CPA EXAM DETAILS SYLLABUS AND ELIGIBILITY

CPA EXAM DETAILS SYLLABUS AND ELIGIBILITY 

 

CPA or Certified Public Accountant is a well-known and global designation, which is offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) after an individual clears the Uniform CPA Examination. In India, Chartered Accountant (CA) designation is equivalent to CPA. The CPA certification is the highest standard of competence in the field of accountancy globally and is a highly sought after and versatile credential for accountants.

 

CPA EXAM REQUIREMENTS :

 

To become a CPA certified professional, one must have the desired education and experience. Every state has its CPA exam prerequisites, but some standard eligibility criteria are:

  • Graduation or equivalent degree to pursue a CPA examination.
  • 150 semester hours of college course to earn a CPA license.
  • 1-2 years of experience under any CPA.

 

 

Also, Visit >> Best CA career opportunities to level up your career

 

 

CPA EXAM SCHEDULE AND DETAILS :

The CPA exam is a 4-hour exam divided into four sections, which test the skills and knowledge of candidates.

 

 

CPA Exam detail

4 Sections of the CPA Exam:

  1.  Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  2. Regulation (REG)
  3. Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  4. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

 

Four sections of CPA Exam

CPA EXAM DETAILS :

A candidate must finish all 4 sections in the 18-month testing window, and each section of the exam has a limit of 4 hours.

 

CPA EXAM STRUCTURE : 

 

 

 

Section
MCQ Questions
     Weighted (%)
   Task-based Simulation
      Weighted (%)
Written            Communication
      Weighted (%)
FAR

66

50

8

50

0

0

REG

76

50

8

50

0

0

AUD

72

50

8

50

0

0

BEC

62

50

4

35

3

15

 

 

Also, Visit >> Top Financial Analyst Interview Questions.

 

 

 

WHAT IS THE SYLLABUS OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING FAR?

                                 FAR Content
Allocation (%)
Area I

Standard-Setting, Conceptual Framework, and Financial Reporting

25-35

Area II

Financial Statement Accounts

30-40

Area III

Select Transactions

20-30

Area IV

Local and State Governments

5-15

 

WHAT IS THE SYLLABUS OF REGULATION REG?

REG Content
Allocation (%)
Area I

Professional Responsibilities, Ethics, and Federal Tax Procedures

10-20

Area II

Business Law

10-20

Area III

Property Transaction Federal Taxation

12-22

Area IV

Individual Federal Taxation

15-25

Area V

Entity Federal Taxation

28-38

 

WHAT IS THE SYLLABUS OF AUDITING AUD?

 AUD Content
Allocation (%)
Area I

Professional Responsibilities, Ethics, and General Principles

15-25

Area II

Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response

20-30

Area III

Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence

30-40

Area IV

Forming Conclusions and Reporting

15-25

 

WHAT IS THE SYLLABUS OF BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND CONCEPTS BEC?

BEC Content
Allocation (%)
Area I

Corporate Governance

17-27

Area II

Economic Concepts and Analysis

17-27

Area III

Financial Management

11-21

Area IV

Information Technology

15-25

Area V

Operations Management

15-25

 

WHAT IS THE CPA EXAM COST? 

Pursuing a CPA and getting licensed involves some CPA exam costs and below is a list of all the expenses required to become a CPA:

 

1. Application Fee:

Depending upon the state, the CPA application fee is around $50-$200.

 

2.  Examination Fee:

Approx. $194 for each section

 

3. Registration Fee :

Depending upon the state one can either apply for one section at a time or can club all the sections and pay a registration fee to save the overall cost. The Notice to schedule (NTS) is valid for 6 months, so if you sign up for all the four sections in one go, you need to schedule and appear for all four sections of CPA exams in the next 6 months, else, NTS won’t be valid. The list of CPA registration cost is:

  • When you take one section at a time- $63
  • When you take two sections at a time- $81
  • When you take three sections at a time- $99
  • When you take four sections at a time- $177

 

4. Ethics Fees for CPA exam :

Some states ask to clear the ethics exam to earn a license after the completion of the uniform CPA exam. The fees for the ethics exam is $150-200.

 

 5. CPA Licensing Fees :

After the uniform CPA exam and ethics exam, candidates are eligible for earning a CPA license, and for this, you need to pay approximately $50 -500 per year depending upon the states. Yes, licensing fees are to be paid every year till eternity to maintain a CPA license and practice CPA.

 

 6. Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for CPA :

Many states demand 40 hours per year of continuing education so that the public accountant stays updated with the industry norms and updates. So the approx. cost for this CPE could be as low as $800 per year ranging up to $5000.

2020 CPA Exam Testing Windows :

Every year the CPA exam is announced by AICPA and in 2020 it is scheduled in 4 windows:

  • January 1 – March 10
  • April 1 – June 10
  • July 1 – September 10
  • October 1 – December 10

 

Commonly Asked Questions for CPA Exam :

 

Q1. IN INDIA, WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SALARY OF A CPA PROFESSIONAL? 

Ans. In India, CPA salary averages between Rs.6 -7 LPA for CPA professionals with 1-4 years of experience.

Q2. ARE CPA PROFESSIONALS DEMANDED IN INDIA?

Ans. Yes, since MNCs and Big4s are rising in India, the demand for CPA certified professionals is progressing.  CPA certification holders are giving preference over CAs because they have in-depth knowledge of subjects like US GAAP, IFRS & US Compliance & Taxation. In contrast, CA only has proficiency in Indian GAAP.

Q3. HOW IS THE CPA EXAM DIFFERENT FROM THE CA EXAM?

Ans.

Point of Difference
CPA
        CA
Governed by

The American Institute of Certified

Public Accountant (AICPA), US

Institute of Chartered

Accountant of India (ICAI),

India

Course Duration

1 year

4-5 years

Gain Knowledge of

US GAAP and IFRS

Indian GAAP

Recognized by

US and global

India

Exam :

Single-level exam with 4 papers

3-level exam with 16 papers

Work experience  :

1 year in accounting/finance

3 years of article ship under certified CA

Pass rate :

Approximately 40-45%

Approximately 5-6%

 

Q4. WHO ARE THE TOP RECRUITERS HIRING CPA PROFESSIONALS?

Ans. Below is a list of recruiters hiring CPA professionals:

Top Recruiters Hiring CPA Professionals

Deloitte

Accenture

American Express

Philips

PWC

Capgemini

Barclays

Tata Power

KPMG

Genpact

      JP Morgan

Sintex

EY

WNS

MetLife

Caterpillar

 

 

Q5. AS AN INDIAN, WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR ATTENDING THE CPA EXAM?

Ans. To become eligible for the CPA exam, an Indian student should have any of the below qualifications ­

  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
  • Member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants in India
  • Member of the Company Secretaries in India
  • Master of Commerce or MBAs

The minimum education qualification for taking the US CPA exam is –

  • CPA exam –120 credits
  • CPA license –120 credits

In India, 1 graduation year is equal to 20 credits; hence, 3 years B.Com and 2 years of MBA course equal 90 + 60 credits.

 

Q6. HOW MANY HOURS OF STUDIES ARE REQUIRED TO PREPARE FOR THE CPA EXAM?

Ans. Ideally, candidates must at least give 15-20 hours per week to prepare for the CPA exam.

 

 

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