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Warm Up Decide to earn the CPA designation

CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is the highest accounting credential in the United States.

CPA ensures global recognition for accounting & finance professionals. And with academic content organized over just 4 exam parts and the designation achievable over less than 12 months, the CPA designation offers an extensive value proposition:

  • International Credibility
  • Strong Knowledge Base - Auditing, Accounting (US GAAP & IFRS), Finance, Tax
  • Significant career progression opportunity with Big 4 and MNCs
  • Other benefits: Leadership skills, international perspective, elite professional network

CPA course USPs:

  • Academic Advantage (4 parts, single-level exam, objective-pattern exams)
  • Convenience (Exam locations including US & Middle East, computerized online exams, exams held over 8 months/year)
  • Short Course duration (can be completed within 12 months )

Miles CPA Review offers personal counseling to enable you to understand and appreciate the role of the CPA course in the advancement of your career. The first-hand experience of its lead instructors (including Varun Jain, CPA, CMA, Harvard B-School alumnus) coupled with the extensive research carried out by the academic team in the course offers you the best advice and support throughout the entire process of becoming a CPA.

For international CPA candidates, the US CPA designation can be summarized as:

  • US equivalent of CA (Chartered Accountant)
  • Single-level exams with only 4 exam parts (vs. multi-levels & exam parts on CA)
  • Roadmap of less than 12 months (vs. 4-5 years for CA)
  • Exams in Europe, Middle East, Japan and Brazil besides US

QUALIFIERS CPA EXAM ELIGIBILITY = 120 CREDITS

The Uniform CPA examinations are conducted by the AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) which is the world's largest accounting body. AICPA offers membership to all candidates who successfully clear the CPA exams.

However, given the fact that the CPA license is a professional license in the US, it is issued by one of the 55 states or territories of the United States all of which are members of NASBA (National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy).

Miles has a dedicated CPA Gameplan team (comprising of CPA’s) who will advise regarding your CPA eligibility. The team will help you select the Board of Accountancy (i.e., state) to which you should apply to sit for the CPA exams. Besides, if you are a candidate who has pursued university education outside the US, the team will also guide you for your foreign academic credential evaluation with an appropriate evaluation agency.

Minimum education requirements for US CPA exams and license:

Few points to note:

  • General rule: Every year of university education in India is equivalent to 30 semester credits of US education.
  • Some state boards award credit for international professional qualifications like CA.
  • In case of international CPA candidates from India, generally 3-year commerce graduates from NAAC A universities who have scored a 1 st division are awarded 120 credits and, therefore, qualify to take the CPA exams.

For non-eligible candidates, Miles facilitates an “online” Post Graduate Diploma in Public Accounting as a bridge course. The diploma is from Amity University, a NAAC-A rated University, and can be pursued by candidates across the globe. The content is fully integrated with the CPA exam curriculum (which means no extra studies!). This diploma awards 30 credits and costs approximately $425. Click here to know more.

MILESTONES ROAD TO CPA: 4 EXAMS = 4 MILESTONES

The CPA exams comprise 4 parts - (i) Financial Accounting & Reporting, (ii) Auditing & Attestation, (iii) Regulation and (iv) Business Environment & Concepts. Subjects tested and testing pattern on the Uniform CPA Examinations are summarized below:

Key pointers:

  • Objective pattern – FAR / AUD / REG = 100% objective | BEC = 85% objective
  • Passing score of 75 on each part (on a scale of 0-99)
  • Global Pass Rate > 50%
  • 18 months to clear from date of clearing 1 st exam
  • ANYTIME (4 testing windows): Jan 1 - Mar 10, Apr 1 - Jun 10, Jul 1 - Sep 10, Oct 1 - Dec 10
  • ANYWHERE in the US or few international locations (Middle East, Japan, Brazil)

Why only 4 exams on CPA vs. 13-16 exams on global public accounting qualifications?

US professional qualifications “COMPLEMENT” UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

  • E.g., To be a US CPA, CMA or CFA, a university degree is mandatory
  • Crisp curriculum which focuses only on skill-gaps that are needed to be a F&A professional
  • Designed to be pursued alongside a full-time job and to facilitate the career progression for professionals

UK / Indian professional qualifications tend to “SUBSITUTE” UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

  • E.g., You can be a UK ACA or Indian CA without being an under-graduate!
  • Lengthy curriculum as it encompasses what a candidate would have covered (or simultaneously covers) in a university degree

Note for Indian CPA candidates:

W.e.f. 1-Oct-2014, Indian CPA candidates can take the CPA exams in Middle East locations including in Dubai, UAE. To read the AICPA press release,
Click here

It is recommended that the exams be taken over 15-30 days of stay in Dubai with gaps of about 3-7 days before each exam. However, candidates may vary the length of the stay given constraints of leaves available, budget and level of preparation.

Alternatively, candidates have to take 2 (or more) trips to Dubai and take, say, 2 exams at a time. The rule is that candidates need to clear the remaining 3 parts within 18 months from the date they have cleared the first part, which actually gives enough time and flexibility to candidates.

Destination CPA 4E’s for CPA license

Just passing the CPA Examinations does not make you a CPA – you need to fulfill the other 3 E’s:

  • Education - if required, Miles can help you with a bridge course (PGDPA). Click here to know more
  • Experience - Miles has full-time licensed CPAs who are able to verify experience for the CPA license
  • Ethics - Exam from India; no travel

With Miles CPA Review, there is 100% clarity on what gets you where. Miles would certainly guide you to the shortest route to destination 'CPA'.

Eligibility: 3 + 1 E's to Becoming a CPA

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Note for international candidates:

  • As per regulations, for CPA exams taken in international locations (like Dubai), the exam credits lapse unless the candidate is able to get to the CPA license within 3 years of clearing the CPA exams
  • One of the most critical requirements for international candidates is “Experience” – and Miles is the only review course provider in India with licensed CPAs (including, of course, the Lead Instructor - Varun Jain, CPA, CMA, Harvard B-School alumnus) who are authorized to verify the accounting/finance experience of candidates to help them achieve their CPA license

CPA exams and license – cracking the code!

Unlike professional qualifications across the world, the US CPA exams and license involves multiple bodies which include:

  • 55 State Boards of Accountancy – each authorized to issue the CPA license, and decide their own eligibility rules
  • NASBA - the association of the 55 State Boards of Accountancy
  • AICPA – conducts the “Uniform” CPA examinations
  • Prometric – CPA exam test centres
UK ACA Indian CA US CPA
ELIGIBILITY -
rules decided by:
ICAEW ICAI

55 State Boards of Accountancy

[varying rules with different choice of evaluation agencies]
EXAMS –
conducted by:
ICAEW ICAI

AICPA (American Institute of CPAs)

[irrespective of state board selection; hence, these are called “Uniform” for the CPA examinations]
CERTIFICATE / LICENSE –
awarded by:
ICAEW ICAI

55 State Boards of Accountancy

[varying rules; but note that ALL the states are substantially equivalent; i.e., license from any one state board is valid across the US and the world]

BEYOND CPA CAREER OPPORTUNITIES & PROGRESSION

A career in finance and accounting with the CPA qualification will certainly prove to be extremely rewarding in terms of increased credibility, opportunities and pay:

  • CPAs = Black-belt accountants. Finance and accounting professionals who have achieved expertise beyond a “normal” accountant.
  • CPAs enjoy global credibility. CPAs are recognized across the world and work for both US and international companies.
  • CPAs are in demand and needed everywhere. At public accounting forms (including Big 4) and at every company whether big or small (including MNC’s).
  • CPAs are indispensable. Only CPAs can do audits in the US and for US companies. Besides, corporate accountability has become the number one concern for companies and their shareholders.
  • CPAs are required in all areas of the business world. Including accounting, auditing, corporate finance, financial advisory, investment banking, corporate governance, tax, IT, and so on.
  • CPAs are paid better. Even fresher CPAs annually earn $60,000+ in the US, AED 120,000+ in Middle East, earn INR 600,000+ in India.

Few of Miles’ partnerships which include Big 4 and MNC’s sponsor their professionals to become CPA’s at Miles. This reflects the industry demand for CPA as well as Miles’ credibility for CPA training.

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Miles also offers placement assistance to its alumni. The above companies and many others are also key recruiters for Miles’ CPA alumni.