If you ever considered a career in accounting you must’ve definitely heard about CPA. CPA is a title offered to a licensed accountant in United States who has passed the uniform CPA exam conducted by AICPA. The license is granted state wise by the respective state board of accountancy (SBA), for each of the 50 states of USA. CPAs are globally recognized as premier accountants, and are hired across industries throughout the world.
International students are also eligible to take this exam and CPA is gaining popularity among Indians. The debate of CPA vs CA has been going on for some time among accounting students of India.
As said before, license to be a CPA is offered by each individual state of the USA and each state has its own eligibility criteria for CPA exam, you need to fulfil to write the Uniform CPA exam.
If you are an international student, that is you are outside US and are planning to take the CPA, you need to choose a state under which you would want to write the exam. Since all state boards don’t have the same requirements, you might benefit from choosing a particular state. We put together a list that might help you choose a state.
If you are applying for CPA, you should first apply to SBA of a state, after which you will receive a eligibility status for CPA. Once you receive an eligible status you have an 18 month window period to schedule your CPA exam dates. Find detailed application procedure here.
International students need to make sure that they meet the education requirements and have relevant work experience in accounting.
International students typically face challenges in meeting the education requirements as the programs outside US are generally structured differently from the US accounting programs.
The uniform CPA exam has 4 parts – Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Regulation (REG), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). Exam syllabus for each of these 4 parts is designed to check the extensive knowledge of the examinee.
Uniform CPA exam is an online exam to write which you have to go to one of the official centres of ProMetric. Exams are offered up to six days a week, except for the third month of each quarter (Jan-Feb, April-May, July-August and October-November), exam for each part takes two days.
To pass uniform CPA exam, you should pass all the 4 parts and to pass each part, you would need a score of 75. Each section is scored on a scale ranging from 0-99. CPA exam scoring is done based on a weighted combination of scaled scores.
The overall CPA pass rates have seen an upward trend, and of the 4 parts some have seen higher pass rates than others, allegedly because AICPA wants more CPAs in the market to meet their demand.
The difficulties and challenges one faces to be a CPA is all paid off once one attains it. CPAs are in demand in every industry because of the extensive knowledge and high professional standards that a CPA has to maintain.
Job opportunities for CPA are global. Across the globe a CPA commands respect that very few accredited accountants get.
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