cpaexcel-vs-becker-cpa

Wiley CPAexcel and Becker CPA Review are both great CPA exam study materials. There several different things to consider when picking out a CPA exam prep course: video lectures, study textbooks, test banks, and overall course software. Hence, all of these factors are required to decide which is a better choice.

Let’s take a look at each component of each review course and see how they stack up against one another. Then you can decide which one is right for you.

Becker CPA Review or Wiley CPAexcel Comparison


CPA Excel versus Becker CPA Review Prices

One of the most obvious aspects of any CPA review course to compare is the price. Becker CPA is more expensive than Wiley CPAexcel, topping out at $3,499. This is partly because Becker is considered the “name brand” course, but are you getting what you pay for?  Wiley CPAexcel has more features and is about $600 cheaper.  

Here are the prices for each course:

CourseFull PriceExpiration FeeFlashcard Price
Wiley CPAexcel$2,800$0$0
Becker CPA Review$3,499$565 Per Section$300

As you can see, Becker is more expensive when compared to Wiley. And while they’re still a solid course, in our opinion, this kind of price hike just isn’t justified. You are paying more for the name than anything else.

Note – throughout this article, all comparisons made reference Wiley CPAexcel – CPA Platinum Review Course 2019 – Print + eBook and the Becker Pro package.

Winner: Wiley


Unlimited Access

Here’s some good news; regardless of where you choose to apply for CPA study materials, neither Wiley nor Becker will require you to pay for extended access. Hence, you can use all of the study materials from either course for as long as it takes to pass the exam without incurring additional fees. Plus, the test prep materials are updated while you are using them, so you never have to worry about studying outdated materials!

Winner: Tie


CPAexcel vs. Becker Testbank

The Becker test bank only includes 7,200 multiple-choice questions and around 400 task-based simulations. This isn’t a small number of practice questions, but more is always better. After all, more questions ensure that you get additional practice. Right?

The Wiley test bank has over 12,000 multiple-choice questions. It also includes more than 300+ task-based simulations. This is a lot, but it may be a case of overkill. There is no way you are going to be memorizing answers with that many questions. For that reason, Becker gets our pick.

Winner: Becker


Becker CPA vs CPAexcel Study Text

Both of these educational companies’ study books are comparable. Becker’s book tends to go into more detail than Wiley’s book does. Some candidates enjoy this, but many tend to get bogged down in the details. Other candidates don’t even look at the book outside of the lectures. Consequently, they highlight what they are supposed to and never look at it again.

The Wiley study book is short and to the point. It isn’t filled with excess information. Thus, it tends to be more preferred by candidates because it allows them to go through the materials faster and easier. Candidates also tend to recall more because they aren’t reading so many excess facts.

Winner: Wiley


Becker vs. Wiley CPAexcel Flashcards

CPAexcel comes with a set of over 4,000 digital flashcards covering all the topics, key terms, and study questions throughout the course. These flashcards can be accessed on your computer or any mobile device. You also get a set of 1,000 printed flashcards (250 per section) with the Wiley CPAexcel package.

Becker also provides digital and physical flashcards for free with all three of their course subscriptions. Although this is a pretty good deal, the sheer volume of flashcards available with Wiley make it a clear winner!

Winner: Wiley


Becker CPA versus Wiley CPAexcel Course Format

Becker offers a few different types of formats for its courses. This can be a distinct advantage; you can self-study online or with printed books and have access to live lectures. Many candidates like the live options included with their Premium and Pro courses because it forces them to study and stick to a schedule. On the other hand, others hate the requirement of driving to a class location every night after a long day of work.

CPAexcel only offers self-study courses, online and offline. These are convenient for candidates who don’t want live classes and can stick to a schedule on their own. However, they miss out on the one-of-a-kind classroom experience offered by Becker.

Winner: Becker


Study Material Updates

This is one of the most significant issues affecting Becker’s ratings in the past. However, the good news is that they’ve heard what their upset students have to say and now include all course updates free with every subscription level.

Wiley, on the other hand, has always offered free and continuous updates to their materials. As soon as they come out with updates, your study guide will be automatically updated to reflect the new changes. This is great for candidates who take more than 18 months to pass the exam because the chances are that the AICPA will update something big within that time.

Winner: Tie


CPA Review Course Pass Rates

So which courses’ students pass the exam the most? Both review courses boast high pass rates and both review courses site pretty ridiculous claims about their students. I think we can all agree that these numbers are completely made up and don’t really prove anything. I think looking at the materials in each course and seeing the reviews of people who have used the courses is far more valuable than looking at stated passing numbers.


Recommendation

Honestly, both of these courses are extremely good, and both will help you pass the exam. Really, in my opinion, the biggest difference between the two is the price. Becker will cost you more upfront; this is fine if you can afford it or your employer is paying for it. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t that lucky!

Wiley CPAexcel costs a little less and doesn’t charge you additional fees for some services. For that reason, I’m giving it the win over Becker.

But don’t take my word for it! You can always check out Becker and Wiley’s sites for demos and discounts to find out for yourself.

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.

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