Top Life Hacks for Every Kind of CPA in 2023



Ever wondered if there was an easier way? While not every task assigned to CPAs can be simplified, there are quite a few things that all types of CPAs can do to make their day to day a little easier. So, whether you are currently studying for your exam, just starting out in your career or a seasoned CFO, here are a few of the handiest life hacks just for CPAs.

Use Excel to automate everyday forms. As it turns out, the r/Accounting Reddit is full of handy tips for CPAs looking to save time through automation. As one user notes, many organizations still subscribe to paper forms for a number of routine tasks which, when done by hand, can quickly add up to weeks of calculations. Instead, use Excel to create worksheets that look exactly like the source document, including indicators for lines that need filling in later, to completely automate routine forms so that the necessary information populates itself automatically. Not quite a pro at Excel yet? Check out this tutorial all about Excel features most relevant to accountants.

Embrace ChatGPT for better PowerPoint presentations and Excel macros. Whether presenting for the Board of Directors or pitching services to a prospective client, PowerPoint is a key CPA tool. Embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like ChatGPT to save time on tasks that could be better spent elsewhere. One emerging use case for this particular brand of artificial intelligence is generating more engaging PowerPoint slides in a matter of minutes. Yes, minutes. Presentation guru and popular YouTuber Claudio Sennhauser shows us how. Bonus: you can use it to write email replies to your boss too, but you did not hear that from us…

Of course, there is more than one use case for AI in accounting, and it once again comes back to Excel. According to the Journal of Accountancy, the release of GPT-4 earlier this year has opened a whole new world of Excel macros. All you need are the right prompts, and this natural language AI will create complex macros in Excel that automate data cleansing and summarization processes, advanced computations, pivot tables and more. All the time you would normally spend on excel preforming these repetitive tasks can now be channeled into something more productive.

Keep a checklist on-the-go. This next one might seem like a no-brainer but keeping a to-do list, , is a simple, straightforward way to keep your day, week, month, year and entire life organized. Now, you might be thinking this tip is the perfect justification to add yet another planner to your collection, but you would be mistaken. Paper cannot set automatic reminders for time-sensitive tasks and, moreover, is sadly prone to being forgotten. A cross-platform app, however, compatible with Android, iOS, Windows 10, web browsers and macOS, is the modern CPA’s planner of choice, which is why actiTIME1 recommends TickTick as one of the best free productivity tools available, especially for CPAs and accountants.

CPA candidates need at least one simulated exam. This final hack is for CPA Exam candidates. Ask any established CPA about their testing experience and all of them will tell you that preparation is key. While practicing problems is definitely an effective way to study for the exam, participating in a simulated or mock exam provides candidates with invaluable insight into timing, environment and format. Eliminating as many unknowns as possible prior to test day is one way to ease, if not eliminate, those distracting performance anxieties. Throughout the year, the MICPA hosts multiple mock exams– free to MICPA members! Keep an eye out for our next session and share it with an aspiring CPA in your life and visit for more resources.

Have you discovered a life hack you’d like to share? Trade your best tips and tricks by starting a conversation on MICPA Connect or tag @MICPA with your suggestions on LinkedIn and use the tag #CPALifeHacks!

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