Accounting firms understand how critical it is for CPA Candidates to obtain their CPA credential the first year working at a firm. And, in today’s turbulent environment, helping your CPA Candidate staff prepare for the CPA Exam is as vital as ever. While COVID-19 has put many aspects of daily life at the firm on hold, and it’s understandably difficult for your staff to focus on studies during these stressful times, you still have the ability to provide the support they need to set them up for success. Below are some tips to help your staff successfully pass the CPA Exam during these difficult times.
Work with CPA Candidates to Create a Game Plan
Focus is everything, and when CPA Candidates have some sort of structure to their day, they will become more productive and focused, especially while working from home. Encourage your CPA candidates to start each day with a plan in mind, setting aside time for study and practice alongside work, rest, and other obligations. Talk to them about their exam date in order to set a pace for practicing and mastering the exam material both inside and outside their workday. Encouraging them to practice sticking to a schedule or plan, while avoiding distractions, will help set them up for success. It’s also important to note that if your firm is still working remotely, encourage your staff to set up a proper workspace from home that is suited for both work and CPA Exam study.
Connect Staff Who Are Sitting for the CPA Exam
Studies show that CPA Candidates who study with a group have higher success rates in passing the CPA Exam. Help form study groups among your CPA Candidate staff, so they have others to talk to, study with, and stay encouraged with during their CPA journey. Also, ask your current CPA staff to meet with CPA Candidates either remotely or in-person to help them learn how to manage their work/life schedule. Your CPA staff can also provide encouraging feedback to your CPA Candidates and become great resources for all things CPA Exam – after all, they were once there, too.
Allow Ample Time for CPA Exam Studies
CPA Candidates are under a great deal of pressure to pass the CPA Exam, not only because their position requires it, but because it is critical for their career advancement. As many firms continue to work remotely, your CPA Candidates have the opportunity to grab study time when they would normally be commuting to work or to a client’s site. Be upfront about time expectations for work and study, so that both you and your CPA Candidates are on the same page.
Helping CPA Candidates maintain their spirits while studying for the CPA Exam takes effort even in normal times. COVID-19 weighs heavily on many people’s minds, and it’s easy to burn out or get caught in doubt about capabilities. As you help your staff set aside time for study, also encourage them to take care of themselves through regular breaks by eating well, drinking enough water, getting a good night’s sleep, and spending time with friends and/or family.
Physical health and mental health are linked to happier staff. If you see that your CPA Candidate is struggling during this time, be sure to reach out to them and ask for feedback. Or, talk to them about your own experience studying for the CPA Exam. This will provide them the encouragement they need to continue on their path and to truly understand that they have the support of their supervisor and firm.