Here is my analysis on the pros and cons of popular Enrolled Agent course providers based on readers’ experience and comments from participants in major accounting forums.
Let Me Find the Best Enrolled Agent Course for You!
I don’t believe in people who say their study materials are the absolute best, because different courses suit candidates with different background and learning style. I am however confident that you will find one that suit you the best here.
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Detailed Enrolled Agent Study Guide Comparison
Gleim EA Review
Gleim is the most established and widely used EA review course.
- Very established; one of the earliest providers of EA review course (as well as for CPA, CMA and CIA).
- The Gleim EA Review System offers an integrated learning approach with videos or audio-visual presentation, test prep, audio review, text books and an online study tracking system called Gleim online.
- Most comprehensive practice questions that closely simulate the real test experience.
- Free trial with full access to Study Unit One, plus money-back guarantee.
- You can choose from the tradition to premium version at different price level, but generally it’s more expensive.
If you have some tax background and are the type of candidates who learn from practice i.e. doing lots of practice questions, I have no doubt that Gleim is the best for you.
- You can get a more detailed evaluation of Gleim EA Review here.
Surgent EA Review
WiseGuides EA Review
WiseGuides is founded more than 20 years ago. It features eLessons in PDF format, practice questions and electronic flash cards
- Cheapest one out there.
- Number of practice questions second only to Gleim.
- The quality of explanation is good enough.
- Out-dated interface that doesn’t reflect actual testing experience
- Lack basic features such as marking of questions for later checking, and mobile access
The content is solid, but unfortunately Wiseguides doesn’t invest and upgrade the interface to the basic level. I would consider Wiseguides only if I am really, really tight on budget.
- You can get a more detailed evaluation of Wiseguides EA Review here.
Phoenix Tax Group EA Study Guides
Passkey EA Study Guides
#1 best selling under the tax law book category.
- Affordable: complete guide selling at $180 together with a work book (for mock exams) for another $60
- Books well written
- Books do not include online access and candidates cannot practice in simulated testing environment
- Mixed review on practice questions
- Completely on your own — no customer support rep or personal counselors
Great if you are only looking for a book; by in this era of computerized tests, I personally would prefer something online to get the simulated exam experience, and tools for performance tracking and time management.
- More info on Passkey EA Study Guide here.
Other Enrolled Agent Course Providers
They don’t make it to my top 5 list, but I am listing here for your reference:
Arthur EA Review
- Pros: Good text books that explain the concepts well
- Cons: Site has been down for a while. Not sure if it is out of business.
H&R Block Income Tax Course
- Pros: live classes available in more than 10,000 locations
- Cons: Not a tailor-made course for the EA exam.
Lambers EA Review
- Pros: Instructor Arthur Reed has a good reputation
- Cons: Sales relying more on aggressive marketing than maintaining quality; too expensive at $900
Taxmama.com by Eva Rosenberg
- Pros: Eva has the experience (e.g. setting up an EA course for UCLA); live webinars available
- Cons: Too expensive at >$1,000
I recommend Gleim: NAEA endorsed, has the best practice questions, together with personal counselor support, free trial… all with the Gleim Guarantee.