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A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license is a highly sought-after credential in the accounting industry, but less than 50% of the 1.4 million U.S. accountants have one. Why? Because the biggest hurdle in obtaining a CPA license is taking the CPA Exam. In fact, according to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the cumulative pass rate of 2021 for each of the four sections of the CPA exam ranged from 47% to about 62%.
What's so hard about it? Each section of the CPA exam focuses on a specific area of accounting and requires candidates to display a deep understanding of that subject area. The sections are Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). Candidates are given only an 18-month window to pass all four sections.
With such a time crunch and overwhelming content to digest, it's worth signing up for a CPA Exam prep course. These prep courses make studying less daunting by helping candidates map out an exam schedule with target dates and breaking the material down into bite-size pieces. They also offer a variety of modalities to accommodate various learning styles (online tutoring, chat, in-person lectures, etc.).
Since there are so many considerations to consider when searching for a CPA course (cost, delivery of content, the number of multiple-choice questions provided, available graded practice exams, etc.), we evaluated each one for you. Read on to see our picks for the best CPA prep courses to help you pass on your first try.