In conversation with US CPA alumni – Deepanshu Sethi

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Deepanshu Sethi

Why did you choose to become a CPA after CA?

I had completed my CA in 2016, with an opportunity to work with the KPMG. As I was handling the taxation department with direct contact with the clients, by that time the accounting firms were buzzing with the new regulation terms related to US GAAP and others. It landed me with a realization that I need to broaden my approach to learn about global accounting needs and CPA was the ladder to reach my goal. CPA opened a whole new world about how the large professional bodies work and gave me the scope to work global accounting needs.

How did you plan your CPA journey along with a job?

I was working with KPMG the whole time when I started preparing for CPA. It was not easy for me to manage both work and studies. Eventually, I had to stretch the preparation time frame. I appeared for my first set on the exam with subjects REG & BEC in 2018 December without any classroom assistance. After a gap of about 6 months, in July 2019 I took the classroom session with Miles which ended by September 2019. Finally, I completed my second set (AUD & FAR) in January.

Which CPA review did you prefer for your CPA exam?

Back in 2018, Miles used to give Wiley books in addition to Miles Concept books, but I didn’t go for the Wiley reference cause Miles’s books were enough for me. Others might say that a few less important topics are not covered in Miles books, for those OTB covers left out portions. One who had the time to solve the entire OTBs would know that all the CPA exam questions and the simulations are exactly from the Miles books. As a result, there is no need to look up other resources.

How did CPA enhance your credibility?

When I spoke about CPA to my peers, they always used to say why would you again go for CPA after CA. What they misread is the importance of having globally accepted accounting codes like US GAAP up your sleeve and learn an industry-relevant accounting principle to stay ahead of the race. I was quite right about my perception, after having a US CPA credential, I got an immediate leap to my career. From a KPMG employed accountant, I got the. opportunity to serve KGS instead, where I would directly handle the US clients. Today I flaunt among my peers that I am both CPA & CA and really excited about what CPA is going to bring me next.

Can any professional take up CPA & complete it with their job?

If you are an F&A professional and thinking to get CPA done, then they should definitely go. Anḍ there is no need to leave the job in order to clear CPA and the first reason is that the CPA syllabus is meant for professional and moduled build professionals, hence are very comprehensive. As I had spent quite a few years in taxation under direct client contact, with minimal preparation I scored a whole- 88 in REG. Therefore if you are working, then it will be easier for you to clear CPA. The second reason is, unlike CA, CPA gives you the advantage to schedule your exam date and you can appear for the exam whenever you feel that you are ready. So, I would advise you not to rush, but plan your schedule accordingly, this way you can avoid repeating the exams.

Would you recommend CPA for fresh B.Com graduates?

If you compare CA, ACCA & CPA, CPA is an easier course with the CPA credential a fresh B.com graduate gets a three-way benefit; high-paid salary, professional boost & global exposure at a much lesser time. Right now, the Big-4s are aggressively hiring CPAs to fill the vacancies, and I would really advise them to have CPAs in their accounting portfolio.

Tips for our CPA Aspirants

  • Take at least one mock test before the exam
  • Stick to the Miles Concept books
  • Solve the entire OTB from cover to cover
  • Measure the prep-time before scheduling the exams

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