The path to a successful and lucrative career in accounting begins with acing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Prepare for the sixteen-hour CPA exam to kickstart your dream accountant job with the best CPA prep books. Whether you are looking for free CPA prep books or valuable CPA exam review books, we’ve got you covered.
Learn about which CPA prep sections to focus on during your practice sessions. This article is for anyone curious about how to become a CPA, financial accountant, or public accountant. Continue reading for everything you need to know to prepare for the CPA exam.
Should I Take the CPA Exam?
Yes, you should take the CPA exam if you want to expand your accounting skills and professional credibility, and ultimately secure a high-paying job as a certified public accountant. According to PayScale, the average salary for a CPA is $70,220 per year. Passing the exam in accounting allows you to solidify your real-time expertise in finance, and is required for certification.
However, your decision to take the CPA exam should also factor in financial and educational requirements. CPA candidates are responsible for paying a yearly licensing fee which can cost up to $500, depending on the state. Be sure to have proper financing options as well as an educational background in accounting before you register for the actual exam.
Common CPA Sections You Need to Prepare For
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD). This first CPA exam section tests your knowledge of auditing ethics, risk development, evidence procedures, conclusion formation, and attestation. This section includes both multiple-choice and task-based simulation questions.
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). CPA exam blueprints include the second section of business concepts in accounting. You’ll need to master economics, corporate governance, information technology, and operations and financial management for this section. In addition to multiple-choice and task-based simulation questions, there are also three written task questions in this test section.
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR). This section of the real exam tests your financial accounting skills. It covers questions from conceptual framework, accounting statements, transactions, and financial reporting topics. You’ll also need to learn national and state financial accounting rules to prepare for this section.
- Regulation. The fourth section that CPA candidates need to complete is about regulation. This section covers tax procedures, federal transaction regulations, group and individual national taxes, and business law. There are tons of CPA test banks, review courses, and CPA exam mentorship programs that can help you prepare for this section of the professional exam.
The 10 Best CPA Prep Books to Help You Get Ready
1. CPA Exam for Dummies
- Best for: Detailed explanations, online practice questions
If you’re a first-time CPA exam candidate looking for comprehensive study material and practice CPA exam questions, this book is for you. This CPA prep course book covers all four sections of the professional exam and provides an overview of the CPA exam requirements. You’ll also have unlimited access to CPA exam questions online, with detailed answers to prepare you for the test.
2. Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review 2021 Study Guide + Question Pack: Complete Set 1st Edition
- Best for: Ample multiple-choice questions, task-based simulations, CPA review
The Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review 2021 prep book is a great study option for CPA candidates. It includes tons of CPA exam study material that covers CPA practice questions, exam processes, a deep test bank, and task-based simulation questions. This CPA review bundle covers all four exam sections and also offers one week of access to the Wiley CPAexcel online test bank. It can be purchased online on Amazon.
3. You Can Pass the CPA Exam: Get Motivated 3rd Edition by Debra R. Hopkins
- Best for: In-depth CPA review, study time and testing windows techniques, task-based simulations
The CPA review and prep process requires you to spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars. This CPA study budget option by Debra Hopkins acknowledges the difficulty of the CPA exams and offers motivation, resources, and concrete strategies to help you ace the professional exam.
The CPA prep book includes audio lectures, task-based simulations, and a deeper discussion of how to prepare for every part of your personal testing experience. It is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback for $10.
4. Phil Yaeger CPA Review 2020 – Auditing and Attestation
- Best for: CPA study materials covering multiple-choice questions and difficult concepts of the Auditing and Attestation exam section
For those who need help with the Auditing and Attestation section of the CPA exam, the Phil Yaeger CPA review book is for you. Acquire extensive auditing and accounting skills that are essential to pass this section of the exam. This budget option Yaeger CPA review guide covers auditing sample questions and detailed answers you can use to impress the CPA exam industry and get a great score. It is available on Amazon for an affordable price of $80.
5. At Least Know This CPA Review – 2021 – FAR Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Best for: Difficult concepts and CPA exam terms in the Financial Accounting and Reporting exam section, practice exams
The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) topics form a very important CPA exam questions section that tests your accounting abilities. This CPA study book offers a huge library of practice questions and CPA exam study material covering financial accounting in as few pages as possible. Learn the fake cash method, T-account methods, credit loss, and pension accounting with charts and tables. It is available for purchase on Amazon for around $30.
6. Roger Philipp CPA BEC Business Environment & Concepts EPA Exam Review
- Best for: CPA exam terms, CPA test banks, and task-based simulations in the Business Environment & Concepts exam section
According to Statista.com, the leading accounting firms in the United States in 2020 are Deloitte, PwC, Ernest & Young, and KPMG. These large firms require qualified candidates to excel in a business environment, and this Roger CPA review book offers an in-depth, comprehensive review of all concepts relating to the BEC section of the exam. Roger Philipp also offers CPA review books in all four test sections, so you can be prepared for exam day.
7. Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review 2022 Focus Notes: Financial Accounting and Reporting 1st Edition
- Best for: Digital flashcards, CPA exam concepts, and latest CPA questions covering the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the exam
This Wiley CPAexcel review book has been written by both accounting experts and CPA exam experts and focuses on the FAR section of the exam. You will find bite-sized lessons through page-based flashcards, task-based simulation questions, and a deep test bank. It covers conceptual frameworks, financial statements, federal and state regulations, and reporting. It has great customer reviews and can be purchased on Amazon for around $65.
8. How to Pass the CPA Exam: The IPassTheCPAExam.com Guide for International Candidates
- Best for: International candidates, comprehensive CPA review and study hub covering mock exams in digital format
This CPA prep book is targeted toward international candidates wanting to ace the CPA exam in the international or American CPA exam industry but can be utilized by American candidates, as well. This review book covers all four sections of the CPA exam and offers lifetime access to CPA practice exams and resources. This CPA review bundle is offered on Amazon both digitally and in paperback for different affordable price options and has great customer reviews.
9. Mometrix CPA Financial Accounting & Reporting Exam Secrets Study Guide: CPA Test Review for the Certified Public Accountant Exam
- Best for: CPA review of the Financial Accounting & Reporting exam section, exam day strategies, and sample questions by expert CPAs
This CPA study book will adequately prepare you for the time limit constraints and examination process of the FAR section of the CPA exam. Mometrix’s practice tests, detailed explanations, and CPA review guides are comprehensive and created by experts in the CPA exam industry. With this prep book, you’ll get the mentorship of high-quality instructors and a deep test bank without spending hundreds of dollars. It is available for an affordable price on Amazon.
10. Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review 2021 Flashcards: Regulation 1st Edition
- Best for: Review flashcards with sample questions, CPA study materials, and task-based simulations covering the Regulation exam section
Flashcards can be a great tool for your exam review process, especially after watching hours of video lectures or completing CPA prep courses. This CPA review book by Wiley CPAexcel focuses on the Regulation section of the accounting exam and offers direct access to exam flashcards, practice questions, and detailed answers. It is available on Amazon for about $75.
Free CPA Books and Resources to Help You Get Ready
- Gleim Exam Prep CPA Study Materials
- Quizlet CPA Digital Flashcards
- Becker CPA Review Blog Posts
- Free CPA Review Audio Lectures List on Audio-Digital
- CPA Webinars by CPAacademy.org
Best CPA Prep Books FAQ
The best CPA prep books are CPA Exam for Dummies, Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review, and Yaeger CPA Review 2020.
The best places to find CPA exam study materials, video lectures, flashcard apps, and resources are Becker CPA Review, Gleim CPA Review, and Roger CPA Review, but you can also find many free exam study materials online, such as Quizlet.com.
Yes, you should take CPA exam review courses if you learn best with the mentorship of expert CPAs. Depending on your preferred learning style, you can enroll in courses that offer instructional videos, CPA lectures, sample questions, or live instructions. CPA books are best suited for self-paced CPA review.
Yes, CPA exams are notoriously difficult as they test your expertise in financial accounting, auditing, regulations, and business environments and concepts. You need ample CPA review preparation and an in-depth accounting background to pass this certified exam. You can find a study hub, digital flashcards, CPA review courses, instructional video content, and accounting experts to prepare for the exam day.
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