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CPA Review courses

Naren (Audit executive) (230 Points)

19 August 2010  

Hi Everyone ,

 

Pursuant to the fantastic article shared by Rahul Gupta on an introduction to the CPA Course , I thought I could give some inputs regarding the CPA Course targetting those people who would like to pursue it . As you may be aware CPA is introducing IFRS in their curriculum by January 1,2011 so its definetely a course worth pursuing because of the international recognition .

The next question which pops into everyone's mind is what review course can I use to prepare for this exam

This is intended   focus on the various review courses and what are their approximate costs .

There would be subsequent posts on what are the pros and cons for each

 

CPA Exam Review Courses: Cost Comparison

 

The CPA Exam Review Courses are not created equal: some are expensive and others are outrageous!

While price should only be one of the considerable, it is nevertheless an important one so I attempt to make your life easier by listing them all for your easy comparison.

I am going to list out the cost by company below, but here are a few charts for a big picture. Figures in US dollars.

1. CPA Exam Review Courses – Bundle Buy Comparison

The following is the cost of standard guided review course if you purchase all 4 parts in one go. Becker is clearly the most expensive and price is going up again this year. Roger CPA Review used to be a relative bargain but I am surprised at the 31% increase in the live classes. Now it becomes the second most expensive.

In US dollars

Note: the red portion indicates:

  • $400 extra that you need to pay for Roger’s live and USB courses (vs their online courses)
  • $220 extra if you choose to have access to a professor for answering questions

2. CPA Exam Review Courses – Per Section Comparison

In US dollars

Note: the red portion indicates the additional $100 you need to pay for FAR at Roger CPA Review.

3. Cram Courses Comparison (By Section)

In US dollars

Note: not available at Gleim CPA Review.

4. Test Prep Software Comparison

In US dollars

Note: not available for purchase separately at Becker and CPAExcel; Roger and Yaeger CPA Review use Wiley CPA software.

5. Textbook Comparison

In US dollars

Note: not available for purchase separately at Becker and Gleim; Roger and Yaeger CPA Review use Wiley CPA textbook.

6. Audio CD/MP3 Comparison

In US dollars

Note: not available at Becker, Roger and CPAExcel

7. Flashcard Comparison

In US dollars

Note: not available at Bisk, Gleim, Roger and Yaeger CPA Review

Now, Let’s Look At The Pricing In Detail

Here is the price list of products from these CPA exam review courses. The price is checked against each of their websites and updated on August 4, 2010.

Becker CPA Review

Becker is the most expensive CPA exam review course no matter how you look at it. Does it worth it? Everyone has a different opinion — the best you can do is to compare Becker with the rest of the CPA exam review courses in different aspects.

Please note that the in-class, CD-ROM and online courses cost the same:

Standard course:

  • Bundle buy (all 4 parts): $2,825 $3,065 (up again!!)
  • Price per section: $910 $990 + $95 registration fee

Flashcards:

  • $210/section (at enrollment)
  • $295/section (after enrollment)
  • Mobile flaashcard app for iPhone, iTouch, iPad, Blackberry and Windows Mobile: $295 /section

Cram course (Final Review):

  • $570 or $190/section (at enrollment)
  • $720 or $240/section (after enrollment)

Competitor discount:

  • 50% off

Bisk CPA Review

Guided review course (Bisk Online / Bisk Classic):

  • Bundle buy: $1,980
  • Price per section: $495

DVD:

  • Bundle buy: $999.8
  • Per section: $249.95
  • Hot Spot DVDs (heavily tested topics): $99-$199/topic

Test prep software:

  • Bundled buy: $640
  • Per section: $160

Text book:

  • Bundled buy: $199.8
  • Per section: $49.95

Audio:

  • Bundled buy: $519.8
  • Per section: $129.95

Gleim CPA Review

Gleim is by far the cheapest guided review course. The bundled purchase is especially attractive at less than $1,000. Having said that, many users don’t like the book and the course and only use the test prep software. So, in my opinion, you should probably only pay attention to the Gleim software.

Standard course:

  • Gleim CPA Review system (everything including books, test prep software, audio CDs, CPA Gleim Online, Test Prep for Windows Mobile, and access to a Personal Counselor)
    • Bundle buy (all 4 parts): $989.95
    • Price per section: $274.95
  • Gleim online (core self-study review course):
    • Bundle buy: $611.92
    • Price per section:$169.95

Audio: $89.95 per section

Test prep software:

  • With textbook: $84.95 per section
  • Without textbook: $54.95 per section

Wiley CPA Review

Wiley is the only major CPA exam review course publisher that does not provide a “guided” review, but their textbooks and test preparation software are very popular and widely available in major bookstores around the world. Besides the textbook and software listed below, Wiley also carries a collection of CPA exam preparation / accounting reference materials.

Textbook:

  • Bundled buy: $220
  • Per section: $55

Test prep software:

  • Bundled buy: $229
  • Per section: $79

Lambers CPA Review

Lambers CPA is cheap! You can get a deeply discounted price if you purchase online, but there is no discount on bundle buy, at least on the web.

Standard course:

  • iPod – $299.95/section ($1,199.8 for 4 parts)
  • DVD  – $299.95/section ($1199.8 for 4 parts)
  • Audio  – $249.95/section ($999.9 for 4 parts)
  • Flashcards – $124.95/section ($499.8 for 4 parts)

Cram course (Intensive Review): $199/section

Text prep software only: $149.95/section

Textbook only: $49.95/section

Roger CPA Review

While Roger CPA Review retains its uniqueness it is no longer a bargain in my opinion. Its live class (and USB self-study course) is 2nd most expensive among the second review course. Also, be beware of a whole bunch of hidden charges.

Guided review course:

  • Live version: $1,595 $2,095 (31% increase!)
  • Online: $1,595 $1,695
  • USB: $1,995 $2,095

Guided review course per section (same for all versions):

  • $595 for AUD, BEC, REG
  • $695 for FAR

Cram Course:

  • Online: $860, or $195-275 per section
  • USB: $995 or $295-375 per section

Competitor discount:

  • 24-38% (live/online/USB cost the same at $1,295)

Known additional costs:

  • For live classes, $10 per class if you need to rewatch the lecture for live classes.  As told by one of my readers,  you still need to pay even if it is Roger CPA’s fault to make a rewatch necessary, e.g. due to technical glitches in the satellite classes
  • The USB expires after 12 months

CPAExcel

CPAExcel product listing is quite confusing, but basically they have 4 products and you can pick and choose and each combination has a different pricing. The products are:

  • Core study materials (in static,powerpoint format) – A
  • Video lessons – B
  • Text book – C
  • Professor mentoring (have access to a professor whom can anwer your questions) -D

Packages

  • A+B+C+D: Bundled buy: $1,690; per section: $580
  • A+B+C: Bundled buy: $1,470; per section: $490
  • A+B: Bundled buy: $1,335; per section: $445
  • A+C+D: Bundled buy: $1,195; per section: $400
  • A+C: Bundled buy: $930; per section: $310
  • A (core powerpoint materials only): Bundled buy: $795; per section: $265
  • C (textbook only): Bundled buy: $150; per section: $50
  • Flashcards:  Bundled buy: $150; per section: $50

In my opinion, the first two (A+B+C+D and A+B+C) are equivalent to the standard courses from other CPA exam review course.

Yaeger CPA Review

I am been quite clear throughout my site about my recommendation of Yaeger CPA Review. Cost is certainly one of the reasons.

Guided review course:

  • Bundle buy: $1,550
  • Price per section: $495

Audio (MP3 format):

  • Bundle buy: $380
  • Cost per section: $95

Cram Course (webcast format):

  • BEC and AUD: $125 without Wiley book; $180 with Wiley Book
  • FAR and REG: $225 without Wiley book; $280 with Wiley Book

“Homestudy Combo” – guided review DVD plus other products

  • DVD + Audio: $1,890
  • DVD + Cram course: $2,150
  • DVD + Audio + Cram course: $2,490

Competitor discount: one-time $150 off

 

The analysis will be done in my subsequent posts .

As and when time permits I shall of course with valuable suggestions and inputs post some analysis for other courses such as CMA , CIA , CFA and ACCA

 


 14 Replies

Rahul Gupta (Project Controller ACA MBA(Fin.))   (8004 Points)
Replied 19 August 2010

Superb Work...Naren........It will provide tons of information to all the CPA aspiring students. Bookmarked.


I am sure it is highly appreciable by all the CCI Members........


Thanks a ton Man........

1 Like

saurabh jawanpria (final student ) (317 Points)
Replied 19 August 2010

CAN U LET ME KNOW FOR WHICH ONE WE SHOULD GO WHICH IS BEST YET CHEAP PLEASE HELP I HEARD BECKER GIVES LIVE CLASS WHILE OTHERS ONLINE TAKES ONLINE CDS AND BOOKS .......PLS HELP

SIVASIVA (FCA, Future CA) (4930 Points)
Replied 19 August 2010

you have shared a high value information. superb. Bookmarked.

Naren (Audit executive) (230 Points)
Replied 19 August 2010

Hi Guys ,

 

Clearly in my view the course for CPA Review which clearly stands out is the YAGAER CPA REVIEW . The material is really comprehensive since they issue WILEY BOOKS which are quite exhaustive in nature . They are also much cheaper as compared to the other books . So You should opt for

1. WILEY CPA BOOKS

2.WILEY EXAM NOTES

I believe you have the wiley test preparatory software , you could couple this with the gleim test preparatory software , gleim books are no good even though highly publicised and cheap .

As mentioned earlier , I shall be posting an article also on the pros and cons of each review course and why in my opinion you should opt for yagaer , considering all limitations.

I thoroughly understand that CPA is a really expensive course , so I encourage everyone related to this to please post their views , This is not only in respect of CPA.Also we shall make it a point to discuss the difference in preparation . CPA has introduced IFRS and certain changes w.e.f January 1 , 2011 . So keep updated and pass the word around.........

 

I shall post the subsquent article shortly . Please ask your related questions

Aditya Maheshwari (CA in Practice) (35817 Points)
Replied 19 August 2010

Originally posted by : SIVASIVA

you have shared a high value information. superb. Bookmarked.

Naren (Audit executive) (230 Points)
Replied 19 August 2010

Hi Everyone ,

 

Please make sure that you follow the link to see a comparison of review courses for CPA (US).

The link is

/forum/an-indepth-analysis-of-review-course-providers-for-cpa-us--100231.asp

 

Cheers,

Vikrant (Chartered Accountant) (601 Points)
Replied 20 August 2010

Hey its really a nice information to share.........

Thanks.........

Really appreciate it.........

Its something of high value......:-)

Ankur Garg (Company Secretary and Compliance Officer)   (114654 Points)
Replied 20 August 2010

Originally posted by : Vikrant

Hey its really a nice information to share.........

Thanks.........

Really appreciate it.........

Its something of high value......:-)


True Caclubindia Spirit.....Great Work Naren...


Keep Sharing.

Rahul Bansal (Finalist) (35924 Points)
Replied 21 August 2010

Awesome pst......bookmarked

Kalpesh Chauhan, (Tax Assistant (Accounting Technician CA FINAL CS PROF. PROG. B.Com))   (8310 Points)
Replied 26 August 2010

Thanks for sharing............

Kathy (Social Media) (21 Points)
Replied 28 August 2010

Hi,

CPAexcel: Pros

1. Bite-Sized Courses With Videos, Slides, Notes In One Convenient Location

The first thing I really appreciate CPAexcel is the bite-sized courses. Not sure if you will share my experience, but to ensure a 2 to 3-hour lecture on a topic on accounting is really a torture. Not only it's boring, there is no way I can absorb everything after the first hour or so.

CPAexcel is well aware of this and so they introduce a rather unique, bite-sized courses for their students. In each of these mini courses, there are a video lecture that lasts from a few minutes to half an hour. After watching the video, you can view the lecture slides, study text and then dig into the questions and see how well you understand the topic.

If you choose to buy the extra services such as flaashcards and mentored discussions, you can also get access in here.

2. A Personalized Exam Plan

Another aspect that I like about CPAexcel is the personalized exam plan functionality that builds in with the candidate's accounts. Before you begin the study, you are asked to enter the exam date, or the number of hours you plan to devote to studying each week.

Once you enter the information, the system spits out a detailed schedule of a list of assignments (the actual course work) and "exam planner events" (reminders e.g. submission of application) with specific date and number of hours required.There are also check boxes that you can mark upon completion.

For those of you who need somebody to help keep track of the study progress, no one will ever do a better than this computerized exam planner!

3. Unlimited Upgrade

No more pressure of not finishing within 12 months and have to pay an extra $1,000 for a retake!

 

written by Stephanie Ng, I pass the cpa exam.com

Sophie Teller (3 Points)
Replied 10 May 2018

Hi guys,

Really wonder about Miles CPA review too. I want to take the exam next year. I want the video lectures to supplement another course, not as a sole source. Can anyone pls advice?

Todd (Accountant) (36 Points)
Replied 11 May 2018

I'm not sure about Miles, but if you want video lectures, I would recommend Roger CPA lectures. They are the most engaging that I have seen. Some people like them and some people don't. Roger tends to talk pretty quickly, so you might want to watch a demo of them first. Either that or you could check out a CPA review comparison site that lists all the different providers.

Suman (CMA) (195 Points)
Replied 08 July 2020

Good article, Naren!


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