Today, global businesses are becoming a fact of life and have now entered every single sector or domain in the world, be it education, banking, agriculture, and the list is endless. Working towards the betterment of the sector they work in, businesses have always strived to operate on a competitive edge. With the coming of new businesses and expansion in the allocation of resources, there comes a dire need for professional accountants who can act as financial advisors and keep track of all the monetary funds. To cater to this requirement, certified accounting professionals have been in great demand ever since. If you are looking forward to a lucrative career in Commerce and Accountancy and want to be a globally recognized professional, then pursuing a CPA course is the first step toward achieving your dreams. Through this blog, let us provide you with an insight into every little detail about the CPA course and exam.
This Blog Includes:
- Who is a CPA?
- Eligibility Criteria for CPA Course
- What is CPA Course?
- CPA Course Highlights
- CPA Course Specialisations
- CPA Course: Syllabus for the CPA Exam
- Fee Structure & Pass Rate for CPA Course
- CPA Exam Application Process
- CPA Exam Structure
- CPA Exam Fee
- Difference Between CA & CPA Course
- Career Prospects & Scope after CPA Course
- CPA Salary
- Why Pursue a CPA Course?
Also Read: How to Pursue CA Course After 12th?
Who is a CPA?
“Every CPA is an accountant but every accountant is not a CPA.” Stands for Certified Public Accountant, a CPA is a certified and designated financial advisor in various countries in the English-speaking world. The most prominent of all the careers for a CPA include Public Accounting and Industry Accounting. Both are responsible for helping the organization reach its financial goals through performing a number of roles and responsibilities like Auditing and Review, Financial Planning and Business Valuation, Tax Preparation, Company Management, Litigation Services, and Forensic Accounting Services. Thus, individuals with a knack for Accounting and Finance can opt for a CPA course that includes education, a CPA exam, and experience.
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Eligibility Criteria for CPA Course
The eligibility criteria for appearing in the CPA examination varies from country to country. Indian students aspiring to pursue a CPA course must fulfil all the requirements mentioned by the national CPA organization. Given below are the minimum eligibility parameters for the candidates.
- The candidates must have completed graduation in a relevant field of Accounting and Finance, such as a BCom in Accounting, BBA in Finance and Accounts, BBA Accounting, MCom or an MBA in Accounting, or MBA in Finance.
- The Candidate must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) or the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
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What is CPA Course?
The CPA course culminates with the candidate taking the CPA exam which is considered to be one of the toughest exams in the world. With examination being the required component and a key step in an aspiring CPA’s journey to professional practice, here are the essential points that you must consider before going for the CPA exam:
- The CPA exam is a computer-based test and is held 4 times in a year (in March, June, September and December). However, registration for the CPA course is open throughout the year.
- To become a licensed CPA, you need to first pass the Uniform CPA Examination which comprises 4 sections, each of 4-hours.
- The sections are namely, Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) and Regulation (REG).
- The candidates have to clear all 4 sections within 18 months and earn a minimum required score of 75 on each part.
- The test will contain elements like Mulitple Choice Questions (MCQ), Task-Based Simulations (TBS) and Written Communication Tasks.
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CPA Course Highlights
|Type of Exam||computer-based test|
|Frequency||4 times a year|
|Name of Sections in CPA||Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) and Regulation (REG)|
|Duration and Minimum Marks||18 months and earning a minimum required score of 75|
|Types of Questions||Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), Task-Based Simulations (TBS), and Written Communication Tasks|
CPA Course Specialisations
There are many specializations offered in CPA courses, here are some of the popular specializations you can opt for:
- Sales & Marketing
- Human Resources
- Auditing & Control
- International Business
- Financial Planning & Analysis
CPA Course: Syllabus for the CPA Exam
The table below provides information about all the major topics to be covered while preparing for each of the 4 sections of the CPA exam.
|Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)||Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)||Regulation (REG)|
|– Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and General Principles
– Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response
– Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence
– Forming Conclusions and Reporting
|– Corporate Governance
– Economic Concepts and Analysis
– Operations Management
Framework, Standard-Setting and
– Select Financial Statement Accounts
– Select Transactions
– State and Local Governments
|– Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and Federal Tax Procedures
– Business Law
– Federal Taxation of Property Transactions
– Federal Taxation of Individuals
– Federal Taxation
Fee Structure & Pass Rate for CPA Course
There is a different fee structure according to the qualification of the candidate planning to enroll for the CPA course. We have a table for you to understand the fee structure of the CPA course as per qualification:
|Qualifications||Fee Structure (in Rupees)|
|BBA/ MBA (Finance)||1.25 Lakh|
|BCom + IPCC||80,000|
|CA Final -1||70,000|
*IPCC stands for Integrated Professional Competency Course.
CPA Exam Application Process
Here is a step-wise application process to apply for the CPA exam:
- Before submitting the application form it is important to check the eligibility. If you’re eligible you can send your official transcripts to the state board
- Submit the exam fees in order to gain test authorization and NTS
- You will then be able to schedule your CPA Exam
CPA Exam Structure
Candidates who are eligible for the CPA test in India should be familiar with its format. The CPA exam is a computer-based test that is given to candidates at specific locations around the world. The CPA exam is divided into three tests: MCQ, task-based, and written communication.
|Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs)||50%||50%||50%||50%|
|Task-Based Simulations (TBSs)||50%||35%||50%||50%|
|Written Communication Tasks||–||15%||–||–|
CPA Exam Fee
|Application Fee||$50- $200 (INR 4,112- 16,451)(Varies from state to state)|
|Examination Fee||Approximately $193.45 (INR 15,912)For each section|
|Registration Fee||Depending on the state, one can either submit an application for each portion separately or submit one application for all sections along with a registration fee to reduce overall costs. If you register for all four portions at once, you must schedule and show up for all four sections during the following six months; otherwise, the Notice to Schedule (NTS) will no longer be valid. The following are the prices for taking the CPA exam:
When you buy one portion at a time, it costs $63 (INR 5,182)Taking two sessions at once will cost you $81 (6,662)When you enroll in three sections at once, $99 (8,143)If you enroll in four sections at once, $177 (14,559)
|Ethics Fees||After passing the universal CPA exam, several states need to pass an ethical examination to obtain a license. The ethics exam costs between $150 and $200. (INR 12,338 – 16,451)|
|CPA Licensing Fees||Candidates who pass the uniform CPA exam and ethics exam are entitled to receive a license, for which you must pay between $50 and $500 (INR 4,112 and INR 41,128) annually depending on the state. In order to keep your CPA license active and practice CPA, you must pay licensing fees annually for the rest of the time.|
|Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for CPA Exam||To ensure that public accountants stay current with industry standards and advancements, many states mandate 40 hours of continuing education per year. Thus, the estimated cost for this CPE might start at $800 (INR 65,805) per year and go as high as $5,000 (INR 411281).|
Difference Between CA & CPA Course
A Chartered Accountant is a qualified professional who handles a wide range of responsibilities within the accountancy spectrum. CA are always in demand due to their technical competence, veracity, and professional standards. Every company requires individuals who possess an incredible knowledge of financial laws and regulations and can handle monetary issues without worrying about the legal ramifications that might jeopardize the business. A CA course is a professional degree that is offered by certified Chartered Accountancy bodies throughout the world and aims to equip students with complete knowledge of Financial Management and Auditing, Fiscal Laws, Regulations, Strategic Financial Management, and Ethics, amongst others
CPAs are certified and designated financial advisers in various countries across the English-speaking world. The most prominent careers a CPA can pursue include Public Accounting and Industry Accounting. Both are responsible for helping an organization reach its financial goals.
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Career Prospects & Scope after CPA Course
If you are planning to take your knack and passion for accounting to the next level, pursuing a CPA course is the best option you can ever opt for. Having knowledge almost similar to that of a Chartered Accountant (CA), a CPA will also have additional knowledge of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), GAAS (Generally Accepted Accounting Standards), etc.
Apart from Financial planning, advising, and auditing, below are some of the most sought-after career fields for CPA-certified professionals.
Upon completion of the CPA course and examination, the accounting professional will be looking after various international business transactions, foreign trade agreements, and global economic and financial issues.
In various economic and monetary criminal cases like bribery, money laundering, and fraud, the CPAs collaborate with the organizations and use their expert knowledge in Accounting and present themselves as an expert in the court of law.
With Information Technology taking up every single aspect of this world, certified accounting professionals can work as Information Systems Auditor and Software Revenue Managers, in not just the private or corporate sector, but the government sector as well.
Owing to a great demand for taxation specialists in both the public and private sectors of the economy, a CPA course is the best way to acquire high-quality knowledge in this field of taxation. The CPA professionals can work as Tax specialists, International Tax Managers or Sales Tax specialists in various organizations belonging to different sectors of the economy.
For the ones who have a passion for sharing their knowledge with others, Academia after clearing the CPA course is the best career option for them. The CPA can work as a full-time or part-time faculty member in various educational institutes teaching commercial subjects like Accounting and Finance, Taxation, Business Ethics, Business Application, Audit, etc.
An entry-level CPA with less than 1-year experience can earn somewhere around ₹6- 8 lakhs. Whereas with 1-4 years of experience earns ₹ 8-12lakhs. With 5-9 years of experience, you can earn ₹1,001,009.
Why Pursue a CPA Course?
The ones who still have their minds lingering upon the confusion of whether to pursue a CPA course or not, we have some valid and convincing reasons as to why should you definitely go for a CPA course.
- CPA course is internationally recognized and considered to be of the highest qualification when it comes to the field of Finance and Accounting.
- Through the CPA course, the students will be exposed to a number of subjects, helping them build an international perspective in areas of Accountancy like Auditing, Taxation, International Finance, etc.
- Where domestic certification might limit you from getting a job in just one country, pursuing a CPA course makes you a global citizen and increase your chances of receiving career opportunities from global organizations.
- With the coming up of more and more businesses and start-ups, the demand for a CPA is always throughout the year.
- Not to forget, the pay package or remuneration of a CPA is undeniably high.
Ans. It is usually between 2-4 years
Ans. The candidates must have completed graduation in a relevant field of Accounting and Finance, such as a BCom in Accounting, BBA in Finance and Accounts, BBA Accounting, MCom or an MBA in Accounting, or MBA in Finance.
Ans. No, you can’t pursue CPA directly after the 12th. You must have completed graduation in a relevant field.
We hope that we have provided you with every single detail pertaining to the CPA course and what all does it entail. If you are looking forward to being the next big business leader in the field of Accounting and Finance and require a push in your endeavours, we at Leverage Edu are here for you. Through our expert mentors, we help you chase your dreams and achieve everything you have aimed for through counselling sessions. Book your 30 minutes of free career counselling session with us and get the answers to all your career-related queries.