Comparison of CPA course with other courses

The Accounting industry offers you various opportunities to learn via various courses. You can choose which one suits your academic and practical requirement. Along with Accounts, finance industry also beneficial for you to pursue in today’s professional world. The question is – After your graduation which accounting or financial credential should you pursue?

We have investigated, researched and compared many courses to CPA. To help you taking a right decision, we’ve compared most popular credentials like CFA® Program, CMA and ACCA with CPA.

CPA

A Certified Public Accountant is the highest standard of competence in the field of Accountancy across the globe. The exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which is the world’s largest accounting body. In order to appear for Certified Public Accountant Examination, the candidate should be a B.Com with PG. Indian CA’s with B.Com are also accepted by quite a few states in the US. However, the exact criteria will vary from State to State.

CPA vs CFA

Chartered Financial Analyst® is a professional credential offered by the CFA® Institute to Investment and Finance professionals. The CFA® Program has three different Levels and the minimum time required to clear all three is around 2.5 years (although the overall average is around 4 years).

  CPA CFA
Offered by AICPA CFA® Institute
Exam Papers Four sections of Exam ( AUD, FAR, BEC, REG) Three Steps of Exam(Level 1, Level 2, Level 3)
Exam months Jan-Feb, Mar-Apr, Jul-Aug, Oct-Nov June (Level 1,Level 2,Level 3)
and December (Level 1)
Eligibility Post-Graduation after B.COM Graduation or
4 year of Work experience
Focuses on Investment banking, hedge funds and portfolio management Auditing, accounting and Concept of business environment
Time to Complete 1.5 years 2.5 years
Course fees(Application+ Registration+ Exam fees)  $3400 (by Becker) $2400 as early registration (by CFA® institute)
Average salary(In India) INR- 8,24,336 per year (by PayScale INR- 6,10,128 per year (by PayScale)
Careers
  • Financial forensics
  • Business valuation
  • Personal financial planning
  • IT consulting
  • PortfolioManager
  • Research Analyst
  • Chief Executive
  • Financial Advisor

CPA vs ACCA

ACCA( Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the world’s leading and fastest-growing international accountancy organization which provide high standards of employee learning and development. ACCA provides you skills and knowledge about all areas of business, financial statements, management accounting, business taxation and also business ethics.

  CPA Course ACCA Course
Offered by AICPA ACCA
Exam Papers Four sections of Exam ( AUD, FAR, BEC, REG) Fundamental (Knowledge and Skills)- 9 papers and
Professional (Essential and Option)- 5 paper
Exam months Jan-Feb, Mar-Apr, Jul-Aug, Oct-Nov March, June, September, December
Eligibility Post-Graduation after B.COM 12th from commerce (with 65% marks) or B.COM graduates
Focuses on Investment banking, hedge funds and portfolio management Financial, Management Accounting, Taxation, Business Analysis
Time to Complete 1.5 years Varies from 6 months to 2 years
Course fees(Application+ Registration+ Exam fees) Total $3400 approx. (by Becker) Total $1793 approx. (by ACCA global)
Average salary(In India) Rupees- 8,24,336 (by PayScale) Rupees- 5,71,000 (by PayScale)
Careers
  • Financial forensics
  • Business valuation
  • Personal financial planning
  • IT consulting
  • Chartered Accountant in India
  • Financial Accountant
  • Management Consultant
  • Tax Consultant

CPA vs CMA

Certified Management Accountant is a globally recognized, advanced-level credential offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) USA and the content is regularly reviewed by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA). The CMA course enhances the value of your current position and expands your career potential.

  CPA Course CMA Course
Offered by AICPA IMA
Exam Papers Four sections of Exam ( AUD, FAR, BEC, REG) Part 1 and Part 2
Exam months Jan-Feb, Mar-Apr, Jul-Aug, Oct-Nov Jan/Feb/
May/Jun/
Sep/Oct
Eligibility Post-Graduation after B.Com Graduation and Two years of professional experience
Focuses on Investment banking, hedge funds and portfolio management financial planning, Control, decision support, and professional ethics
Time to Complete 1.5 years 6 months
Course fees(Application+ Registration+ Exam fees) Total $3400 approx. (by Becker) $1325(Professional Member)
$849 (Student Member) (by Becker)
Average salary(In India) Rupees- 8,24,336 (by PayScale) Rupees- 4,05,620 (by PayScale)
Careers
  • Financial forensics
  • Business valuation
  • Personal financial planning
  • IT consulting
  • Cost managers
  • Relationship managers
  • Finance managers
  • Analysts

Since it is not possible to say which course you should target, it’s your decision which one is better for your career or which is more suitable to your academic qualification. In terms of which qualification is better, it is like a question on which Cricket team do you support among South Africa, Australia, England and West-indies. It really depends on what do you plan to work as.

However, if you’re seeking an accounting job in the U.S., don’t overthink and go for the CPA. EduPristine provides training for the CPA certification that will help you to clear the CPA exams easily.

We hope this comparative analysis will help you in choosing the right career for yourself. In case of any queries or doubts about these certifications, feel free to comment below.

CPA Course Syllabus – Topics and Importance

A CPA requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and proficiency in it. The purpose of CPA exam syllabus is to provide detailed information on the subject matter of the CPA course . So, the entire CPA exam syllabus is broken down into 4 sections, each section dealing with a body of related knowledge. Each section has different subjects to be covered.

The 4 sections of the CPA exam are as follows:

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

We will now give you important insights about the above sections and will take you through the syllabus of the most stringent accounting qualification exams in the world, Career and Salaries after CPA

Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

Considered as the most difficult section of the CPA exam, this section mainly focuses on the all aspects of auditing. This section tests the examinee’s ability to handle professional tasks of certified public accountant and how they would further apply in real-life scenarios.

Auditing and Attestation covers:

  • The basic principles of auditing and designing of audit plans.
  • It enables you to learn and prepare audit reports with ease.
  • It encompasses compilations and attestation engagements to maintain a professional code of conduct during audit process.
  • You will have to give a demonstration of their awareness level with regards to International Auditing and their standards.
  • It also includes understanding risk assessment.

The broad areas of CPA AUD syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Auditing and Attestation
Topic Percentage
Engagement Acceptance and Understanding the Assignment 12% – 16%
Understanding the Entity and Its Environment (including Internal Control 16% – 20%
Performing Audit Procedures and Evaluating Evidence 16% – 20%
Evaluating Audit Findings, Communications, and Reporting 16% – 20%
Accounting and Review Services Engagements 12% – 16%
Professional Responsibilities 16% – 20%

Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

There is the vast volume of FAR materials, therefore, it is suggested that they opt for this section first. Taking up the FAR section first will benefit candidates in the long run, as it is considered as the most time consuming section.
Financial Accounting and Reporting covers:

  • The various aspects of the financial reporting practiced in the modern day business enterprises, or government entities.
  • The key differences between GAAP basis and IFRS basis.
  • The content which will help you to perform proper judgments in the application of principles in accounting.
  • Compilation, evaluation and analysis of financial statements, execution of calculations and identification of various financial and reporting methods.

The broad areas of CPA FAR syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Financial Accounting and Reporting
Topic Percentage
Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting, and Presentation of Financial Statements 17% – 23%
Financial Statement Accounts: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures 27% – 33%
Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures 27% – 33%
Governmental Accounting and Reporting 8% – 12%
Not-for-Profit (Nongovernmental) Accounting and Reporting 8% – 12%

Business Environment and concepts (BEC)

Business Environment and concept section is treated as one of the most challenging exams because of its extensive material and it deals with business and economic concepts. The CPA BEC section will help you to move one step further in business knowledge and help them apply the knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Business Environment and concepts covers:

  • Business environment in general, and its core concepts.
  • Foundational grounding in accounting and are exposed to underlying reasons for accounting implications
  • Financial management information technology, and business strategies in addition to accounting concepts.
  • Economic concepts, financial management, information systems and communications, strategic planning and operations management.
  • Testing to determine different business strategies with their knowledge in strategic planning and market risks.
  • Making financial decisions, forecasting trends in the market, and understanding internet’s implication in business.

The broad areas of CPA BEC syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Business Environment and concepts
Topic Percentage
Corporate Governance 16% – 20%
Economic Concepts and Analysis 16% – 20%
Financial Management 19% – 23%
Information Systems and Communications 15% – 19%
Strategic Planning 10% – 14%
Operations Management 12% – 16%

Regulation (REG)

Regulation (REG) is the combination of federal taxation and business law. This section comprises of basic understanding of business ethics. Most of the portion will seem like content straight out of business law books.

Regulation covers:

  • Tax concepts related to personal, partnership and corporate.
  • Capability to understand legal responsibilities
  • Tax implication and its various uses in business entities.
  • Various tax issues and its consequences, wherein they will have to make alternative treatment and its application in real life scenarios.

The broad areas of CPA REG syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Regulation
Topic Percentage
Ethics, Professional, and Legal Responsibilities 15% -19%
Business Law 17% – 21%
Federal Tax Process, Procedures, Accounting, and Planning 11% – 15%
Federal Taxation of Property Transactions 12% – 16%
Federal Taxation 13% – 19%
Federal Taxation of Entities 18% – 24%

So, if you’re planning to become a Certified Public Accountant, there is not one but 4 exams you need to write. Candidates need to consider each of the sections as a subject for CPA, and the entire CPA exam syllabus is the cumulative of each of these sections. CPAs are in demand in every industry because of the extensive knowledge and high professional standards that a CPA has to maintain.

Well then the next step is to enroll in a good institution that provides training for CPA and you don need too far to search for it. EduPristine provides training for the CPA certification that will help you to clear the CPA exams easily.

CPA Course details, application fees and benefits of doing it

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the highest standard of competence in the field of Accountancy across the globe. The exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which is the world’s largest accounting body. If you ever consider a career in accounting and want an illustrious career, CPA is the best option for you. CPAs are globally recognized as premier accountants, and are hired across industries throughout the world.

CPA Course Eligibility

In order to appear for the Certified Public Accountant Examination, the candidates must have any of the below qualification

  • 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
  • MBAs

Indian CA’s with B.Com are also accepted by quite a few states in the US. However, the exact criteria will vary from State to State You can get in touch with EduPristine , a recognized CPA course training provider in association with Becker for further details.

CPA Course Syllabus

CPA exam syllabus is broken down into 4 sections. Each of these sections have their own syllabus and exam which you need to be proficient in. The 4 sections of the CPA exam are as follows:

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

Here is the direct links to download the AICPA revised new syllabus 2016 Huge number of aspirants are preparing for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in various countries. The CPA exam question paper covers multiple choice questions, written communication and task based simulations. Candidates need to concentrate more on exam content provided by Becker to score more marks in the examination.

CPA Course Benefits

The CPA course is considered as the ultimate qualification that has unlimited possibilities to show your potential in the accounting field. Listed below are the detailed benefits of CPA course.

  • International Recognition: Excellent opportunity for CA, ICWA, CS, LLB, MBA (Finance), M.com and Commerce Graduates who aspire for an International Certification. The exam is administered by the AICPA, which is the world’s largest accounting body.
  • Careers Opportunities: After passing the CPA exam candidates start their career with accounting & Auditing Firms, Research firms, Investments banks, Hedge Funds, Private equity firms, Commercial banks, Mutual funds, Merger & Acquisition etc.
  • Flexibility & Ease: It’s a Single Level Online exam with just 4 Papers; one can easily clear the exams in less than a year.
  • Must do for CA, M.Com and Commerce Graduates:There are very few International certifications that you can give along with our job and get such high job potential.
  • Academic Excellence: A CPA qualification is similar to the Indian CA qualification. In addition to the CA qualification, a CPA will have knowledge of US GAAP, GAAS and US federal taxation and business laws. This gives great advantage to a CPA when working with US Based Financial firms or Indian firms working for US clients.

CPA Exam application process and fees

Sometimes, the most tedious part of writing an exam is not the study but the application process! Application for the CPA exam is a different process from application for a CPA license. Once you have cleared the uniform CPA exam with a minimum passing score of 75, you are eligible for a license as a CPA and can start the application process for a CPA license.

Once you have analyzed the minimum eligibility criteria for the jurisdiction you wish to apply for, you need to pay the CPA application and examination fees. The CPA application fees should be submitted with the application and the other required documents.

CPA Course Exam and pass rates

CPA exams consist of following four parts that takes a total of 14 hours to be completed.

CPA Exam Time Taken Question
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) 4 Hours 90 questions and 7 task-based simulations
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) 3 Hours 72 questions and 3 written communications tasks
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 4 Hours 90 questions and 7 task-based simulations
Regulation (REG) 3 Hours 72 questions and 6 task-based simulations

The CPA exam scoring is done on an independent basis for every candidate. With this kind of scoring pattern, the candidate is adjudged on the grounds of knowledge levels, skills and analytic approach. Over the years, the number of CPAs has been on rise. Here’s a table that gives overall CPA Exam pass rates section wise, for section wise analysis go to:

CPA Exam pass rates of year 2015
  Jan-Feb Apr-May Jul-Aug Oct-Nov Cumulative
Auditing and Attestation(AUD) 45 49 48 47 47
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) 53 58 59 55 56
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 44 49 50 43 47
Regulation (REG) 48 51 51 47 49

The difficulties and challenges you face to be a CPA is all paid off once it is attained. CPAs are in demand in every industry because of the extensive knowledge and high professional standards that a CPA has to maintain.

If you have finalized your goal of attaining the CPA License, the next step is to enroll in a good institution that provides training for CPA and you don’t need too far to search for it. EduPristine provides training for the CPA certification that will help you to clear the CPA exams easily. So wait no more and enroll now.

Careers and Salaries after CPA

If you are planning to make a career in accounting then taking up CPA can do wonders for you. It will not only give your career the much required boost but also provide you with a lot of global opportunities. A CPA qualification is similar to the Indian CA qualification but in addition to the CA qualification, a CPA will have knowledge of US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAS), US federal taxation and business laws which will give them an edge over the CAs.

Career Options after completing CPA

Apart from auditing and financial planning there are areas too which a CPA can target and some of them are below:

Forensic Accounting

Carrying out investigation for the white collar crimes like fraud, money laundering, bribery etc requires the expert knowledge of a CPA. Forensic Accountants are the experts that help the organizations in the money matters ranging from economic crimes to contract disputes, and then often help see the case through as an expert witness in court.

International Accounting

As mentioned above, being a CPA opens the door to a lot of global opportunities. As an international accounting manager, you’ll be looking after foreign trade agreements, international business transactions, and other global financial and economic issue.

Environmental Accounting

If you have an inclination towards the environment preservation then you can contribute towards the cause as a CPA too. You can get into environmental accounting. As an Environmental Auditor you’ll ensure compliance with environmental laws through audits that are aimed at minimizing liability and identifying opportunities for more sustainable operating practices.

Academics & Research

Do you like to share your knowledge with others? Well then teaching is the best option for you. After completing CPA you can easily make a teaching profession by teaching any of the subjects from Accounting, Taxation, Audit, Ethics, Business Application etc. You can work as a full time or a part time faculty in educational institutions.

Information Technology

IT too has a lot of career prospects for CPAs. You can work as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and look after the IT governance or you can work as a Software Revenue Manager that works as a link between the IT team and the finance department.

General Accounting

One of the most common and yet very important career path is to get into general accounting. Here you’ll be responsible for all the accounting activities of the organization from making of financial statements to valuing stocks and making critical decisions.

Tax Accounting

CPAs are considered to have expert knowledge about taxation and therefore the demand for them in the taxation field is growing. You can work as a tax specialist, sales tax specialist or international tax manager or any other profile related to taxation.

Salary after CPA

Below you can find the details of the salary of CPA from different perspectives like Job Title, Years of Experience and Company Size

CPA salary by Employer Type

If you are getting a job in the government federal unit then you can ask for nothing more. Your salary when you work for other employers can range from $55000 to $73000.

CPA salary by employer type

CPA salary by work experience

Like every other field, in accounting too the more experience you have higher will be the salary you’ll be drawing. So start right away to gain more experience and a higher salary.

CPA salary by experience

CPA salary by Cities

When it comes to cities in USA, the CPAs of NewYork, Los Angeles and San Fransisco earn the highest salary. In other cities you may earn somewhere around $60,000 to $70,000

CPA salary by cities

Salary Source – Payscale

So are you impressed by the numbers and the job prospects? Well then the next step is to enroll in a good institution that provides training for CPA and you don’t need to far to search for it, EduPristine provides training for the CPA certification that will help you to clear the CPA exams easily. So wait no more and enroll now.

All you want to know about the CPA exams

You are researching a lot about the CPA course and thus you have landed here in order to find out information about the CPA exams. So let me get straight to the point and tell you about the CPA exams.

CPA exams are administered by AICPA and consist of following four parts that takes a total of 14 hours to be completed.

Exam Time Taken Questions
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) 4 Hours 90 questions and 7 task-based simulations
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) 3 Hours 72 questions and 3 written communications tasks
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 4 Hours 90 questions and 7 task-based simulations
Regulation (REG) 3 Hours 72 questions and 6 task-based simulations

Types of Questions

There are 3 main type of questions asked in CPA exams:

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

I am sure that you are aware about MCQs. All the four part consists of 3 groups of multiple choice questions.

Task-based simulations

You’ll find these questions in Part 1, 3 and 4. They are kind of case studies that test your knowledge and skill in a particular subject. They require candidates to use spreadsheets and/or research authoritative literature that are provided in the Exam.

Written communications tasks

This type of question is only a part 2 exams that is Business Environments and Concept (BEC). These are scenario based question which requires you to respond in letter or memo format. You will have access to word processing to prepare your answers.

Weightage of these types of questions

Exam Part MCQs Task Based Simulations Written Communications Tasks
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) 60% 40%
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) 85% 40% 15%
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) 60%
Regulation (REG) 60% 40%

Exam Months

CPA exams are conducted in the month of

  • January & February
  • April & May
  • July & August
  • October & November

Passing CPA

To become a Certified Public Accountant, you need to pass all the four exams within a period of 18 months. Each exam is graded on the scale of 0-99 where the passing score is 75 marks in all the four parts.

Passing Rates for 2010 to 2015

The passing rates for CPA exams for the year 2010 to 2015 are as below:

2010


CPA 2010 passing rate

2011


CPA 2011 passing rate

2012


CPA 2012 passing rate

2013


CPA 2013 passing rate

2014


CPA 2014 passing rate

2015


CPA 2015 passing rate

*source for passing rates – AICPA’s website

CPA Exam fees

CPA exam fees vary for different jurisdictions. You can find details for your jurisdiction on NASBA’s website

Training for CPA

If you are eligible for CPA and are looking for training then you can enroll for CPA Training Program by EduPristine that will help you in clearing the exams easily.

Career games: CFA®Program vs CPA Program

CFA® Program or CPA Program? It seems like a pretty difficult choice to make, but it isn’t! It’s pretty simple actually. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes and to choose between these courses you need to concentrate on your likes and dislikes and which field would you want to work in.

CFA® Program: It stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. A certification provided by the CFA Institute. It is a highly respected and prestigious certification. It focuses on Portfolio Management. It is one of a kind Certification.

CPA Program: It stands for Certified Public Accountant. A certification provided by the American Institute of CPA’S. To get this certification one needs to pass the Union Certified Public Accountant Examinations. It focuses on auditing and attestation mainly. It too holds recognition all around the world. A person holding such certification is an asset to the world.

I know it’s difficult to choose between such certifications but don’t brainstorm or get hassled in fact just relax. The worldwide web has made your life easier so just go through this infographic to compare the two and decide for yourself.

CFA<sup/>® vs CPA infographic”/></p>
<h2> CFA<sup>®</sup> Program vs CPA Program</h2>
<p></center></p>
<p>Both the exams, as tough and difficult they may be but the effort that you put in and the certifications are worth it. It changes your opinion in people’s mind. You enjoy a goodwill that you never expected. Working hard is the key to success is something we all know but working hard in the field that you like is the key to a happy successful life where one enjoys what they are doing.In the end it’s your call, CFA or CPA? Which would give you greater joy? Prepare well and all the best!</p>
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