Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Becker Partners With GE China to Deliver CPA Review To Its Employees

With GE slowly but surely shipping most of its important business over to the People’s Republic of China, this could work out to be quite the lucrative deal for the folks at Becker.

Becker Professional Education announced last week that it has entered into an agreement with GE China to provide, through its licensee in the People’s Republic of China, its complete, four part CPA Exam Review course to GE employees in the People’s Republic of China. Becker will also be providing extensive assistance with the CPA Exam application process to GE China employees.

“This partnership represents a tremendous opportunity for Becker to expand our leading international position with a strong partner in GE China,” said Matt Kinnich, Vice President, International and Business Development of Becker Professional Education. “We will be able to help a great number of GE China employees achieve their career goals through our quality course offerings.”

What this means, in simpler terms, is that some guys in China will be authorized to teach out of Becker books, likely using Becker’s own “lesson plan” text which all Becker instructors receive to teach from. I wonder if they’ll edit out some of the written-in jokes to translate for a Chinese audience?

Becker already offers live courses in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

CPA Exam Marketing, You’re Kind of Doing It Wrong

I don’t say this to be mean, I say this to be helpful I swear. I noticed something sketchy about this Becker marketing campaign.

Apparently they have a Posterous (news to me) and share CPA exam tips. That part sounds awesome but somehow it fails in the execution. Here’s what I mean:

Did you know that the sections of the CPA Exam have different time allotments?

You can use as much of the time allotted to complete each section as you like. The testing computer screen displays a countdown of the time you have left. As you practice, it’s important to learn how to budget your time wisely, so you don’t find yourself scrambling at the end to finish.

Sorry but that’s horribly vague. What is that supposed to tell someone about time allotments on the CPA exam? What on Earth is ‘You can use as much of the time allotted to complete each section as you like?’ supposed to mean? Sure you technically can use as much of the time allotted (I’m assuming they mean per section?) but I don’t think that’s a very helpful suggestion to give someone actually trying to pass the CPA exam.

In a different post, they also say “Getting your CPA is a little like getting to Carnegie Hall — it’s all about practice!”

Each post ends with an obvious link to one of their products that is tangentially related to whatever the vague “tip” says.

In fewer words, WTF purpose is this supposed to serve?

Like I said, meant to be useful, I swear.

Did I Start Studying For the CPA Exam Too Early?

Friendly reminder: Going Concern’s own Adrienne Gonzalez will be chatting with CPA exam candidates over at CPA Exam Club on 8/3. We’ll be talking about the exam process, study strategies and all things CPA exam so if you haven’t already, head over to CPA Exam Club to RSVP for the chat if you have questions that you’re just dying to get answered.

Today’s reader question is probably one that some of you are more than familiar with… you graduate and jump right in to CPA review hoping your state board will process your application quickly and assume you’ll be ready to sit in a matter of weeks, only to discover that state boards aren’t nearly as quick as we wish ’s the sitch:

I recently graduated from Yeshiva University with a BS in Accounting. The week after I graduated, I started a Becker course (started with FAR) and planned to take the test at the end of July. Since then, my NTS has taken forever, so I prob. won’t get it for a couple weeks.

I recently started a full time position (hours are not regular, only staying 2-3 hours late a couple days a week) and am in the middle of moving apartments so my studying habits have been, for lack of better word, shite. [creative edit on our part]

The Becker AUD course starts on Tuesday. Would you say that sitting in on the course, while simultaneously studying for FAR is a bad idea? And also, assuming I’m starting from square 1 with FAR all over again, planning on taking it in the end of August, is this enough time, IYO, to be prepared to pass? (Obv with a structured study schedule of about 3 hours per day).

First of all, for those of you who haven’t already made this mistake, please keep in mind when you are plotting out your exam strategy that just because you are ready to take the exam doesn’t mean the state board is ready to process your application. A general rule is it can take anywhere from 4 – 10 weeks from the time you send in your application, fees and transcripts to the time you are actually ready to schedule your first exam. If you are 100% sure you meet the requirements to apply in your state, it’s safe to start your review a few weeks after you apply.

For our friend here who jumped the gun, however, it’s a little late so let’s see what we can do.

I’m going to say no on starting with Audit simply because I’m somewhat familiar with Becker’s repeat requirements (some of the strictest and most expensive in the exciting world of CPA review) and chances are you are going to need that class later on down the road. Our humble advice is to keep studying FAR and hope you can schedule yourself for that section in the final window of the year. The last window is always the hardest to schedule but we’re anticipating additional scheduling problems this year because of the rush to get exam parts in before the CPA exam changes in 2011 so be prepared to pick an alternate Prometric center or adjust your desired dates/times. As long as you’re open to that, you should be fine.

You can, of course, start studying Audit now and plan to take that one in the last window along with FAR but again, you’re likely to run into some serious scheduling trouble for Q4. Normally we’d tell you to go for it but this year is special and you’ll be lucky to get in one section let alone two before 2011 so worry about cramming in additional sections come January. Simultaneously studying is fine but we’re betting you won’t be able to get in to take both in the last quarter so save yourself the time and trouble by focusing on FAR for now.

Be honest, have you studied for FAR at all? Starting from scratch you can put in anywhere from 80 – 150 hours of studying so even between full-time job and a move it can be done but it sounds like what you need more than my advice on Audit is a study strategy that actually works for you. My biggest piece of advice is to take this process seriously and put off any other unnecessary drama (like an apartment move), if possible until after you have passed.