
    Are you talking about IQEX? Can try CPAexcel’s course. I don’t know whether it’s good but for CPA exam review at least, CPAexcel is great. Please check out here

    Hi Dil,
    I would say at least work on the MCs in the video and make sure you get them right for the right reason. Then, move on to the rest of the Wiley MCs. Normally, the more MCs you tackle, the more “covered” you are. Ideally get all of them done; if not possible, work on the topics that are heavily tested.

    hope it helps! Stephanie

  92. Dil says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Am using the yeager’s homestudy. For the Auditing & attestation section, Is it sufficient to follow the video and work out the MCQ’s /Simulations ? Else, Do i have to study
    the Wiley guide as well. If so, what is the level of detail i should get in.

    thanks in advance for your response

  93. Tyowua Iyorbo says

    I am interested in taking the full cpa review course but can’t afford to pay all at once. Can I make partial payments or can I finance the program?

  94. says

    I was going thorough your site and found quite informative. Just to brief you, I have done BCOM from India and Post Graduation Diploma in Business Mgmt (specializing in Finance Management) from India. I am settled in Canada and have been corresponding with Leslie @ CPA excel. In your opinion who would you rate the best for classes as well as study material / online taking into consideration the price.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Rajesh, in my opinion CPAexcel, Yaeger and Gleim are on my recommended list. They all have a good balance of quality and price. They teach quite differently so the selection should largely be based on your own learning style.

      Hope it helps? If you tell me more of your learning style I can help narrow it down for you. Stephanie

  95. Conrad says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Very valuable information. Please suggest which one to eliminate if I select between Becker and Yeager? I believe in understanding the concepts rather than memorizing and struggling at the test. I would like to use DVD’s, Test Banks and the text books. Appreciate your help.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Conrad, if you are more into understanding the concepts, I think Yaeger is better. They go through the multiple questions and tell you how to get to the answers, the tricks etc. I like to learn this way rather than hours of concept. Yaeger comes with Wiley’s books and test banks.

      Cheers, Stephanie

  96. Thomas says

    Thank you for your website it was very helpful. Next year I will have a degree in business management from London. Before I sit the CPA or take a review course, I want to take a full time university course that will lead me to the CPA, can you tell me what such a course would be called and which universities do them.

    Thank you

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hello Thomas, that’s good planning! I don’t really have a university recommendation in mind, because there are so many to choose from. Here is an article that helps you analyze what’s best in your situation.

      I would also say that you can first decide whether you want to go for quality or just price (i.e. don’t care much about the course itself, just want to accumulate the hours).

      Cheers, Stephanie

  97. Amei says

    I have been using Becker. After the test, I felt like Becker review goes over a many little details (on lecture) and the MCQ is much complex than in the test. It ends up that I spent too much time on all the difficult questions when I studied and I forgot the simple questions which I had in the real test.
    I felt like I already study really hard but I still can’t pass (very discourage and not giving up). I need another material to help me to pass the tests. With my working hour and family, I need something can go to the point and I still remember the previous chapter when I move to the next chapter. I’m thinking Gleim or CPAExcel. In your opinion, which one is better for my need? Do you have any other suggestion. Thank you so much.

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Amei, I hear you… sounds like you do know the concept, so why don’t you work on the practice questions? Gleim is a good one which covers both basic and tricky, out of the blue questions.

      If you want the more “mainstream” sort of questions then Wiley is a good choice.

      CPAexcel is good (and you get Wiley’s full test bank if you get it before Sep 30, 2013)… but I would think it will bore you to tears to go through the review again? Just my 2 cents. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  98. says

    I have read all ten cpa exam courses detail ,this is very interested but selection would be difficult because please tell me if i can devote everyday 5to 6 hours everyday for feb.2014 ,whether cpa excel is better or yaeger cpa is good or any other course is best

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Anil glad you find the info helpful. I think both works if you can dedicate quite a bit of hours every day, so I would pick based on your own learning style. Click on both sites and check out the demo! Both are running discounts/freebie with purchase. Cheers, Stephanie

  99. Tuyen Le says

    Now I see that CPA Review for Free is partner with Fast Forward Academy. The cost is <$900.00 for full course. What do you think? Is it a good one compare to Gleim's review course? Thanks!

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hello Tuyen, I have yet to review their products, but for now, I am happy to stick with Gleim. Gleim is more affordable among the providers but price isn’t the only factor for Gleim to get into my recommended list.

  100. abbbas says

    Dear stephani ,
    I am a strong aspirant of
    cpa. My last qualification is m.com from
    a recognized university in india

    I am not holding a b.com. In this situation
    is it posssible for me to get 120 credential
    with my m.com to sit in new hamph shire.
    Please advice me by a return mail.
    Abbas.

  101. Anahit says

    Stephani, thank you for detail information about Lamber’s CPA review courses, look like you really recommend the AUD part of CPA exam. I was wondering how did you manage to find out about these 10 CPA review courses, Did you buy material and really study it or you reviewed the material to write this review.
    thank you
    Anahit

    • Stephanie Ng says

      Hi Anahit,
      I started with going through the CPA exam myself, and after I passed, I had friends and colleagues who showed me what they got so I had a general feel of what they offered.

      Recently though, after this site takes off, I got free access to these courses directly from the providers. That’s why I can tell you my thoughts in specific areas and with good enough details. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  102. Samantha Jones says

    Hi Stephanie
    I am very interested in getting my CPA. I am born and educated in Britain – BSc – Math/Statistics. I have lived in the US as a resident green card holder for 8 years but have never worked in Accounting. I am currently a real estate agent in Atlanta, GA. What is my best option here ? I would like to take it in a different state as according to your info here, there are easier ones to acquire it in than GA! I can study online very well.

  103. Mohamed says

    Hi,

    I noticed that you have been pushing Gleim as a good choice, but a cousin of mine from his experience says it wasn’t the best choice for him. I considered Becker but its quit expensive. So now I think I’m going for CPAexcel. This is my first time though to start studying for CPA. I am a Bachelor in accounting graduate I took one subject about taxes at university. I think I am more in to studying from books. although I wouldn’t mind studying some from an application on a laptop or some presentations. What do you think? I’m seeking some advice in here

  104. Marivic says

    Hi Stephanie,

    Just would like to seek your opinion on what cpa review course will be most effective for me considering I’ve graduated from college 30 years ago in a foreign country. I would definitely need to refresh my accounting knowledge considerably. I’ve already acquired my CPA license in my previous country which has no reciprocity agreement here. Any suggestions, pls?

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  5. Hi Peter Pan,
    In fact, I would say the Becker 2009 will still be useful but then there will be some sections that won’t be covered, especially on IFRS (international financial reporting) which is supposed to pop up everywhere.

    Maybe what you can do is to get a Wiley software CD — just work your way through these new topics and see if you can get yourself more covered.

    All the best to you! Stephanie

  6. Hi Chris,
    On Gleim’s text book, I haven’t looked at the latest version but if I assume the writing style stays the same, it would be very much the same as Wiley (even more… intense). If you realize that the original Wiley books were written by Dr. Gleim, you will know why.

    Maybe Yaeger or CPAexcel will help? Yaeger explains Wiley’s MC in video, and CPAexcel has bite size videos which is great for busy candidates.

    Hi Wendy,
    Sorry I am a bit late on the reply – hope it still helps. Let me see… typically if you have individual questions I would recommend Yaeger because they have this hotline that you can call. Otherwise, if you take Becker live classes there is an instructor too, but the quality of their instructors vary greatly.

    If you would like to have more MC exercise for AUD then maybe a gleim CD for AUD will be an affordable choice.

    By the way, are you reworking on the MC questions that you did wrong? If you allocate time to work on the problems until you get them right every time, you probably will pass without getting additional help.

    Hope these suggestions won’t confuse you further — and best of luck to the upcoming exam!

    Stephanie

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