Welcome everyone, today we’re going to be discussing the CPA books you need as you start your journey to becoming a certified public accountant.

We understand that you will write the CPA exam and your success starts from what study materials you choose.

By the time you’re done reading this article, you will have understood what books you should purchase and what study guide will work for you.

Listed below are some of the points that will be covered in this article:

A quick look at the CPA syllabus
Available CPA review books
The exam structure

Are you ready? Let’s go!

An overview of the CPA syllabus

The entire CPA syllabus is divided into 4 segments, and each segment focuses on a particular skill you need, not just to pass the exam, but also to prepare you for life as a Certified Public Accountant.

Here are the 4 segments or subjects that each covers:

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  2. Business Environment Concepts (BEC)
  3. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  4. Regulation (REG)

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)- The first segment deals with concepts that relate to the ethics and general regulations of the profession, the duties and expectations, risk assessment, gathering evidence, compiling reports, and developing a commensurate response.

It is unarguably an important section you’ll meet in the CPA exam, as attested to by many financial experts already in the industry.

You will be tested on auditing, which is the main focus of this course.

Your knowledge of handling professional assignments required of a certified public accountant in the real world should increase after studying this course.

Other points covered by the AUD includes:

  • How to follow due and legal processes during auditing
  • How to follow internationally set regulations when dealing with clients from various parts of the world
  • The dos and don’ts of preparing and designing audit reports

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)- The BEC is another section you must be ex̣ecting to met in the CPA and it is almost the most difficult part of the course.

Here are key aspects of the profession that you will be tested on in the CPA exam:

  • Operations Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Economic Concepts and Analysis
  • Financial Management
  • Information Technology

From the aspects mentioned above, you’ll notice that after studying this course, you will have understood both the internal and external concepts of business environments.

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – From this segment, expect questions about:

  • All forms of transactions
  • Local and state governments
  • Financial statement accounts
  • Conceptual framework, standard setting, financial reporting

There are tons of materials about FAR, and from the recommendations of experts, don’t leave this section out early in your preparations.

There are many advantages to starting the preparation for this section well in advance.

It is considered one of the time-consuming sections, so spend enough time studying it.

This section will test your knowledge of financial reporting both within government establishments and within the framework of modern business enterprises.

The segment of the syllabus also deals with GAAP and IFRS, their similarities and differences.

It equips you for the rigorous workflow of a certified public accountant like calculations, identifying various financial reports, and preparing a report.

You will also learn how to interpret, compile, evaluate, and analyze various financial statements.

Regulation (REG)– The questions from this last segment of the syllabus will be based on the following concepts:

  • Entity Federal Taxation
  • Business Law
  • Professional Responsibilities, Ethics, and Federal Tax Procedures
  • Individual Federal Taxation
  • Property Transaction Federal Taxation

This section will test your understanding of the rules and regulations governing business taxation (personally and for business).

These regulations will involve studying your legal responsibilities once you kickstart your career.

In fact, most of the things you’ll come across while studying this segment will be related to law.

Finally, tax implications and consequences will be thoroughly explained, using real-life case studies.

CPA Exam Structure

We believe that understanding the structure of the CPA exam will help you create a good self-study plan, as you endeavor to cover your CPA books or other study materials.

Do you remember that the syllabus is divided into four segments?

The exam is divided into four segments, each segment corresponding to each segment of the syllabus.

For each segment, you will have 4 hours to answer the questions. This means that the entire exam will last 16 hours.

Each of the segments is divided into three parts:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Written communication
  • Task based questions

The multiple-choice questions make up 50% of your entire score; so make sure you give it your utmost attention.

In the past 5 years, more attention has been given to task-based questions in the CPA exam, which means you should spend time understanding these processes.

Each student is expected to complete the 4 segments of the CPA exam within the 18 months testing window.

The segments must be completed, in no particular order.

No one is allowed to write one segment twice within the testing window, even though applicants can write all four segments one after the other in the same testing window.

Each section of the CPA exam has a time limit of 4 hours.

Top CPA exam review books and study guides

While a well-structured classroom study plan is the best, some people prefer a self-study program, where they learn at their pace.

It is understandable and also allowed because everyone has his preferred learning methods.

Additionally, many applicants have other secular engagements that may prevent them from attending a well-structured classroom program.

If you fall into this category, it is very important that you use the right CPA books if you will stand any chance of passing the CPA exam.

As you read the books, keep in mind the CPA syllabus and focus more on the four sections that you will be tested on.

There are several books available, all claiming to cover the CPA syllabus.

However, we have selected the best CPA exam review books from reputable CPA institutes to make your search a lot easier.

Becker CPA exam review book

Becker is a popular provider of CPA study courses.

Enrolling in the course qualifies you for two CPA textbooks; the textbooks can be purchased separately.

Becker CPA textbooks touch on all four sections of the CPA exam: Financial, Business, Regulation, and Auditing.

These are the sections you need to read so you can pass the exams. The books are written in simple English, and the case studies used are relatable.

Becker CPA books also come with additional study materials like the Financial final review, Business final review, Regulation final review, and Auditing final review.

The additional study materials are available in both printed and digital formats.

These supplementary books take a step further into the CPA exam sections by providing the latest questions and answers with additional explanations.

Becker CPA books are well reported on by experts and financial coaches worldwide because the authors are also industry professionals.

The study materials are interactive, giving the classroom feeling, even though you are studying from your home, on your own.

 Pros and cons of Becker CPA Books

The books are cheap at $25 each. Since the four books have additional materials, buying all 8 books will cost just $200

The books are straightforward and easy to read

They are not huge books, thus, you can finish reading them within a few days.

For convenience, Becker CPA segments are printed separately, meaning you can buy them at your pace.

The information in the book is up to date because they undergo an annual review to include the most recent exam materials.

On the other hand, keep in mind that this book is in high demand.

This means buying them can be easy, but getting them shipped across can take a while because of the high demands.

Because each section of the syllabus is printed separately, and also has additional materials in another book, some will prefer having all the information in a single section in one book.

Gleim CPA exam review book

Gleim CPA books are up next because they offer tons of extra study materials in addition to the books.

The course gives one CPA textbook that is available in either printed or digital formats.

This book is updated once a year to reflect the most recent CPA exam information.

All four sections of the CPA exam syllabus are thoroughly explained with relatable case studies.

Buying the book also qualifies you to get test prep materials that will prepare you for what to expect in the CPA exams.

Downloading the digital format of this book also gives you access to several supplementary study materials like digital flashcards, audio lectures, and other expert advice from the authors of the book.

Since the books have helped thousands of people pass the CPA exam, you can trust the materials to help you get a good score too.

Pros and cons of Gleim CPA book

Gleim CPA books are updated annually to reflect the latest CPA materials.

All four sections of the CPA exams are well covered.

Additional study materials also include test prep questions with full explanations of the answers.

It is a great choice for any CPA exam applicant who wants to study alone.

On the other hand, keep in mind that Gleim CPA books cannot be bought independent of the Gleim CPA review course.

That means to have access to the book; you must enroll in their CPA program.

Each section of the Gleim course costs $599. Many see this as highly expensive.

However, the study materials are world-class and you are guaranteed a great exam score, as long as you follow a well-prepared study guide.

Roger CPA review book

This next CPA textbook from Roger is highly recommended because it offers lots of study materials in addition to the textbook.

All four sections of the exam syllabus are fully covered. You also get app synchronization for the digital use of textbooks.

As expected of any good CPA textbook, the Roger CPA textbook is updated annually to reflect the most recent CPA information.

The textbooks however are best utilized with other study materials from Roger CPA.

The supplementary study materials include tons of multiple-choice questions, mock exams, and other customizable practice questions.

Pros and cons of Roger CPA books

The Roger CPA textbooks are fashioned after the blueprints of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA).

This criterion ensures a high degree of industry relevance and effectiveness of the study materials.

They also offer Cram study course material, a trusted study guide, and a path that can help you pass your CPA exam.

The textbooks are not sold separately; they are only available with the entire course.

However, all sections of the exam questions are well covered in the textbooks.

Since the textbooks are part of the review course, individual sections of the course cost $649, which is a little pricey.

But considering the curricula benefits associated with the course and textbooks, it is a worthy investment.

Roger has a great record of successfully helping thousands of students pass the CPA exam, and you too can be a part of that.

They are a leading name in the industry for quality instructional materials and great strategies.

Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review book

Wiley CPAexcel is known for providing one of the best study materials.

One good thing about the textbooks is that they can be purchased separately and the study guides.

You can buy just the section you want, just in case you have other materials that cover other sections of the CPA syllabus.

Wiley CPAexcel textbooks and study guides are available in printed and digital formats.

To ensure that the materials are up to date, the CPA information in Wiley CPAexcel is updated twice a year.

Pros and Cons of CPAexcel textbooks

The information presented in the textbooks is consistent with the current standards of the AICPA.

You can choose to have the materials in either printed or digital formats.

The trick is buying the entire package, as it will reduce how much you pay for the books instead of buying them separately.

Some argue that there are cheaper alternatives on the market and the study materials are not that deep.

While this may be true, get one thing straight: The textbook covers all four sections of the CPA syllabus.

Generally, the CPA textbooks from WileyCPAexcel are up-to-date, affordable, and well-polished to prepare you for a career as a certified professional accountant.

Surgent CPA book

Surgent CPA is another major CPA institute that sells its textbooks outside of its CPA review program.

Each section of the CPA syllabus is printed separately and the topics include not just the necessary topics but also other supplementary materials like multiple choice questions and task-based simulations directly related to the previous years.

The study guide can help you plan your time and activities so that you can prepare for the exams even if you have other secular engagements.

Pros and cons of Surgent CPA Textbooks

Surgent CPA textbooks are one of the first CPA books to reflect any industry change because it is updated quarterly.

Even with its high demands, there is no shipping delay immediately you order a copy of any of the sections.

It is a little pricey at $125 per book, although you can save $50 when you buy all four sections at once ($500).

Students have mentioned the book’s several references to other study materials from Surgent, suggesting that it is better to use the textbook with other instructional materials from Surgent like videos, audio recordings, and test banks.

Other useful Information

If you desire to buy the CPA books separately so you can study them on your own, make sure you add supplementary materials.

This will help you break down the entire study process and help you grab the lessons faster.

One supplementary material that can help you is the mock or preparatory question.

This database of practice questions provides you with an idea of what type of questions you will likely come across in the exams.

Successfully answering many practice questions is really a critical part of passing the CPA exam.

The test bank of practice questions can be gotten at a fairly cheaper price. This is a wise course because it’s better than buying the entire package.

And if the cost of buying the textbooks is a little overwhelming because you are on a tight budget, you can buy used books.


It is possible to self-study for your CPA exams. All you need to do is buy good books from reputable authors and coaches.

This article has highlighted several CPA self-study books that can help you do just that.

Remember, the trick is not just to choose any textbook, make sure you analyze your needs, the study guides, and the cost before making your choice.

Here’s another thing: textbooks that present the sections of the CPA exam syllabus separately can help you with your self-study program.

We know the information presented in this article will help you with the choice of CPA textbook that you have to make.



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