If you’re an accounting student, you’re likely familiar with the CPA course, which offers numerous benefits and opens doors to exclusive opportunities in the industry. Becoming a CPA brings exciting advantages, including higher earning potential and the chance to travel. If you’re eager to pursue this career path, here’s a comprehensive guide with all the essential details you need to know including CPA details, CPA course fees, exam structure, benefits and more.
What is CPA?
The statement “Every CPA is an accountant, but every accountant is not a CPA” highlights the distinction of being a Certified Public Accountant. A CPA is a certified and recognized financial professional in several English-speaking countries. The CPA designation offers a range of career opportunities, with Public Accounting and Industry Accounting being the most prominent paths. CPAs play a crucial role in helping organizations achieve their financial objectives through various responsibilities such as Auditing and Review, Financial Planning and Business Valuation, Tax Preparation, Company Management, Litigation Services, and Forensic Accounting Services.
CPA Eligibility Criteria in India
To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in India, you must pass the CPA course exam, and match the specific eligibility criteria of the US state you choose. However, there are some common requirements that applicants need to fulfill, including:
- Graduation in Commerce and Accounting: Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in commerce-related fields such as B.Com, BBA, MBA in Finance, or M.Com.
- Professional Qualifications: Possessing professional certifications like CA (Chartered Accountant), CMA (Cost and Management Accountant), Intermediate passed, or CS (Company Secretary) passed can also make candidates eligible.
- Post-Graduate Certification: Completing a post-graduate professional certification in accounting and finance can meet the eligibility criteria.
- Valid International Passport: Having a valid international passport is mandatory for aspiring CPAs in India.
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recognizes 55 states boards of accounting. Candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree from a NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) – A grade university in commerce with the first division are eligible to take the regular CPA exam.
Indian students who want to appear for the CPA exam should be members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI), or Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). Alternatively, possession of an MBA or M.Com degree is also acceptable.
Eligibility Criteria for US CPA
Requirements for Pursuing a Certified Public Accountant License in the US:
To be eligible for the US CPA exam, individuals must meet the requirement of having 120 accounting credits in their academic qualifications. In India, this is equivalent to a 16-year education, such as a combination of B.Com+M.Com, B.Com+CA, B.Com+MBA, or any post-graduation with graduation. Additionally, to obtain a CPA license from the state, candidates need to accumulate 150 credits.
Please note that the eligibility criteria for the US CPA exam may differ from the specific requirements in India.
Exam Pattern of the CPA Exam
For aspiring CPAs in India, understanding the exam pattern of the CPA exam is essential. The CPA exam is designed to assess the skills and knowledge of candidates and is divided into four sections. To pass the CPA exam, candidates must achieve a score of 75 or higher in each section within the 18-month testing window.
Candidates have the flexibility to choose the order and timing of each section during one open testing window. Here are the four divisions of the CPA exam, with each part allocated a total of 4 hours for completion:
- AUD (Auditing and Attestation): This section focuses on auditing procedures, standards, and the responsibilities of CPAs in performing attestations.
- FAR (Financial Accounting and Reporting): The FAR section covers topics related to financial accounting, reporting, and analysis, including concepts like GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
- REG (Regulation): This section tests candidates’ knowledge of business law, ethics, federal taxation, and professional responsibilities.
- BEC (Business Environment Concepts): The BEC section examines candidates’ understanding of business concepts, including corporate governance, economics, information technology, and strategic planning.
Candidates are given 4 hours to complete each section of the CPA exam. It is important to carefully plan and prepare for each part to ensure success in the overall examination.
CPA Exam Structure:
The CPA exam is structured into three parts, consisting of different types of testlets to evaluate candidates’ knowledge and skills. These testlets include Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs), Task-Based Simulations (TBS), and Written Communication (WC).
Each section of the CPA exam is assigned a specific weightage in terms of the number of questions and the time allotted. The weightage varies slightly for each part. Here is an overview of the weightage given to each section in the CPA exam:
- Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs): MCQs assess candidates’ understanding and application of accounting concepts, principles, and regulations.
- Task-Based Simulations (TBS): TBS testlets evaluate candidates’ ability to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios and perform accounting tasks.
- Written Communication (WC): The WC section assesses candidates’ written communication skills.
It’s important for candidates to understand the structure and weightage of each section to effectively prepare for the CPA exam and allocate their study time accordingly.
Benefits of pursuing CPA as a career
The CPA exam is considered the highest level of accounting education, providing endless opportunities to showcase your skills. The NASBA has listed five advantages of becoming a CPA, which are:
- Reputation and Esteem: By passing the CPA exam and meeting all other prerequisites, you become a part of a selected group of accountants.
- Advancement of Your Career: CPAs have opportunities for career advancement in various industries, including investment banks, hedge funds, research firms, private equity firms, and more.
- Career Security: With retiring CPAs leaving the market, there is an increasing demand for freshly licensed CPAs, ensuring job security.
- Job Satisfaction: With the CPA designation, you become qualified to perform highly specialized duties that are more important and fascinating.
- Money and Benefits: Being a CPA leads to an incredible career with higher earnings and opportunities for growth.
CPA Course Fees
When it comes to pursuing a career as a CPA in India, it is essential for individuals to thoroughly analyze and compare the various fees associated with CPA courses. From registration fees to study materials fees, examination fees to licensing fees, having a clear understanding of the breakdown of these costs is paramount for aspiring accountants. Armed with accurate knowledge of CPA course fees in the Indian landscape, individuals can make well-informed decisions, ensuring that their financial investments align with their career aspirations. Remember, conducting thorough research on CPA course fees serves as the crucial first step towards embarking on a rewarding professional journey in the Indian accounting domain. There are institutions such as Miles Education, which also provide one with excellent options to finance their CPA journey.
Becoming a CPA is a highly prestigious career path with numerous benefits and recognition. Although challenging, it is a worthwhile field to pursue, depending on one’s interests.
If you’re an accounting professional seeking career advancement opportunities or are simply interested in learning about the course, we recommend exploring our Certified Public Accountant (CPA) program. The US CPA certification is globally recognized and can unlock doors to various prospects around the world.
Miles Education is a leading CPA course provider in India that offers comprehensive study materials, expert faculty, and personalized support. They can help you achieve your career goals and take your accounting and finance career to the next level.