Best CPA Exam Review Self Study Books of 2017

cpa-review-booksThere are many different CPA exam review books on the market today. Some are better than others and some are just different. How are you supposed to know which ones are right for you?

First, you need to look at your learning style to understand what type of CPA study book you should be looking for. For instance, some people don’t learn that much from reading because they are visual or auditory learners who learn from videos lectures or audio lectures. If you are one of these learners, you probably should look for a review book with limited information because an in depth, detailed book will probably just bore you.

That being said, picking out a CPA study book is one of the most important decisions you can make in your CPA journey. The right CPA materials can cut your study time in half or add hundreds of hours to it.

Let’s review the top self-study CPA review books and discuss the pros and cons of each course.

Top 5 CPA Review Books


Wiley CPAexcel CPA Review Books

wiley-cpaexcel-cpa-exam-booksThe CPAexcel study guides are the textbooks that come with their full-length course. You can either purchase them separately as a stand-alone, self-study guide or with the full CPA review. The textbooks are pretty basic and read more like an outline to the exam. There isn’t much detailed explanation of topics. The real explanations are in practice question answers and guides.

Pros

  • Divided into Bite-sized Lessons
  • Only Covers Essential Topics
  • Comes With 2,000 Multiple Choice Questions
  • Can Be Purchase Separately
  • Physical and Digital Copies Available

Cons

  • Limited Explanatory Information
  • Not Many Unique Memorization Strategies

Best For:

These books are best for candidates with busy schedules and don’t have time to read pages of detailed accounting information. The books bullet point topics nicely and give you structured concepts to memorize and understand. These books are also great for visuals learners because they are short and won’t bore you to death.

See Our Review of Wiley CPAexcel


Roger CPA Review Books

roger-cpa-exam-booksRoger’s CPA books follow his patented teaching style called the Roger method. They are more detailed than the CPAexcel books, but they can’t be purchased outside of the full course. There are a few reasons for this. 1. Roger wants more money. 2. They are made to compliment the rest of the course. You can use them as a stand-alone study guide, but they aren’t made for that.

Pros

  • Uses the Roger Method
  • Contains Tons of Memorization Techniques
  • Integrates with the Full Course
  • Physical and Digital Copies Available

Cons

  • Cannot be Purchased Separately
  • Digital Copies Have Expiration Date
  • Roger Method Does Not Appeal To All Candidates

Best For:

Roger’s CPA review books are best for candidates who are a fan of the Roger method and his lectures. Since you can’t purchase these books outside of the full Roger Study Guide, you’ll have to like him because you’re stuck with him. 🙂 They are great books and accompany his lectures very well.

See Our Review of Roger CPA


Gleim CPA Review Books

gleim-cpa-exam-booksThe Gleim CPA books are full of information. This is a course designed to teach all the subjects on the exam. The books go into great detail about accounting transactions, examples, and other topics. These are the most detailed textbooks on the market today. Plus, they come with the Gleim CPA Test Bank. That’s a huge bonus because it’s the largest practice question testbank in the industry! Here’s some pros and cons.

Pros

  • Tons of Information and Details
  • Available Separately from Main Course
  • Includes Gleim Test Bank
  • Physical and Digital Copies Available

Cons

  • Sometimes Too Much Information
  • Higher Price Than other Stand-Alone Books

Best For:

The Gleim books are great for self-studiers who want more information about their studies. For example, some candidates don’t want to simply memorize a list of facts, they want to understand all the concepts behind the facts. Gleim does a good job of this, but they also do a good job of including way too many details. Some candidates complain that their materials are too detailed and focus on topics that don’t show up on the exam. That being said, this could be used as a complete study course for the exam. It’s a bargain compared with a $3,000 Roger course.

See Our Review of Gleim CPA


Yaeger CPA Review Books

yaeger-cpa-exam-booksYaeger CPA books are fairly detailed textbooks that accompany the lectures. Thus, they include all of the details that the Yaeger instructors go through during their presentations. This includes practice exam questions and solutions. I would put the level of detail between Roger and Gleim. They aren’t as detailed as Gleim but more than Roger. The books are also integrated into the myYaeger portal and are synchronized in real time with the video lectures. This allows you to take notes and reference the materials while listening to the lectures.

Pros

  • Detailed Explanations of all Topics Covered in Lectures
  • Includes Practice Question Solutions
  • Integrates with Course Lectures and Student Portal
  • Physical and Digital Copies Available

Cons

  • Only Available With Full Course
  • Digital Copies Have Expiration Date

Best For:

Since Yaeger books can’t be purchased separate from their main course, you will have to shell out about $1,200 for them. That being said, it’s a really good deal as far as full-length premium CPA review courses go. The digital Yaeger books are very impressive because they integrate with their lectures allowing candidates to make notes and bookmark the textbook during lectures. Thus, these books are good for candidates who want detailed textbooks and value the interactive experience of the myYaeger portal.

See Our Review of Yaeger CPA


Here’s the CPA Exam Course Books You Should Buy

The real question isn’t which books are the best, it’s which course is the best. Since Wiley and Gleim are the only companies that offer stand-alone books, you are kind of stuck with either of these two choices. Out of these two, Wiley is significantly cheaper, but it also comes with a smaller test bank.

Instead of looking at individual CPA review books for FAR, BEC, REG, and AUD, you should probably broaden your study guide search and look at the full courses. Here’s our review of the top CPA review courses. Check it out. I’m sure you’ll find the right one on here.


Topics Typically Covered In Each CPA Exam Book

Auditing and Attestation (AUD) Books

Roles of auditing, generally accepted auditing standards, errors, irregularities, illegal acts, compilation and review, attestation, prospective statements, engagement letters, pro forma, proficiency, independence, due care, planning, supervision, engagement letters, audit committees, internal control evaluation, evidence standards, procedures, types of reports, disclaimers, special reports, information technology, audit sampling, comprehensive examinations.

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) Books

Corporate governance, economics, finance, operations management, information technology, two comprehensive exams.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) Books

Financial reporting objectives and concepts, receivables, inventory, investments, fixed assets, constructed assets, land, intangible assets, asset impairment, short-term liabilities, long-term liabilities, contingencies, debt and equity issued together, pensions, post-retirement benefits, compensated absences, leases, partnership and corporate equity, income statement, cash flow statement, disclosures, business combinations, special topics, comprehensive problems.

Regulation (REG) Books

Individual income tax, corporate income tax, partnership tax, fiduciary taxes (gifts, estates, trusts), business law, with several comprehensive problems. Review of present value concepts tested on the examination, including present value and future amount, annuities, presentation of notes payable and notes receivable, discounting of notes, bonds, extinguishment of debt, troubled debt restructuring, present value concepts in leases and in managerial accounting.