Wiley CPA vs CPAexcel: Which is a Better Product?

The two products are now called “Wiley CPAexcel” under Wiley Efficient Learning.

CPAexcel is now branded as a fully integrated review course, while the original Wiley CPA books are now known as the study guides as part of the supplement.

Problem is, most people can’t tell the difference. Or is there a difference?

Let me explain.

For the benefit of readers, I will use their old names — Wiley CPA and CPAexcel — as comparison.

Text Books

The text books (also known as study guides or course outline) cover the same exam content based on the Content Specification Outline (CSO) from the AICPA. But there are notable differences.

1. Authors

wiley cpa booksThe books are written by different teams of authors.

For CPAexcel text book, most of the authors are those who teach in the video instructions, such as Professor Pamela Smith and Professor Carnes.

For Wiley CPA text book, it is written by Ray Wittingham with contribution from various accounting experts.

2. Content

cpaexcel booksThe CPAexcel version is purely a course outline. There is no practice question because there are online test prep that comes with the full package.

For Wiley CPA books, the reading material is only around 40% of the entire text. The rest are 5 chapters of introduction, practice questions and answers for multiple choice and simulations, as well as supplementary information in the appendices.

Because of this, the CPAexcel text books have substantially more reading content than Wiley CPA books.

3. Availability

Another notable difference is that you can’t get the CPAexcel books on a stand alone basis as they are part of the integrated offering. You can get the Wiley CPA books separately on Wiley’s website, Amazon or local bookstores.

Notes and Flashcards

wiley cpa focus notesWiley CPA has focus notes and CPAexcel has flashcards. They serve similar purpose for quick review on the go.

Wiley CPA Focus Notes

They follow the same study modules as those in the text book. However, it shouldn’t be considered its summary, because you cannot easily match the exact content and concepts between the focus notes and the book.

So what’s the use of the focus notes then?

The notes are useful as a standalone, high-level review of the most important concepts, similar to the “cram courses” from other providers, but in text format. Because of this, you can also get the Wiley CPA focus notes as a supplement to other non-Wiley review courses.

cpaexcel flashcardCPAexcel Flashcards

They are basically index cards showing a question on one side and answer on the other. Unlike the focus notes, the flashcards work seamlessly with the text book, indicating exactly which chapter and which subsection the concepts are discussed over there.

Test Prep Software

Wiley offers its signature CPA online test bank (4,400 questions), while CPAexcel has a separate set of questions and answers (5,500 questions). In the CPAexcel Platinum course, you have access to both sets. More on this at the end of this post.

Extras from CPAexcel

Here are more value-added tools and service that you can only find in CPAexcel:

1. Personalized Exam Planner

The interactive exam planner is an important element that sets CPAexcel from the crowd. It helps candidates estimate the number of studying hours based on their exam dates. It evens sets the deadline on its online calendar and sends out email to keep you on track.

I also like the green squares you earn once you complete a task within a study unit. It’s a great way to keep students positive and motivated.

2. Other Learning Tools

Depending on which level of CPAexcel course you are getting, you will have the following extra products and services from CPAexcel:

  • Professor mentoring (platinum and gold courses only)
  • Video Lectures + Slides (all CPAexcel courses)
  • 32 GB Flash Drive (all CPAexcel courses)

3. Pass Guarantees

CPAexcel offers unlimited use until you pass.

Wiley CPA book is updated twice annually. Given they are hard copies, you can’t get them updated. For Wiley CPA test bank, you can sign up for 4-month or 12-month access. You’ll need to repay for any extension.

Next Step

Both Wiley CPA and CPAexcel are great products from Wiley. The choice boils down to your own learning style, education background and budget. I encourage that you check them out below:

Wiley CPA Self StudyCPAexcel Review Course
 Wiley CPA Self Study Wiley CPAexcel

If you want both products in one convenient pack, you can check out the Platinum CPA Review Course which I believe is the number one selling product under the Wiley Brand:

wiley cpa vs cpaexcel

(Get instant 15% off with coupon code IPASS)

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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