CPAexcel vs Becker
Which CPA review course is better, CPAexcel or Becker? In this head-to-head review I compare their textbooks, software, practice tests, and other important features to help you decide which course is a better fit for you.
I have used both of these courses extensively and found some very significant differences that every CPA candidate should know about when considering both of these options.
CPAexcel vs Becker CPA Review Cost
Becker is the most expensive course on the market and will cost you $3,360 for all 4 sections. CPAexcel’s course is much more in line with the market average and the cost for all 4 sections is $1,800.
Please note that CPAexcel offers a variety of packages to choose from, starting from $915 for the basic self-study course, up to $1,800 for the Video Gold Medal Course. I will reference their Video Gold Medal Course in the pricing chart below since this is the one most similar to Becker and is also endorsed by the Big 4 accounting firms.
|CPA Review Cost Comparison||CPAexcel||Becker CPA Review|
|Single Section Price||$600||$1,120|
|Cost to Repeat the Course||Free||$553 Per Section|
Course Expiration and Access
The Becker software expires after 18 months which can end up costing you a lot of money if you fail an exam or need a little more time. If you need to renew your access it will cost you 50% of the original cost.
CPAexcel never expires and you never have to pay to renew your access. You can take unlimited course repeats and will have access to their online material for an entire year AFTER you pass the CPA exam.
CPAexcel vs Becker Books
The Becker books are very professional looking and are full of colored diagrams and images. The content is well organized and structured in a way that is easy to read. Their sections are longer than CPAexcel’s, but not so long that you feel overwhelmed by them.
CPAexcel books are much more plain looking and do not have all the fancy colors and images. I like how their sections are smaller because it makes the information easier to digest and soak in. There is much more empty space to write on in the margins and between the paragraphs which is very useful for taking notes and working problems.
CPA Exam Practice Questions
Beckers CPA Review includes 6,000 multiple choice questions and 200 task based simulations.
CPAexcel comes with 5,500 multiple choice questions, 450 task based simulations, and 6,200 true/false questions. The true/false questions are referred to as “proficiency questions” and serve as a useful gauge to see if you really understand a particular section or if you need to spend some more time on it.
CPAexcel vs Becker Flashcards
For $299 extra you can purchase 1,000 Becker flash cards in either a mobile or printed format. The mobile flashcards are accessible on iOS (Apple), Kindle, and Android mobile devices.
CPAexcel comes equipped with 4,100 digital flashcards at no additional cost. Each section in their software includes flashcards relevant to the most important definitions and terms covered. If you prefer printed flashcards, you can buy 1,000 of them for $150.
*Study Tip: Don’t BUY flashcards, MAKE them! You will retain much more information by physically creating them by yourself.
Becker offers 3 different course formats; online, self-study, and live classes. They are one of the only CPA review companies who provide a live classroom course, however, many students say that the quality of their instructors is inconsistent.
CPAexcel is offered in an online, self-study, and virtual classroom format. Each course comes with a USB flash drive which allows students to access all of their materials offline as well as DVD’s of the video lectures. The virtual classes are a blend of pre-recorded lectures and live instruction, however, this is a fairly new feature, so if you have any feedback about the quality of these classes please let everyone know in the comment box below!
Software and Content Updates
Becker does not update their practice exams, simulations, or video lectures for free. Each time the material covered on the CPA exam changes, you will have to pay extra money for these updates or else be stuck studying with outdated materials (Example: all the new IFRS regulations recently added to the Audit Exam).
CPAexcel comes with Free software and content updates. You can access their updated video lectures online for free, or if you prefer to watch them via DVD, they will ship you the new one for only $8. For students who study primarily off-line, the updated CD-rom software only costs $8 as well.
CPAexcel vs Becker CPA Pass Rate
I often get questions about different CPA review courses and their passing rates. Since none of them use the same method or rules when calculating these numbers, I think it’s fair to say that these figures many people assume to be fact, are nothing but a bunch of BS! That’s just my opinion though, I’ll let you be the judge.
Becker’s website: “Students who prepare with Becker pass at double the rate of non-Becker candidates.” Keep in mind that on the same webpage they also state, “coming up with a specific pass rate for all students of a particular review provider is impossible”. Hmmm… they should of just gone with 142% and hope nobody notices.
CPAexcel’s website: “CPAexcel student pass rate: 87%” Well, at least they are specific.. but perhaps tooo specific?
Winner: Anyone who doesn’t buy into made up statistics!
So which course is better? I’d have to say that really depends on how you define “better”. However, this should give you an idea of what each review course’s strengths and weaknesses are.
CPAexcel never expires, is much less expensive, and is better for people who have busy schedules or prefer to self-study. On the other hand, Becker CPA Review has prettier textbooks and… ya, pretty textbooks ;)