Any accountancy student knows how difficult accounting can be. Those who wanted to enter the industry because they thought it would be good but boring work, soon realize just how it difficult actually is to get there. It gets even more intense if you decide to start prepping for the CPA exam.
This makes it that much more important for students to have the resources to deal with the stress of the course load, to help them make the right career choices and even to just help them to understand some concepts that they are struggling with. It can be hard to reach out to other students who are feeling just as burdened and stressed as you are. While you can try to reach out to your professors and their teaching assistants, it could be that the are also too busy to assist you fully. Likewise, you may not have the funding for a tutor. That leaves you with the web.
Accounting Websites for Students
Fortunately, we live in an age where there is an overabundance of information that is available 24/7 at the touch of a button on a variety of devices. Nowadays, the problem lies not with accessibility but with sifting through the mess to find the gems. Here are a few useful platforms that may help you:
- Quizlet: Quizlet is a free online study tool that utilizes a flashcard system. It offers study tools for many subjects, including accountancy, mathematics and others.
- CpaReviewForFree: CPA Review offers 1,000 free review questions. For $37.00 per month, they offer an additional 3,500 questions, as well as practice exams and simulations.
- CpaCredits is a resource hub that offers basic information recording the process of acquiring your CPA both locally and internationally, provides detailed state requirements and other relevant information. It also offers online courses that award 3 semester hour credits each through accredited institutions to help catch you reach your 150 semester hour requirement.
- Becker is one of the most prestigious online CPA and CMA exam review session, practice questions and course providers in the CPA world. Their content is kept up to date through their close contact with the AICPA to ensure that the course material and concepts that they offer remain relevant. This includes there 12,0000 practice questions 9,000+ MCQs, and other resources.
They also claim that their users have reported a 94% pass rate for exams. This is largely due to them setting practice exam questions that are harder than those of the actual exam. However, it comes with a hefty price tag of $399.00-$699.00 per year per section. However, they now offer a $2,399.00 24-month package, a $2,999.00 unlimited access premium package and a $2,299.00 Pro package. If it is something you could afford, but don’t want to invest without trying it first, they do have a free 14-day trial option.
- Wiley is another well-known CPA resource provider, that also offers resources for many other accounting certifications including the CMA, CFA, CIA, and others. They offer a few options, including:
- Wiley’s three main products are the Pro, Platinum and Ultimate CPA Review Course packages. The pro can be purchased per section for $599.00 or as a whole for $2,199.00, including a print textbook, while the whole Ultimate package will cost $3,100.00. The pro package includes 24/7 customer support, over 2,200 pages of notes, over 140 hours of instruction videos, instructors, study guides, over 6,000 MCQs and more. There is also an option to trial it for 14 days. Once purchased, you will have access to all of the content until you pass.
- CPAExcel is updated annually to ensure that it is up-to-date to reflect the current This is course features 12,000+ practice questions, 8 practice exams, 1-on-1 mentoring and support, live virtual classroom and other features. As with other Wiley products, it is valid until you pass. Depending on the level, it costs between $2,100 – $3,100 For all four parts. For one part, it costs $599.00 – $699.00.
- Gleim: They are one of the oldest review course providers on this list, having been in business for over 45 years and are used by many top 10 university accounting programs. They too offer an ‘access until you pass’ plan, with the option to purchase at either a per-part or all full course basis. The per part prices vary from $250.00-$599.00, while the full plans vary from $999.00-$1999.00. The good news is that they also have a demo version that you can try out before purchasing, as well as free study notes and a $99.00 cram package. In addition to the paid-for web courses, review notes and , tutoring and MCQ questions, they also have a free advice blog that also teaches useful information such as Excel and exam tips, as well as some free questions and review content on their YouTube channel.
- UWorld Roger: This CPA Review program is offered by Roger Phillip, CPA, CGMA and offers over 100 hours of classes, personalized study planners, digital textbooks, customizable flashcards, over 6,000 MCQs, and more. There are three package options: $399.00 per part or $1,899-$2,999 for all four parts (when not on special.) The single section option is valid for 6 months, the Premier Package for 18 months and the Elite Unlimited package is valid until you pass. They have courses ranging from high school level all the way to the CPA. The Elite Unlimited course also comes with printed versions of the digital textbooks.
- Another71 – Ninja CPA Monthly: This is monthly subscription-based program that promotes either a 4-week or 7-week 20 hour per week preparation path for each part of the CPA exam. They offer lecture videos, a special study framework, live tutoring sessions, 200+ simulations and a 6,000+ question non-stop MCQ mode. They also offer some free resources such as the Free FAR Materials, section-specific notes and a podcast, among others. At $67.00 it’s probably one of the most affordable options on the market.
Accounting Apps for Students
Although there are still plenty of accountants who have their favorite calculator and prefer to keep tabs of basic bookkeeping in paper ledgers, most tasks are implemented digitally, especially when they are complex or require cloud sharing. We have therefore provided a list of tools and apps that are either helpful or which most accountants use and will therefore be valuable to learn before you begin working.
- TimeCamp: This is time tracking software that is useful for payroll and task-tracking use cases. It enables the user to apply minute by minute tracking, notes, projects, tasks, multiple reports and other functions in a concise and legible way. It is available as fee, basic, pro and enterprise versions. The first three options cost between $0.00-$9.00 p/m.
- Microsoft Excel: Master this program. Almost every accountant uses this on a day-to-day basis. There are plenty of free basic tutorials on YouTube, as well as many paid online courses that you could take on it, if you are not able to take an in-person course.
Apps for Accountancy
- QuickBooks Online (or Xero): Similar to the desktop software suite, QuickBooks online is available on a four-tiered monthly subscription basis, with each option offering slightly more tools. The basic version has tools for tracking income and expenses, invoice and accept payments, maximize tax deductions, run general reports, capture & organize receipts, track miles, manage cash flow, track sales & sales tax, send estimates and to manage 1099 contractors. This is one of the most popular accounting suites used by professional accountants and CPAs. Price: $25.00-$180.00p/m.
- Wave is a free accounting app that is useful for small business owners rather than accountants, but it can be useful for small firms. However, as its free, it is wiser to do your due diligence regarding security and other issues that you may want to know about beforehand.
- GnuCash is another free accountancy program for personal and small business financial accounting software. It enables you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses.
- Alteryx is a useful tool for automating workflow and exporting data to different formats. This can include automating draft confirmations, combining related data tables, automating controls, scoping data sets and many other functions. It is also to input coding with programming languages such as Python. They offer multiple packages and software suites ranging from $2,300.00 to $33.800, depending on your requirements. Needless to say, this is generally implemented by companies rather than individuals. It is most useful for analytic work.
Accounting Podcasts for Students
Sometimes background noise can help you to focus, or you may just want to hear some like-minded opinions during your commutes. This is why so many people enjoy listening to podcasts. So, we have compiled an overview of some of the more recommended accounting and financial podcasts below:
- CPA Talent: This is a free website that is geared towards those just entering the CPA job market. It gives them tips on ow to succeed, how to search, and other helpful information. A large part of the website is their podcast. Their content generally falls into the categories of either Finding You Next Job, Discover Accounting Career Paths, Learn the Skills You Need to Succeed and CPA Exam Study Tips and Tricks.
- Another71: In addition to offering paid-for courses, they also offer a free podcast series that provides a useful of advice on many useful topics ranging from tips to preparing for the exam, to overcoming the misery of failing an exam or worse still, losing credits for an exam part you’ve already passed.
- Steve Bragg’s Accounting Best Practices: Each podcast is around 7 -10 minutes long and deals with a wide array of subjects, including niche accounting and auditing fields. He has over 300 podcasts available in his archives.
- Planet Money: While not specifically an accounting podcast, it is still relevant as a it discusses the US economy as a whole in a funny and sometimes random way. Each podcast is between 13 – 30 minutes long.
- Where Accountants Go – The Accounting Careers Podcast: As it sounds, this podcasts focuses on discussions with accountants from different fields. Its purpose is to provide ideas ad insights into the industry for newcomers or those who are contemplating career choices. The podcast ended in November2021 at 244 episodes.
Professional Accounting Organizations for Students
Joining an accounting organization or program during college is important not only because of the support that it will provide you with studying, but also because of the events and networking opportunities that they can present you with. The more contact you have with potential employers earlier on, the better.
- AICPA Student Affiliate Program: This is a free program that is open to both US and non-US based college or university students who have not yet qualified for their CPA. It offers scholarship opportunities, mentorships, networking opportunities and product discounts.
- Professional Accounting Society of America (PASA): This society is especially targeted towards entry-level and mid-level accounting professionals. Their goal is to provide at advice and networking opportunities to those who are just starting out in the industry. They also have a job board. Membership is free.
- College honor societies: These are definitely worth joining if you are still in college. They are based on campus and are specifically there to provide networking opportunities for students to make it easier for them to find internship and job opportunities when they need them later on. A few of examples are the Beta Alpha Psi, Accounting Students Organization and Ascend.
Forums to Help Accounting Students
One of the most useful, and arguably reliable, sources of information of fellow accountant and students. Even if they cannot help you directly, they can at least commiserate with you. This is why finding forums with other like-minded individuals that you can identify and laugh with is so helpful to keep you going during the stressful periods of school and work life.
Quora: Quora is for serious answers only, but also an excellent forum for posing questions on almost any topic.
Study Guides for Accounting Students
Both Becker and Wiley offer hardcopy texts in addition to their online coursework. You may be able to find second-hand copies of their textbooks for sale on various websites, or even on your college notice board.
Some other texts that are highly recommended by accounting students include:
- Accountant Principles and Intermediate Accounting by Donald Kieso, Terry D. Warfield and Jerry J. Weygandt
- Accounting – Schaum’s Study Guides Series
- AICPA’s Audit and Accounting Guides
- Internal Revenue Codes
What Are Good Publications for Accountants to Read?
If you are looking for websites that will provide you with up-to-date news in public accountancy, there is no shortage of websites. We have provided a list of some of the more popular ones below:
- The Accountant: They are part of an international network over 30 business-to-business websites that combine resources to provide international news to relevant audiences. Their main purpose is to offer marketing tools to their clients
- Accounting Today: This website provides useful information for public accountants regarding subjects such as tax law, tax preparation, bookkeeping, auditing, financial planning, and business advisory and consulting services to individuals and small businesses.
- The Journal of Accounting Research: “The Journal of Accounting Research is a general-interest accounting journal. It publishes original research in all areas of accounting and related fields that utilizes tools from basic disciplines such as economics, statistics, psychology, and sociology. This research typically uses analytical, empirical archival, experimental, and field study methods and addresses economic questions, external and internal, in accounting, auditing, disclosure, financial reporting, taxation, and information as well as related fields such as corporate finance, investments, capital markets, law, contracting, and information economics.”
- Tax Professor: As it sounds, this blog is written by tax professors Paul Caron Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean, who are professors of law. The articles should be interesting to those in law, business and accountancy.
- The CPA Journal: This website is run by the New York State Society of CPAs. It focuses in accounting and auditing, taxation, personal financial planning, finance, technology, and professional ethics. The CPA Journal is issued monthly in print and offers daily insight and analysis digitally here on cpajournal.com. They allow non-employees to submit their articles review for possible publication as well.
- Tax Notes: This website focusses on providing its readers with up-to-date changes in law, practices, analysis and commentary for tax professionals. It also provides several research and reference tools, as well as specialized services focusing on exempt organizations, state tax audit guidance, and international tax treaties.
What are some good accounting YouTube channels?
While textbooks and podcasts are useful, some people are more visual learners, so actually watching someone explain concept will help them to understand concepts than if they were to simply read them on a page. We have therefore listed a couple of popular YouTube channels that over a hundred thousand accountancy students have testified to aiding their understanding of concepts that they were otherwise struggling to grasp.
- Farhat’s Accounting Lectures: Run by Professor Mansour Farhat this channel has attracted over 145,000 subscribers and currently has around 2,000 videos on his channel. These videos are around 10-40 minutes long and range from a variety of concepts including basics like Break-Even Analysis, to more complex ideas such as auditing evidence and Prior Service Cost Amortization.
- Edspira: This is a channel hosted by Michael McLaughlin, CPA, PhD, who offers a wide range of content for both business and accounting topics. He also offers free study guides and has a podcast.
What are some good accounting blogs?
- Bloomberg: Although not specifically focused on accounting, Bloomberg is a financial news site that reports on various global financial and economic news. Covering everything from Wall Street news to Cryptocurrency to sanctions to interest rates and price hikes, Bloomberg is an established and respected news source that is often cited by other publications.
- StuffAccountantsLike: As it sounds, this is an accountant lifestyle, industry and entertainment blog.
- IntuitiveAccountant: This is an independent news and information site that is targeted towards accountants who advise small businesses. They provide news updates about the tax and practice industries, as well as well as providing updates regarding accounting technologies and niche markets.
- DailyDoseofExcel: This is an Excel blog, but still something that an accountant might be interested in looking into. There are plenty of interesting tips and use cases that you can discover here.
How can I find a CPA Tutor?
Many college campuses either have a tutoring program or higher level students who offer tutoring on CPA sections that they have passed. It is also possibly to find CPA tutors online. Reddit or similar forums are a good place to ask for recommendations. There are also known sites such as Darius Clark and Peter Olinto. Many paid-for review packages, such as Becker and Ninja also offer tutoring as one of their services.