The path to a successful and lucrative career in accounting begins with passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Prepare for the 16-hour CPA exam to kickstart your dream accountant job with the best CPA prep books. Whether you’re looking for free CPA prep books or valuable CPA exam summary books, we’ve got you covered.
Learn which CPA preparation 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. Read on for everything you need to know to prepare for the CPA exam.
Do I have to take the CPA exam?
Yes, you must take the CPA exam if you want to increase your accounting skills and professional credibility and ultimately secure a high paying job as a certified public accountant. According to PayScale, the median salary for a CPA is $70,220 per year. Passing the exam in accounting can strengthen your real-time expertise in finance and it is required for certification.
However, your decision to take the CPA exam should also consider financial and educational requirements. CPA candidates are responsible for paying an annual license fee that can cost up to $500 depending on the state. Before registering for the actual exam, make sure you have the right funding options and an educational background in accounting.
General CPA Sections You Should Prepare for
- Auditing and attestation (AUD). This first CPA exam section tests your knowledge of audit ethics, risk development, evidence procedures, conclusion formation and attestation. This section contains both multiple choice and task-based simulation questions.
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). CPA exam blueprints contain the second part of business concepts in accounting. This section requires you to master economics, corporate governance, information technology and operations, and financial management. In addition to multiple choice questions and task-based simulation questions, there are also three written task questions in this test section.
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR). This part of the real exam tests your financial accounting skills. It addresses questions from the conceptual framework, financial statements, transactions and financial reporting topics. You must also learn the state and federal financial accounting rules to prepare for this section.
- Regulation† The fourth part that CPA candidates must complete is about regulation. This section covers tax procedures, federal transaction regulations, group and individual state taxes, and corporate law. There are numerous CPA test benches, assessment courses, and CPA exam mentor programs that can help you prepare for this portion of the professional exam.
The 10 Best CPA Prep Books To Prepare
1. CPA Exam For Dummies
- Best for: Detailed explanation, online practice questions
If you are a first-time CPA exam candidate and looking for comprehensive study materials and practice questions for CPA exams, this book is for you. This CPA preparation course book covers all four sections of the professional exam and provides an overview of the requirements for the CPA exam. You also have unlimited access to online CPA exam questions, with detailed answers to help you prepare 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 assessment
The Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review 2021 preparation book is a great study option for CPA candidates. It contains numerous CPA exam study materials that include CPA practice questions, exam processes, an in-depth test bench, and task-based simulation questions. This CPA assessment bundle covers all four exam sections and also includes one-week access to the Wiley CPAexcel online test bench. 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 assessment, study time and Windows techniques testing, task-based simulations
The CPA assessment and preparation process requires you to spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars. Recognizing the difficulty of the CPA exams, this CPA study budget option from Debra Hopkins provides motivation, resources, and concrete strategies to help you pass the professional exam.
The CPA preparation book includes audio lectures, task-based simulations, and an in-depth discussion of how to prepare for each part of your personalized 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 Material on Multiple Choice Questions and Difficult Concepts from 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 comprehensive auditing and accounting skills essential to passing this portion of the exam. This Yaeger CPA assessment guide with budget option covers sample questions and detailed answers that 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. Know At Least This CPA Review – 2021 – FAR Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Best for: Difficult Concepts and CPA Exam Terms in Financial Accounting and Reporting Exam Section, Practice Exams
The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) topics are a very important section of CPA exam questions that will test your accounting skills. This CPA textbook provides a huge library of financial accounting practice questions and CPA exam study materials in as few pages as possible. Learn the fake cash method, T account methods, credit loss and retirement accounting with charts and tables. It is available for purchase on Amazon for about $30.
6. Roger Philipp CPA BEC Business Environment and Concepts EPA Exam Overview
- Best for: CPA exam terms, CPA test benches 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 companies need qualified candidates to excel in a corporate environment, and this Roger CPA review book provides an in-depth, comprehensive discussion of all concepts related to the BEC portion of the exam. Roger Philipp also offers CPA revision books in all four test sections so that you are prepared for exam day.
7. Wiley CPAexcel Exam Summary 2022 Focus Notes: Financial Accounting and Reporting 1st Edition
- Best for: Digital flashcards, CPA exam concepts, and the latest CPA questions on the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the exam
This Wiley CPAexcel review book is written by both accounting experts and CPA exam experts and focuses on the FAR portion of the exam. You’ll find bite-sized lessons through page-based flashcards, task-based simulation questions, and a comprehensive test bench. It includes 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 assessment and study hub with mock exams in digital format
This CPA preparation book is for international candidates who want to pass the CPA exam in the international or US CPA exam industry but can also be used by US candidates. This review book covers all four sections of the CPA exam and provides lifetime access to CPA practice exams and resources. This CPA review bundle is offered both digitally and in paperback on Amazon for several affordable pricing 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: Financial Accounting & Reporting Exam Section CPA Assessment, Exam Day Strategies and Sample Questions by Expert CPAs
This CPA textbook will adequately prepare you for the time limits and exam process of the FAR portion of the CPA exam. Mometryx’s practice tests, detailed explanations, and CPA assessment guides are comprehensive and created by experts in the CPA exam industry. With this preparation book, you get the mentorship of high-quality instructors and a comprehensive test bench 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 related to the Regulatory Exam section
Flashcards can be a great tool for your exam grading process, especially after watching hours of video lectures or completing CPA prep courses. This CPA review book from Wiley CPAexcel focuses on the Regulations section of the accounting exam, providing instant access to exam flash cards, practice questions, and detailed answers. It is available on Amazon for about $75.
Free CPA Books and Resources to Prepare
- Gleim exam preparation CPA study material
- Quizlet CPA Digital Flashcards
- Becker CPA Review Blog Posts
- Free CPA Review Audio Lectures List at Audio Digital
- CPA webinars by CPAacademy.org
FAQs on the Best CPA Prep Books
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 plenty of free exam study materials online, such as Quizlet.com.
Yes, you should take CPA exam assessment courses if you learn best with the mentorship of expert CPAs. Depending on your preferred learning style, you can enroll in courses that include how-to videos, CPA lectures, sample questions, or live instruction. CPA books are best suited for self-paced CPA assessment.
Yes, CPA exams are notoriously difficult because they test your expertise in financial accounting, auditing, regulatory, and business environments and concepts. You will need adequate preparation for the CPA assessment and a thorough accounting background to pass this certified exam. You can find a study center, digital flashcards, CPA assessment courses, how-to videos, and accounting experts to help you prepare for exam day.
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