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Friday, October 23, 2009

How McGladrey Helps You Prepare for the CPA Exam...FAST!

OK, so you graduate from college with your Accounting degree, and a few months later you start with at a CPA Firm where you are expected to complete your CPA Exam Preparation and the Exam itself on your time (and maybe on your own dime) while also getting started in your new job (and during busy season no less!). Sounds tough huh? It’s no wonder that it takes many new Associates months, if not a couple of years, into their new career to finally pass the CPA exam and gain their certification. This can have the harmful effect of potentially delaying their career growth opportunities.

McGladrey made a conscious decision however earlier this year that this doesn’t have to be the case, that the firm could make it easier for its new Associate hires to complete their exam preparation and the exam itself much earlier in their career (or before they even start work), and at very little out-of-pocket cost. How you may ask? First, we partnered with the Becker CPA Review to be the exclusive provider of CPA review programs for McGladrey employees. Review course costs are billed directly to McGladrey, and program participants are incentivized to pass the exam within a certain time period. The only cost that a participant incurs is the cost of sitting for the exam, which the participant is reimbursed for after they have become an employee. The other component here is that our new Associates are starting slightly later this year (early November) than in previous years. When the new CPA program was introduced in the Spring, we strongly encouraged all of our new Associate hires to take advantage of this extra time and complete as much of the review and exam as possible prior to when they start their employment. And if they don’t complete the review and exam by the time they start, we still offer additional time off to study and sit for each section of the exam.

Even though we have made it easier to complete the review course and the exam, that doesn’t mean that the review course and the exam itself are any easier. Rachel, a guest blogger and former McGladrey winter intern from early 2009 who will be starting as a new Associate with us in the Fall 2010, will be sharing her CPA preparation and exam experiences with you in the coming weeks and months via Success Starts Here. Rachel tells it like it is, so please check back for what we're sure will be a revealing look at the various challenges that one faces in obtaining this all-too-important certification.

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