CPA Story: Delivered and sustained by grace

May 2011- Enrolled BS Accountancy at Mariano Marcos State University

Mar 2012 – Kicked out in the second cut of the program (first year, second semester)

Jun 2012 – Shifted to BS Accounting Technology

Apr 2015 – Graduated BS Accounting Technology

Jul 2015 – Got employed as an accounting staff in an agro-industrial company

May 2016 – Quit the job

Jun 2016 – Enrolled BS Accountancy as a fourth-year student at Northwestern University, Laoag City and took additional 50 units to complete the degree.

Apr 2017 – Graduated BS Accountancy

May 2017 – Started review at the Review School of Accountancy (ReSA)

Oct 2017 – Took the CPA Licensure Examination. Failed.

Dec 2017 – Started self-review.

May 2018 – Took the Boards again. Passed.

A message from a dear friend who was not able to pass the exam caused me to write this. I sensed her longing for a ‘push’ from someone who also failed before. So yes, I am writing this for her and for everybody who is hurting from a failure (of an exam in this case) and at the brink of giving up.

I intentionally summarized it that way (above) because I don’t want to waste your time reading how my dramatic, heartbreaking, exhausting and faith-testing-7-year-CPA journey went through. I’d rather share few things that I have pondered on that kept me going.

  1. THE BATTLE IS IN YOUR MIND. You failed and now you feel unworthy, unloved and insecure. I get that. But not everything that you think about yourself is true (especially during your broken moments). Do not entertain the lies of the enemy. Feed your mind with positive things. Surround yourself with people who will remind you that you are so much more than what the world calls you.
  2. TRUST GOD’S PERFECT PLAN AND TIMING (It’s far better than yours). I am a planner. I have time tables concerning almost everything. “I plan to be like this by this time.” “I want to finish that by that time.” But those time tables were perfectly ruined. My batchmates became CPAs when they were 20 years old. I got my license now that I’m 23. It was later than when I wanted it to happen but still it came to pass. I realized that it was not delayed, it’s perfectly on time. The Lord exactly knows what He is doing. Trust Him!
  3. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are vulnerable and you’re beautiful. You cry today and you’re beautiful. You’re hurting today and you’re still beautiful. Diamonds are refined through the fire, remember? Trust me when I say that you are beautiful, you always are.
  4. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. Take a risk or lose a chance. Rejoice and look at the brighter side of things or continue to meditate that ‘hopeless’ situation. Believe that there is hope or declare defeat in your life. Try again or give up. It’s up to you, your choice!
  5. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You feel like you have disappointed the whole world but cheer up, you still have your family and friends at your back. They may not be that vocal, but you got their 100% support. They love you and they believe in you. Do not be in a rush to accomplish things, they know you are trying. Be steadfast and keep going! (Taking this wonderful opportunity to thank everyone, my family and friends, who supported me and who battled with me in prayers since day 1. I appreciate you, guys, so much. All the love.)
  6. LEARN FROM YOUR SEASON. Aside from that title that you want to add in your name, your goal also should be to learn and grow in your season. If it’s in that hard situation that you are learning the most, then you may consider staying there. One of my favorite speakers once said, “The season that you wish away is often the season that you get the most from.” Do you also agree?
  7. ENJOY YOUR SEASON. Breathe. Do not kill yourself with so much unnecessary pressures. Just because you failed doesn’t mean that you do not have reasons to be happy anymore. It is during those times that you loosen your grip that you appreciate things more. Have fun and enjoy what you are doing!
  8. YOU ARE DEARLY LOVED. Did you know that 2000 years ago, Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords died just for you to live the life you have today? Oh dear, that life you’re calling a ‘waste’ costs Him His blood. So why bother think that you are a failure? Come on, get up from that bed and start living your life the way He has beautifully designed it.
  9. THERE IS HOPE IN CHRIST. My name was not included in the list of passers in the 30% who passed last October but it was included in the 29% who pass this May. Oh, it was a ‘resurrection’ from death to life. You call your situation as a dead-end, but there is hope in Christ. The extent of power that can work in your life is the power that worked when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the Heavenly realms. Declare power in your life today!
  10. THE LORD IS FAITHFUL TO HIS WORD. I was really hurt and was broken to pieces when my name was not included in the roll of successful examinees last October 2017. Yes, it was just my first attempt in the Board Exam proper, but that was not my first unsuccessful try in this whole journey. I just felt so tired and there was a lot of things going through my mind that time. “Should have I just accepted that it’s not really my ‘thing’ when I was screened from the program when I was in first year?” “Was it really a right decision quitting my job and going back to school?” “Did I just waste money, effort and time for this?” “Should have I just forgotten about that dream and should have not tried again?”

Well, others were already in their second or third week of their review for the May 2018 CPALE while I was still locked in my room crying, trembling and seeking God what to do. November 24, 2017 – I was reading the book of Luke, and I felt like God was speaking straight to my heart that day through His Word.

Luke 5:5-7 When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon. “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

That time, it was as if God was telling me, “My daughter, you’ve been trying to catch fish for quite some time now but haven’t caught anything. But come on, dare to believe, throw your nets once again and see how much I will provide this time.”

And indeed, He provided. His word did not return unto Him void.

How about you? What is God telling you in your situation today? Hold on to it, He is faithful to His promises.

PS. Hi there friend! If you happen to read this, know that you can do it. The Lord will be your help. I am so excited how you will experience an overflowing catch this time. If that is really what you want, and you know in your heart that it’s His will then you’ve got to throw your nets once again. Everything will be fine in time. Take heart!

All praises to the Lord whose Word is true and who makes all things possible. All glory to You JESUS!

Alana Castro Calano, CPA
May 2018 Repeater
Delivered and sustained by grace

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About the Author

Alana Calano
Alana Calano
Alana is a Certified Public Accountant. She is a youth leader and a writer.