This has become a common question among students especially those looking for a CPA course when they found it difficult to clear CA. Before getting into the answer, one should understand the following:
Structure of the CPA program
While AICPA conducts the CPA exam across the globe, each candidate should affiliate to a particular State to award the certification based on their own criteria. CPA eligibility criteria play an important role to determine whether a candidate can do a CPA course or not, and if yes in which State would the candidate be eligible.
It is not much relevant to get into the details at this point of view but aspirants need to know that they must have the basic credentials before doing a CPA course. Once the candidate is eligible, there is a strong possibility that they can complete the CPA in about 12 months with a great focus.
With only 4 papers to pass, the option to attempt paper by paper, and the exams conducted for around 280 days in a year, CPA offers a lot of flexibility to a candidate pursuing the exam.
On the other hand, to become a qualified CA, a candidate must spend a minimum of 54 months after completing Class XII. During this period there will be a crucial 36 months where they focus on the audits and get the hands-on experience which is critical from a career perspective.
Thus, we need to understand that CPA is not just the qualification that adds value to a CA but also the experience gained plays an important role in career options
Different functional areas performed:
While there is no limitation on the scope of work a professional accountant can do, we can classify them as below:
- Finance related
- Accounting and Audit related
- Tax (both direct and indirect) related
- Management Accounting related
- Corporate Legal requirements and compliance related
Thus, a professional accountant can have wider career opportunities and opens new avenues as mentioned. While the idea is not to provide an exhaustive list of roles, the focus is more on tax and corporate legal required which is India-centric.
So, a CA will have an edge over a CPA in these two roles since a CPA curriculum does not cover these two areas. However, one needs to understand that with the Tax and Corporate Laws getting complicated the role demands specialists in big and medium-sized companies.
Hence it is true that a CPA course will not be able to fill these roles, but, the role of a professional accountant is not confined to these two areas alone.
In the areas relating to Finance, Accounting, Management Accounting, and Auditing they can play a very important role on account of their specialization. India being an affirmative destination for many MNCs for running their backend operations, a CPA will be seen as a better value.
To conclude, a CPA course can be a good option in the following circumstances:
- Opportunities in MNCs since they gain knowledge in Accounting & Finance.
- Suitable for back-end operations for MNCs involving their Global clients
- CPAs are potential candidates in an organization for their global operations at a later date.
The only thing to consider is a qualified CPA lacks the audit experience of a CA besides the Tax / Corporate Laws background as discussed. A CPA (without CA) can look forward to an exciting career ahead in India.
We at Simandhar Education hope the above information helps a lot to understand the best career options after CPA in India. Planning to pursue a CPA course and searching for the best institute for a CPA course in India? Opt for Simandhar Education and unlock bright career options.