CPA Story: Becoming a CPA using the C + P + A formula

It’s been almost two years but I can still dredge back to that feeling of ecstasy. Getting to my goal is not a single-handed journey. It is a combination of a beautiful and memorable voyage with my family, friends and the Almighty God. And forever I will be thankful to them for they will always be my inspiration.

But how did I become a Certified Public Accountant? Time runs so fast I didn’t notice becoming one from the day I first treaded as a freshman. There is no fixed formula to success because it isn’t relative and each of us has our own style and methods. Everyone has different stories to tell and triumphs to be proud of. As for me, becoming a CPA is a C + P + A.

C is to ConcentrateIt always seems impossible until it’s done (Nelson Mandela).

Unquestionably, I took BS Accountancy because it has always been my dream since elementary. Never did I know then what BSA is all about nor what will I turn out to be after finishing it. It was only in high school when I learned about the CPA title yet I still had no hints of the things ahead of it. I was clueless but I felt challenged – I like challenges as always.

College was hell, a blend of hell good and hell bad. In my four years as an undergraduate, all I aspired was to pass my accounting, law and taxation subjects; and to graduate, and pass the licensure examination – both on time. It was hell but I’ll never forget the experiences that taught me lessons I’ll carry my whole life, the kind of hell I’m always thankful for.

I was just another joe. Given the voluminous books to review, standards to grasp and problems to apprehend, I would read a lot like what a normal accounting student would. Dreading for the retention policy, I would read then reread thereafter. Studying in advance was a plus. I must admit the learnings I had before earning my degree became a cogent foundation in attending the review classes and taking the licensure examination. It taught me the values of discipline and hardwork.

In between getting grades as high as 1.0 and taking a remedial examination for Financial Accounting, I was with my set of amigos whom I shared a lot of memories with. Being with a support group is important. It has given me tons of motivation to study harder in between mischiefs and silliness. They were ordinary people but they became my dearest friends despite our differences.

P is to PrayPray more, worry less.

Graduating with a latin honor has put more pressure on me because of social expectations. Meanwhile, adjustment to living independently in the big city wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Then was the first time I was away from home extensively. For the first half of review, I was dealing with some kind of emotional difficulty. I was not 100% focused. Distractions were all around but I needed to control them before they halt my study habits.

I attended morning sessions and self-reviewed in the afternoon till the evening. This was my schedule except for the weekends. Before the actual examination, there came a stretch when I felt fragile. I suddenly became sensitive and doubting. The “what ifs” almost killed my motivation to continue. What if I fail? What if everybody else passes, but not me? What if I get conditional ratings? Maybe it’s normal to come up against with this kind of sentiments because of pressure but I didn’t let it destroy my confidence and will to carry on. I ended the feeling of doubt through prayers. Believe me, it works 100%.

A is to AchieveDo not fear, just believe – Mark 5:36

Eventually, I claimed victory. I claimed to pass. I claimed to affix the most coveted title to my name, CPA. Why? Because what you think, you become. It’s important to build composure and self-assurance to prepare yourself for the ultimate encounter.

During the four days of licensure examination, all my hopes, dreams and fervent prayers were with me. No more room for hesitations because I know God was with me even in getting the problems solved and the answers shaded. All the time He is with me. I was confident because He prepared me for this. He prepared me to win this battle.

In the wee small hours of October 16, 2015, a call from my mom woke me up. She was hesitantly crying when she said “I love you, baby. I love you.”

That moment was blissful I still get chills running down my spine when I reminisce about it.

My journey to CPAdom is way a lot more than this writing and being a CPA is more than these three letters. It’s only a chapter of a life-long journey and as I unfold more, I still get the thrill to learn fresh ideas to further my life and career through the help of my family, friends and God.

Concluding, here’s a piece of advice: you may find yourself in a position where you are fell short, but do not give up for it’s the end, not the beginning, that counts. Always be inspired!

All the best!

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About the Author

Charlos Janssen Cachola
Charlos Janssen CacholaCreative Director
CJ is a Certified Public Accountant working at the Commission on Audit. He is currently assigned as an Audit Team Member in a military command that provides comprehensive quality tertiary health care services. As a travel junkie, his ambition is to sojourn in all the 81 provinces of the Philippine archipelago.