Top 7 Best CPA Review Courses & Study Materials

Top 7 Best CPA Review Courses & Study Materials

Best CPA Review Courses of 2017 - Comparison of CPA Prep Courses and Recommendations

Choosing the right CPA review course is the single most important decision you will make on your CPA journey. You will be spending hundreds of hours studying with it, so it’s crucial to find the one that best fits your learning style and background.

Compare the Best Certified Public Accountant Prep Courses Compared with Bryce Welker

So here’s the good news: I have personally tested, demoed, and used all of the best CPA exam review courses and books on the market so you don’t have to!

The chart below is aimed at helping you figure out which one is best for you. If you cannot decide which course to take, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll personally help you find the right one.

Some of the links on this chart are affiliate links, meaning I get small commission (used to fund this website) when you purchase by clicking through. Don’t worry though, by using the CPA promo codes and Certified Public Accountant review course discounts you’ll get the best possible deal.


250+ CPA Candidates Interviewed for Feedback


The Best CPA Review Courses on the Market

CRUSH RANKINGS #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7
WHAT’S THE X FACTOR? Most Experienced Instructors Bite-Sized
Most Interesting
and Engaging Lectures
Best Customer Support Most
Comprehensive Content
Personalized Learning
Endorsed by Big 4
PRICE $2,299 $1,799 $2,450 $1,950 $2,095 $1,886 $1199 $1,079 $1,599 $1,439 $1,749 $3,393
DISCOUNT  Save $500
Show Coupon
 Save $500
Show Coupon
 Save $209.50
Show Coupon
 Save $120
Show Coupon
Save $160
Get Discount
No Discounts  No Discounts
350 Video Lessons 110 120 104 100 470+ Video Lessons 100
6,840 12,000 5,800 4,300 9,200 5,000  7,200
390 600 400 164 1,000 230 400
Dedicated Coaching, Live Chat, Email & Phone Support Message Board
24 Hour
Response Time
24/7 Homework
Help Center
Instructor Hotline
Phone & Email
Personal Counselor
Phone & Email
Email Support
& Community
Message Board
Phone & Email
Get 0% APR Financing Get Financing
24 Months 24 Months  18 Months
$225-$295 per
 $165 per Section
Access Offline via Mobile App $199 Extra $400 Extra $199 Extra
Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review
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Surgent CPA Review (Rank: #1)

surgent cpa review


Experienced Instructors: Surgent CPA Review instructors Liz Kolar, CPA (25 year CPA exam prep instructor) and Jack Surgent, CPA (leading CPE course provider with 20+ years of experience) created Surgent with the vision of making the study process more efficient than other established CPA Review Courses. They offer insightful strategies and study tips in their video lectures that they have accumulated through many years of teaching. Their videos are concise and to the point which makes it easier to absorb and retain the information learned.

Money Back Guarantee: Sign up for a 3-day free trial of their course to get familiar with it before making any buying decisions. They also offer a Money Back Guarantee, so if you complete their course and end up failing you eligible for a full refund. This shows just how confident they are in their product and that they are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Intuitive Dashboard: The course is extremely easy to navigate and you’ll be cruising in and out of lessons with ease thanks to the revamped dashboard design that Surgent created. This is something with which other courses struggle, so it’s great to see one course put a lot of money and effort into making the prep program easy to use and intuitive.

Short Trial Period: Surgent offers a three-day free trial of its product. While this is better than no free trial, some of the other test prep companies offer you a much longer chance to check out their course and really determine if it’s for you.

Surgent is the only non-linear CPA test prep course on the market. This means instead of studying through a structured format, like other companies, Surgent’s course will adapt to your unique level of knowledge. With this efficient way to study, you will be able to cut down about 50 hours of study time.

Since Surgent’s software utilizes true adaptive study algorithms throughout your entire study process, you will eliminate unnecessary study time. And you don’t have to worry about getting updated material that prepares you for the new 2017 CPA exam! Surgent incorporates new adjustments whenever the AICPA introduces a change or based on student feedback, ensuring you have the most up-to-date course that is easy to use, for no extra cost.

(note: Most other courses, such as Becker, will charge you for these updates that happen annually. So with other courses, you will have 18 months of access, but will have to pay for the new version of the course after 12 months if you want the most current material.)

Most Asked Questions About Surgent CPA Review:

Q: Is Surgent compatible with smartphones and tablets?
A: Yes, all of Surgent’s course features are compatible with most smartphones and tablets. The only devices that don’t support Surgent’s software are Kindle Fire, Nook Tablets, and E-Readers.

Q: What is adaptive learning?
A: Adaptive learning is a learning technology that Surgent incorporated into their software so it can quickly reveal your areas of need and automatically create a customized study plan that focuses on where you need the most help. The goal is to reduce study time and increase efficiency.

The Bottom Line: Surgent and its impressive adaptive software will help you pass the CPA exam as quickly as possible.

Wiley CPAexcel Review (Rank: #2)

wiley cpaexcel review and breakdown


Bite-Sized Topics: Each section is broken down into small 30-45 minute sections, which makes the CPA exam seem much less overwhelming. This is also great for anyone who has a full-time job or children and doesn’t have large chunks of time to study.

TONS of Multiple Choice Questions: Wiley’s Platinum course includes more than 12,000 multiple choice questions from previous CPA exams, which is more than any other course on the market. This allows you to get the repetition you need without worrying about seeing the same questions repeated over and over again.

Unlimited Use: Once you buy their course, it NEVER expires. This includes unlimited use of practice tests, videos, quizzes, and all other course materials. Wiley also provides free online course updates, so you’ll never have to worry about studying with outdated materials.

Best For Independent Self Studiers: Wiley CPAexcel does not offer live classes and their student support is limited to a message board on which it can take up to 24 hours to get a response. If you learn best from human interaction or need one-on-one help, then this course might not be the best fit.

Wiley is a perfect course for you if you have a busy schedule with work or family obligations. I used Wiley to pass my CPA exam while also working 50 hours a week. I would not have been able to do so without the small sized lectures that made fitting in small study sessions easy—these also helped to increase my retention.

If you identify as a self studier, this is the course for you! Some may want more human interaction, but if you prefer to study on your own Wiley is the way to go.

Most Asked Questions About Wiley CPAexcel Review:

Q: When will the 2017 CPA Exam content be available?

A: The 2017 CPA Exam began testing in April 2017, so Wiley released updated course content in early 2017.

Q: When will the 2017 CPA Exam content be available?

A: The 2017 CPA Exam began testing in April 2017, so Wiley released updated course content in early 2017. The new exam should be reflected in the content, so the user shouldn’t be concerned about taking the test because of fears of new topics that aren’t included in the course.

The Bottom Line: Wiley is the course for you if you need small sized lessons to squeeze into your busy schedule.

Roger CPA Review (Rank: #3)roger cpa review logo


Entertaining Lectures: Roger Philip teaches each lecture with a lot (and I mean a lot) of energy and enthusiasm. His unique teaching style makes the material much more interesting and helps students stay motivated. He is passionate about helping students pass the CPA exam and is very knowledgeable about the material.

Mnemonics and Memorization Tactics: Roger uses mnemonics and other memorization tools throughout his lectures to provide an easier way for students to remember many tedious details that often appear on the exam.

Financing Options: Roger CPA Review now offers financing plans for students on a budget. This is a fantastic opportunity because anyone who can afford to pay $149 a month now has access to the best CPA exam review course on the market!

No Unlimited Access: Roger offers candidates 24 months of access to their online study materials. It would be great if they offered Unlimited Access until you pass like some of their competitors, however, 24 months should be more than enough time to complete all 4 sections of the CPA exam within the 18 month window.

If you are struggling with the dry and boring content of accounting topics, you need Roger Philipp as your CPA test prep instructor. His energetic “Roger Method” has kept students motivated to stay focused for more than 25 years.

Roger CPA Review is known for its engaging video and audio lectures, but this course also has material that clearly breaks down difficult CPA exam topics into simplified concepts. The course technology is cutting-edge compared to the other dated courses out there, so if you want a great video lecture course supported by an awesome software, Roger is the one for you.

Most Asked Questions About Roger CPA Review:

Q: How do I watch the course on my mobile devices?
A: If you get the course, you’ll have access to the lectures on your cellular phone, tablet, or mobile device. Many times, the videos are too large for 3G or 4G, so you’ll need to be connected to a wireless network.

Q: What happens if I have a question about my course—either the concepts or homework?
A: Roger has a Homework Help Center to answer questions regarding the CPA exam. Moderators are available to help, as they can provide assistance on conceptual issues or topical questions. This service is meant to be a supplemental support to the content that’s covered in the lectures.

The Bottom Line: If you have difficulty staying focused with boring accounting topics, you will love the easy-to-read and engaging style of Roger CPA Review.

Yaeger CPA Review (Rank: #4)

yaeger cpa review course logo


Best Customer Support: Yaeger’s Live Instructor Hotline provides responsive personal support that is superior to any other review course. This allows students to directly contact the instructors for help with any questions that arise while studying. Yaeger is famous for his promise, “Whether by phone or email—you can contact me and the other instructors personally almost anytime.”

Easy To Follow Lectures: The lectures include step by step instructions to ensure that students are clear about the subject material. Instructors work hundreds of multiple choice questions with you and help you navigate through those tricky problems which give you the repetition needed to be successful.

Old School Style of Teaching: Students with shorter attention spans may get bored by the traditional lecture videos. They are structured very much like most accounting classes you probably had in college and move a little slower than an independent self-study type of person might prefer.

Phil Yaeger has been teaching CPA candidates since 1977. His focus back then was customer service, and that tradition continues to this day. So if you are nervous about starting this solo CPA prep process and want a course that will have all sorts of student support, Yaeger would be a solid fit for your learning style.

When Yaeger updated its course for the new 2017 CPA exam, it added several new features to make the course more up to date in terms of technology. The content is also quite comprehensive and closely tied to the CPA blueprints, making this course ideal for those who have been out of college for a while and want more information and easy access to instructor support.

Most Asked Questions About Yaeger CPA Review:

Q: Does Yaeger CPA Review work on mobile devices?
A: With Yaeger, you can access the materials via a browser that adapts well to mobile devices. The student portal can be easily entered via any mobile phone or tablet. The flashcards can be accessed via mobile devices, so you can take studying on the go!

Q: Does Yaeger offer personal support for its course?
A: Yaeger offers a unique combination of support services: there’s an instructor hotline and phone and email support. The instructors who field questions have years of experience in the industry.

The Bottom Line: Yaeger is a good fit for you if you want a comprehensive course that gives you more than enough information to pass the CPA Exam.

Gleim CPA Review (Rank: #5)

gleim-cpa-reviewOVERALL RATING: 

Extensive Practice Tests: Gleim utilizes a variety of testing tools such as True/False quizzes, MCQ tests, Final Exam Reviews and Task Based Simulations to give you plenty of practice for the real deal. Their full review course includes over 9,200 multiple choice questions, which is significantly more than any other CPA prep course.

Audio Review: Gleim’s complete course includes an audio CPA review for each section of the CPA exam. These provide an excellent way to learn the material during non-traditional study times like driving to work, and can be easily downloaded to your smart phone, iPod or mp3 player.

Very Detailed Content: The books are detailed and use a significant amount of technical jargon. Although many students prefer a highly comprehensive course, others may feel overwhelmed by the information overload.

Gleim is another comprehensive course that prides itself on covering all possible subjects that may be encountered on the CPA exam—this is another great option for those who have been out of school for awhile.

Gleim’s course comes with a variety of resources like audio lessons, practice exams, a Simulation Wizard, and access to a personal counselor for all 4 sections of the CPA Exam. The unlimited access and free course content updates make this option pretty great too!

Most Asked Questions About Gleim CPA Review:

Q: Is there a guarantee for this course?
A: With Gleim, you get an Access Until You Pass guarantee. This means that you’ll have full access to the entire course, without needing to buy an extension, until you pass the CPA exam.

Q: What’s the difference between the Traditional and Premium courses?
A: The Gleim Traditional CPA Review offers less student support and doesn’t come with the pass guarantee. The Premium review comes complete with the Gleim Instruct Video Series and a more built out support infrastructure.

The Bottom Line: If you haven’t been in a classroom for a number of years and want a personal counselor to help you throughout your studies, Gleim is the course for you.

Fast Forward Academy CPA Review (Rank:#6)

fast-forward-academy-logoOVERALL RATING: 

Personalized Learning System: Their course is not a one size fits all type of course, it actually caters to each student’s specific learning needs. As you progress through their course, data from your practice exams is collected and used to create personalized tests that target your weak areas.

No Mobile App: Although Fast Forward Academy’s learning platform can be accessed from most mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones, and most Android phones, there is no dedicated app to make studying on your phone or tablet more streamlined and convenient.
Other courses have awesome mobile apps that makes quick study sessions easy and simple. It helps to have an app that you can use to quickly fit in a topic or two on-the-go.

Limited 30 Day Refund: Fast Forward has a guarantee that grants you access to the course until you pass. But what if you don’t fit well with the course structure and want to use a different course. Well, you’ll only have 30 days to figure it out in order to receive a refund.
This isn’t much time, especially if you find out the course didn’t work for you when you don’t pass. Other courses don’t have a time limit on their refund and instead abide by a pass or refund guarantee. You’ll have to make sure you meet all of Fast Forwards 30 day refund qualifications too in order to get your money back.

Fast Forward Academy is new to the CPA Review arena and the course is still proving itself. I would definitely check out some other courses available before committing to Fast Forward Academy’s course, since its software is not quite as advanced as the other courses out there.

If you are on a tight budget, however, Fast Forward Academy is one of the least expensive courses on the market and will give you what you need to pass the CPA Exam.

The Bottom Line: Since Fast Forward Academy is such a new course, I would recommend this course for only someone who is on a strict budget.

Becker CPA Review (Rank: #7)

becker cpa review logoOVERALL RATING: 

Regularly Updated & Large Study Bank: Becker CPA Review has one of the largest databases of exam questions and provides over 7,200 multiple choice questions and almost 400 task-based simulations for practice. The Study Bank ensures that you won’t see the same recycled questions over and over again.

Inconsistent Live Classes: Becker offers live classes that have been reported to be less than helpful by many students. There is a benefit of having a live classroom setting to gain a deeper understanding of CPA knowledge, but Becker does not do a great job at doing this. I recommend using a different CPA review course that will have a more engaging live classroom option if this is a learning strategy you would like to use.

Cost: The cost of Becker CPA Review can be prohibitive. There are financing options for some customers who qualify and a few discount codes available. I would recommend checking out other courses for cheaper options.

No Audio Courses: The Becker CPA Review restricts you to one type of learning style and does not offer audio courses. Audio courses can give you more flexibility in your study plan and let you quickly study during down time like commuting, doing laundry, or even at the gym. Check out some other courses that offer audio courses to get the most out of limited study time.

Becker is one of the most known companies for CPA candidates since it is sponsored by most accounting firms (including the Big 4) and universities. BUT, this is a problem because Becker has no incentive to change or update its software and content since it is guaranteed to get customers from accounting firms and newly graduated accounting majors.

With this secure customer base, Becker has no problem being the most expensive course out there. This option is two to three times more expensive than other courses out there and lacks the newest technology that increases studying efficiency and effectiveness. So if you have been told by a boss, professor, or fellow CPA that Becker is “the only way to go,” chances are they are they are receiving a commision from Becker to promote its review course. I strongly suggest you check out your other affordable options before paying the obscene price for Becker’s old-fashioned course.

The Bottom Line: You should use Becker only if someone else is going to pay for it, otherwise check out other review courses.

Other CPA Prep Courses

These CPA review courses didn’t make my Top 7 List in 2017, but I still wanted to give you a thorough overview of their pros and cons. Click on each one to learn more:

  • Ninja CPA Review – Not comprehensive enough to use as a primary study source, ok as supplementary study material on weaker sections.
  • ExamMatrix CPA Review – Lacks explanation videos, more of a study bank than a full review course.
  • Lambers CPA Review – Has a comprehensive Audio Review Course, that’s pretty much it, though.
  • MDS CPA Review – Has recently overhauled entire course to get a much-needed upgrade in technology, overall it looks very promising.

Get the Complete CPA Review Course Ranking list HERE!

Best CPA Test Banks

#1: Wiley CPA Test Bank

Wiley CPA Test Bank

One of the most popular supplements in the CPA exam industry includes 4,500+ CPA Exam practice questions with detailed answer rationales and 160 task-based simulations, including new Document Review Simulations (DRS).


#2: Gleim CPA Test Bank

gleim cpa test bank

With more than 10,000 exam-emulating multiple-choice questions and simulations of the largest test bank on the market, Gleim tests your knowledge and skills at the levels of the CPA Exam to ensure that you’re completely prepared.


#3: Gryfin CPA Test Bank

gryfin cpa test bank

The most affordable and effective CPA test bank on the market offers 4,639 multiple choice questions and detailed answers, along with 73 task based simulations. All of this for less than 1/3 the cost of Wiley’s CPA Test Bank.


Best CPA Exam Cram Courses

Whether you need to improve your CPA Exam score by 10 points, or you simply want to solidify difficult concepts for final review, a solid Cram Course is the best study supplement to get you there. A Cram Course is the best way to reinforce your understanding of the most heavily tested CPA Exam topics in a short amount of time.

#1: Roger CPA Cram Course

roger cram cpa-review-course
Roger’s Cram Course is offered in two convenient formats. The Online Cram gives you two months of access from start of activation, while the portable Flash Drive Cram provides a full eight months of access time and offers the convenience to study without an internet connection.

All practice questions covered during the lectures come with full, in-depth explanations. The course also includes Cram Textbooks that were written by expert CPAs alongside the infamous Roger Philip.


#2: Gryfin CPA Cram Course

gryfin cpa cram course

The Gryfin CPA Cram Course is both affordable and comprehensive, so now you can boost your scores without breaking the bank. Its adaptive learning technology helps you hone in on your weak areas and eliminate repetitive studying of concepts you already know.

The software creates a custom study plan catered to your specific needs and is backed by a 100% pass or refund guarantee.


Best CPA ExamPrinted Flashcards

#1: Roger CPA Flashcards 

roger cpa review flashcards

Roger offers hundreds of print flashcards that come in one convenient spindle. Each card has two definitions on the front and detailed explanations on the backside.


#2: Wiley CPA Flashcards

wiley cpaexcel flashcards

Wiley CPAexcel includes more than 250 printed flashcards for each section of the CPA exam with their Platinum course. You can also buy them a la carte to supplement your primary review course studies with which is a great way to boost your memorization skills.


Best CPA Exam Mobile Apps

#1: Surgent CPA Review
Mobile App


Surgent is offering a completely free Flashcard app for iPhone and Android giving you the chance to study 2,200+ CPA exam terms and definitions on your smartphone. Every candidate should be taking advantage of this offer while it lasts!


#2: Roger CPA Review
Mobile App 

roger cpa mobile app

Roger offers two iPhone apps to students. The first one is a multiple choice app with over 3,400+ questions and the second is a flashcard app.


Best Audio CPA Review Course (MP3)

roger cpa review audio

#1: Roger CPA Review Audio Course

If you have a commute or want to make time in the gym more efficient you can download the Roger CPA Audio Course for listening on the go. This is by far the most engaging audio course that almost makes accounting fun.. almost 😉


Best CPA Course for Visual and Auditory Learners

#1: Roger CPA ReviewElite Course

This is the absolute best option for visual & auditory learners. Roger Philip, the instructor, is extremely animated and his genuine passion is obvious in his interesting lectures. The Elite course also includes an audio version of the CPA course.


Best CPA Review Course on a Budget (Less than $1k)

Yaeger CPA Review

Get all 4 sections for less than $900 with our exclusive CRUSH coupon code. Yaeger launched their new software platform and the organized, user friendly interface is truly impressive. This great all around course is the best bang for your buck!


Best CPA Study Combo for Self-Studiers

Wiley CPAexcel Platinum Review Course + Gleim CPA Test Bank

Wiley’s Platinum course comes fully loaded with over 12,000 multiple choice practice questions, more than any other CPA Test Prep company. This course is ideal for those who don’t need to have their hand held while studying.


Self-studiers tend to learn very well from drilling thousands of multiple choice questions, analyzing the answers they got wrong, and then doing more practice questions. Combined with Wiley’s Platinum course, this is ultimate combo for self-studiers.


CPA Exam Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I become a CPA?

The benefits of being a CPA are both tangible and intangible. With that designation next to your name, you get a better career trajectory, a higher salary, respect from similarly accredited peers, and the potential to secure corner office positions. Over the course of their careers, CPAs make $1 million more than their non-certified counterparts.  The C-Suite is more likely to be made up of people who are CPAs than those who lack the title—executive search firm Spencer Stuart noted roughly 45 percent of CFOs have a CPA.


What are the CPA exam requirements by state?

The requirements to sit for the CPA exam aren’t especially varied from state to state, but there are certainly some outliers. Understanding these CPA exam requirements is necessary, however, as the first step to becoming a CPA is being able to sit for the exam. For the most part, you’re going to need 150 credit hours of accounting education, along with some work experience. There’s definitely more to the requirements than just 150 credit hours, but you’re going to have that as a basic educational foundation to sit for the exam.


How do I apply for the CPA exam?

Applying for the CPA exam is a complicated process, especially given the date restrictions and many requirements. Understanding how to apply will help with scheduling and time management, so make sure you cover all of the bases. The basic application process involves school transcripts, submitting the fee and application, receiving the ATT from your state board,  getting your NTS from NASBA, going to the Prometric website to schedule the exam dates, and then finally studying and taking the test. The CPA exam application process is very specific and can be confusing, so make sure you follow every detail exactly to a T.


How do people stay motivated after failing a CPA exam section?

Finding the motivation to carry on with studying after a failed test is heartbreaking for many people. However, if you can make the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel a tangible goal or event, it will ease the process of starting over. Many people fail at least one section, so it’s certainly possible to keep studying if you know WHY you’re taking the test. Failing a section also doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to become a CPA—many people who occupy corner offices of Fortune 500 companies have failed one section of their exams. The important thing with regard to failing is to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.


How do I recognize my “learning style”?

Recognizing your learning style is the key to cutting hours and hours off of your studying time. Once you know what works with regard to specific types of prep tools—videos, audio content, or practicing by doing via test banks or books—the whole process becomes easier and each minute of studying becomes more valuable. If you’re wondering what your learning style is, I suggest you check out the above post and determine exactly how you process and consume information. Not knowing how you learn best before you invest in a CPA review course is basically burning money!


What are the different testing windows for the CPA exam?

The test is broken down into the quarterly fiscal schedule on which all businesses rely. So, for the first quarter, you get to take the test within the first two months and an additional ten days into the second month. Once this testing window is over, the schedule simply repeats that pattern. Basically, there’s a 20-ish day period per quarter in which you cannot take the test. If you’re able to plan your studying and schedule your exams correctly, you’ll be able to knock out the CPA in roughly a year!


How do I create a study schedule?

Creating a CPA exam study schedule is reliant on you making an honest assessment of how many hours you can devote per week. If you’re working full-time, you’re going to want to study a certain amount per day, with somewhat longer sessions on the weekend. If you’re not working, you can devote larger chunks of time per day—the key is to keep a consistent level of studying, as you don’t want to do too much on one day and none on another. Knowing how to study for the CPA exam will be the difference between passing and failing each individual section.


Which section of the CPA exam should I take first?

Your first CPA exam section should be the one that you feel most confident about passing. Check out the video below to find out why!

What is the Best CPA Review Course?

Top 12 Best CPA Review Courses of 2017 – Comparison Guide

CPA Review CoursesBest ForPrice with Discount
Surgent CPA ReviewMost Experienced Instructors$1799
Wiley CPAexcelBite-Sized Lessons$2050
Roger CPA ReviewMost Engaging Lessons$1886
Yaeger CPA ReviewBest Customer Support$1079
Gleim CPA ReviewMost Task-Based Simulations$1439
Fast Forward AcademyPersonalized Learning System$1749
Becker CPA ReviewMost Popular - Endorsed by the Big 4$3143
Ninja CPA ReviewUses ExamMatrix Engine$67
ExamMatrix CPA ReviewBest Pass Guarantee$899
Lambers CPA ReviewOne of the Oldest Around$2500
MDS CPA ReviewLive Classroom Course$1799
CPA Review For FreeIt's Free$0
Best CPA Review Courses
5 / 5 stars

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