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November 28, 2022

CPA Exam Candidates: Have You Considered Adult Diapers?

That headline is serious, btw. I'm shocked I don't see more candidates talking about the possibilities of 4 hours of AUD in diapers.

Do you all know Greg Kyte? Of course you do, you met him on GC here. Well it takes guts to be honest about one of the worst parts of taking the CPA exam – being stuck in that room for hours with the clock openly mocking you AND your bladder – and we shouldn't be surprised to see Greg speaking candidly about his CPA exam experience. Honestly, I have no idea how you guys do it, I can't go an hour without a potty break but I also drink more coffee than one human being should ever be allowed.

Anyway, check out how Greg solved one of the greatest CPA exam candidate issues of all time:

Seventeen seconds left in AUD. The last sentence of the second written communication task—the wording made sense, but it felt awkward. No time to think. Only time to react.

Back it up two hours…

I had to pee. I didn’t have to pee too bad, but it didn’t matter because when you’re taking the CPA exam, if you kind of have to pee, you can’t think about anything except the fact that you kind of have to pee.  Makes it harder to recall a member’s requirements under SSARS to various stakeholders when reviewed financial statements are restated. I made the call. I took a potty break, but the clock stops for no bladder. The awkwardly situated testing center in the University of Utah student union building was directly adjacent to the women’s room. The men’s room was at the other end of a quarter-mile long hallway. (You’re right. I’m sure it was materially less than a quarter mile. Can you turn off the accountant brain for a minute?) I was pissed. (It’s a pun. You’re welcome.) I had too much pride to run; speed walking seemed like the more dignified choice. No paper towels, only an air dryer that was as effective as an asthmatic trying to whisper your hands dry. And despite the two wet hand prints on my butt, my mental faculties were back. But two hours later, I would desperately miss the four-and-a-half minutes I spent “billing my time” (not a widely accepted euphemism—yet).

Of all the CPA exam tips I've given over the years, "DON'T TAKE A BREAK" was one of the most common. Have to pee? Too bad. Need to drop the kids off at the pool? Should have put a cork in it, son. And God forbid female CPA exam candidates screw up and schedule their exam smack dab in the middle of Aunt Flo's monthly visit, forget about it.

Long story short, Greg somehow passed AUD that day, despite almost pissing his pants and losing precious minutes to a bathroom break. Not one to be defeated by circumstance, the experience gave him an idea:

While recounting my story of near failure and pee pee to a coworker, she joked, “You probably wished you had some Depend® Undergarments.” Hells, yes! Why didn’t I think of that during BEC?!?

My last section was REG, and I went in saddled up on my Target-brand Depend® knockoffs. I felt more confident than a former astronaut driving cross-country to kidnap her rival in a love triangle. I probably could have made it through REG with no potty breaks, but you don’t pull a gun unless you intend on firing it, and you don’t go to REG in adult diapers unless you intend on using them. It’s harder to pee your pants than you probably remember.

John Emmerling said, “Innovation is creativity with a job to do,” or in this case, it’s creativity that I did my business in.

OK, seriously, if you need adult diapers to get through BEC you might need to see a doctor (or cut out the coffee). That said, I'd love to hear if any of you have actually adopted this strategy to get through the CPA exam.

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