CPA Story | “Claim It!”: 6 golden tips on how to become a CPA

Three years ago, I reaped the fruit of my labor for almost six years of studying (four years in college, plus two years in review school). This is having a CPA title after my name. I must say, it was one of the most fulfilling moments of my life so far. The journey was never easy. Although, I already got the title, learning must not stop there. I must have to learn, learn and continuously learn more, especially now that I am working and applying what I’ve studied to real situations in life and on the job.

Before I tell you my present joys and pains at work and in life (I’ll leave that to our next article for you to read), I would like to share some tips to answer the question most of business and accountancy students, especially those who will be taking the board exam, would need to ask and learn from: “How Did I become a CPA?”

I was not a board top-notcher, and I was not one of the best in class when I was still in school. I was just an average student who struggled and failed, tried again and failed, tried once more until, by the mercy of God, succeeded. The thoughts listed here come from the experience of someone who was not gifted with academic excellence but someone who held on and who believed she could do it.

My six pieces of advice. Let us list them in bullets so that you’ll remember.

KNOW WHAT TYPE OF LEARNER YOU ARE. A friend of mine who is a trainer of a well-known call center once said that before she starts her classes, she assesses first what type of learner her students are, so that she can effectively teach them. Same method must be applied to us. You must assess what type of learner you are. You may be a visual learner (must have visual aids), an auditory learner (must hear the lectures), a kinetic learner (must jot down notes), a combination or all of these. Assess yourself, and once you know what type of learner you are, apply it during your reviews. *mabagal man ang phasing, at least maalala mo*

SACRIFICE PLEASURES FIRST. This may sound sad but yes, sacrifice pleasures first especially when you are already reviewing for the board exam. I made a mistake during review days before I took my board exam for the first time. Since I was new here in Metro Manila and given the freedom to explore the place, I kind of made the most out of it. Too much. There were lots of tempting places, lots of tempting things to do. I gave in, thinking: “Kaya pa yan. Happy happy muna.” That was when I realized I did waste “TIME”. I failed. Indeed, time was of the essence. Do not do the same mistake I made. Do not waste your time for unnecessary “gimik and lakad“. Give all your time and energy to learn and review. Sacrifice temporary pleasures for your future. It is healthy to rest and go out once in a while. But offer the biggest part of your time studying in order to have the right armor when the battle begins. It said: “No pain. No gain.” *tsaka ka na mag-all out gimik pag naipasa mo na*

SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO OTHERS. Be willing to share what you know. The information you know is best retained in your memory when you share it with others. Plus, you also help them. Attend group studies. Do not be afraid to ask questions. *maghiraman kayo ng books and hand-outs but don’t forget to return them after*

CLAIM IT. I always share these two words every time someone asks me of what must he/she do. Claim the title. When I was still in school, whenever I would write my name, I would add CPA after it. When I talked to myself in front of the mirror, I would say my name in a loud voice and include CPA. It sounded so good, and that became my motivation. I loved to hear it, so I believed in it. Talk to yourself and do not be afraid to claim the CPA title *wag ka lang magsasalita mag isa in public*

ACCEPT CRITICISM POSITIVELY. I would like to share what happened when, at first take, I didn’t pass the board exam. Some people close to me were so disappointed. They said to me: “Sayang. Sayang ang pera. Magtrabaho ka na lang. Di mo naman kaya. Hanap ka ng work mo. Para makatulong ka na.” I felt so down and low at that moment. Tears didn’t fall, but my heart, even my soul, almost broken and dejected. I disappointed everyone. It’s good I still got my father who stood by me, and encouraged me, saying: “Sige anak. Isang take pa. Alam ko namang kaya mo.” Those words became my strength, and kept on reminding myself. I knew this was for me and I did it! Every criticism, whether good or bad, can help you achieve your goal. Take refuge on the people who believe in you and take those people who don’t as a positive challenge to be better and a golden lesson to prove them wrong. *Thank and appreciate anyone who criticizes you. It only goes to show that you are worthy of his/her time.*

PRAY AND HAVE FAITH. Last but definitely not the least. Always partner your efforts with prayers. Prayer is very powerful. It eases your worries. Pray and wish with all your heart and it will come true. *God knows and gives what your heart truly desires*

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Have the right ATTITUDE and PLAN for the success of your career. To all who are reading this right now, I hope it helps. Finally, to everyone who will be taking the board exam, let me be the first to say: CONGRATULATIONS CPA!

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About the Author

Regine Marie Pias
Regine Marie PiasLiterary Desk Bureau Chief
Regine is a BS Accountancy graduate from Northwestern University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and currently working as an Accounting Associate II in a multinational shipping company. She was the Literary Editor of CBAA Biznews, the official student publication of their college at the University of Northern Philippines. She is in to music and writing short stories, literary pieces and anything under the sun.