4 Tips to Balance CPA Preparation, Full Time Work and Parenting

10 min read

Preparing for the CPA Exam is a special challenge, requiring a strong amount of dedication and hundreds of study hours. For working parents, it may feel nearly impossible to balance full-time work, studying for the exam and parenting, but our community is here to help!

Here are tips to assist in your CPA journey as a fulltime working parent, provided by the Becker Accounting Facebook community.  

1.Structure is key.

Once you create a structured study routine around your work and home schedule, finding time to study may not seem as difficult.

“I passed all four sections with a 3-4 year old in tow while working full time and being a single mom. Structure is the key. Kids are fed and bathed by 7pm, 1 hour of TV time, always a bedtime story and hit the books from 8-11pm. It was exhausting and difficult, but also doable. Good luck everyone. TOTALLY DOABLE, just push hard!” – Dalia E.

“Each hour is to be assigned to a task. It works! Cheers” – Carol K.

“Schedule bedtime and meals and lay clothes out the night before for you and the kids. Use any shortcuts you can think of. Keep positive!” – Judy D.

2. Find your cheerleaders.

You can’t do it all yourself! Sometimes finding CPA time will require assistance from your biggest supporters. Study groups could also prove useful. Check out our sectional Facebook study groups. 

“Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, get a network going that you can rely on to help take care of things so you can study.” – Melissa R.

“My number one tip for a recent coworker was to put studying before work. Take time off anytime that you have “slow days” at work and learn to say “no.” Employers and families will want what is best for their favorite CPA!” – Shelley G.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. With the kids, the house, dinners, etc. Write down your study plan on the calendar so everyone knows. You’re not alone in this journey! You can do it!” – Teri S.

3. Get creative with your study locations.

If you’re hoping to fit in some extra MCQs before exam day, you need to get creative with where you study. Don’t be afraid to review your Becker CPA materials while the kids are busy with extracurricular activities.

“I just found out last week I passed the final section of the CPA! I would say LOTS of prayers and finding a support system to help the week before the exam and on the day of the test. Breaks were also important because I work and manage schedules for a dancer, football player and karate student. I took my book with me and did my reading while waiting in the salon, at practices and at rehearsals. I just had to be very creative in most studying efforts.” – Kortni L.

“I find earplugs very helpful.” – Jennifer M.

“I’m a single mom who is working full time so I don’t have a lot of free time. I study during all of my son’s hockey and Taekwon Do practices. I also arrange playdates during the weekends or ask my close friends to take him to movies. Everyone wins! I recently took my first exam and got an 86! The struggle does pay off. ” – Anastasia L.

4. Keep your head up!

Above all, stay motivated! A positive attitude may be the extra push that you need to cross the finish line. You can do this!

“Keep your head up and keep pushing.” – Carolyn S.

“Reward yourself throughout the process with breaks. You may not be able to take a vacation but visit a restaurant you’ve wanted to try for some time or take stroll downtown. You will pass your exams and you will earn your CPA license!” – Melonie J.

Never forget that Becker is here to help you throughout your journey. Connect with the rest of our community on Facebook and Instagram for more tips!

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