Imagine the worst possible thing that could happen to a CPA exam candidate. Getting snowed out on the last day of testing in the fourth quarter when you have three passing exams expiring in January? Forgetting your ID at home when you live two hours from the nearest Prometric test center? How about waking up with food poisoning on test day after spending the previous night downing Taco Bell and Fireball shots? OK, now imagine a scenario worse than any of those.
The day after Christmas, we received the following inquiry via the trusty ole general mailbox.
My husband and I are currently having a terrible experience with NASBA/AICPA/Prometric and we are hoping we can get some insight from someone at Going Concern.
He took FAR on 12/10 and had some issues while submitting his test but was informed by NASBA a few days later that they could confirm his attendance. We expected to receive his score on 12/19 but were instead told that they would be launching an investigation into his technical difficulties and they weren’t sure when or if his score would become available. Today we heard that they are arranging for him to retake his exam and that his test data is likely lost.
Under any circumstances this would be a big deal. However, he is under exceptional strain at the moment because one of his two passed sections expires on 2/29 and with busy season coming up, he really only has time to take one more exam.
We came across this article on your site from 2012 and it is the only similar situation we have heard of. We would really like to hire a lawyer to pursue this further and urge them into trying to find his score but we are having trouble finding any lawyer with this kind of experience. I’m wondering if you might be able to provide insight into what kind of lawyer this candidate hired or if you have any advice how to handle this situation from here.
Now, I pride myself on my card catalog (youngsters, you might have to look that one up)-like ability to remember some of the stupidest, most obscure crap this website has spit out over the last 10 years. Like that time Colin and I collaborated on a brilliant piece entitled Grant Thornton Partner or George Costanza Look-Alike? But I admit even I had forgotten about the missing CPA exam score story she dug up, so much so that I had to pull it up to refresh my memory. If I forgot about it, then even the oldest of OGs around here certainly has, so let’s all take a trip down memory lane:
Anyone remember the poor bastard who was told by NASBA that they lost his entire exam and would have to retake it? Well, he didn’t retake it and somehow they managed to track down his missing exam somewhere between Prometric and the AICPA and guess what? He passed!
First of all, this candidate was abnormally cool about the whole thing. Can you imagine being told your FAR exam that you slaved away studying for and showed up to take came up missing and you’d have to retake it? Maybe I’m just unreasonable (I am) but news like that would make me go postal. This guy, however, maintained his cool, contacted his lawyer, hit up GC to get the word out and kept working toward a resolution. Seriously, I cannot begin to convey my admiration for this guy for keeping his cool under extreme duress. EXTREME DURESS, people.
Turns out NASBA was on his side and, according to the candidate, deserves quite a bit of credit for pressing the AICPA to retrieve and grade the missing test, which Prometric and the AICPA believed was either lost or corrupted.
Yeah… still not ringing any bells. Whatever, good for him.
Back to present day, it didn’t feel right telling the anxious partner in my inbox the day after Christmas that I was probably drunk when I wrote that and couldn’t remember the guy’s name to save my life, so I wasn’t able to be much help here. Here’s hoping he sees this, gets over being completely forgotten by someone who once claimed to care about him and his predicament (what can I say, I was a nicer person in my early 30s), and reaches out with some advice.
In the meantime, I told her to go ahead and lawyer up. Any lawyer, really — a nice strongly-worded letter from any letter-loving lawyer should do the trick. After all, it worked for that other guy.
Here’s hoping they get some good news. And for any CPA exam candidates out there who are absolutely freaking out at the possibility your CPA exam score getting eaten by the Boogeyman inside Prometric computers, relax. As far as I can remember, we’ve barely written about it happening in 10 years of doing this. Granted, I just admitted to drinking on the job and totally forgot about at least one instance of us writing about it, but seriously, relax. It’s definitely rare.