In conversation with US CPA Alumni – Saloni Desai

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Salonio Desai

Why did you choose CPA over other courses?

Being an accounting professional, I have always learned to set my goals right, hence having a CPA to my advantage was definitely my target. In addition to that, I always had an inclination towards taxation as well, and having a CPA made it easier to switch my job role even though I lacked experience in that field. If you are on a hunt to gain professional credibility with a global edge to your profile, then CPA is the way to go.

What was the strategy you approached before the exam?

I started my CPA preparation in 2019, along with my work & M.Com. In short, I sailed on three boats, with confidence that nothing can stop me until I complete what I started. I knew that the job responsibilities would be quite heavy and I might run out of motivation. I used to practice MCQs during the weekdays for the subjects that I have learned on the weekends. This gained me two preparation advantages- enough time to revise and exercise each chapter and topics; and a steady study schedule

What were the CPA takeaways in your journey?

CPA taught me a very important life lesson – never take your studies too lightly. When I first visited Dubai for my CPA exam, I had my NTS booked for all the four together and I flunked my Audit with a close call of 74. Though I cleared it with flying colors on my next attempt, I would advise pairing subjects like AUD with BEC (a complex one with a much airy topic) to balance out the preparation. Plus having a gap of about 3-4 months to appear for the next set will smoothen your CPA exams.

Tell us how CPA got you into taxation?

I was literally on the edge at one point. I had an entire semester on hold due to the pandemic and at the same time my employer had suspended their operations. The only positive thing I had is my hard-earned CPA credentials to flaunt. And guess what, as soon as I added CPA to my profile, voila! I got an immediate offer for a Tax Associate position at a MNC.
I was both excited and nervous at the same time cause I hardly had any work experience in dealing with tax & regulation – a bookish guide from Miles was all I had. The technical round of the interview was shaky, yet didn’t make much difference to win over the job. Here is another tip for my fellow CPA participants- You do not have to go through some typical CA, CSC WA route every time, CPA is at par with all and should be your target just after your graduation.

Any tips for aspiring CPA candidates

  • Plan your CPA journey before you register for the exam
  • Get your concepts strong
  • Don’t rush your preps, know your pace to study
  • Keep some room for leisure time as well

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