Certified Public Accountant or CPA is a certification offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), for competency in the field of Accountancy. One may a CPA is an accountant with higher level of education and experience in the field. The AICPA defines a CPA as “a trusted financial advisor who helps individuals, businesses, and other organizations plan and reach their financial goals. Whatever those goals-saving for a new home, opening a new office, or planning a multi-billion dollar merger-CPAs can help.”
CPA certification is a professional recognition most beneficial for CA, CS, MBA, Financial Advisors, Cost Accounting professionals, etc. Finance and accounting professionals can pursue CPA course to earn certification for career ascent, from the AICPA by fulfilling three criteria – Education, CPA Exam and Experience.
The requirement of CPAs is very high in various fields like public accounting, business and industry, government, not-for-profit, and education. The profiles include financial analysis, financial accounting and reporting, management accounting and treasury/cash management. To learn more about the opportunities available in each of these areas.
To pursue CPA certification programme, the candidate must have a Graduation degree or equivalent.
To earn the CPA license, the candidate must complete 150 hours of the CPA course semester.
Many states require candidates to have 1-2 years of experience under a CPA.
It must be noted that CPA eligibility criteria is different for the US citizens and candidates from rest of the world.The consent agreement, international testing fees, and additional identification requirements of international candidates is different from that of the US candidates.
The exam is a 16-hour, four-part assessment designed to test skills and knowledge required of a CPA. The computer based test is conducted at designated test centres in various countries and is same for candidates from all the countries. Medium of the test is English. The questions paper consists of MCQs, simulation and written ability. Passing marks in 75 on 0-99 scale.
The candidate has to complete the four-part assessment in 18 months to be eligible for CPA license.
CPA Subjects and Syllabus
The CPA certification exam consists of questions from the following four subjects.
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
CPA Jobs and Recruiters
The job role of a CPA is financial management which includes assessing and analyzing financial status of the client, reviewing financial documents, preparing reports related to capital, tax and audits, offer advice on book keeping and inform the client about changes in government regulation. The main tasks one performs as a CPA are listed below:
Prepare and assess financial records and statements.
Maintain records of all financial activities along with the records of assets, liabilities and tax.
Prepare financial reports for clients.
Ensure compliance with government regulations.
CPA licensed professionals are hired by individuals, corporate houses, industry, government, private and non-profit organisations.
The average salary for a CPA in India according to payscale.com is Rs 7.6 lakh per annum.
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