Priorities change and life can bring new and unexpected things at almost any time. For 47-year-old stay-at-home mom Katie Moore, she could see that her children would soon be out of the house and it was nearing time to restart her accounting career after more than 20 years away. Step one: Beat the CPA Exam. 

A Promising Start

IMG_3515Katie first studied Accounting as an undergraduate student and had a solid start to her career after graduation. She worked for Big 4 firm Ernst & Young for three years as an auditor. However, she and her husband decided they wanted to start a family and it was easier for Katie to be home with the two children.

“My intent was to get my CPA back then,” she says. But having a family got in the way of that. So, much of my motivation for taking the exam was to finish what I started.”

Facing An Empty Nest

Katie also saw that, as her children got older and were preparing to head off to college, she’d soon be faced with an “empty nest.” But getting back into the job market isn’t always that easy when you’ve been out of it for years.

“Now it’s time to move on and I have the opportunity to get my career going again,” she says. “A lot of my friends were out of work a lot less time than I have been and they’ve had a hard time even getting interviews. So earning my CPA is about how do I make myself more marketable and more attractive to an employer now?”

The Hardest Lesson? Patience

In preparation for the CPA Exam for returning to the workforce, Katie had to get back to her studies–more than 20 years after her last class exam. “I started this process last year at age 46,” she says. “I had to learn to be patient and it me a little to learn to focus and study again.”

At first, she found herself quickly getting exhausted with the process of studying but, after a month or so of using Wiley CPAexcel and its Bite-Sized Lessons, she began to regain her stamina. It was a long, slow process but Katie was able to methodically prepare for and pass each section of the CPA Exam (all on her first attempt).

“You just have go for it,” she says. “You have to know you are capable and can’t doubt yourself because of your age or anything else.”

Next Up: A Few More Credits

Even though Katie passed the CPA Exam, she still has a ways to go before she earns her license, as she’s still 11 credits shy of the education requirement. That’s why she’s back in school and beginning work on her master’s degree.

Predictably, Katie is the older student in her cohort of students but that doesn’t bother her in the least. “I’m glad I did the CPA Exam first because I was able to set my own time for that,” she says. “Studying for the exam really helped me prepare for school, which has all of these deadlines I have to meet.”

We’ll circle back in a year or so and see just how things are going with Katie. We’re absolutely sure she’ll be well on her way to having her full CPA license and a new job.