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 towards achieving your dreams. Through this blog, let us provide you with an insight into every little detail about the CPA course and exam.
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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 of Accounting and Finance can opt for a CPA course which includes education, 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 is the minimum eligibility parameters for the candidates.
- The candidates must have completed graduation in a relevant field of Accounting and Finance, such as BCom in Accounting, BBA in Finance and Accounts, BBA Accounting, MCom or an MBA in Accounting, MBA in Finance.
- The Candidate must be a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) or Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
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, the registration for the CPA course is open throughout the year.
- To become a licensed CPA, you need to first pass the Uniform CPA Examination that comprises of 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 earning 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.
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.
|Auditing and Attestation (AUD)||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
– Financial Management
– Information Technology
– Operations Management
|– Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting and Financial Reporting
– 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 of Entities
Fee Structure for CPA Course
There is a different fee structure according to the qualification of the candidate planning to enrol 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.
Career Prospects 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 the 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, global economic and financial issues.
In various economic and monetary criminal cases like bribery, money laundering and fraud, the CPA 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, the certified accounting professionals can work as Information Systems Auditor and Software Revenue Manager, 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 sector of the economy, 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 Specialist in various organizations belonging to different sectors of the economy.
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.
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 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 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.
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.