Wiley CPAexcel vs Becker CPA Review

Wiley CPAexcel vs Becker CPA Review

  •  Updated:June 17, 2019
  • Bryce Welker, CPA
  • Best CPA Courses
  • Comments (37)
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wiley cpaexcel versus becker cpa review

If you’re looking for the best review course for your CPA certification, you’re probably looking at some of the top contenders on the market, wondering which might be right for you. Programs like Wiley CPAexcel or Becker CPA Review are both endorsed by the Big 4 accounting firms. That certainly doesn’t make narrowing down the best fit for you any easier!

That’s why we’ve put together this complete review of the courses and offerings from both Wiley CPAexcel and Becker CPA Review. We’ll compare textbooks, software, practice tests and a ton of other features in order to help you decide which course will help you Crush the CPA Exam!

Wiley CPAexcel vs. Becker CostsCourse Access | Course Books | Practice QuestionsCourse FormatSoftware Updates

Both my team and myself have used both of these courses extensively in our quest to find the perfect CPA prep materials. Our hands-on experience has revealed some significant differences between the programs that CPA hopefuls should keep in mind.

CPAexcel vs Becker CPA Review Cost

One of the notable differences between Becker and Wiley CPAexcel is the cost structure. Becker has a higher price tag than Wiley CPAexcel at a price point of $3,393 for all four of its sections. In contrast, Wiley CPAexcel offers several packages at different price points, with the most similar to the Becker CPA Review being $2800 (for the Platinum Course.)

Becker justifies the higher tuition with its stable of expert educators, Adapt2U learning materials and realistic exam replicas. However, the student on a budget may be better off selecting Wiley CPAexcel’s Platinum Course for a more cost-effective option.

CPA Review Cost ComparisonWiley CPAexcelBecker CPA Review
Full-Course Price$2,800$3,393
Single Section Price$800$1,131
Admin FeesNone$95
Cost to Repeat the CourseFreeFree* (student must pay for course materials in each section)

Winner: Wiley CPAexcel

Course Expiration and Access

Depending on the speed with which you absorb material and ultimately end up planning to take the CPA exam, the amount of time you have to access the course may be incredibly important to you. However, the good new is that both Becker and Wiley provide unlimited access to their CPA study materials to their enrolled students. This is a new feature for Becker, but Wiley has had this in place for quite some time now.

This is because Wiley CPAexcel has a Partner Until You Pass Guarantee, which means you’ll have course access and free content and software updates until you pass the CPA exam. You won’t have to fork over any more money to renew your access and can take unlimited course repeats and even have access for a year AFTER you pass the exam. This is huge for those with testing anxiety and those who aren’t sure they have a high chance of passing the first time around.

Winner: Tie

CPAexcel vs. Becker Books

Another huge difference in course offerings comes in the form of textbooks and guides that accompany each course. Becker textbooks are strongly geared towards visual learners, with colored diagrams and images. The content is also organized and structured very well: built to match the exam with relevant problems, real-world scenarios, task-based simulations, and mock exams. You won’t be surprised by the content you find on the actual exam if you follow along with these materials.

Wiley’s CPAexcel textbooks skimp on the colors, diagrams, and images in favor of empty space built in to take notes in the margins and paragraphs. This is useful for learners who retain information by taking reading notes, and maybe who don’t respond to visuals as strongly.

Because the style of textbook that resonates with you may be different from the next winner, there is no clear winner here. Both approaches have strong merits!

Winner: Whichever Helps Students Retain the Most Information!

Becker CPA vs CPAexcel Practice Questions

Becker’s CPA Review includes over 6,000 multiple choice questions and 300 task-based simulations that help you apply concepts in real time. Because Becker consistently consults with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) about potential exam changes, the content is updated regularly to reflect problems on the exam. Furthermore, the answers to each problem link back to a specific section in the textbook which will help save you valuable time when brushing up on topics you’re less familiar with.

In contrast, Wiley’s CPA review course packs in twice the amount of test material. In the course, you’ll encounter approximately 12,000 multiple choice questions, 600 task-based simulations, and at least 6,000 true or false questions. The latter is called “proficiency questions” and help to serve as a progress check in each section to determine whether you should continue or review.

Becker CPA vs Wiley CPAexcel  Flashcards

Both Becker CPA Review and Wiley CPAexcel offer flashcards to their students. The difference is you must purchase Becker’s version in either printed or mobile format. The printed flashcards are $179, while the digital copies are $99; the fee is nonrefundable for both.

The digital flashcards are accessible on Apple, Kindle, and Android mobile devices, which means you can study discreetly, anytime and anywhere.

CPAexcel also comes equipped with digital flashcards- a whopping 4100, in fact. The awesome part about this is that you don’t have to pay anything extra. Each section of their program includes flashcards.

If you absolutely must have a printed version of your flashcards, however, CPAexcel will sell them to you for $150.

*Study Tip: Don’t BUY flashcards, MAKE them! You will retain much more information by physically creating them by yourself.

Course Formats

Becker offers 3 different course formats; online, self-study, and live classes. This is a huge benefit to doing the Becker program, as you may have a much different learning preference than your neighbor. They are one of the only CPA review companies who provide a live classroom course.  

CPAexcel is offered in an online, self-study, and virtual classroom format. Each course comes with a USB flash drive which allows you to access all of their materials offline as well as DVDs of the video lectures. The virtual classes are a blend of pre-recorded lectures and live instruction.

CPAexcel vs Becker Software Updates

Unlike other programs, Becker chooses to charge for regular updates to the course, particularly when the material on the CPA exam changes. This cost is justified by the fact that Becker arranges in-depth meetings to get in front of course changes and their courses are (according to the company) as up-to-date as is possible. Regardless, you will have to pay money for updates or choose to study with outdated materials.

CPAexcel comes with free software and content updates. You can access their updated video lectures online for free. There is also a DVD and CD option if you prefer to study offline or in a location with limited technology. Each of these options are $8.

Wiley CPA vs Becker Video Lessons 

When it comes to video lessons, Becker offers a feature unique to their program. If you are confused about a task-based simulation question, you can click on the SkillMaster button. A CPA will walk you through the processes step-by-step, just like your own personal coach! Becker also receives a lot of positive feedback on their video host: a slightly nerdy CPA accountant who goes over additional examples not found in the text to really drive the lesson home.

Wiley’s videos are also fairly user-friendly, and some have found the presentation as more measured and organized. However, there is a clear winner here.

Becker CPA Video Lecture:


Wiley CPAexcel Video Lecture:

Winner: Becker CPA Review

Can You Trust The CPA Pass Rate Stats Wiley & Becker Publish?

One main way that students often make the decision between CPA review courses is their passing rates. However, these often aren’t as clear as they seem. This is because no two programs calculate their passing rates the same, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how accurate the passing rate is in the scope of the entire CPA marketplace.

Becker’s website claims that it’s students pass with double the success rate of non-Becker students, while CPAexcel names a student pass rate of 87%. Regardless of how both these companies measure student success, they both guarantee that students can retake the test again for free if they don’t pass. In addition, since both programs are endorsed by the 4 major accounting firms we think it’s safe to say you have a strong chance of success with either.

Winner: Tie!

CPA Course Recommendation

So now for the big question- which CPA prep course is better? There is no easy answer here. What you get out of the course more than likely revolves around your personal style as a learner and the price point you’re willing to match in order to prep for your CPA exams.

Check out a free demo of each review course by clicking the buttons below before making your final decision.


Wiley CPAexcel vs Becker CPA Review
5 / 5 stars
  • Jess C.
    Posted at 3 February, 2019 14:25 PM Reply

    I disagree on a few of the categories: books, course formats, and video lessons,I've used both Becker and Wiley and preferred Becker. Wiley is obviously the most cost conscious choice if you don't think you'll take all 4 parts (and pass) within 18mth of accessing the course materials, but overall, I feel there's value in the Becker price.I caveat my views below with face that I last used Becker about 7yrs ago and Wiley's "Gold" package 4yrs ago, recently picking it up again (yes, they really do mean access until you pass, even if 4yrs later). Wiley looks / feels the same, I'm imaging Becker hasn't changed much either.BOOKS: Becker books were really great, and the video lessons went hand in hand with instructors showing what to highlight/underline/notate on sides. It was efficient, and effective. The Wiley books are definitely good and chock full of quality material but it's seems a bit more dense in content and sometimes, pictures or boxed recap/reminder tips really do help break things up (i.e. Becker format).COURSE FORMATS: I'm honestly really not sure why you selected Wiley as the winner for this category. Wiley only offers online self-study. Becker on the other hand offers live in person classes, online led by instructor, online self-study, or the fast track condensed live in person classes. On top of that they also offered Final Review live in person courses.VIDEO LESSONS: I very much preferred Becker's video lesson formats / style over Wiley's. Peter Olinto and Tim Gearty were funny and helped pass the time and as I mentioned above, the videos and text go hand in hand. Wiley on the other hand, seemed like double effort. The videos were +/- a power point presentation, separate from the text and left me felt like I had to pay 100% attention to the video and then go back and read / highlight / notate in text. I also feel like Wiley's "bite size" lessons gave a false sense of confidence due to it's ~30min lesson then followed 5-10 questions format: a) of course you should score well when / while it's still that fresh in your head and b) 5-10 questions on same topic all at once isn't entirely helpful because that's now how the exam is setup. Becker's lessons were longer, and yes, some seemed like they were an eternity long, but you had to really commit the material to memory and be able to recall it among other categories / topics when taking the review questions which more closely mimics exam.I will confirm agreement that the updates with Wiley are really great: seemingly constant with online content and 2x/year for printed materials. I think the debate of who's better based on # of practice questions is moot as both offer an overkill quantity of questions; you'll be fine with either. Regarding the flashcards and final review / focus notes, I can't really comment because I've only used Becker's (which did seem useful)..Bottom line, both are good courses, and not everyone's learning style is the same, but if you can afford Becker, and can commit to studying / passing within 18months first time around, I think it's the better value.

    • Al
      Posted at 12 December, 2018 15:03 PM Reply

      Your information is out dated or just plain wrong for Becker. Flashcards a re $179 for paper and include mobile and $99 for mobile. There's no $95 admin fee either

      • Bryce Welker, CPA
        Posted at 15 January, 2019 08:56 AM Reply

        Thanks for the new pricing info, the page has been updated!Cheers, Bryce

      • AB
        Posted at 20 May, 2017 04:27 AM Reply

        I thought Becker will keep your access longer than 18 months as long as you do 90% of the material?

        • BWelk
          Posted at 22 May, 2017 17:30 PM Reply

          Becker has been known to give you an extension if you have taken all 4 parts and completed at least 90% of all the required homework. Other than that, you will have to pay for extended access if you need more time with the course.

        • Michael Loesevitz
          Posted at 13 March, 2017 20:13 PM Reply

          Hi highly recommend Wiley CPAexcel. Using Wiley CPAexcel, I was able to pass all 4 sections on the first try over a 3 months period, while working full-time. The bite size lessons were amazing (With lessons only being a few minutes long, it was easy to squeeze in lessons throughout the week). I also want to note that I had never taken an auditing course and never participated in an audit, so everything I learned about audit came from Wiley CPAexcel. To my surprise, I ended up scoring a 98 in Audit! On the other sections, I received the following scores: (FAR: 81), (BEC: 79), (REG: 90). Thanks, Wiley CPAexcel!

          • BWelk
            Posted at 21 March, 2017 18:53 PM Reply

            Awesome job Michael! I love to hear others' success stories, especially when they're with my favorite course, Wiley. Congrats on crushing the exam and proving that you have what it takes to be a CPA!

          • Bev
            Posted at 24 November, 2016 13:12 PM Reply

            I highly recommend Wiley CPAexcel. I successfully passed all four sections of the exam using the Wiley program.

            • BWelk
              Posted at 29 November, 2016 00:42 AM Reply

              Thanks for your input Bev!

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