What is US CPA ? Why and How to become a US CPA – A complete guide on US CPA Course – Uplift professionals

What is US CPA ? CPA US course is one the most sought accounting qualification across the globe. In India, a CPA US holder is considered as equivalent to the Indian CA.  Since US CPA course has worldwide acceptance, its scope is not restricted to one particular country. Hence a US CPA holder has plenty of job opportunities worldwide.

The attractive part of the course is that it can be completed in a year. Another, key change is that the bodies involved in smooth conducting of US CPA exams in India, namely, American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) have announced to continue CPA exams test centers in India. In this article, we have also mentioned about the US CPA course details and factors associated with it.

US CPA Course and US CPA fee

Even people who know nothing about accounting know what a CPA is. It’s a well-respected career, both within and outside of the accounting world, and you’ll feel good presenting your profession to your family, friends and colleagues. While having a high-paying, stable career is great, being happy and enjoying your career is a huge part of your life, and gaining your CPA credential will help you feel fulfilled now and into the future.

We all are aware of Certified Public Accountant i.e. CPA US in India, a globally recognized course generally equivalent to the title of chartered accountant. In the United States, CPA is considered as a license to provide accounting service to the public.

US CPAs are considered trusted advisors and is considered to be the highest level of certification, earned by an accountant. Also, the CPA title separates you from others and allows you to count yourself as a member among one of the most highly respected and prestigious professions.

A. US CPA course eligibility

The students must should have a Bachelor degree in Commerce and Masters with minimum 120 credit points. Further, the students should complete 150 hours of the CPA course semester. The details are as below

1.1 Education: 

Candidates must meet the 120 credit hours (a bachelor’s degree + 30 extra credit from Master degree) to write the exam and 150 credit hours for the licensure.

The eligibility criteria of the CPA exam differ from state to state. But in major cases maximum state boards require 120 to 150 credit points. A student should have a minimum college degree of 120 credit points. Additional 20 points by covering courses like business law, management. 

 1.2 Experience:

Most state boards demand that, in order to apply for a CPA License, candidates must possess at least 150 credit points and at least 2 years of professional experience under a licensed CPA or equivalent (for ex: Indian CA or ACCA). After passing the CPA exam, a candidate generally gets 3 years of time to apply for the license.

2. US CPA duration

Typically its takes nearly 9-12 months to complete the course with exams conducted every month.

3. US CPA exam syllabus

The US CPA exam in India or US CPA exams has four examinations as following:

1. Regulation (REG)

2. Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

3. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

4. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

The duration of each section of exam is 4 hours (total of 16 hours)

The typical question format consists of the following –

A. Multiple – Choice Questions

B. Task-Based Simulations

C. Written Communication

For more details about US CPA exam in India, click:

3.1 Below is the structure of US CPA exam.

1. Regulation (REG)

TopicWeightage in %
Professional Responsibilities, Ethics, and Federal Tax Procedures10-20
Business Law10-20
Property Transaction Federal Taxation12-22
Individual Federal Taxation15-25
Entity Federal Taxation28-38

2. Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

TopicWeightage in %
Professional Responsibilities, Ethics, and General Principles15-25
Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response25-35
Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence30-40
Forming Conclusions and Reporting10-20

3. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)

TopicWeightage in %
Standard-Setting, Conceptual Framework, and Financial Reporting25-35
Financial Statement Accounts30-40
Local and State Governments5-15

4. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

TopicWeightage in %
Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Controls and Business Processes20-30
Economic Concepts and Analysis15-25
Financial Management10-20
Information Technology15-25
Operations Management15-25

4. US CPA exam in India – Pass rate

Candidates appearing for exam is required to score of 75 or more on each section to pass, and each section must be passed within an 18-month window, which begins as soon as the candidate passes the first exam. CPA exam scoring is treated with a high level of importance, due diligence, and attention to accuracy.

The below table depicts the US CPA exam pass rate in last few years. As evident, the pass rate is nearly 51%. This makes CPA qualification a top most certification. To become successful in the exam, candidates needs to follow a systematic study plan and prioritize key sections.

Thinking of how to pass the exam ʔ.  Don’t worry. Through training from Uplift Professionals, candidates can get expert advice on exam strategy to ensure high marks.


US CPA Exam 2021 – New Updates In 2020, the US CPA exam in India had few changes; the most prominent change was the introduction of the CARES Act to the REG section effective in Q4 2020. In 2021, the US CPA Exam will undergo additional changes, mainly to the AUD & BEC sections, with minor revisions to the remaining two sections – FAR & REG

After clearing all 4 sections, candidates have to clear the ethics exam. After fulfilling the requirement, licence fees has to be paid to obtain the licence from the respective state board.

4.1 CPA certificate vs. license- the 2 tier system:

For CPA certificate:

1) No work experience required.
2) No requirement of continuing education.
3) Not been able to sign tax returns, audit reports or use the title on any official/ legal reports.
4) Some states though allow to use the title as prefix to name on unofficial documents like resume while others totally forbid such use.

For CPA licensure:
1) Majority of states require minimum 1-2 yrs of relevant accounting experience under a CPA.
2) Can sign tax returns and audit reports.
3) Allowed to open a CPA firm.
4) Can use the title throughout.

It has to be noted that currently, most states are not going to issue a certificate upon clearing the exam only until unless the other part is fulfilled. 

Thus, a CPA certificate in most cases a kind of acknowledgement that indicate the candidate has passed the exam and met up the minimum requirement for it. 

A US CPA license on the otherhand, is issued upon completion of all the requirements from a board of accountancy.

5. Continuous Testing Window

Since July 1, 2020, testing windows has been replaced by continuous testing, allowing candidates to take the Exam year-round, without restriction, other than waiting to receive scores from prior attempts of the same section or when there is a major change to the Exam. This helps candidates to write the US CPA exam in India throughout the year from the following 8 Prometric centers :

1. Ahmedabad

2. Bangalore

3. Calcutta

4. Chennai

5. Hyderabad

6. Mumbai

7. New Delhi

8. Trivandrum

6. Steps to write US CPA exam in India

1. Get your eligibility verified by Uplift Pro before sending your transcripts to the US Official Evaluators.

2.Start preparing for the CPA exam. We will teach you 2 papers at a time after your working hours in live online mode and share with you the recordings of the classes as well.

3. We will also provide you an option to receive Gleim CPA Megabank (at 50% of the original cost) since Uplift Pro is an approved partner of Concorde Gleim. Gleim has helped more than 40,000 candidates worldwide pass their CPA exams in the last 20 years. Hence they are the No. 1 in this job. Trust on the Gleim Uplift support to pass the 4 papers of CPA as quickly as possible.

4. Once you are ready for the exam apply for an NTS from the US State from which you wish to be a CPA license holder. Uplift Pro will guide you in this administrative procedure.

5. After getting the NTS, contact your nearest Prometric to book your seat for the exam. Don’t forget to keep your passport ready to meet the identification procedure in the Prometric center.

7.US CPA exam in India -Score date

Decision to conduct US CPA exams in India, helps candidates to better plan for the exams. Typically AICPA publish the score release dates for the first half of a new year in December of the previous year and the second half by June of that year. The below table highlights the score release dates after sitting for a section.

Score Release: Exam sections taken 23, April – 31, December, 2021

If you had taken exam on/before:Your target score release date is:
April 23May 11
May 16May 25
June 8June 16
June 30July 13
July 23August 10
August 15August 24
September 7September 15
September 30October 12
October 23November 9
November 15November 23
December 8December 16
December 15January 11

8. US CPA course fees structure

The US CPA exam fee is generally around USD 1,200 for all four sections. However, that may slightly vary based on number of sections you appear for the exam and also varies state by state. To better plan your US CPA course fee and best approach visit our page and talk to our experts at Uplift Pro.

9. US CPA job opportunities

US CPA course is in great demand in all sectors. CPAs are meant to maintain and examine financial accounts for the public and private sectors as well as for individual clients. CPAs are authorized to hold responsible positions in financial domains ranging from startup ventures to multinational entities. Few of the prominent companies that are hiring Certified Public Professionals include Genpact, Philips, Deloitte, Accenture, Cognizant, etc.

CPAs can act as a specialist in the areas:

a. Financial Analyst

b. Management Accountant

c. Risk and Compliance Analyst

d. Tax Accountant

e. Management Consultant

f. Information Technology Auditor

g. Finance Director

10. Companies hiring US CPA professionals

There is a wide assortment of opportunities for students, who qualify for the US CPA course examination. At present, United State organizations having Indian offices are also hiring the public certified accountants. As the number of CPAs is visibly less in Indian Market, the majority of the companies are sponsoring the CPAs. Also, there are a plethora of jobs in Financial Planning and Analysis, Taxation, Auditing, and different profiles in India. Few of the prominent companies that are hiring Certified Public Professionals include Genpact, Philips, Deloitte, Accenture, Cognizant, etc. If you have sufficient knowledge, you will become successful as a CPA professional.

The Certified Public Accountants are also found to work for BIG4. BIG4 happens to be one of the leading professional accounting organizations which provide taxation, assurance, auditing, accounting, risk assessment, and control, consulting, legal services, to a plethora of clients across the globe. Few popular clients of BIG4 include PWC, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst, and Young. The services, provided by these firms are in higher demand and thus they have gained high popularity in hiring the CPAs in India. A worth mentioning reason why these companies are hiring CPAs is that the Certified Public Accounts can provide a plethora of such services without any hassles. In addition to this, they are known to be well versed in US GAAP and IFRS reporting.

The CPAs are also known to work for financial service organizations. They are capable of handling international and financial accounting, as well as corporate governance, easily. They are hired for different types of profiles in the financial services firm.

11. US CPA Salary

Completing US CPA course helps professionals to make more money for the same job than they would if they did not hold the CPA license.  It widely noted that US CPAs get more than 15-20% more than non-CPAs working in accounting-related jobs.

Research also confirmed that the pay gap is as high as 50% between a CPA and a non-CPA. The variation in salaries reflects differences in the size of a firm, the location, level of education, and professional credentials.

According to the 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals, hiring managers in almost each and every enterprise are scrambling to discover professional accounting and finance professionals, in particular CPAs.

In the public accounting sector, for instance, the revenue midpoint (or median countrywide salary) for a senior manager/director for audit/assurance offerings is $134,000, and for a senior manager/director in tax services, it’s $136,750.

The Salary Guide provides beginning profits tiers for greater than a hundred ninety accounting and finance jobs, with the capacity to alter salaries to nearby markets. These tiers signify beginning compensation solely on account that a number of hard-to-measure elements such as seniority and job overall performance can have an effect on ongoing pay.

11.1 US CPA salary – Entry and Experienced professionals

An entry-level US Certified Public Accountant (US CPA) with much less than 1 yr journey can count on to earn an common complete compensation (includes tips, bonus, and additional time pay) of AU$58,244 based totally on 5 salaries.

An early profession US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 1-4 years of ride earns an common complete compensation of AU$61,607 based totally on fifty five salaries.

A mid-career US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 5-9 years of journey earns an common complete compensation of AU$71,954 based totally on fifty nine salaries.

A skilled US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 10-19 years of trip earns an common whole compensation of AU$90,945 based totally on 26 salaries. In their late profession (20 years and higher), personnel earn an common complete compensation of AU$101,500.

In Middle East countries a CPA at an entry-level with less than a year experience can expect to earn an average annual salary of AED 85,000 (including perks and other benefits).

From the smallest start-up to the biggest authorities agency, each and every commercial enterprise or corporation requires the competencies of a CPA. The US CPA credential is quite regarded. To a achievable company it skill excessive moral requirements as properly as measurable experience, education, and skills.

US CPA salary in India ? In India a fresh CPA starts with a minimum salary of INR 6 Lakh annually in a Big4 or MNC. The salary of a CPA increases at a higher rate than his non-certified peers. A CFO in India can earn more than INR 1 Cr, annually in India.

12. US CPA course career

Being an US CPA isn’t just a job, it’s actually a whole series of jobs and stepping stones that would conclude into an amazing career. The US CPA course opens up new opportunities including greater career path choices from which to choose. This can also open opportunities to get jobs abroad or new local opportunities and at a large or small accounting practice.

As the number of  CPA US in India is visibly less in the Indian Market, the majority of the companies are sponsoring the CPAs. Also, there are a plethora of jobs in Financial Planning and Analysis, Taxation, Auditing, and different profiles in India. Few of the prominent companies that are hiring Certified Public Professionals include Genpact, Philips, Deloitte, Accenture, Cognizant, etc. 

Earning your US CPA course is a lengthy process and one that will cost a lot of money to see through to the end. However, the benefits of being a CPA will more than pay for themselves. Most people who decide to pursue the CPA feel confident that the ROI is worth it. Perks of being a CPA include an increase in salary, a diverse selection of job opportunities, job security, and other benefits like the opportunity to travel.

13. Top preparation tips for US CPA exam in India

Understand the syllabus and keep updated

The key element of any course is understand the subject and syllabus. Student’s preparing for the US CPA exam in India, should understand on how the exam is and what all aspects are critical for the exam. For Exam content, look no further than the US CPA exam blueprints.

Create a detailed study plan

Developing a clear cut study plan is the primary aspect for any exam. Keeping the testing date in mind and the total amount of time, you have in hand, for study, prepare a detailed weekly and monthly plan with aim to complete the subjects well in advance of US CPA exam in India. You require choosing a testing date and then draft a plan. Thus, you will make the preparations according to the time, remaining left.

You need to take a look at the calendar and mark those days where you cannot study owing to unavoidable circumstances. Now, you need to calculate the number of hours, for which you can study every week. Next, you need to calculate the number of weeks, you require for reaching the total count of the study hours. It is essential to choose a testing date, close to the testing window so that there is sufficient time for rescheduling, as required.

Plan for the best time to prepare for CPA exam every day

In line with the above point it is advisable to craft a daily study routine. Keep daily targets and ensure that each day is used to maximize the amount of studying you get done every day and you get sufficient time at the end for quick revision.

Book for US CPA Exam well in advance

Once you are done with study plan, it is also important to find the exam centers and the dates available. It is recommended to book for exams as early as possible and the longer you procrastinate the harder it will become to pass.

Candidates appearing for exam is required to score of 75 or more on each section to pass, and each section must be passed within an 18-month window, which begins as soon as the candidate passes the first exam. US CPA exam scoring is treated with a high level of importance, due diligence, and attention to accuracy.

It is recommended to start with the section which you are most familiar with and move forward with there. Always dedicate more time for sections which has less pass rates like BEC in US CPA exam.

Mental Preparation for the exam

Along with studies, it is important for students to find relaxation time also. It is essential to make periodic break in your study plan for activities not related to studying. This helps students to become more productive and concentrate more for studying. Make sure that time allocated for studying or for replacing is utilized properly. Always focus only one goal at a time. If you are not 100% mentally prepared to pass the US CPA exam then you will procrastinate, lose focus and fail.

Seek support from experts

Getting guidance from a supportive group of people can put your mind at ease and help you get through rough study days. Like all other exams, US CPA course too has a specified exam pattern and the candidate needs to undergo lots of practice those questions to score high marks in the exams. Make sure that you get right mentors for preparing the exams. 

It is recommended to start with the section which you are most familiar with and move forward with there. Always dedicate more time for sections which has less pass rates like BEC exams.

Moreover the US CPA exam patterns are different from the patterns we follow in India or the Asian countries. The key decision is choosing the best US CPA course training institute. Getting guidance from an established training institute not only helps in understanding theoretical subjects, but also attending mock exams, job placement assistance and soft skill training.

14. Six Steps To Become US CPA Certified

Six types - US CPA Course

About the top US CPA training institute in India, Africa, and Middle East – Uplift Pro

Uplift Pro is one of the top training institutes for the US CPA, US CMA, US CIA courses in India, Africa, and Middle East. Our team consists of seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs from IIEST, IITs, London Business School, and ULCA who have decided to provide a strong backup to young ambitious students and professionals to reach their desired career destinations in an organized way.

Uplift Pro, is an authorized partner of Gleim in India, provides you with authentic Gleim materials, updates and Live Online Interactive Classes for CPA US by internationally experienced veteran mentors. All at an Indian Cost. 

Some of our exclusive features include –

A. Affordable US CPA course fees

B. CPA certified veteran TEAM of faculties

C. Live online classes ensuring that the regular office working hours is least impacted. Also, provides class recordings to students.

D. 1:1 personal support from our 30 plus years of experienced CPA certified faculties ensuring that all our students pass the US CPA course

E. “Till you pass” guarantee assuring that you may attend our live online classes at no extra cost until you pass

F. Premium study materials with practice questions bank enabling students to pass the US CPA exam in India and rest of the world

G. Administrative guidance on US CPA evaluation procedure

H. Placement assistance

Request for Live Demo class / contact at +91-8787088850 to book your seats now.

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