I just followed Becker to be honest, didn't do anything special. Watched all the lectures, did all the homeworks, did a final exam, and then reviewed the sections I was having trouble with.
Good luck with your studying!"
How are u? I see your taking Auditing end of this month..I'm also studying for it and planning to take it in May..Feeling very overwhelmed as its my first revision and so much information to absorb..I was reading your study schedule,…"
"Hello, I'm very flexible with times to study during the week. Would really like a study partner for certain chapters like installment sales, sec 1231, and a few other chapters. So if anyone who is good at these chapters please let me know and…"
Hi Sham a Kapoor,
First of all, I use Becker study materials and I sit for the exams one after the other. I am also working as well. I studied finance at the undergraduate level with no auditing and taxation experience therefore I found both challenging at the best beginning. reg (1st exam)and far took me around 7 to 8 months for each (I know this may sound unreasonable). Auditing took me just 4.5 months(sat for far in July and Aid in November). The trick I used
for the far was I played the video a lot when I was at home even when charting with my family
to the extent that it became like a song because I know the next thing the lecturer would say. The becker materials are useful most especially for the Reg. because the two instructors make jest of each other in order to make the course easily understandable. Pls feel free to ask any questions you may have. FAR is not difficult but very challenging because of the volume of information you have to retained. I managed to score 78 for far, 83 for reg. and 89 for Aud. The exam demands hardwork and once you start, make sure you areconsistent with your reading otherwise you forget what you have read. Solving questions is much important because that's where you would the different kind of curve balls or tricks the examiners put in questions. For CPA exam, if somebody reads only without solving the questions, I can confidently tell you such a person would fail.
I didn't master dividend distributions to S Corps because there are only like 3-4 S Corp questions per exam. I would just be familiar with increases and decreases to the AAA account. The Becker materials I reviewed did not even review dividend distribution to S Corp shareholders. I'm not sure if it is an item that is even tested.
For the AAA account, I would make sure to know that distributions may not reduce AAA below zero. However, AAA may become negative from S Corp losses.
For S Corps, a heavily tested item is computing shareholder basis in S Corp Stock. Make sure you know the BASE formula: Beginning Basis + Income items (including TAX FREE income) - Distributions to Shareholder - Loss or expense items = Ending Basis.
Also, make sure you remember that S Corp shareholders are taxed on THEIR portion of earnings, NOT distributions. They try to trick you to have you include the distribution in the amount of taxable income.
Finally, make sure you are familiar with S Corp tax year and filing dates. The CPA exam loves testing filing dates and when the S Corp tax year officially begins once election is made.
If you have any questions about these areas let me know.
The breakdown of testing is 80% taxation and 20% business law. Don't be fooled by the breakdown of the material in your review materials. You need to spend the majority of your time on the taxation. The business law is important though, because you will likely see 12-15 multiple choice questions from all of those areas I mentioned.
As far as the simulations go, they are ALL tax. On my first exam, I got a raw deal on the simulations. I won't go into that because I don't want to make you panic. The second exam was a lot more reasonable. I had simulations in the following areas on the second exam: 1) stock options for employee, 2) Formation of Partnership, 3) Filing dates for entities, 4) Estate distributions, 5) Corporate Liquidation.
It's hard to prepare for the simulations because there are so many ways for them to change it up. Just go through the practice simulations 2 or 3 times each so that you are familiar with many different types of simulations. Make sure you study the core taxation topics because those are most likely to be the ones tested in the simulations.