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CPA Exam Stumper: When Does the 18 Month Window Actually Start?

I want to be clear with you guys that though it may feel like I pull most of my CPA exam advice out of my ass, there are usually reasons behind whatever I suggest, and the methods are proven. Despite me never having personally proven them myself (no need).

Sometimes, there are questions I don’t have the answer to. Maybe I could Google this but as anyone who has ever tried to Google CPA exam information ever can tell you, it isn’t always easy to aggregate the answers in a singular place in a way that makes sense to an average human being. Forget about decoding the psychometric scoring system, it’s enough to try and understand why your ths hard as your first two.

So for once, I need you guys to answer this for me. You have NTSs, you have 18-month windows closing in on your asses and you are all around the country so the results should be fairly varied across the jurisdictions.

Here’s the question (via the CPAnet forums):

Can someone please help me?

There is so much conflicting information about the starting date of the 18 month testing window.

I passed AUDIT on May 3rd.2010. Conclusion after reading many blogs is I can take my last section by the End OF November 2011.


18 MONTHS WILL BE November 3rd but it rounds to the end of the month.

Please confirm as soon as possible… Thank you so much for your help.

Now, here comes the obligatory procrastination rant. Why the fuck are you waiting until October 27, 2011 (as per the timestamp on the CPAnet post) to ask this question when you had a full 16 months or so to figure this out? Even if you got your Audit score at the last date possible, you still had at least a year and a handful of months to gather this intel. Also, even if you have until the end of the month instead of the 3rd, you’d really be doing yourself a disservice by waiting until the very last day possible. Why? Things happen. Prometric closes on you and leaves a note. You get the stomach flu. Your girlfriend starts hassling you about your relationship the night before and you oversleep your appointment the next morning.

Now, all of this is moot, it being December 6th. Whether this guy had until the 3rd or the 30th, it’s passed. But maybe there are a few of you out there scrambling for this information a week before your 18 month window closes who this will be useful for a month or 6 or 12 from now.

As far as I’m aware, the 18 months means you have 18 months from the date you sit for and pass your first part. That means exactly 18 months from the day you sat for the first exam part that you passed, regardless of the date you received your score (hopefully this is better with the AICPA’s scoring improvements – those of you rolling over into your second 18 month window know how excruciating it used to be). I have heard that in some states it is the last testing day of the month in which your 18 month window ends, regardless of day of the month but as we know, “hearing” something is not reliable enough to use to actually pass the exam.

According to these folks on the Another71 forum, it can vary wildly from state to state. One candidate claims an expiration date from the approximate date scores were received while another says they received exactly 18 months from the date they sat for the first passed exam.

Which is it? I have no idea and I’m fine admitting that. Help me?

Can We Get a Recommendation for an International Accounting Group Up in Here?

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

A few years ago we were members of Affilica – an international association of accounting and legal firms, who had a global presence, but not in North America. This was a particular concern because we specialise in helping US companies enter the UK market as their entry into Europe, and are seeking an alliance with a group that has a substantial North American membership.

But we are having trouble finding the right group.

Yes – we are members of BritishAmerican Business Inc, and do get referrals from the UK Trade & Industry, and from the UK /US Advisory Network, and from firms of CPA’s in the US who may not have in-house international expertise (Kevin Beare is an Associate member of the MSCPA), but we are growing and can see the mutual benefits of belonging to an international association.

We recently enquired about membership of CPAAI. To our surprise they said that our niche practice was considered too small.

However they were unable to say what size criteria a firm providing complementary services to their members needed to be.

We currently receive referrals from all 4 of the Big 4 firms, because they recognise that our total outsourced accounting and UK payroll service complements their own higher value services. We also get similar referrals from second tier firms. We do not have Chinese walls whereby one Partner does the accounting and tax and another partner does the audit of that work. For true independence and to enable us to act as trusted advisor to our clients we gave up our audit registration.

That is the background to this request.

Have other firms come across these difficulties?

Suggestions and advice regarding other suitable groups to join would be welcome.

Wanted: Actor Who Can Channel the Quality of Ernst & Young

We know Ernst & Young is looking for some extra help but this particular role will require someone (an extra from Inglorious Basterds, perhaps?) that is theatrical first and a numbers person second:

For starters, why do you need an actor to “demonstrate what not to do in the workplace”? Couldn’t they just secretly film employees on any old regular Thursday and get the footage they need? Then you could do a candid camera type ending where Jim Turley jumps out and cans their asses.

As far as casting is concerned, David Hasselhoff immediately comes to mind but in the off-chance that the Hoff isn’t available, who picks up this gig? We imagine an in-house choice would be preferable in order to save on costs.

JT has a nice strong face/chin but can he do the accent? We know the Vegas office is a cesspool of talent. Perhaps this is the hazing for one of the new partners? Ideas welcome.