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Top Six Time Wasters When You’re Studying For the CPA Exam

Allow me to blast right by the fluff and get straight to the meat: you know who you are and you know exactly what you’re doing so put down the apps and get back to the books, this is the CPA exam you’re studying for!

I humbly present, in no particular order of distractionness, the six biggest time wasters for CPA exam candidates.

Twitter This one is huge and I was reminded of this yesterday when I got an email from someone I know exclusively through Twitter who has been studying (on and off, I presume) for the CPA exam for almost as long as I’ve known him. He made the decision to cut his account with a promise of “I’ll be back”, something you may want to consider if you’re blowing up Twitter with status updates when you shoulong>Facebook True story: I once got a call from a CPA exam student who gave me a huge sob story about not having enough time to study begging me to give him more time on his course as he promised up and down that he would not let unforeseen events (death in the family, car accident, job loss; you name the excuse) interfere in his studying going forward. That might have worked (oh, who are we kidding, it wouldn’t have worked on me) except for one small problem: he’d forgotten we were also Facebook friends. So while he was updating with pictures of his drunken nights out and “Which Serial Killer Are You?” quizzes, I was watching an entire year of studying (and a few thousand bucks) swirl down the drain. Stay away from Facebook and please, for the love of all that is sacred and holy, enough with the FarmVille when you should be studying.

Email Emails are great. They make us feel loved and needed and important and sometimes contain all kinds of useful information that we can even apply to studying (like a subscription to our newsletter *ahem*) but they can also be a massive time-waster. You aren’t that important and neither is your email, so shut down Outlook when you’re studying if you’re in front of your computer and even go so far as to set an out of office on weekends if you’re in the last couple weeks before exam day.

Instant messenger Oh IM, how we love thee. Gchat is great for catching up and sharing news but it can be a huge time suck if you get stuck chatting with a friend (especially when you’re dying for a distraction). Don’t cheat and change your status to “Studying for the CPA exam REALLY BUSY”, just log off and hide out for awhile. Trust me, you aren’t going to miss anything that you can’t catch up on next time you log in.

Your phone From texts to apps to mobile Twitter, your phone can be the biggest distraction in your house if you don’t count your TV on Sunday. With so many different ways to keep yourself from studying, sometimes it’s best to simply unplug or, rather, plug your device in to charge somewhere out of your reach while you are studying. Turn your phone to silent and hide it under your pillow if you have to. Checking your phone might only take a second but several checks add up to minutes and next thing you know, you’re pounding out an email response with your thumbs and totally off track.

Your girlfriend (or boyfriend) Seriously. You swear (s)he didn’t need this much attention when you first started dating but now you’re a year in and since you started studying for the exam it seems like you can’t shake her (him) off your nuts long enough to do two homework modules. If a nice talking to won’t work, why don’t you try explaining to your sweetheart that this is a professional exam and, if (s)he’ll get off your jock long enough for you to study and pass, you’ll make a whole metric shit ton more money as a result. That should work. If it doesn’t, dump her (him).

Lastly, remember that our site can be a distraction too. Shock and awe, I know! It’s one thing to swing by for CPA exam tips or to get my email address so you can ask me a question (seriously, I’m nice and sort of know what I’m talking about, wtf) but if you end up here trolling comments and whining about the bonus you didn’t get, you can easily waste plenty of good study time that could have been better applied to, oh, actually studying. Subscribe by RSS so you don’t miss your favorite articles when you have some free time and ignore us until you pass.

Do CPAs Really Love Their Jobs?

A friend of GC pointed us to the image below from (link to entire thing below) that shows the latest “Best Jobs in America”. This particular version ranks CPAs as having the 6th best job in all the land.

The methodology broke down like this:

Top 260 – Jobs that have been projected to grow 10% in the decade and require a Bachelor’s degree; Median pay below $65k for experienced workers was excluded as were jobs that had less than 10,000 positions nationwide.

Top 100 – Eliminated jobs that did poorly (based on growth in online wanted ads) during the recession and grouped jobs with similar responsibilities.

Top 50 – 35,000-ish workers were surveyed to “rat their jobs on quality of life factors such as flexibility, stress, and personal satisfaction.” They were then ranked by “current employment, long-term growth, pay, and security; projected openings; and quality of life factors.”

Top 10 – “Interviewed industry experts and people in each profession.” Rankings were made based on those interviews.

Our source has some questions for the group, “Why are CPAs always ranked so high? Job security? Pay if you stay in long enough?”

Important questions. It simply could be that the people that put these “Best Jobs Lists” interview the Exuberant Accountant every time. You can’t get that many consistent liars in these surveys can you? Or, maybe, just maybe, lots of CPAs really, honest-to-God — gasp — love their jobs. It’s not that we don’t believe that it’s possible but it’s difficult when you hear constant belly-aching.

So if you’re loving your life as a super hero CPA and you’ve got reasons you feel like sharing with the group, please do so. Or if you’re confused like us and have some wild-ass guesses that will be fine too.

Best Jobs in America [Focus]
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