Sweet memories of passing the CPA Exam

Featuring Anoop Natwar Mehta, CPA, CGMA, president of Science Systems and Applications Inc.


Video transcript:

When I think about the CPA Exam, it’s just the effort, the hard work that went into before I took the exam. It was – I wasn’t one of those that passed it the first time, and after – actually I took it few times and I kind of gave it up because I just thought it was not important or relevant to me because I was already working in industry, and I loved my job, and I wasn’t sure what that was going to do for me. But then when I turned 30, actually, my wife said, “You just turned 30. What have you done in your life?” and that was the moment I said, “You know, I really need to go back and take the exam,” and I signed up for a review class. And at that time I was little bit far removed, and I was married and I had my first child so it was tough. So those four months of preparation, and I remember I took the November exam, back then it was November, you can take it in May. It was a November exam I took and I started the review class in July and it happened to be the day the review class started it was the day of daughter’s first birthday. There was a party that evening and I went, spent the whole day at review class and then got home to a party. And then after that it was just focused. I worked, I reduced my hours at work, and I knew what I needed to do. So preparation, four months, was just an amazing period. I mean, it was focused on the exam but also focused on what I knew, what I needed to do to make sure I passed that exam, and I did, luckily all five parts or four parts I passed at that time.

Back then you got those envelopes, right, and I knew it was coming on February 3rd, I still remember the date, and I used to work very close to where I lived so I went home in the afternoon because I knew it was coming in the mail. And when I saw that envelope and I was just saying, would I have the same commitment if I didn’t pass it, would I have the same commitment if I had to sit for it again or parts of it, right? And when I opened it, it was just, I just banged on the door, yes! And I remember I went, drove all the way to Rockville because I lived in Greenbelt because my dad worked for a CPA firm, he was a chartered accountant and I knew it would mean so much to him to go in person. So I drove all the way to Rockville and sat with him for a while before I even told him the news, and I walked over, he was sitting behind the desk, walked over to him and I said, “Dad, shake hands with a CPA.” And I could see the tears in his eyes and he was just so proud and then he went around and introduced me to all his partners and then I went – in our culture it’s a custom to buy sweets and offer sweets when something great happens, so I stopped by the store, bought some sweets and went back to the office and gave out sweets to everybody. So that was my celebration, and then I had a party thrown. So it was just an amazing moment, and I still remember as if it just happened yesterday because it was just such a monumental moment in my life. It was wonderful.

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