Brief History of CPA
To define the standards of the accounting industry, 31 accountants formed an association called the ‘American Association of Public Accountants (AAPA) in 1887. This association was renamed as AICPA in 1957, and it also conducts the CPA exam. In 2001 industry witnessed a major scandal called the ‘Enron Corporation scandal.’ In this, the company’s leaders duped regulations by showcasing fake holdings and poor accounting practices. Thus, in 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed, and through this act, accountants are now liable to follow stringent restrictions for their consulting assignments. After this, the accounting industry saw a major shift in its overall practices, and hence the demand for certified accounting professionals rose.
What is CPA (Certified Public Accountant)?
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 centers 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 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 career options:
CPA course is an ultimate qualification that gives you an unlimited possibilities to show case your skills in the field of accounting. After completing your CPA course you can begin our career in the following fields like accounting & auditing firms, investment banks, research firms, hedge funds, commercial banks, mutual funds, merger and acquisitions etc.
- Insurance firms
- Credit agencies
- Central banks
- Assets management firms etc.
CPA licensed professionals are hired by individuals, corporate houses, industry, government, private and non-profit organizations.
The average salary for a CPA in India according to payscale.com is Rs 7.6 lakh per annum. Salary will not be constraint if you have sufficient skills and talent. The salary varies based on the skillest and diligence, experience gained by the individual in the work force.
Are CPA professionals demanded in India?
Yes, since MNCs and Big4s are rising in India, the demand for CPA certified professionals is progressing. CPA certification holders are giving preference over CAs because they have in-depth knowledge of subjects like US GAAP, IFRS & US Compliance & Taxation. In contrast, CA only has proficiency in Indian GAAP.
The top recruiters hiring CPA professionals are:
Below is a list of recruiters hiring CPA professionals:
|Top Recruiters Hiring CPA Professionals|
|PWC||Cap Gemini||Barclays||Tata Power|
The eligibility criteria for attending the CPA exam?
To become eligible for the CPA exam, an Indian student should have any of the below qualifications
- 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 or MBAs
The minimum education qualification for taking the US CPA exam is –
- CPA exam – 120 credits
- CPA license – 120 credits
In India, 1 graduation year is equal to 20 credits; hence, 3 years B.Com and 2 years of MBA course equal 90 + 60 credits.
Conclusion: hope this information shed as a part of the CPA course details has enlightened you a bit.