Never Give Up!

Happy New Year!!!_REV1

“Don’t ever give up on your dreams!”

It’s a cliché that we always hear from people around us whenever our resolve is getting tested. Honestly, don’t we quickly retort by saying “it is easy for you to say it because you’re not the one involved”?

There were two recent major events in my life when I thought about giving up on my goals. I seriously considered hanging up the gloves.

In the late quarter of 2012 I started to doubt whether I would really be able to pass the last remaining part of the Uniform CPA Examination, Regulation. Could I really get this U.S. CPA title that I longed so much for? How could I pass Regulation when nothing seemed to click as I studied the lessons? It was a battle of will as I recalled it, and in each of the several instances I almost snapped and said I’ve had enough of this. I postponed my exam and repaid the fees for the second (gladly the last) time for a date in Feb’13.

God listens. God sees what we’re going through. He acts when He sees you’re about to give up. And His timing is impeccable.

I got my rhythm, and interest in studying, back and notched the much needed victory, passing Regulation on my first take. At last, the “light at the end of the tunnel has revealed its awesome radiance”, and so I wrote. I earned my U.S. CPA license under the Colorado State Board of Accountancy.

After more than 16 months of slump, things weren’t still going as planned for Insights. The load had become heavier and heavier each month, as the last ounce of invested capital and savings had reached the bottom slack of the drum. There was nowhere else to go if the last promotional project didn’t deliver. Should we pull out now while we could, or do we “die” trying? My wife exclaimed “You don’t give up on your dream. We keep digging!” These were the words that fueled us to press forward. And we’re just so glad we did, because we closed out year 2014 with a very respectable passing percentage at 61 CMA exam parts passed out of 71 exam parts taken. God willing, it looks like we’re on our way to producing top performers (worldwide) in the last testing window of 2014!

It is easy to realize what resilience, hard work, and faith in God can bring about in a person’s quest for victory. God’s Mighty hand will be there to bless you each step of the way if you dedicate your deed toward helping others.

If you don’t see the path that leads you to your destiny, start building the road that leads you to your goal NOW. And as you do, always remember that “The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flat tires called Jobs, but if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, a driver called Will Power, you will make it to a place called SUCCESS.

Just as when you thought of giving up, always remember that your dream deserves another chance.

May you all have a prosperous 2015!

Congratulations to the new Filipino CPAs!!!

http://prc.gov.ph/news/?id=527

Time To Pay It Forward

Angel_Alulod CroppedTogether we can change the world, one good deed at a time”. Anonymous

I am one of the many Filipino professionals who landed a job in the Middle East. It was a good opportunity indeed. But being an accounting graduate, I did not feel complete without that three letters announcing my professional qualification affixed at the end of my surname.

Though at some point I had set aside that dream of having that prestigious CPA license. The dilemma of fulfilling a dream or being jobless occurred in my mind, until the Special Professional Licensure Board Exam was introduced in UAE.

I thought then this must be the opportunity that I have been waiting for. Excited by the thought that I do not need to leave my job and go back to Philippines to take the review classes and the board exam, I decided to give it a try.

It was much tougher than I thought.

It was a totally different story here as it was bounded by limitations. There was no formal review classes held here. I just attended the free tutorial class offered by PICPA Abu Dhabi Chapter in preparation for the exam. A supposed-to-be review classes was not, it was like a ‘first view’ of everything. Theoretical is far different from practical or application.

Apart from this, time constraint played a big role, too. As I was not a full time student here, work was still my priority just like all of my classmates. Materials were also scarce. We did not have enough review materials. They were not easily available here.

The most daunting of all was that we did not have professional reviewers as we only have volunteer PICPA members who were kind enough to share their time and knowledge to us.

It was then that I had the privilege to meet Sir Angel Secerio.

The ‘Sir A’ as we called him in class; a letter-name that suits him. “A” for his efforts. “A” for his good heart. “A” for his dedication and passion. He is my best mentor. I have seen his passion in teaching, and it was undeniably great. He has this talent of making things look easy. I really do not understand how he does that. This, perhaps, is his “gift”. The way he explains things, it was like ‘ah ganun lang pala yun’. You add this up with his effort and hard work and you got the perfect tool for preparation. He is simply an inspiration and a role model in the art of dedication and perseverance. Knowing that all of us were working students, he maximized time as much as he could. He sent us email for quizzes, question of the day and even called us for a phone recitation just to make sure you grasped something from his lessons. This is the ‘modern’ way of review and a unique way of retention, I guess 🙂 He bought his own review materials, books, reviewers from the Philippines so he can be equipped with the ‘right’ knowledge.

He invested much on us. An investment that would never give him a return in terms of money. But this kind of investment made him the man, that sort of inspiration for me, not only as a reviewee but as a person as well. He planted a seed and waited patiently as it blooms.

And I’m proud to say that a big majority of my batch mates are now CPAs. And being aware of this, we as his students just want to pay him forward. Our batch handles the tutorial class held by PICPA for this batch 2012 of reviewees. This would be in-line with his vision of empowering accounting profession.

I may not be like him, not even close to his intelligence and skills but I’m sharing what I learned from him to others. Every time I was asked by them, how were you able to give such effort, dedication and sacrifices for teaching in volunteer review classes? I could only give them one answer: It was because of Sir A. This is what I learned from one of the best mentors that I have ever known.

It is just my way of paying him forward.

Maria Angelica H. Alulod, CPA, currently works as Assistant Accountant at Leighton Contracting (Abu Dhabi) LLC. You may get in touch with her at angelalulod@yahoo.com.

Long Road To Success

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy name is Anna, a CPA.  These three letters added to my name, I thought will not be possible after failing the Philippine CPA board exam a couple of times.

But these failures never deterred me to dream and to lose hope; there’s an old saying “a will finds a way”.

If someone tells you that you can’t pass, or don’t deserve the title CPA, prove them wrong by showing your resilience, because you believe that the only way to fail is to quit. So, don’t quit and you won’t fail.

Before deciding to take the board exam for the third time in 2010, it took me quite a lot of time to analyze why it seemed that passing board exam was so difficult for me while others can.  What was the secret? What was I doing wrong or what was lacking?

It is known to everyone that in order for one to succeed you have to work hard for it. You have to be ready to sacrifice something, and always think this is going to be your last, so you have to do the best that you can, make it your priority and prepare as they say  Failure to prepare is preparing to Fail” I hope I said it right.

So here’s what I have done: 1) Bought books that I needed for the exam 2) Lessen my social activities (gimmicks) 3) Have at least 3 to 4 hours a day for study and practice test, and group study on weekends. 4) Pray (don’t underestimate the power of prayer).

I have consistently done these every day for 6 or 8 months before taking the exam. Hard that they may seems, but the ultimate prize is worth every bit of it.

Effective studying and preparing for any rigorous examination is never easy without the help of my mentors and friends/peers who were with me during these months of studying. There are subjects/topics that, no matter how you tried to understand, they seem very difficult and sometimes confuse you more.

It is always advisable to seek help from mentors as they are skilled and knowledgeable on this.  They help you understand and also give you techniques on how to tackle them. Peers also can help you a lot as the study/review will be more fun.  It helps to be in the company of people who have one aim and one goal: “Pass”.  You help one another, share your knowledge and materials, and provide encouragement to everyone in the team when one feels discouraged or someone loses focus. Most of all, you build up strong bond of friendship.

For those of you dreaming to become a CPA, start realizing it. Don’t let your age or any circumstances hold you to pursue that DREAM.  Nothing is impossible for those who choose to believe.