For students, that is. Lucky for me, the ever-hopeful CPA candidate, I will be spending the summer taking online classes. Four months after passing my last exam, I am finally starting the last leg of the CPA triathalon.
In my last post I spoke about finding affordable online classes. I decided to enroll at LSU because of their flexible course schedule. The program allows students 6 or 9 months to complete an independent study course online. In addition, enrollment is rolling, so there is no need to wait for the next semester as with traditional courses. On the other hand, the course work will be challenging since I will have limited access to the help of a professor. That is defintely something to keep in mind when considering the pro's and con's of taking classes in-person, online, or through independent study. Also research whether or not your employer will offer tuition assistance. I recently made the switch from external to internal audit, and because of this I had to reach out to my HR rep at my new employer to discuss their policy. Take that extra step, though, because many employers will provide a partial or full reimbursement upon passing a course.
As I look back on my experiences so far, I realize that the most important element of pursuing the CPA designation is perserverance. I began contributing to the Exam Cram Blog over a year and a half ago, and I had begun studying several months prior. Back then I was certain I would pass all parts of the exam within 6 months and take some classes the following summer and *BOOM* I would be certified. Yeah, right. I failed two exams on my first attempt, but 14 months later I had passed all 4 parts without letting any expire. It's all about setting goals. Maybe you will meet all of them the first time around, maybe you won't. The key is to just keep working. Professional and personal challenges will present themselves, and most likely you'll get set back at least once. All that matters is you just keep working. Whether you get perfect 99s or thank-goodness 75s, whether you pass the exams in one month or 18, you'll get there (as long as you really want it).