A Senior Tax Associate’s CPA Exam Journey


Welcome to our newest guest blogger, Laura. In her introductory blog article, Laura talks about what first sparked her interest in accounting and how she began her journey to becoming a CPA.


I currently work as a Senior Tax Associate for a certified B-Corp that is one of the largest national accounting and bookkeeping service providers dedicated to the nonprofit sector. I find my work incredibly rewarding as I get to help my clients navigate the complexities of filing the Form 990 and their state charitable solicitation filings. I know that the quality work and advice that I offer my clients helps represent their nonprofits more effectively so that they may continue making the world a better place.

Before working in my current position, I was working as a manager for a Montessori preschool. I valued my relationship with the staff and children, but my interest was continuously drawn more into the business side of the school.  After some years had passed working at the preschool, I began to have this sinking feeling that I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do with my life. Shortly after that, I met my soon to be sister-in-law, a CPA, who had recently left PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston to move to Boise and work in the private sector. She inspired me by suggesting that I should go back to school to obtain a degree in accounting. She would always say, “I’m telling you, Laura, accountants are your type of people!”

Since I had already attended Boise State University, I wasn’t interested in spending more money on a degree if it wasn’t going to work out.  So, I decided to follow Warren Buffet’s advice and maximize my ROI with my education by attending the local community college.  I recall my first accounting exam. The girl sitting next to me started crying as the professor handed out the tests.  When I asked her if she was okay, she blurted out, “I hate this class, I don’t understand any of it.” I was stunned by her reaction; how could she not love accounting? Accounting is the best thing ever. And then I realized, wait, there’s a lot of other people who have terrified looks on their faces. Am I the odd person who loves accounting?

After my first class in accounting, I was hooked. Our professor had asked that we share what we were planning on achieving with our degrees.  I was one of two people in my class who stood up and said I was going to continue with my education in accounting so that I could become a CPA. My professor looked at me, smiled, and kindly said, “I know you will.” I still smile when I think back to that moment.

I ended up finishing my associate degree in accounting as a Summa Cum Laude graduate.  After I graduated with my degree in accounting, I knew if I wanted to continue my education in accounting without taking on any student loan debt, I would need to get started in the accounting field ASAP. It wasn’t easy finding a company that was willing to hire a student, but my company gave me a chance, and I wasn’t going to let them down. I have steadily worked my way up in the company ever since they hired me. While working full-time, I completed my bachelor’s degree in accounting and then shortly after completed my master’s degree in business.

And so, my CPA journey began! Next time, I’ll share how I achieve the work-life balance, maintain a healthy marriage, all while studying for the CPA Exam!

–        Laura D., UWorld Roger CPA Review Guest Blogger

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