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Life as a Thread of MCQs

Jessica, deep in her CPA exam prep, finally took a day off from studying. For the first time in a long time, she decided to completely abandon her exam study books and the MCQ question banks to focus on her friend’s baby shower.

It wasn’t an event she thought she’d be able to attend, but when her friend’s sister reached out to her with the invitation she thought:

“Why shouldn’t I go to the baby shower?”

As soon as the thought crossed her mind, she was back at her desk. A familiar screen floated in front of her. On it, a question followed by four answer choices. Jessica took a deep breath and began evaluating her options.

Why shouldn’t I go to the baby shower?

A. I will have too much fun.

B. I won’t find out the gender of the baby until the baby is born.

C. I’ll incur an expense that won’t be reconciled.

D. My gift will not be tax-deductible.

She knew she needed to take a break regardless, given the way MCQ formatting had integrated itself into her decision-making. So, struggling to find a good reason to say no to the invitation, Jessica decided to go.

She was even getting excited for the event. She caught herself contemplating how she should get to the party. First, she considered driving her car, but then she hesitated.

“Is it better to call an Uber?”

The same good old format of questions appeared in front of her eyes again. Just like this:

Is it better to call an Uber?

A. Yes, I won’t have to worry about parking and can save on opportunity costs.

B. No, it will increase my variable costs.

C. Yes, I’ll take advantage of car depreciation for tax purposes.

D. No, it is unethical to drive a work vehicle for personal reasons.

Surprised by how smoothly she incorporated the MCQs into her personal life, Jessica began to wonder if it was a little bit weird to navigate through a day like that.

When she arrived at the baby shower, she was pleasantly surprised to see that the setup looked beautiful – stunning decorations, perfectly executed appetizers, and mind-blowing dessert! In the habitual manner, her mind recreated the same pattern that she had seen so many times in the last few weeks. This time the question read:

What would the overhead cost of the event planning service be to make this party profitable?

A. $1,000 plus taxes.

B. 99% of overall profit.

C. This caterer looks expensive based on the cost-volume-profit analysis.

D. I would never host a baby shower at this venue due to high fixed costs.

“Ok, I must stop now!” thought Jessica. Looks like the weeks of nonstop studying for the exam took their toll. Jessica was completely unable to switch her mind off from studying.

After having a Peach Bellini, Jessica relaxed and took a break from everything related to GAAP principles, deferred tax liabilities, budgeting variances, and financial statements analysis. She was watching the excited guests gasping and awing at the mommy-to-be, who was opening her gift boxes full of all kinds of adorable things.

“I think it is a good idea after all to keep the baby gender secret until the baby is born!” Jessica admitted to herself. “Because really, what can the baby gender possibly be?”

Fighting her own thoughts, Jessica couldn’t believe her eyes and her brain that produced a 4-choice question:

What can the baby possibly be?

A. A boy.

B. A girl.

C. The cutest tax deduction.

D. Sunk cost.

“The bellini didn’t work” – thought Jessica.

But she was ok with it. It was refreshing to see happy faces and to talk to actual humans about things other than certifications, audits, finances, and anything tax-related. The joy of being surrounded by smiles and sweet people touched Jessica to such an extent that she (surprising even herself) volunteered to help send out the “thank you” notes to all the guests!

Upon leaving the party, Jessica felt at peace. She pondered the ups and downs of life, much like the fluctuations in a financial market, and thought about how great it was to have challenges and to overcome them. She gazed at the piece of paper with the guests’ names and contemplated:

“It was so thoughtful of all the guests to bring such wonderful gifts! There were 18 people at the baby shower. If I am sending out handwritten ‘thank you’ notes…

What type of labor cost is it?

A. Direct.

B. Indirect.

C. Free, since I am making it.

D. All of the above.

She smiled at the question, determined to pass her CPA exam and finally reclaim her life, one reconciled balance at a time.