As I am out and about working with firms and talking with CPAs at various events, I am still hearing about the challenges of getting young (and even older) staff to pass the CPA exam. Recently I heard this concern from two different firms.

I definitely believe in the importance of firms strongly supporting the candidates and providing significant and creative resources to help the candidate focus, study and achieve success. That means providing study time, coaching, monetary support and other creative internal firm resources.

My advice is simple…. it’s all about your culture and clearly communicating the expectations. After you communicate the expectations, you must provide extensive time and monetary support. It begins during your recruiting activities. Clearly communicate:

  • We are a CPA firm. We need CPAs.
  • We hire only those graduates who are exam ready (have the 150 hours).
  • You have two years, from your hire date, to pass the CPA exam.

Setting a due date seems to have some clout with accountants. Imagine that!

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker and author. She is a former shareholder and Chief Operating Officer of a successful, regional CPA firm and has over 30 years’ hands-on experience in the management, marketing, technology and administration of a successful firm.

Rita is widely known for her leadership, presentation and implementation skills and her passion for CPA firm management. She works as a change agent for firms throughout the country focusing on the people, internal management, operational, implementation and partner issues. She also provides a mentoring/coaching program for the firm’s management team. Rita provides unique facilitation for partner retreats, bringing the people issues, succession issues and processes into the spotlight. Learn more about Rita HERE!

Also, here’s some helpful information about Freed Maxick’s philosophy when it comes to the CPA Exam:

Educate Yourself: You are just beginning your career in accounting, and many exciting challenges lie ahead. At Freed Maxick, we’ll help you develop the foundation you need to face challenges head-on while you take your career to the next level by taking the CPA Exam. You must pass this exam in order to qualify for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant in any of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands).

Steps for Success:
Prepare for the Exam

    • Review the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs)
    • Review the Policy on New Pronouncements
    • Review the Confidentiality and Break Policy Statement
    • Take a Tutorial and Sample Tests
    • Study
  • Decide on the Jurisdiction to Which to Apply (NY State)
  • Apply for the Examination
  • Schedule the Examination
  • Take the Examination
  • Receive Score(s)
  • Celebrate!

Best of luck to those who may take on the test in 2013! Click to learn more about the CPA Exam Policy for full-time Freed Maxick employees!