The modern era of globalization and international operations has made a career in accounting a highly lucrative and respectful profession. In this context, a globally recognized accounting certification is a perfect option for the accountants of tomorrow. A large number of Indian accounting students are still not aware that now they can pursue the CPA qualification without any need to go overseas to study.
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are professionals who successfully clear a four-part exam managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and have minimum mandatory work experience. These accountants are then given a title and license by one of the 55 American State Boards of Accountancy. The CPAs work as public accountants (auditors, consultants, etc.) and financial advisers for businesses and individuals. They help prepare a strategy to achieve financial objectives.
In essence, a CPAs role is similar to an Indian Chartered Accountant. However, the advantage held by a CPA is global recognition and credibility.
Need For CPAs in India
In the initial years of economic liberalization in India, major companies from the USA and various other leading global economies entered the Indian markets, and they had to rely on the Indian CAs to take care of the global compliance procedures. Despite their proficiency, the Indian CAs often faced challenges in keeping up with the complex accounting stipulations governed by the US GAAP and IFRS standards. CPAs have specialized knowledge of US GAAP and IFRS. In recent years, demand has significantly grown to hire CPAs in US consulting firms (known as the big 4: Deloitte, PWC, E&Y, and KPMG).The demand for CPAs is also driven by multinational companies such as E-commerce giant Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Ford Motors, Oracle, Coca Cola, Pepsi, and many others. This rising demand provides a great career opportunity for Indian accounting graduates to become globally qualified and earn attractive salaries.
Passing the 4 exams is a crucial step towards becoming a CPA, but, there are other requirements that you need to furnish, before using the CPA designation. For some applicants, successfully applying for the exams is in itself a challenge.
Apart from the CAs, the members of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants in India, Members of the Institute of Company Secretaries in India, post-graduates in commerce, MBAs, and B.Com graduates from India are eligible for the CPA exam.
CPA Demand in India
The Indian economy has grown rapidly in the last decade or so. This has led to the presence and expansion of various major multinational companies, out-sourcing firms, and the Big 4 in India. The trends are changing because the US GAAP, IFRS, and other US Compliance & Taxation requirements make it necessary for the accountants to be well-versed in terms of knowledge and credibility. This is the reason why the demand for CPAs in India is rapidly on the rise. Today, there is such a huge market demand that there is a supply gap. The major American firms are compelled to extensively train their Chartered Accountants as CPAs. While this training might enable the Indian CAs to meet the US GAAP and IFRS Reporting and Compliance needs, they still lack the credibility required. For instance, if a commerce graduate in India is as proficient with accounting as a Chartered Accountant, he/she would still not have the credibility enjoyed by a CA.
Hence, these major international firms and even some of the top Indian companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, and others that have business interests in the US, constantly keep hiring CPAs. It is also seen in many cases that companies sponsor the training costs and fees to enable their employees to pursue CPA qualification. If you are an accounting professional or a student planning to make a career in the field of accounting, you must consider CPA in detail while making your decision.