How Many Hours to Study for the CPA Exam? Facebook Twitter LinkedIn How many hours to study for the CPA exam? Gone are the days when thinking about studying for an exam was something that could easily be pushed off for another time. When it comes to preparing and effectively studying for the CPA Exam,…
Scores Came Out: You Failed the Audit CPA Exam, Now What?
The Audit section of the CPA exam is considered to be a lot of candidates’ “kryptonite”. We always say that studying for the Audit section of the CPA exam is sort of like skiing. It is easy to learn, yet extremely hard to master. I remember when I failed the audit exam for the third time with a 73%, I called my dad at 3 am telling him that I wanted to quit. He responded by saying “well, I guess you could always go work in insurance or something.” Nothing against selling insurance, but I realized after that call that quitting was not an option. So, with that said, just know that plenty of people have been in your position before and this is certainly not uncommon. If you find that you’re trying to memorize your way through the audit exam, it is critical that you invest in a CPA review course that helps you truly understand the material. For a more visual approach, try Universal CPA Review for free today!
Know the Transaction Cycles
Let’s be real, nobody gets a 73% because they MASTERED the transaction cycles, but still can’t understand the engagement letter, documentation, SSARS etc. Don’t just memorize the transaction cycles, understand the “why”. I know, the transaction cycles are EXTREMELY gross to learn. There is just so much information, and let’s be real, who knows wtf a remittance advice is. This is 2021 but the exam still tests this like we are auditing in 1985. That’s just how it goes though so we must know it!
What I would say here is don’t just try to memorize what tests would be performed on certain management assertions, first understand the documentation being tested. Right, sure, everybody knows that you’re going to perform a tracing test when testing for completeness, but ask yourself, “what am I tracing”? In other words, what documents are relevant to this test? Would tracing a purchase order be relevant to revenue? No, absolutely not. POs are relevant to expenditures (aka buying inventory). So, moral of the story, focus on the documentation that is being tested, not the test itself.
Also, when understanding internal controls, think about what documents are being generated by each department (e.g., shipping department = bill of lading, billing department = generates that invoice etc.) When studying for the transaction cycles (which is most heavily weighted), this is the part of the exam that is the audit itself so think about it intuitively. You’re playing detective here, if you’re testing for inventory balances, and you were at a warehouse, what documents would you look at to understand things like valuation, accuracy, completeness etc.
I know this is a lot and try not to feel overwhelmed. At the end of the day, you are 2 points away, not 20. You can and you will get this done!
How to Recover after Failing the Audit CPA Exam
CPA Exam Sections
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