Sunday, July 15, 2012

Budget Variance Analysis can suck it.

Upward and onward.

My NTS got all messed up, by me.  I don't know why I assumed that NASBA would get my transcripts for me - that makes no sense.  Also, it shows I'm not really good at reading directions of things like applications - which is just perfect for planning a career in tax compliance.

Anyway - it's done and done.  I had my NTS within a week of having transcripts sent, and BEC is ON for this Thursday.

Did some cramming Friday and Saturday - and I tell you I'm a little worried.  My first Becker practice exam scored 79,75,75 per MCQ testlet, and I believe I rocked the written, actually.  It was partially the questions, and partially having extra time from flying through MCQ's.

Oh, budget variance analysis.  I was just about punching my computer screen when those questions came up, so today was spent making lasagna (in a crock pot, as if I would turn an oven on in this heat) and switching from Becker to Gleim for more practice questions.  And I finally got it.  This is the one area of BEC that Becker did a pretty lousy job - two pages in my Gleim book explained and summarized it better than Becker's lecture and book.

With some help from Flashcard Machine - I got it down cold.  Finally.  Just rocked all the Becker questions at 100%, the same ones that had me in tears earlier this weekend.

So I need to keep reviewing Monday and Tuesday, but I know how to do everything, working those mnemonics and ready to have BEC out of my life.

This Port St. Willow album is AMAZING.  Discovered via Pitchfork's app on Spotify, I can't stop listening to it.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I'll be done with all my BEC work for Becker tomorrow (because I am lazy). That leaves about a week of just drill, drill and drill. I still don't have my NTS, but checked the Prometrics website and it looks like I should have no problem getting a last minute seat if needed.

So last Saturday night was the big Slowcore show in Boston. Codeine played a reunion gig and Thalia Zadek of Come opened. Thalia was pretty good - I hated Come (long story), and was not looking forward to this at all, but she almost won me over. The 100% consensus between Rob and I is that it would have been an A+ opening set...if only someone else sang. I believe she's kind of aware that she doesn't sing so much as caterwaul, and it's OK at first, but gets to be a bit much by the end.

Oh Codeine. If I had a nickel for every time I listened to Frigid Stars or White Birch crying in a fetal position, I'd have at least a dollar. But that was the 90's for me. This show just felt very "you can't go home again" to me. Self pity just lost its appeal to me about 10 years ago, so they sounded great, and played great, but it's not you Codeine, it's me. My heart just wasn't in it anymore. 30 minutes into the set I felt like "Glad I saw it - can I go home now?" And lucky for me (but I'm sure disappointing to many) was including encore they barely played for 70 minutes. The show was sadly under attended - but again, I'm not complaining. Gave me room to breathe. I'm glad I saw it and hey, we'll always have 1994.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where are you NTS?

I'm moving right along with BEC - 4/6 through Becker's rather quick paced regiment.  I'm fine with governance, cost accounting, and IT.  I should be OK with capital management once I have the formulas memorized.

But UGH to budgeting.  Just ugh.  The formulas, and even some of the concepts just aren't clicking and it's been 2 weeks.  I think part of my issue is that the book emphasizes one method (formulas) and the lecture emphasizes a different method (tabular format).  And neither really make sense to me, so I'm half heartedly studying both and understanding neither.

And I'm almost a week behind schedule, but that's OK - I still don't have my Notice to Schedule.  Fun Fact - when they say 6 weeks for an initial application, they aren't kidding.  I assumed 6 weeks to be worst case scenario, not the standard.  I'll probably wind up driving out to Springfield to take BEC at this point, since I'll be scheduling last minute.

In other news - I am employed.  Staff accountant, tax department - 100% exactly what I wanted.

A few weeks ago I found myself re-obssessed with The Cult, specifically Love.  It's worth re-obssessing over:

Off to BEC 5 - Economics.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Networking 101 - again

I was going to post about how obsessed I became with The Cult last week, but I'm already on a new trip.  The new Liars album is amazing:

I started studying for BEC this week.  Not too bad.  I like that they have to specifically state that "text message language" should not be used in your written communication simulations.  I wasn't worried about the BEC written simulation until I tried one - 3 in 45 minutes is tough.

Flashcards, mnemonics,  memorization - all things I'm fine with.  Rejection, networking and confidence - ugh.  Getting better, but there were some tough lessons in those topics this week.  Now I'm mostly worried about why my Notice To Schedule hasn't shown up yet...I'd like to take BEC the beginning of July, and I'm afraid this is starting to cut it close.

Best thing learned this week is how at networking events - EVERYONE feels a little uncomfortable, and no one shows up at those events just to be mean.  I was able to walk up to strangers and confidently introduce myself (not at first) - which if you knew me 10 years ago, is a pretty amazing accomplishment.  And I wasn't laughed at, or dismissed - because again, who would go out of their way to show up to an event just to be a jerk?  It's a little tiring at first, but getting easier.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


So I got busy (and lazy) this spring - but the good news is I now have 6 new letters after my name: Keith Kenez, MSA, MBA.  And next week I start working on the final three - yup, Becker classes.  I'm starting with BEC.  So now this is a CPA study blog.

I wound up with a bunch of honors and stuff, and the GPA was 3.923 - but still no job.  Interviewing, and it goes well as it always seems to do, but the robot boy inside of me keeps trying not to get excited so it hurts less when I get let down.

Spotify now supports embedded code, I think.  Here's the test:

The new Sigur Ros was a little too ambient for me on first listen, but I was on a crowded rush hour red line train.  Listening at home it's really lovely.

I have CPA exam prep lectures twice a week, and not much else going on, so I'm planning on continuing to bolster my internet presence here.  And hopefully brush the cobwebs off of my HTML and adjust something in this template.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Its a fire - these dreams they pass me by

A friend recently asked if she could get rid of records from a business that ceased operations 7 years ago - well, technically she wanted to burn it all because it wasn't the best experience (happy ending, she now owns a business she loves).

My first instinct was no!  As emotionally cathartic as it would be - there must be some reason to hold onto those documents?  And the answer - in this case - is probably not.  In terms of the IRS, there are three basic statutes of limitations:
  • Three years - The IRS can contest any return they like for any reason 3 years after it has been filed (basically)
  • Six years - The IRS has a number of exceptions to the three year rule where they can still contest your return
  • Unlimited - If you have intentionally filed a fraudulent and they can prove that, there is no statute of limitations.
This is extremely basic - but lends most businesses to the "7 year" rule.  So, the answer is yes, you can destroy documents after seven years WITH ONE EXCEPTION:

Any documentation relating to "basis", or what you paid for an asset should be kept for the life of the asset.  The IRS always assumes basis is $0.00 - the burden is on the taxpayer to prove what they paid.  So, if next year she sold some equipment related to that business for $1,000 - the IRS will assume a gain of $1,000 unless she could prove otherwise.

I don't have my official blog disclaimer - yet - but you know you can't take tax advice from a blog on the internet into tax court, right?