Hi! My name is Laura Smith.
I live in the UK, and I’m taking the CIA exam.
Right now, I am studying for the CIA exam, and I’ve scheduled my first exam part for October. I already got ahead of myself and booked a holiday for immediately the exam as a reward for passing and to get a little “me time” in before beginning the second exam. It could be a very expensive fail!
I am a mama of 2 girls who are 5 and 7 years old. Both of them are starting new schools in September. I am also expecting another daughter who will be ready by Boxing Day. So, it pays to be very organized and to have a very supportive partner and employer, of course!
I live and work in Essex and am 31 years old. I am an internal auditor for an Italian-owned defense firm and began my career here in 2010 as a business apprentice. Specifically, I am the company’s SME on Italian Law No. 262/05 legislation. Therefore, my IA teams in the UK and Italy value me highly for leading this mandatory bi-annual audit. I have opportunities to take business trips around Europe, and my partner often joins me, which is great.
As I approach sitting for Part 1, I am studying nearly every day for as long as I can. This is usually an hour or so every evening, after the children have gone to bed at 19:30. I do find that I feel tired, but I enjoy studying because I understand the syllabus. I do most of what the syllabus describes at work! Also, I’m trying to see where the sections I am not familiar with fit into my professional responsibilities.
I am taking as many mock exams as I can, which I screenshot and print out. Then, I analyze the questions using the syllabus to help me justify the answer to the question. Additionally, I read articles online about subjects included in the syllabus because another person’s way of explaining a subject can help you achieve better comprehension. I’ve found the exam doesn’t always shape questions in ways I recognize. So, becoming familiar with writing styles is just as important as simply reading the syllabus.
I plan to study for Part 2 and 3 from mid-December on, as I will be on maternity leave. I have a feeling these parts are going to be much more difficult and that my current method of studying won’t be enough to pass. Hopefully, having been successful in my first exam, I will begin studying for Part 2 straight away. However, I won’t book the exam until next year after our daughter is born. When the house is quiet and my mind is free from work tasks, I’ll be able to fully soak in the second syllabus. I then plan to take the third exam just before returning to work in the summer of next year.
Having passed all 3 exams, I hope to gain more responsibilities and a higher wage. I will look for other positions being advertised locally and in London to see what opportunities the professional world of auditing has to offer. I am excited; I’ll be taken more seriously with this experience and qualification. As a result, I’ll be able to request more perks so my job will better support my mama responsibilities. Otherwise, I’ll have my fingers crossed that all my daughters form a girl band!
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.