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Accounting Institute Seminars
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

You can reach Accounting Institute Seminars® at 208-233-3222 Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 Mountain time. The fax number is (208) 234-2154. The mailing address is: Accounting Institute Seminars®, 534 South 5th, Pocatello, Idaho 83201


When I call the AIS office, who will I talk to?

When you call AIS you will probably talk to Yvette or Jenn. They are very good at answering most non-technical questions and getting books to people by Federal Express anywhere in the world. They aren't accountants. If you call on weekends or after working hours you can leave your number on the voice mail and the office will call you back.

If you would like to ask Yvette questions via email you can reach her at Yvette Email Address

Please don't send credit card numbers in e-mail messages. Such messages are not secure from prying eyes in route.


Is it safe to order the self study books on-line?

None of the people who have ordered on-line have reported any problem.

Our on-line order system uses a secure server. You can tell if a server is encrypted to safeguard your credit card number. Look at the "Address" in your web browser. If it starts with "https://" the server is encrypted. The "s" means it is a secure, encrypted server.

If you are uncomfortable sending your credit card number over the Internet, you might prefer to print our order form form, then fax the completed form to the office. Like on-line ordering, you can do that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere.


I'm having trouble reading your self study review e-books.

We did too! It quickly became evident we were using an out-of-date version of the free Acrobat reader. The updated version worked wonderfully. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here is help in downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader, and reading the E-books.


Should I study for just one section at a time and pass it before starting to study for the other exam sections?

It is a more efficient use of your study time to study for sections together. You won't know which audit report to issue unless you know the FAR rules that the financial statements must follow, so understanding FAR is worth points on the Audit exam. Similarly, studying audit reports for financial statements prepared under various accounting principles improves your understanding of those principles and earns you more points on FAR.

Also, parts of BEC provides a basis for the REG exam. It is an efficient use of your time to study for those two sections together.

We suggest that people who haven't passed any sections take our seminar for two exam sections in a test window. You might schedule your exam sections one to two weeks apart, then concentrate on the upcoming section only during each of those periods.

The sections of the exam are cumulative; that is, some sections assume you know material from other sections. BEC is the basis for the others, so if you don't have credit for it you might start there. Regulation knowledge is assumed in FAR and Audit. Audit and Attestation assumes you have knowledge of FAR topics.

Thus, you might want to take the sections in this order: BEC, REG, FAR, AUD.


Can I apply to another state for a CPA certificate? I live in New Jersey presently but my formal education is from outside the U.S. I was advised by friends that applying through Delaware would be better as they have fewer requirements. I wish to know whether I would be able to work in NJ with a DE certificate. Will I have to retake the exam in NJ or will my credits be accepted for NJ license ?

If you wish to open an office in NJ as a CPA you'll need a NJ CPA certificate. If you just wish to have a CPA certificate for your resume it can be from any of the 50 states no matter where you are working. You can apply in Delaware if they don't require residency to sit for the exam as a Delaware candidate. You can actually sit for the exam at the closest testing center to you, no matter which state to which you apply. Please scroll down the page at state education, experience and residency requirements comparison.

Once you pass the four parts of the exam and become a Delaware CPA you can obtain a certificate in any other state by reciprocity. That means you must meet the education and experience requirements of the other state, but you are normally given credit for having passed the exam sections and wouldn't be required to retake them.


I'm a sophomore accounting major, and I understand the requirement is 150 semester hours to sit for the exam. What classes will be most beneficial in those extra hours?

CPA exam candidates with a dual major in accounting and information systems have the best opportunities in the job market. If a dual major isn't practical you can major in one of those areas and minor in the other.

Be sure to look at the current requirements of your state for specific classes. You can find those at state board requirements.

If your 150 hours will bring you close to the requirements for a Master's degree, you might aim for your undergraduate degree in one of those areas and the graduate degree in the other. If you will just have a few classes left for the Master's when you finish the 150 hours, remember you will need continuing education classes to maintain your certificate after you pass the exam. You can normally use those last classes for your Master's also to meet your continuing education requirements.

People taking the CPA exam who have been out of school several years repeatedly ask us to tell people in school to take the exam as soon as possible. It covers academic topics from school, not what people do on their jobs. They say the longer you wait, the harder it is.


Which accounting class would be more beneficial for the CPA exam, Govt & nonProfit or Advanced Acctg?

Good question – not many accounting students plan far enough ahead to ask questions like this! Governmental is currently 8-12% of the FAR exam. Nonprofit is currently 8-12% of the FAR exam. So your Gov/Nonprofit class would prepare you for about 20% of the current FAR exam.

You can read the exact percentages for each topic at http://www.aicpa.org/BecomeACPA/CPAExam/ExaminationContent/ContentAndSkills/DownloadableDocuments/CSOs-SSOs-Effective-Jan-2014.pdf

If you can find the course syllabus for advanced accounting at your school you should be able see which class will be of more benefit to you. Best wishes... Al


What happened to the seminars you used to offer?

For years our primary means of advertising was to mail brochures to people sitting for the exam. The state boards sold us their names and addresses.

Recently they've received legal opinions that selling the addresses of people sitting for the exam violates the privacy of those people, so they can no longer provide the names.

We haven't found another way to reach significant numbers of CPA candidates. As a result, we don't have enough requests for any one city to schedule seminars. Some people have taken our seminars and know of us and others have learned of us from their friends. But those requests aren't enough by themselves.

We appreciate your interest in our seminars and would surely schedule more if it were economically viable, but that is not the case. We will continue to offer our self study books.

Best wishes with your studies… Ken & Al


Why was AIS started?

AIS was formed in the early 1970's to meet a need at Boise Cascade Corporation. Their accountants and internal auditors needed a course to help them pass the CPA exam and none was available. Traditional courses wouldn't work because many of the people were internal auditors who spent most of their time away from corporate headquarters.


Who started AIS?

Ken Smith and Al Francisco had recently completed their Ph.D. programs and were new accounting faculty members at Idaho State University. They developed a one weekend review course and taught it at Boise Cascade's corporate headquarters. Many of the people in the course, who had taken the exam several times, suddenly passed.

CPA firm staff members heard about the course and traveled to Idaho to take the course. Ken and Al started traveling to the cities they were flying from, and teaching the course in several locations.


Did the instructors ever pass the CPA exam?

Both Ken and Al grew up in Montana. Ken passed all four parts of the CPA exam in May, 1968 when he was a college senior. Ken currently holds Idaho CPA certificate #CP-712. He received his B.S. in accounting from the University of Montana in 1968. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in accounting at the University of Texas (Austin) in 1971.

Al passed all four parts of the CPA exam in May, 1967 when he was a college junior. No experience or education beyond a high school diploma was required in Montana at that time. He had his CPA certificate (Montana CPA #491) at age 21, before he started his senior year. Al received his B.S. in accounting from Montana State University in 1968. He went on to earn an M.S. in accounting at the University of Denver in 1969 and a Ph.D. in accounting from Michigan State University in 1972.


Call AIS at 208-233-3222

A real person in the Mountain Time zone answers this number weekdays between 9 and 5.

AIS...We provide the formula....

Accounting Institute Seminars® (AIS) offers self study CPA exam books written by Ken Smith and Al Francisco. Most are available on-line, for download to your computer. The electronic version is less expensive than paper books. You can magnify pages on your screen, fill the screen (view - full screen), search for terms, and print pages. Best of all, you can start studying it now instead of waiting days for it to arrive!

Here is the list of our currently available E-BOOKS CPA REVIEW.

For more information on e-books or for paper copies, refer to CPA REVIEW SELF STUDY BOOKS.

Comments or questions to Yvette at Yvette Email Address



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