A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2015
Can’t Pass Again (CPA backronymic nickname)

The certified public accountant (CPA) exam in notoriously difficult to pass. The CPA bakcronymic (back acronym) nicknames of “Can’t Pass (it) Again” and “Couldn’t Pass (it) Again” are popular and have been printed on gift items such as coffee mugs.

“We have a joke that CPA stands for ‘couldn’t pass again’” was cited in print in 2000. “CPA = Can’t Pass Again” was cited in 2003.


Wikipedia: Certified Public Accountant
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the title of qualified accountants in numerous countries in the English-speaking world. In the United States they will have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and have met additional state education and experience requirements for membership in their respective professional accounting bodies and certification as a CPA. Individuals who have passed the Exam but have not either accomplished the required on-the-job experience or have previously met it but in the meantime have lapsed their continuing professional education are, in many states, permitted the designation “CPA Inactive” or an equivalent phrase. In most U.S. states, only CPAs who are licensed are able to provide to the public attestation (including auditing) opinions on financial statements. The exceptions to this rule are Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina where the “CPA” designation and the practice of auditing are not restricted. Many CPAs are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or their state CPA society.

Greenspun.com
I am a CPA. When I was in college my tax accounting professor gave us open book tests because we needed to know how to apply tax laws, not to memorize them. There’s a lot of things on the CPA exam that I’ve never encountered in practice and probably never will. If I do, I’ll look it up in the appropriate professional source. We have a joke that CPA stands for “couldn’t pass again” (sorry, it’s accounting humor) because much of the exam involves very specific material. I doubt that any CPA will ever encounter in her career everything that’s covered on the uniform exam. I doubt that any doctor will either and so they focus on the more possible traumas and trust the others to reference material as needed.
-- Diana (), July 19, 2000.

Big Soccer
CPA = Can’t Pass Again
CrewToon, Feb 6, 2003

Accountant Forums
Joel Berry, CPA, Sep 23, 2003
As far as I know, they’re still around. Isn’t it funny how you quit paying attention to that stuff once you’re done with the exam? As I tell others, CPA really stands for “Couldn’t Pass Again”!

BankersOnline.com
12/01/04 07:49 AM Re: Favorite Acronyms
Anonymous
CPA - Continuously Promotes Anxiety
CPA - Car Parking Attendant
CPA - Couldn’t Pass Again
CPA - Cut, Paste, Attach
(can’t you tell I’m an IA that’s not a CPA)

Twitter
robstandley
‏@robstandley
Accountant Allan Kessock says “CPA stands for ‘Can’t pass again’”
10:52 AM - 22 Mar 2009

The Student Doctor Network
CPA Looking Into Medical Field
Discussion in ‘Nontraditional Students’ started by CuldntPassAgain, 04.02.09.
Good Evening,

I am a CPA, (Couldn’t Pass Again) and I have been thinking about the medical field for awhile. I think the hardest part of the decision is that I have come a long way, and I fear the unknown a bit. Probably shocking to hear an accountant say that, eh?

The Secret Society of CPAs
CPA Exam Passing
March 16, 2011 at 10:32 am
Written by: Douglas J Marvel CPA PC
(...)
COMMENTS
Haley wrote @ March 18, 2011 at 11:41 am
Thanks for giving me a good laugh between March 15th and April 15th..I passed ,not on the first try, about 6 years ago. I would do anything to keep from going through the trauma of the exam again. Do you know what CPA stands for? Couldn’t Pass Again…LOL.

Diving into the Details (Dustin Wheeler’s blog)
September 25th, 2011
Funny Alternative Acronyms for CPA
I recently became a CPA in the state of Nevada.  By CPA, I’m referring to Certified Public Accountant.  Although this is a widely recognized acronym in the United States, Wikipedia lists many other uses of it throughout the world.

The CPA acronym is also often used to poke fun at number crunchers in many variations.  Here are a few of the best I’ve heard:

. Cheapest Price Available
. Copy, Paste, and Annotate
. Can’t Produce Anything
. Constantly Proposing Audits
. Couldn’t Pass Again (referring to the CPA exam, of course)

Business Insider
25 Jokes That Only Accountants Will Find Funny
LIBBY KANE YOUR MONEY MAY. 20, 2014, 8:20 AM
(...)
2. What does CPA stand for? Can’t Pass Again.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 • Permalink