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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

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CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is a designation given by AICPA to the individuals who have passed the Uniform CPA exam, met the required and relevant experience. The CPA designation enforces high professional standards in the field of accounting.


The CPA Exams are administered by AICPA, the world's largest accounting body. AICPA offers membership to all the aspirants successfully clearing all 4 CPA exams. CPA license, however, is issued by the 55 state boards of accountancy of the US that are part of NASBA. Each state board has different eligibility criteria that the aspirant needs to meet to take the US CPA exams.

  • Master's Degree in any of the streams of Commerce, Accounting or Finance
  • An aspirant needs 120 credits to take the US CPA exams and 150 credits to get his CPA license
  • It's considered that one year of University education in India is equal to 30 credits of US education
  • In some cases, first division graduates of a three-year degree from NAAC-A accredited universities of India are qualified to take the US CPA exams too.

There are indeed many job opportunities in India for US CPA qualified professionals. Obviously, there are the big 4s like Deloitte, EY, etc where CPAs have an opportunity. Apart from the big 4s there are many more international companies like PwC India hiring CPAs even right now. According to Naukri.com there are around 26,426 job openings for a CPA in India as of now and this number keeps increasing, changing every day.


There are four sections in the CPA exam:

  • Regulation (REG)
  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

You need a score of 75 or higher to pass the CPA exam. Specifically, you must earn a 75 or higher on each of the four tests that make up the CPA exam.


There is no negative marking in the US CPA exam.


There are four sections in the CPA exam. The total duration of the exam is 16 hours (4 hours for each section).


Simandhar Education has corporate tie-ups with Invesco, EY, Citrin Cooperman, etc.


CPA has 4 papers compared to the CA exam which has 3 levels and 18 papers on a whole. Moreover, CPA takes less than a year to complete. The CA, on the other hand, takes close to 5 years to complete.


No, ACCA doesn't give credit for CPA. NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) and the state board of accountancy govern CPA's eligibility rules.


Mr. Sripal Jain (CA, CPA) is the Co-Founder and Lead Instructor at Simandhar Education.


CA and US CPA are both professional qualifications. However, the qualities, structures, and durations differ completely; also please note there are no exemptions in any of the subjects as ICAI currently don't have MOU with AICPA, so you will need to write four sections in order to pass the CPA exam.


CPA exam fee is $1000 and International testing fee is $1500. Additionally, $225 for evaluation making the overall CPA exam cost INR 2, 00,000 without training fee.


There are many US firms all over the globe, and a lot of accountancy related assignments are being outsourced to India. There are many US companies now in India, so the job scope is good. Companies like Deloitte, EY, Amazon, Synchrony, Invesco and so many more frequently hire in India.


ACCA is a UK program, it is a good course, but the scope for jobs in UK companies is limited worldwide.


We select the state for you based on your educational background and make sure you get maximum credits as required. US CPA is a uniform exam and the paper will be the same no matter which state you apply from.


CPA US is a 4- paper exam- Online 50% MCQ, 50% SIMS (Case Law based questions)

  • FAR - Financial accounting and reporting-
  • AUD - Audit
  • BEC - Business environment
  • REG - Regulation or US taxation

Exam format: MCQs, simulations, and written communications.
The student will have access to Authoritative literature when he is answering Simulations part in all the 4 papers. Authoritative literature comprises of GAAP, IRS, GAAS where a student can use it to answer, but it requires a lot of practice to locate the exact answer as it is too vast to search.


Yes, a graduation degree from IGNOU is considered valid for the CPA exam. IGNOU Graduation can give you 60 or 90 credits depending on the MOU, if the MOU is for 1 year- then 60 credits, if you're writing B. Com for 3 years – 90 credits.


A qualifications are both related to finance, there are significant differences between the two. A CFA's expertise is focused on the investment industry. Consequently, CFAs work as portfolio managers, investment advisors, and research analysts.
A CPA, on the other hand, is a specialist in accounting and taxes. You can find CPAs working in public accounting and also in the finance departments of small and large businesses.


B.Com gives you a total of 90 credits and to qualify for the CPA exam you need 120 credits but there are certain states which allow you to sit for CPA exam even with 90 credits provided you sign an undertaking that you will meet the balance credits within 18 months of appearing for the first paper. Yes, you can do CPA but you need to sign an undertaking and we will help you with a bridge course to meet the balance credits. Additionally, B. Com with NAAC A- First division is also an eligibility criterion.


A CPA's knowledge is more broad-based. An individual who holds the CPA license would have proper expertise in a wide-variety of finance-related areas. A CFA is a more specialized course and is targeted at those who want to work in the investment management profession. Compare and know the details of both CPA vs CFA designations.


To be eligible to appear for the US CPA exam one must have 120 credits, each graduation is converted into 30 years of credits thereby adding 90 credits for 3 years, if your NAAC A, the first division you will get 30 additional credits. To apply for the license, one must have 150 credits. Although certain other requirements vary by jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements about education, experience, and residency. Refer to your jurisdiction's application materials for additional information.



The continuous testing window is applied now; they will need to apply for NTS again and write the exam.


The exam has 324 multiple-choice questions, 20 simulation questions, and 3 written communication (essay) questions.


Both US residents and foreign nationals who meet the requirements of a particular state board can take the CPA exam.


Testing for CPA Exam candidates at test centres in India will begin on January 1, 2021. Also, the candidates may begin to use the scheduler on November 2, 2020.


Indian candidates may schedule to take the "US CPA Exam" in the Prometric locations given below:

  • Hyderabad
  • Ahmedabad
  • Mumbai
  • Delhi
  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Kolkata
  • Trivandrum

The Certified Public Accountants are in demand across many industries. They can command high salaries because of their expertise in financing. Also, many companies retain the CPA's accounting talent by paying good salaries along with hikes and bonuses.

The average salary for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in India is ₹701,387.


The CPA exam requirements vary by state jurisdiction. Every state board of accountancy has a different set of requirements, but most states have a core set of qualifications for a candidate to be eligible for the CPA exam.

Below are the requirements to obtain CPA license.

  • In general, many states ask for 150 credit hours in some specific courses from a university or an accredited institute under NASBA.
  • The candidate should pass the Ethics exam.
  • Must have 2,000 hours of work experience in taxation, auditing, accounting and management consultancy.
  • Age limit: 18+ years.

Yes, Candidates who passed CA (Inter) exam are also eligible to do CPA.


Simandhar Education follows Becker (a global education provider headquartered in the US) study material for CPA.


Simandhar Education provides you with access to Live Interactive classes from anywhere in the world and provides the facility to access recorded videos for students who seek to revisit the material taught.


The reasons behind "How Simandhar Education different from other Institutes" are:

  • The Becker product and live classes are very effective.
  • CPA course at Simandhar is inexpensive.
  • It has good placement assistance.
  • It is associated with all Big 4s & multinationals, and alumni of Simandhar have placed in MNCs.
  • Simandhar has a wide network of world-class trainers, teachers and industry-experts across domains, especially CPA, CMA, EA, CIA, IFRS & HRCI.

2020 CPA Exam Pass Rates

Section First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter
AUD 47.97% 65.29% 56.89%
BEC 61.76% 76.92% 69.89%
FAR 46.37% 62.86% 55.67%
REG 55.42% 74.97% 66.12%

  • Simandhar Education provides you with access to Live Interactive classes from anywhere in the world.
  • Provides the facility to access recorded videos for students who seek to revisit the material taught.
  • Supports its students by placing them in Top F & A companies, Big 4 etc.
  • All the teachers at Simandhar are CPA qualified and rank holder Chartered Accountants (CAs) from India.
  • Personal grooming sessions for interviews.
  • Attention on individual candidates.
  • It provides placement opportunities.

275+ hours of video lessons per section by Top CPA.


No, US CMA doesn't give credit for CPA.


Yes, Simandhar Education provides evaluation and licensing assistance for CPA. The CPA aspirant must have 2,000 hours of work experience in taxation, auditing, accounting and management consultancy (need not be under a CPA supervisor, Mr.Sripal Jain (CA,CPA) can verify for you).


US CPA license is used mainly when one wants to be self-employed and practice as a Certified Public Accountant living in the US.


A CPA's knowledge is more broad-based. An individual who holds the CPA license would have expertise in a wide variety of finance-related areas. A CFA is a more specialized course and is targeted at those who want to work in the investment management profession. Compare the details of CPA vs CFA designations.


Certified Public Accountants work in a wide range of professions. You can find them in banking, financial services, government jobs, and education. However, most CPAs are employed in public accounting or corporate accounting.


No, the exam is NOT in an open book format. You are not allowed any resources in the testing center while taking the exam.


The Notice to Schedule (NTS) is your notification that you may begin scheduling your examination with Prometric. It is a Hall ticket. NTS is issued in 2-4 weeks of exam application at the CPA Central.


Certified Public Accountants provide a range of services across different types of organizations.

  • Public accounting firms: CPAs are involved in the preparation, review, and auditing of their clients' financial statements. Their expert knowledge in the fields of accounting, taxes, and related areas helps them to fulfil this role.
  • Large corporations: Big companies need the services of CPAs. In these organizations, CPAs work in accounting, internal auditing, and tax accounting. They play a crucial role in preparing the corporation's financial statements and ensuring that these adhere to the required regulatory norms.
  • Small businesses: CPAs can play an important role in small companies as well. They provide financial advice and can help with the firm's accounting records. Many small businesses use CPAs to assist them with their taxes and to represent them before the IRS.
  • You can also find CPAs working in government organizations and the educational sector. If you choose to work in public accounting, you could join one of the "Big 4" accounting firms – Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, or KPMG. These firms, as well as their smaller counterparts, provide accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services. Many CPAs also opt to work in corporations and government entities. Their job could involve managerial or tax accounting, internal auditing, or financial analysis.

To be eligible to appear for the US CPA exam one must have 120 credits, each graduation is converted into 30 years of credits thereby adding 90 credits for 3 years, if your NAAC A, the first division you will get 30 additional credits. To apply for the license, one must have 150 credits. Although certain other requirements vary by jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements about education, experience, and residency. Refer to your jurisdiction's application materials for any additional information.


Your NTS will be valid for a specific amount of time. This time varies by jurisdiction. For most of the states, it is valid for 6 months whereas for a few it has 9 months validity. You must sit for the examination before your NTS expires. If you do not sit for the examination within the established time frame, your NTS will be expired and you will need to submit a new application to receive a new NTS. The expiration date will be mentioned on the NTS.


You need a score of 75 or higher to pass the CPA exam. Specifically, you must earn a 75 or higher on each of the four tests that make up the CPA exam.


If you are appearing for exams in any country other than the US you will have to take the license within 3 years of passing the CPA exam or your credits will lapse. If you appear for the exam in the US you have to apply for a license within 10 years.


Yes, you can hold a multiple state license provided you meet the CPE (Continuous Professional Education) as per the state rule.


To decide when to take the CPA exam, follow these steps:

  • Submit your application and all required fees to your state board of accountancy. When the state board approves your application, it contacts the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
  • NASBA reviews the state board information, including the tests you are allowed to take. NASBA sends you a Notice to Schedule (NTS).
  • Use your NTS to contact Prometric and set up a date and time to take your test. The CPA exam provides testing windows, which are basically periods of when the candidates can take tests.


According to the AICPA, 2021 CPA Exam scores will be released on the following CPA Exam score release dates:

If you take your exam on/before: Your target score release date is:
23rd January, 2021 9th February, 2021
15th February, 2021 23rd February, 2021
23rd February, 2021 18th March, 2021
31st March, 2021 9th April, 2021
23rd April, 2021 11th May, 2021
16th May, 2021 25th May, 2021
8th June, 2021 16th June, 2021
30th June, 2021 13th June, 2021

Once you have found the estimated date your scores will be released, you will need to login to the NASBA website to access your scores. NASBA releases your scores to your state board of accountancy, but be aware that not all boards use the online score retrieval service, so check with your state board for support on where to find your CPA scores.


For most candidates, Prometric sends Exam data files to the AICPA within 24 hours after you complete testing.


Your target release dates are based on two factors:

  • When you sat for your CPA section
  • When the AICPA receives your test data from the Prometric Center


Most of the changes have been delayed due to the pandemic. Here there are minor changes made to the exam for January 2021, there isn’t a major change.

Regulation (REG)

Removal of the CARES Act changes which were made in October 2020

Exam Topic: Individual and Corporate Taxation.

Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)
  • ASU 2018-14—Compensation—Retirement Benefits—Defined Benefit Plans—General (Subtopic 715-20): Disclosure Framework—Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans.
  • ASU 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes.

Auditing and Business Environment & Concepts Increased emphasis on the following:

  • Understanding automated business processes and the risks involved
  • The importance of having a digital and data-driven mindset as well as the use of data analytics.
  • System and Organization Controls (SOC) reports on controls over financial reporting at a service organization.
  • Other specific changes would be outlined in the January 2021 CPA Exam Blueprints
  • Topics Expected to be Expanded on the CPA Exam
  • Here are the topics which are highly expected to be expanded more in the CPA Exam in India.
  • Digital and Data-Driven Mindset and Other Technological Impacts

Business processes and internal controls

Use of SOC 1 reports
  • IT system infrastructure
  • Data flows
  • Effect of general and application controls on the completeness and reliability of data
  • Use of automated tools and data analytics in the audit
  • Skepticism and judgment in analyzing data BEC (Business Environment and Concepts)
  • Business processes and internal controls
Understanding the importance of SOC 1 reports for outsourced IT functions
  • Use of data and business intelligence
  • Data governance
  • Data management
  • Data relationships
  • Working with data (extraction, transformation, and loading)

Topics Expected to be Removed from the Exam:

There are certain topics that are also expected to be removed from the uniform US CPA Exam which are:

  • IFRS (FAR)
  • Estate Tax (REG)

Changes in Content and Skill Weighting:

AUD
  • Content Area II, Risk Assessment and Planning, increasing by 5%
  • Content Area IV, Reporting, decreasing by 5%
  • Skills Weighting shifting to higher level by 5% (i.e, from Remembering & Understanding to Analysis)

In order to get your CPA score by the targeted release date, the AICPA needs to receive your result file before the end of the cut-off date from the Prometric testing center. Many factors are causing the delay in receiving the result. NASBA, AICPA, or the Prometric cannot guarantee that the candidate result file that candidate’s result file will be sent to AICPA on the same day or not.


At present, NASBA has no plans to open a center in the Cayman Islands.


NASBA does not anticipate boards doing any further blanket extensions for Notices to Schedule (NTS).


The candidate’s jurisdictions will provide all the required information on the next steps in order to obtain the CPA license. One needs to complete the education, meet relevant experience and take the ethics exam.


Scoring is fully automated for all Exam components except the written communication tasks. Most written communication responses are scored by a computer grading program, which is calibrated using human scorers. In some cases, responses are scored by a network of human graders (all CPAs). If your score is close to the passing score, your written communication tasks will be automatically re-graded by human graders. When there is more than one grader for a response, the average of the scores is used as the final grade. The AICPA uses Item Response Theory (IRT) for the objective portion of the Exam. IRT is a well-established psychometric approach to scoring used by licensing and certification examinations that administer many different test forms. All scoring routines, whether automated or not, are verified at various stages of the scoring process.


I have been grounded due to the flight restrictions, and I was not able to go to the UK or Germany to take the final test (BEC). You may request an NTS extension from your board if there are circumstances beyond your control which prohibit you from testing. The board will require evidence of any hardship.


The requirement to pass the Examination within 18 months is a board rule, regulation or statute. You may request an extension from your board if there are circumstances beyond your control, which prohibit you from testing. The board will require evidence of any hardship.


They will need to pass all remaining parts before their credit expires or lose the credit.


You may request an extension from your board if there are circumstances beyond your control which prohibit you from testing. The board will require evidence of any hardship.


Yes, you may apply for as many parts as you would like when you apply. We encourage you to only apply for the parts you plan to take within the length of time on your NTS.


  • Content Area I, Corporate Governance, increasing by 3%
  • Content Area II, Economics, decreasing by 2%
  • Content Area III, Financial Management, decreasing by 1%
  • No change in Skills Weighting

There are no particular weighting changes for FAR and REG


AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) publishes the blueprints and summary of the revisions. For complete information about CPA material, click: AICPA.


We opened testing in Canada and will continue to test there until June 30, 2021.


There are no plans to offer the Examination online for international candidates.


No, the NTS is valid for one Examination session.


No, our systems do not allow us to change sections.


The same criteria is used for any test centers outside the United States. The international locations and extended countries have been evaluated based on a set of criteria, including:

  • Volume demand as demonstrated by candidates from those countries taking the Exam in the United States
  • Ability to deliver the Exam without legal obstacles
  • The security threat to the Exam (both physical security at test center and intellectual property security of Exam content) assessed at levels equivalent to those presented domestically
  • Existence of established Prometric test centers

At this time, countries that have not met those criteria to the combined satisfaction of NASBA, the AICPA and Prometric are not under consideration as testing locations or extended countries. While we appreciate the desire for the Exam to be available in many locations to all candidates, we can best serve the Boards of Accountancy and the accounting profession by ensuring a safe, reliable, and valid Exam.


There are no time restrictions to testing in India.


You may request an extension from your board if there are circumstances beyond your control which prohibit you from testing. The board will require evidence of any hardship.


The 18-month period is set inboard rules, regulations and statute. There are no plans to change this period. You may request an extension from your board if there are circumstances beyond your control which prohibit you from testing. The board will require evidence of any hardship.

While each candidate will have their own journey toward becoming a CPA, one thing remains the same – the journey as a whole is a hard one, but one that is worth it.



AICPA & NASBA administered the CPA exam in India at eight Prometric test centers.

  • Hyderabad
  • Ahmedabad
  • Mumbai
  • Delhi
  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Kolkata
  • Trivandrum

Testing for CPA Exam candidates at test centers in India will begin January 1, 2021. Also, the candidates may begin to use the scheduler on November 2, 2020.


To take a test in India, you must be or become an eligible CPA exam candidate with citizenship or a long-term resident of the following countries:

  • India
  • Bhutan
  • Bangladesh
  • Myanmar
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • United States

AICPA had given an official statement regarding this stating that CPA exams will be held in India in December 2020. However, due to continuous havoc by COVID-19 even this decision was very unclear.

In times like these CPA exams being held in India is something that the candidates are really concerned about. Now the AICPA and NASBA have come to a proper conclusion finally and gave great news for all CPA aspirants that the CPA exam will be held in India continuously every month from January, 2021.


If you have already paid for the international administration process for another test region and wish to move to India, please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

  • Name
  • Jurisdiction
  • Jurisdiction ID
  • Examination section
  • Exam Section ID
  • Current international test country
  • New international test country

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