Whenever you feel unmotivated to get your accounting degree or are concerned you’ve made an awful career decision, just think about this Iowa woman who worked 19 long, tedious-ass years to get her bachelor’s in accounting.
We’re totally OK with this woman being too busy to take the CPA exam, this is the ultimate excuse to be unable to get through the exam in 18 months. Bow to her greatness and insantly feel guilty for being greedy when it comes to compensation and slacking so hard on the job.
In 1992, a gallon of gas cost $1.13, Bill Clinton won the presidential election and Kathy Vitzthum took her first class at Iowa State University.
Vitzthum has taken about one class each and every semester since. For 40 semesters. Since Miley Cyrus was born. Since Charles and Diana split up. Since Ross Perot pulled out his charts and pointer on TV. Since the World Wide Web was in its infancy (and text only).
On May 7, the 48-year-old Vitzthum, who lives in Slater, graduates summa cum laude from Iowa State. She has achieved her goal — a bachelor’s degree in accounting — after juggling family and career with finals and papers for 19 years.
Now, we don’t judge as we all have our different career paths but while congratulating this woman for her epic accomplishment, it’s wise to point out that we don’t necessarily recommend this bundle of choices for just anyone. It’s easiest to go college, then pass the CPA exam or start work (it’s usually easiest to do the exam in-between school and starting work), then get married and/or have kids. You are welcome to do these in any order you like, we just wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t point this out.
I’m not sure what you all were doing in 1992 but I was in 6th grade. Think about that for a minute next time you hate your life and/or career decisions.
Since graduation season is once again upon us, we thought we’d revisit a time tested favorite question from CPA exam candidates: When should I apply for the CPA exam?
First, find out when your school posts degrees to transcripts and whether or not the state you are applying to requires a degree before you can apply. If you are unsure of your state’s requirements or which state you might qualify in, NASBA has a really handy search tool you can use ($10 for 24 hours of access). Or just check out the website to read up on your state’s requirements. If you need a degree before you can apply, you’re going to need to know how long you’ll be waiting for your school to post it. Don’t apply any earlier as your application will be rejected and you’re out the initial exam fee.
If you’re planning on jumping right in to studying, you can generally apply to sit for the exam right after your degree posts. Remember, at this point you want to have tied up all the loose ends in your life that will keep you from studying; crazy ex-girlfriend, slave-driving boss, roommate drama… you get it. Sweep all that aside and submit your application (and fees!) as soon as you can. Don’t forget, just because they cashed your check does not mean you have been approved to sit so don’t get excited if you see it clear a week after you sent it in. That’s usually the first thing they do since you’re out the fee whether or not you qualify and hey, who doesn’t want money?
Now, should you start studying right away? It depends on how long your state takes to process applications. If you are looking at a 6 – 8 week wait, you may want to hold off on cracking the books, especially if you plan to start with something small like BEC. If you start studying too soon, you run the risk of being denied to sit for the exam and losing precious CPA review time (many programs have expiration dates – always ask!) catching up on units you need to qualify. Don’t invest in a review course until you’re absolutely sure you will be able to start sitting for exams right away. If you come from a quick processing state (usually a search through the CPAnet forums can reveal more detailed information from other candidates in your shoes) and are absolutely certain you meet your state’s requirements, you can start studying as soon as you send in the application.
Congrats to the spring grads and feel free to get in touch if you’ve got any questions about the CPA exam!