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CERTIFIED: Crossing the finish line

Written on May 1, 2020

Certified follows a group of aspiring CPAs while they prepare for and take the various sections of the CPA exam. We started following our candidates in May 2016, and this is the final part of Donald Jungquist’s story. Read more here.

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Relief. That’s the main emotion Don Jungquist said he experienced after learning he passed the final section of the CPA exam.

Don Jungquist“When you’re going through the process it’s so stressful,” he said. “I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and it’s easier to breathe.”

After passing the third section of Audit, he took a studying break to focus on busy season. Shortly after busy season ended he and his wife welcomed a baby boy, and it meant Jungquist was pulling dad duty while also studying for the final section of the exam: Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR).

“The first few weeks I was 100% focusing on him and then I started studying,” he said. “When I was preparing for the last section he needed to be held all the time, so I’d be holding him while I was studying.”

Going into FAR Jungquist was so unsure of what would happen that he told his wife this might be the one exam he fails. It had the most material out of all the sections and he wasn’t as prepared as he wanted to be when exam time came. Despite this, Jungquist said afterward it went better than expected, and after receiving his passing score he felt relief more than excitement.

Passing FAR also meant he completed his goal to pass each section the first time.

“I am really proud of passing on the first try,” he said. “That really meant a lot to me.”

Since passing all four sections Jungquist said he’s loving fatherhood, and now works for Sherwin-Williams as a corporate auditor. He has a deeper appreciation for individuals going through the exam, and the stress and anxiety the process can bring.

“It’s not even like you’re studying all the time,” Jungquist said. “But if you’re not studying then you’re thinking about it and feeling guilty that you should be studying.”

Jungquist said he now has a new perspective on what it means to be a CPA, both for himself and others.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “For the rest of my life I’ll have these letters after my name. It was so hard and I’m so proud of it.”

Sponsored by MDS CPA Review and Yaeger CPA Review.