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Topping the CPA Board Examination: 7th Placer Jerwin B. Tubay of DFCAMCLP

Updated on June 14, 2014

Practice of Accountancy Defined

The Board of Accountancy defines the person to be in practice of his profession if....

  • He serves as partner or staff member of an accounting or auditing firm and presents himself as a practitioner who is skilled in the knowledge and practice of accounting;
  • He renders professional service as a Certified Public Accountant to clients on a fee basis;
  • He renders services like audit, certification of Financial Statements and other reports that are used for 3rd parties like banks and government regulatory agencies;
  • A CPA is in the practice of his profession if he is involved in decision making processes that requires thorough knowledge of accounting procedures and techniques;
  • He holds a position where service eligibility as a CPA is required.

Overview

Topping the CPA Board Examination: Jerwin Tubay of DFCAMCLP

The Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Board Examination that was initially scheduled for May 2014 was rescheduled for July 20, 21, 28 and 29. The reason was that the Board of Accountancy (BOA) lacked the required four members, as mandated by the Philippine Accountancy Act of 2004. This was taken as both good and bad news by the reviewees: good for those who needed additional time to review, and; bad for those who were ready, but have fears of losing the momentum due to the postponement.

The CPA Board Exam is considered as one of the toughest board exams in the country today with an average passing rate of 40 to 45 percent on the national level. Graduates coming from top rated schools like the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University have passing rates above the average sometimes reaching 100 percent. It is not unusual, however, to see graduates from less renown schools topping the CPA Board Exams and have passing rates beyond the national average.

There are many factors that account for this phenomenon. First, would be the preparation and second would be the intense desire of the graduate to have the CPA tag attached to his name. Nothing can be more fulfilling than seeing your name written as follows --- Pedro Penduko, CPA. No matter how foul smelling is your name, if the three letter tag is attached to it, nothing can be sweeter than having it included on the roster of those who made it--- or the so-called hallowed halls of the bean counters.

Professional Regulation Commission Logo

Source

What is the secret in passing or topping the CPA Board Examination?

Having been in the academe for several years, I have been asked this question so many times by my students. What makes a person pass, and; how come some of them fail despite of giving it their best shot? I often tell them that the review does not start after graduation. It starts when you enter college and chose to have the Accounting course as your main field of study.

It is not an ordinary course where you can merely stroll along and babble in class on what you have learned so far. You have to study the language and seriously take note of them. The accountancy profession has a distinct language that is all of its own, and not commonly used in other professions.

If initially you find it difficult to understand the terms and mechanics of basic accounting, then you have to re-think your priorities. Accountancy is never meant to be merely passed in school. Passing would be easy, but learning it in such a way that it becomes part of your system, is a difficult thing.

Learning starts in the first year, where you get to learn the basics and the terminologies that you will use later on. I have always emphasized that if Basic Accounting is weak, it would be hard for the student to go through the rigors of higher accounting. Hence, the review for the board exam starts in the first year, not in fifth year or after graduation. If the student does not understand this basic argument, then I don’t think that there is hope for him in the Accountancy profession.

Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Batch 2011

Section V-1 of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy Class, DFCAMCLP
Section V-1 of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy Class, DFCAMCLP | Source

CPA Board Examination Questionnaire

Do you need to pass the CPA Board Exam to practice Accountancy?

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The study of accountancy would not only include your ability to memorize and understand all the tough accounting books and reading materials. It also includes proficiency in both verbal and written communication since the language of the profession is English. Hence, verbal skills should form part of the school curriculum and must be studied rigorously just like any accountancy subject.

There are many students who often question why there is a need to be proficient in the English language when they are not English majors. I merely shrug off my head at times, and consequently see them fail the board exams several times over. The exam is in English, and if you do not have a clear understanding of the English language, you would find it difficult to choose the correct answer.

The 2nd secret to passing the CPA Board Exam is the reviewee's attitude. Since accountancy is a service oriented profession, you need to have people skills in order to be effective. The study of Accounting is gut-crunching and would need constant practice to perfect the course.

If you do not have the perseverance to do hard work, then it is better to shift to another course. I often see students in 1st and 2nd year, complaining about the volume of work that they have to tackle. I say to them, that if early on in the game, they can’t handle the load; then it is better to find other courses that would involve lesser work.

The ultimate secret to passing the CPA Board Examination is the right combination of --- determination, capacity for hard work, and the “never say die” attitude. It is often a status symbol to be an Accountancy graduate, but that symbol would mean lots of hard work, patience, perseverance, and unwavering faith that you can handle it.


Schedule of Examination

Sunday, July 20
Monday, July 21
Monday, July 28
Tuesday, July 29
Auditing Problems (8 to 11 am)
Theory of Accounts (8 to 11 am)
Management Services (8 to 11am)
Business Law and Taxation (8 to 11am) 11am)
Practical Acctg, Problems 2 (1 to 4pm)
Auditing Theory (1 to 4pm)
Practical Accounting I (1 to 4pm)
 
 
 
 
 
Schedule from http://www.prc.gov.ph

CPA Oath Taking at the Philippine International Convention Center, Manila City

Delay in the CPA Board Examination Date

The exam was postponed from May to July, since there were only two active members in the Board of Accountancy (BOA). Additional four members were added to complete the BOA listing before the schedule of exam was given. The added time, should give those who didn’t quite make it in the first and final pre-board exams, the time to rehash the review materials and come up with a better performance.

Based on the previous years’ monitoring of passers, it was noticed that reviewees would need to have an average grade of 80 percent and above in the pre-board tests to have a batting chance of passing the actual board exam.There were those whose grades were below this pegged rate, but still made it to the passers list.

Please be guided that these are the exception rather than the rule. Expecting to pass, when your pre-board outcome does not look promising is a big gamble on your part. It would be better to do another review before attempting to take the actual board exam.

Re-scheduled Exam Dates for the CPA Board Exam

The examination re-scheduled dates are: July 20, 21, 28 & 29 and would cover seven major areas:

  • Auditing Theory
  • Auditing Problems
  • Practical Accounting I
  • Practical Accounting II
  • Theory of Accounts
  • Management Advisory Services
  • Business Law and Taxation

What NOT to do when you take the CPA Board Exam Review

There are some graduates who like to think that the review is just a mere walk in the park. I see some of them doing the review during weekends and even worse – take the review while working. This is what you call an “epic fail.” You must never take the review for granted by thinking that you can go on your merry ways and expect to survive the holocaust. I have seen a number of “dead bodies” that have gone through this route, in a way that I have developed the knack of seeing “impending death” even from afar.

There is nobody that can be that brilliant who would survive the onslaught if they do not take the review seriously. I have often advise students that if they cannot do a full time review, it would be better not to do a review at all. It will only be a waste of time, money and effort and should be better use elsewhere - like work. I have been proven right several times over with this observation, and the reason why I write this down, is to simply emphasize this point.

Jerwin Tubay, CPA: Pride of DFCAMCLP

Jerwin Tubay, CPA  - A graduation picture taken April 2011
Jerwin Tubay, CPA - A graduation picture taken April 2011 | Source

Jerwin Tubay, Topnotcher - 7th place in CPA Board Examination (October 2011)

There was this public college south of Manila where free tuition is given to students by the city government, on those who can’t afford a college education. I was fortunate to have been part of the institution for three years beginning 2010. Among my students was this bright fellow by the name of Jerwin Tubay. I taught Management Accounting to his batch, and he was one of the brilliant students of this group. He was basically shy but you can sense his intelligence from the way he reacts to questions thrown his way.

Since Management Accounting is a tough subject, I often wonder why he had with him other Accounting books that I knew were not prescribed by other professors. He often smiled when queried, and said that he was on the 2nd or 3rd book on the subject matter and that, he had finished three or four subjects several months ago or before the term was over.

That batch was one of the best groups that the school ever produced. But Jerwin was different. He had the seriousness and intensity to study all the Accounting subjects on his own steam. At that time, I had an apprehension that he might not make it to topnotcher status. There was a classmate, named Anna, who was the love of his life and still is, and I felt then that the relationship may distract him in his review.

I was wrong in this regard, as he became the 7th placer on that board exam even beating the students from renowned schools like the University of the Philippines. His lady love also passed the board at the same time. Having garnered 7th place by the Professional Regulations Board (PRC) was a morale booster for a small public school in the south --- Dr.Filemon C. Aguilar Memorial College, that was known for their accountancy course and the quality of their Accounting graduates.

The last I heard of this newly minted CPA, was that he joined one of the top-notch Accounting firm in the country, Punongbayan and Araullo. He transferred to another firm, Chevron, a few months back. He is definitely a young man on the rise.

Bottom Line

Passing the CPA Board Examination can be a breeze if you take the Accountancy studies seriously. It takes five years of academic work and intensive preparation that is equivalent to five times the work load of the usual Baccalaureate course in college. There is no short-cut to learning the course. You have to learn it the hard way, like everybody else.

Students who take the course should know that there is no easier route. To have an equal chance of passing the board exam, they need to prepare NOW. There is no tomorrow, the next day, or right after graduation. If you need to have that CPA tag attach to your name, you better start doing the review at this time, while you are still in the first year. Learning it later, might just be too late.

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 2 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is a highly specialized field and requires a lot of studying. It takes someone with so much discipline to succeed in this field.

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image
      Author

      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi my friend! Accounting is a tough course since there is still the board exam that the student has to reckon with. I like to see though, students who doesn't have much to start with, and winning at the end. I guess, I am a sucker for the underdog.

      Well, as they say, the academe is the great equalizer. You are judge based on how you perform, not on how rich or nice looking you are. Heheh!

      writer_csm

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