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Candidate Spotlight: Comfort Briscoe

Comfort Briscoe: Pursuing the CPA Certification as a Parent

Pursuing the CPA certification as a parent

Life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to. Circumstances play a large role in the direction we take in our careers. Earning a degree and a prestigious professional certification are hard enough on their own. Sprinkle in a full-time job, a family, and now a global pandemic, and your once attainable goals can suddenly seem out of reach.

Meet Comfort Briscoe, a Professional Master of Accounting student at Rutgers University–Camden. Though she had been out of school for a decade, she decided she was no longer going to let her dreams stay dreams. With help from her family, Comfort reentered school, and now juggles studying, a full-time position, and being a parent while preparing for her CPA certification.

It has been my ultimate dream since I was 16 years old to become a Certified Public Accountant. I love numbers. I admired people who had a master’s degree in accounting or mathematics. I watched the business news, imagined myself working on Wall Street, but I was never lucky enough to get a scholarship. I finally decided that nothing would hold me back this time. I know full-time work is there. I know student loans will pile up. I know family is there, but I must make myself better. Why? Because when I do, everyone and everything will get better too.

Before returning to school for her master’s degree, Comfort had gotten married, had a baby, and lacked confidence balancing work and school. But she didn’t let that stop her. She plans to graduate in May of 2021 and sit for her CPA Exams soon thereafter.

Picture of Comfort with her husband, son and step-daughter

Help along the way

Comfort’s family is largely responsible for helping her through her CPA journey. She has the support of her husband, step-daughter, and 5-year-old son to help motivate her and remind her why she’s making the sacrifices she is to become a CPA.

My family has been a supportive driving force behind my quest to sit for the CPA Exam upon my graduation. Even though time with extended family has been eliminated temporarily and time with immediate family is now being managed, my observation is that they understand how important this is and how life-changing it is going to be for all of us.

Since Comfort returned to school, she has had the help of her professors and her schoolwork to keep her in study mode. Her professors advise her to continue studying, even outside of classes, to ensure that she’s constantly putting the knowledge she’s gained into practice. She started her studies with Gleim through her coursework at Rutgers and has found additional tools to help her stay on target.

In addition to assigned textbooks, I signed up for the free Gleim blog and Gleim YouTube videos. These are not only broadening my knowledge, but also giving me confidence. The contents are clear and comprehensible.

Of course, having a good plan and a support network can only get a CPA candidate so far; they will still need to study to ensure they are prepared to take the CPA Exam. Comfort has some tips she would like to pass along to other CPA candidates.

Comfort and her son studying together at he kitchen table.

Study tips for busy students

Comfort plans to continue preparing for the exam while she finishes her degree to make sure she’s able to keep up with its demanding study requirements. The CPA Exam is difficult and requires special preparation.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) seems to be the most challenging part of the CPA Exam. Other than the fact that most people who sat for the exam say so, I believe it is the most comprehensive section. My instructor placed emphasis on this and encouraged his students to keep practicing after our session (semester). This, I believe, might make it easier.

Keeping the information fresh in her mind will not only help her excel in other classes, but also on the exam.

Never stop practicing. I believe the most effective way to get ready for the exam is to select a review course like what Gleim offers.

We agree with this mindset, which is why we designed SmartAdapt™, our adaptive course platform, to incorporate “mastery questions.” It’s important to review content you’ve already mastered to cement it in long-term memory.

Comfort also recommends candidates research outside sources whenever possible. There are podcasts, videos, and other helpful media to help students understand tough topics. Getting different perspectives on a subject never hurts.

Look up videos or podcasts that will help you understand any topic that may be difficult. Ask questions. Ask professionals. It is an exam. Seek facts and talk to people in this field of interest.

You can do it Comfort, and we’re proud of what you have accomplished!

We’re happy to be a part of Comfort’s journey, and we look forward to the completion of her master’s degree and her success on the CPA Exam.

Don’t wait to start your own CPA journey

See for yourself the ways Gleim can help you pass the exam. Even if you have tried passing with other providers, we have our Help Me Pass program to help get you back on track!