Textbooks are an excellent resource for learning accounting. However, if you are taking an accounting class that is one year from today and you need a lot of reference material to help you with the material you are reading then you might want to consider looking into the free CPA exam books that are available. The following are guidelines and rules for using your book effectively to better learn to account for your certified public accountant certification.
The first thing that you should do when looking at an accounting book is read the table of contents and start off with the first page. If the book starts off with a topic title then you should turn to that topic immediately and make sure that it is covered in the book. Some of the topics that you want to cover in your first session include: Accounting Principles, Auditing Concepts, Auditing Processes, and Key Business Accounting System Requirements.
It is important to know which accounting concepts build upon each other so that you have a solid foundation of knowledge to build upon once you begin studying accounting seriously. Some accounting methods and techniques are calling “procedures” while others are called “methods”. For instance, if your textbook talks about the importance of maintaining proper bookkeeping records then you should assume that you have taken a class on bookkeeping. The same holds true if you are talking about preparing financial statements. Both procedures and methods can be confusing, so try to take a broad view over both. Courses in accounting will require that you learn accounting principles, but the principles will build upon the procedures and methods you learn so you end up with accounting basics.
A good way to ensure that you are learning to account properly is by taking the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The exam is offered through a variety of colleges and business courses throughout the United States. In order to take the exam you must pass one or two hour examination administered by the National Association of State Bankruptcy Judges (NASSJ) after you have met the 150 hours required by state law. Once you pass the exam you will be required to take one or two classes to prepare for the test. Once you successfully complete your CPA exam, you will become a CPA and will have fulfilled the requirements needed to become an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
There are a variety of different ways in which people can take the examination. Students can take it online, via mail or in person. If you choose to take it online, you will need to have a high school diploma or have completed college-level study at an accredited university. Students who complete their accounting and business courses at the graduate level will have greater success in passing the exam and obtaining their CPA license.
When you take the exam you will need to present a resume and information about yourself including your degree(s) if any and previous jobs. You will also need to have letters of recommendation from individuals who trust your work and you should contact the local licensing boards for each state where you plan to apply. Once you have met the educational requirements for taking the exam you will take the written portion. Candidates who successfully pass the first time may face a short turnaround time in order to take the practical portion of the exam.
The examination will cover a variety of different topics including: understanding and utilizing accounting policies; managing accounting transactions; maintaining financial records; understanding reporting guidelines; identifying risk factors; preparing reports; and communicating efficiently with other staff members and stakeholders. There are no prerequisites for taking the examination other than having taken at least 100 hours of education in accounting and at least five years of related course work. Students will also be required to take and pass a series of tests on reading, writing and speaking before they will qualify for their license. Successful candidates will then take a written test and a skills test before they will be issued their license. The licenses are valid for two years and students may re-certify every two years if they wish to.