Getting Ready for the CPA Exam

I am currently in the process of waiting for my notice to schedule for the CPA exam. I originally planned to go through Maryland, where I will eventually be licensed; however, they have an extremely difficult process. The main hurdle was that I would have to wait until I graduated until I would have my review even begin. From there, I was told it may take as much as 90 days to receive word from them.

With this in mind, I looked into taking the exam in Virginia. I have decided to do this, and then have my exam results transferred to Maryland, which should be a bit easier, while coming at a less busy time of the year as well. I am planning on scheduling through Becker tomorrow afternoon, with my first Regulation classes starting in early June. The time has come – it is time to become a CPA!

Another CRAZY Monday!

Mondays have been my biggest day all quarter. My IFRS course has weekly presentations, and because there are so few students, my group has gone 4 out of 5 times. Regardless of whether we are presenting, we always have a case study due on Monday at 8:30am, comparing the differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP. This week, we worked on property, plant, and equipment, so that was pretty interesting.

Following that, I had to turn in my mid-term paper on Jerome Kerviel. This guy is supposed to be an arbitrage trader for French Bank Soceite Generale, yet he decided to go way beyond his official duties, and take a 50 billion dollar long position betting the Euro Markets would improve. Needless to say, they went down, he was uncovered, and he wound up costing the firm 7.14 billion dollars. You would think they would have a few more checks and balances to prevent a “junior trader” from independently establishing a 50 billion dollar position. Got to love it.

After that, we had our case to turn on on variance analysis for cost accounting. The cost course is all case based, so very real-world, as opposed to just learning theory. I have greatly enjoyed the course, and learned a ton. After that it was home for a few minutes, then out to Upper Arlington to umpire a baseball game for 7th graders. What a day!

Quarter is flying by

This quarter has absolutely flown by. I have barely had time to breath, let alone relax. I am currently taking two accounting courses (an IFRS course, and a cost-accounting course) as well as taking a trading and markets course, and my personal favorite (not!) an introduction to ethics course necessary to earn the Maryland CPA designation.

We are already past mid-terms, and it seems like this quarter is going by faster than any other. Soon I will be done with the MAcc program, and my time at Ohio State will be but a fond memory. I am already making plans to come back for the Ohio State vs Miami football game this fall. A few friends and I have actually discussed renting an RV for the drive from DC to Columbus, hopefully that comes together, as it sounds like an amazing trip.

The hugely positive aspect of this education is how much I enjoyed working with some of the best accounting students in the land. Everyone in my groups and that I associate with is absolutely top-notch, and that certainly makes things easier.

Discovering Columbus

My parents came to Columbus this past weekend to visit. We had a lot of fun and were able to do a lot of things we wouldn’t have otherwise. We walked around Ohio Stadium and then went to Eddie George’s for lunch. For dinner that evening, we went to O’Shaughnessy’s in the Arena District for dinner, and then we went to the Big Bang, a piano bar across the street. The Big Bang is a lot of fun, with dueling pianos and a band that plays songs solely on request. They played anything from Bon Jovi “Living On A Prayer” to stuff from Michael Jackson.

On Sunday we went out to Adobe Gila’s in Easton and did some shopping, then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate Sarah’s birthday. The weather was great, and the weekend in general was really a lot of fun. Moral of the story: still hang out with your parents, because when you’re poor and in grad school, they will take you out to dinner and pick up the tab! But in addition to that, it is great to take a break with the people who care about you most. Needless to say, this family weekend was much needed and very much so appreciated. 🙂

Sarah and I are definitely excited to check out the dog park in Victorian Village. L.E. has gotten so big, and we love her more and more every day!

Evan Turner is awesome!

The Buckeyes just beat that team up north again, in what had to be an absolutely heartbreaking loss for Michigan basketball. Michigan had taken the lead 68-66 with 2.2 seconds left in the game. OSU in-bounded the ball to Evan Turner, and he took it up the court, and got off a three point shot with about .3 seconds left. He nailed it, giving the Buckeyes a 69-68 win as the clock expired! I can say, seeing the sad faces of the Michigan fans, combined with the exuberance of the OSU fans, was pretty exciting!

Check out the video, it is pretty sweet. Evan Turner beats Michigan

What a clutch shot! It is definitely nice going to a school like OSU, where one can actually have some faith that good things like this will happen. I actually jumped off the coach to celebrate. Quite a fun game, and it just reaffirms my belief that the Buckeyes are going to make it to at least the Final Four!

What a fun weekend, tomorrow we face the winner of the Wisconsin vs. Illinois game. GO BUCKS!

Done for the quarter!

This quarter has flown by! It seems like just yesterday we were flying into Pittsburgh Intl Airport, for the long drive back to Columbus to start school the following morning.

This past week has been extremely busy. My excel modeling group worked nearly non-stop from Wednesday evening until Saturday evening, turning out what I judged to be a fantastic model. Our presentation could have been better, but it was a great learning experience. I then started working on my stock market paper. I put out 20 pages of fantastic quality work, after spending all of Monday and most of Tuesday. The result of the paper is a recommendation of a STRONG BUY on HCBK!

I then was tasked with putting together my groups assignment #2, which was a breeze after all I learned in the modeling class.

We turned in that paper this morning, and that was that. The quarter is done for me! I have no finals (save a take-home final) at all next week! I couldn’t be more thrilled. I am honestly worried the break is a bit TOO long. I don’t have class again until March 29th, so I will need to find something to do between now and then!

I will write again soon with a more detailed opinion on each course, but suffice it to say I was very pleased with my choices this semester!

School Cancelled

It has snowed a ton this month. The radio today mentioned that it has snowed a total of 24″ this month, and the Columbus February record is only 29″, so with another couple weeks left, I assume that record will be broken.

Ohio State closed today, which shocked me, as everything I have heard indicates that OSU is only closed for a Level 3 Snow Emergency, which basically never happens. The day off is nice though, and there is certainly a lot of snow on the ground!

Sarah’s parents came to visit this past weekend, driving in from Richmond, so that was fun getting to see them. We had lunch at the Blue Danube on Saturday. That place is my new favorite dive, with cheap food, and a great “dive” atmosphere. The food was actually pretty decent as well, we will definitely make it back there at some point. Here is hoping the weather improves, but at this point, picturing an 80* day is mighty difficult!

I accepted my offer!

These past couple weeks have been ridiculous. I left Columbus Thursday January 28th for the long drive back to DC to interview with the Reznick Group. I had my interview Friday morning, which went extremely well. I went out with my buddy Jeff in Arlington that evening to celebrate, and had quite a good time. The following morning, I woke up and it was snowing, which didn’t bode well for my drive back to Columbus. I decided to wait until Sunday morning, and the weather had cleared up for the drive.

I hear back that Wednesday that the Reznick Group was going to be extending me an offer. I couldn’t have been more excited. I just recently spoke with my contact at Reznick, and let her know that I would be accepting the offer, and how excited I am to move back to the Washington DC area. I couldn’t be happier to be finished with the process, and I feel that Reznick is going to be a terrific fit for me. I am definitely excited to get started there!

Working hard in Excel

This quarter has been a lot of work already. I am taking a Financial Modeling course, using Excel, and the stock market class. In the modeling course, I have already finished close to 20 models, and in my stock market class I have been modeling Hudson City Bancorp’s (HCBK) income statements, as well as cash flow statements. I have spent a ton of time in Excel, but I keep learning more about the program and its capabilities, which has been nice.

Being at Fisher has been fantastic because I have had the opportunity to take some courses outside of the typical accounting realm, giving me the chance to really explore where I want my career to be, as well as giving me a perspective on potential long-term career options. In addition to those, it also has given me the chance to widen my skill base, giving me some terrific knowledge as well as skills that I will be able to bring to my first employer to create value.

Cold Weather

When I decided to come to Fisher, I heard some comments from family and friends about the weather, more specifically cold and snow. Throughout all of the first quarter, I hadn’t experienced any snow, and it really wasn’t all that cold. However, on my return to Fisher for Winter quarter, that was all going to change. Apparently this is going to be the coldest winter in two or three decades, so this may be extreme, but it has been really cold!

It is currently 26*, which is incredible. Yesterday was the first day above 20* in something like 10 days. The high has been that low, for that long. It has snowed a ton, probably about 15 inches or so in total, and with it being so cold, it really has nowhere to go.

This cold weather is something I never experienced in Virginia, but I have learned to deal with it quickly. I make sure when I go outside, I always have my gloves and a hat, and I have been fine. It just takes a bit more planning. There is something nice about it though, as I sit here in the Gerlach computer lab, and look out the windows and everything is covered in snow. I have learned to love the weather here; the good, and the bad!