All You Need to Know About CPA Eligibility in India

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is one of the most prestigious designations in accounting. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the institute in charge of conducting the CPA exam. Candidates should pass all 4 CPA exams to be eligible for the membership of AICPA and obtain the CPA license

Read this blog to learn more about CPA eligibility in India, the cost of a CPA, its exam pattern and other information related to CPA. 

Eligibility Criteria for US CPA

To be eligible for CPA, the candidate must have 120 accounting credits. If we align that with the Indian education system, 120 credits translates to 16 years of education. Each year of graduation holds 30 credits. 

Here are the eligibility criteria for Indian students:

  • Post-graduation degree in any stream of accounting, finance or commerce. 
  • Even if you hold a three-year degree from NAAC-A accredited universities in India, you are eligible for the US CPA exam*. However, this varies from state to state. Hence, you need to check the criteria of the respective state where you apply. 
  • Other than that, Bcom (any college) + CA IPCC-cleared candidates are eligible.
  • Bcom (any college) + CS candidates are eligible. 
  • Bcom (any college) + qualified CMA or CA candidates are eligible. 

Candidates must also have a valid international passport. 

To obtain a CPA licence, 150 credits are required, which means you need to have a post-graduation degree. Apart from educational requirements, 2000 hours of work experience equivalent to 2 years is required for obtaining a license. 

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Exam Pattern of US CPA

CPA exam is conducted in January, February, April, May, July, August, October and November. The US CPA exam is structured into four sections, each with a duration of four hours and covering different areas of accounting. These sections are:

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

The CPA exam is a computer-based exam that consists of multiple-choice questions, task-based simulations, and written communication tasks. 

Here’s a weightage of each section in the CPA exam:




Multiple choice questions (MCQs) 50% 50% 50% 50%
Task-Based Simulations 50% 35% 50% 50%
Written communication tasks

Also Read – 9 Best Reference Books for CPA Exams

CPA Scoring Pattern

CPA exam score ranges on a scale of 0 to 99. A candidate needs to score at least 75 out of 99 to pass the exam. The total score in FAR, REG, and AUD is the weighted combination of scaled scores from MCQs and task-based simulations. For the BEC section, the total score is the weighted combination of scaled scores from task-based simulations, MCQs and written communication tasks.

Test Centres in India for CPA Exam

There are prometric test centres for CPA exams in various metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai. 

How to Prepare for the CPA Exam?

Clearing the CPA exam comprehensive understanding of all important concepts of finance. You can expedite your preparation and learn in a structured way by enrolling on a CPA training program with IMS Proschool. Here’s what we offer:

  • Best-in-class content from Becker and live classes from Orbit
  • Accounting faculty with rich experience of over 25 years
  • Personalized assistance for CPA eligibility and application process
  • Mock test training
  • Opt for additional AICTE-approved credit programs that boost your profile. 

Also Read – How Much Does a CPA Earn in the US, India & Big 4?


Can I do a CPA right after my graduation?

No, this is not possible. For an Indian candidate to pursue CPA, you need to be graduated and also should have passed 1 year of post-graduation as the CPA exam has criteria of 16 years of education. 

What is the total cost of US CPA in India?

The average cost for a US CPA course in India, including the CPA training fee, registration fees, evaluation fees, exam fee and training costs, can be anywhere between 3.5 – 4 lakhs. The International testing fee is also applicable if the exam is taken outside the United States. 

Is there a time limit to pass the CPA exam?

Yes. You must pass all the sections of the CPA exam within 18-30 months. If you do not pass all the sections in this time frame, you have to start over again and reappear for all sections. Candidates need to have a tactical plan to clear each section of the exam separately. 

What are the job opportunities after CPA in India?

After clearing CPA certification, you can apply for roles like Tax Manager, Finance Director, Financial Controller, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Audit Executive, Accounting Assistant, Internal Audit Director and many other mid-managerial and managerial roles. 

How much does a CPA professional in India earn?

The salary for a CPA in India varies as per the experience. However, you can expect a starting salary ranging from 5 to 8 LPA. The job profiles are diverse. Depending on your experience and the nature of your job, your earning potential can increase.