The US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential is a globally renowned credential that can open up various opportunities in finance and accounting. US CPA is equivalent to the Chartered Accountant designation in India.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) conducts the exam for CPA.
This article will take you through the average total cost of CPA in India, its eligibility criteria, application method, and much more.
Eligibility for CPA
In the United States, there is a credit-based system in place for taking the CPA exam and obtaining the CPA license.
If we align these eligibility criteria with the Indian academic system, the requirements can be simplified as follows:
For CPA Exam Eligibility
- You need to hold a bachelor’s degree in commerce or accounting
- Additionally, you may also need 1 year of post graduation, totalling to 120 credits.
- You can also be eligible if you are a Chartered Accountant (CA), MBA in Finance, Company Secretary (CS), or have a Master in Commerce (MCom degree).
In simple words, you need 120 accounting credits in academics to sit for the US CPA exam. If we align this with the Indian Academic system, you need a 16-year education, for example – Bcom + MBA, Bcom + Mcom or any other post-graduation degree coupled with graduation. However, these criteria may vary according to the state.
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For CPA License Eligibility
150 accounting credits (graduation + post-graduation) are required to be earn a CPA license.
Apart from educational qualifications, 2000 hours of work experience equivalent to 2 years is also required for the license. This is the general criteria for US CPA eligibility. However, it may vary according to the state.
Course Structure of US CPA
The US CPA has 4 papers namely:
- Auditing & Attestation
- Financial Accounting & Reporting
- Business Environment & Concepts
Each of these 4 papers can be given throughout the entire year as AICPA provides the facility of continuous testing.
Also Read – A List of Changes in the US CPA Exam 2024
CPA Course Fees
The overall US CPA course fees highly depends on the state in which you register your candidature in the US or if you register your candidature from US or any other country.
The total cost of CPA course for an Indian student can be divided into various categories:
- CPA training fee falls in the range of Rs. 1,05,000 to Rs. 1,20,000.
- The evaluation fee is in the range of Rs. 20,000 to Rs 30,000.
- The exam fee and international testing fee can be approximately 2 lakh.
- The application fee is approximately Rs.15,000.
The average total cost of a US CPA in India comes to approximately Rs. 3.5 – 4 lakhs. The International Testing fee only applies if the exam is taken outside the United States.
Additional Costs in CPA
Extensive Courses & Programs
Many candidates opt for extensive CPA courses that typically cost Rs. 70,000 – 2,00,000. The exact cost depends on the training institute and the quality of the faculty. If you enroll for Proschool’s CPA program, you get structured study materials, high-quality pedagogy, mock exams and interviews and even placement assistance post-completion of the course.
By giving mocks, you can check your readiness for the actual exam. Official mock exams mimic the format and difficulty level of the actual exam and cost anywhere in the range of Rs. 10,000 – 40,000.
Travel & Accommodation
If you have chosen a test centre outside of your city, consider the expenses for travel, accommodation and meals. With meticulous planning, you can book your tickets and stay at the earliest and minimise the costs.
This cost is not mandatory. It only applies to candidates who wish to obtain licensure from the respective state. By paying membership fees and obtaining license, you can open up networking opportunities, access valuable resources and get discounts on CPA-related material and events.
How Can You Save Costs While Applying for US CPA?
Here are some tips for cost savings when pursuing a US CPA in India:
Comparison of Study Materials
Research and compare various CPA review courses and study materials to find the most cost-effective options without compromising quality.
Strategic Exam Scheduling
Plan your exam schedule carefully to minimize rescheduling fees. Aim to pass all sections within an 18-month rolling period to avoid the expiration of completed sections.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
Investigate scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities that may offset some costs associated with pursuing a US CPA.
At Proschool, you get the best study material, access to live virtual classes & placements assistance – all at the lowest possible cost
How to Apply for US CPA?
If you wish to apply for US CPA, here’s the application guide:
The first step is to assess whether you are eligible to take the US CPA exam. You can do the academic evaluation on different platforms like World Education Service (WES) or NASBA International Evaluation Services (NIES). You have to upload your academic mark sheets and graduation details for evaluation as accepted by the state in which you are planning to apply.
Registration & Payment of Fees
If you pass the evaluation phase, pay the registration fees next and submit your academic transcripts. After paying the exam fees, you need to wait for the Notice to Schedule (NTS).
Appear for Exams
Once you get the NTS, you can schedule your exam depending on the availability of the slot.
At Proschool, we assist you throughout your application process. We provide counselling to help you make informed decisions regarding your course.
CPA Course Duration
You can register for CPA courses anytime throughout the year. The exam must be taken within 12-18 months from the date of registration. These exams are on demand and can be scheduled at any time.
If I am an Indian, in which US states can I apply for US CPA?
Indian candidates can apply for US CPA in any of the 5 states – Washington, Guam, Alaska, Montana and Pennsylvania.
In which countries can I work after completing US CPA?
You can work in countries like the US, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
Is it worth doing US CPA in India?
The US CPA is in high demand and CPA professionals are amongst the top-paying professionals in commerce. It is worth doing US CPA as it provides multi-dimensional opportunities in auditing, consulting, tax advisory services, and international financial reporting. The Big 4s and consulting firms prefer hiring CPAs.