What is CPA?
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant it’s an equivalent course like we have CA in India. US CPA is conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountancy which is the largest accounting body of the world. CPA in India is becoming quite popular as so many commerce students are opting it for carrier enhancements that boost their CV with the most valuable professional international course. But cracking CPA is not an easy task it requires lots of hard and smart work and the best part about CPA is that you can crack it within one year, not like Indian CA which requires at least 5 years to completely end your certification.
Scope of CPA in India-
From the past few years, the scope of CPA is constantly increasing in India, there are several reasons behind that-
1. Many CA professionals, who want to upgrade themselves for international jobs and want to enhance their skills with Indian as well as international taxation and audit skills than CPA is the best option for them. After the successful completion of CPA, they would apply for better jobs in top MNCs handling US clients and definitely it will enhance their market value with two such wonderful professional degrees.
2. So many top accounting firms of the world like Big 4 (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PwC) or other big firms like Grant Thorton, BDO, RSM, etc are constantly increasing their operations in India. Creating tons of job opportunities in the Indian market and these firms prefer CPAs over the normal degrees as CPA is directly related to their core operations and that is the other reason why so many professionals are interested in pursuing CPA in India.
3. Students who want to shift to the US often pursue CPA so that they can apply for international jobs and will get the chance to shift themselves completely outside India.
4. One more point which is going to be very relevant in the coming time is that earlier CPA aspirants used to go either Dubai or the US for giving CPA exams. But from this year 2020, the initiative is taken by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountancy to conduct CPA exams in India as well after seeing a lot of interest of Indian students for this professional course.
Eligibility for CPA in India-
It must be noted that the eligibility criteria for CPA is different for residents of the US and the rest of the world, some extra privileges have been given to them. Cracking CPA is not very tuff if you are aware of the right procedure, patterns, and strategies.
The full course contains 4 CPA exams for which eligibility criteria is defined below-
1. For appearing in CPA foundations which is the first level exam of CPA a person must have any of the following requirements
- A candidate must be the member of Institute Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
- A candidate must be a member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants in India (ICWAI).
- A candidate must be a member of the Institute Of Company Secretaries in India (ICSI).
- Master of Commerce
2. There is a credit scheme along with the above criteria to sit in the CPA examination in India that students must have at least 120 credits while sitting for CPA exams and must have at least 150 credits to obtain the CPA license from American Institute of Certified Public Accountancy.
One year of university semester examination in India is considered as 30-semester credits of US education for CPA which means-
- 3 year Bcom = 3 years * 30 Credits = 90 Credits of CPA
- MBA/CA/CS/CWA= 60 credits
NOTE– If the 3-year Bcom program is completed with 1st division from NAAC “A” University than the 3-year Bcom course is considered as a 4-year program in terms of US education.
CA vs CPA
Pursuing CPA is similar to pursuing CA in India but with lesser exams and duration, candidates can earn almost the same level of credibility and dignity by clearing CPA as well as CA. Many students are not aware of this option after their class 12 and they immediately start the preparation of CA. That is the main reason why there are so fewer CPAs in India but if we look as per future prospective than this option is going to be very popular in the coming years in India. The below table will help you to understand the basic difference between the CA and CPA.
|Institute||Institute of Chartered Accountants of India||American Institute of Certified Public Accountancy|
|Duration||4-5 year||1 year|
|Accounting Standards||Indian-GAAP||US GAAP, IFRS|
|Recognition||India||US, India, Global|
|Exams||16 Papers, three levels||4 Papers, single Level|
|Passing %||4-5% approx||40-45% approx|