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With the CA Final results are just out the mood is euphoric in certain camps and despondent in many.

With only 9,500 candidates qualifying as Chartered Accountants (from 110,000 candidates who had taken up the exams in November 2017) it is indeed natural. The heartening feature, of course, is that there is one professional course (one of the few I should say) that is not bound by reservations based on any factors thus ensuring quality.

If one analyses the reasons for the low success rates it can mainly be attributed to the form and structure of the exams besides the comprehensive syllabi (which of course is needed for a Professional Program like the CA).

A student has to get a minimum of 40% in each paper and an aggregate of 50% in all papers to be declared as successful which is the main challenge. With the student in the midst of doing his Articleship, there always is a case of very little time left for preparation. Add to this the external and internal pressures to the student the position gets only more complicated. Being a qualified accountant myself can relate to their feelings.

This article essentially is to guide them on how to handle such a situation and what is the alternative that they can look at to not only boost their self-esteem and confidence but also jumpstart their career.

The highly recommended option in this situation is the CPA of the USA. Before we reason out as to why this is indeed a great boon let us understand some salient features of CPA which are outlined hereunder:

Salient features of CPA

a. The exam is conducted by the Association of Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) of the USA on behalf of the State Boards of Accountancy. AICPA incidentally is the largest Professional Accounting Organization in the world.

b. The eligibility to take up the exams varies from State to State in the US as they are the body that awards the Certification once a candidate clears the CPA exams. As on date, a candidate with a B.Com from an 'A' rated University in India along with a CA Intermediate is eligible to take up the CPA. However a word of caution. The eligibility rules change from time to time and hence it is preferred that one consults an expert to ascertain the same.

c. It normally takes only about 6 - 12 months to complete the exams depending on the background of the candidate. A Candidate must pass 4 papers which predominantly consists of an Objective type of questions. This would include a combination of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Task-based Simulations (TBS).

d. Online exams are conducted for almost 280 days in a year and it is possible to sit for all papers in one go also if needed. Otherwise, a candidate can appear for the exams paper by paper depending on his preparations. The main drawback, however, is that CPA exams are not conducted in India and the closest exam centers for Indian candidates would be either the UAE, Bahrain or Kuwait.

e. As mentioned earlier, a candidate has an option of writing the papers one by one and clearing with the minimum pass mark of 75. Once a student passes a paper he has 18 more months to clear the remaining 3 papers. If a candidate attempts more than one paper at a time, he is deemed to have cleared those papers where has scored more than 75 and he need not appear for that paper subject to fulfillment of the condition mentioned.

f. With a pass percentage of 40% and above globally it definitely is good news for candidates wanting to join CPA. Thus with the passing of exams and some work experience (which such candidates do have with their Articles experience), the prospects are exciting across the globe and good with the MNCs in India.

g. The biggest advantage candidates with such a profile (B.Com and CA Inter with preparations for CA Final) have is the commonality and familiarity of the syllabi of the CPA. Very little in the syllabi would be absolutely new to them and this commonality and familiarity is a very big advantage when it comes to preparation.

Thus it can be seen that the format, structure and the syllabi of the CPA exams favor candidates and pose a viable alternative for those who have not been able to clear their CA Final for various reasons. By completing this program within a reasonable time frame a candidate can look ahead with optimism for a great career ahead in the field of Finance and Accounting globally.

The author can also be reached at


Published by

Ganesh Vaideeswaran
(Director, Grey Matter Academics Pvt. Ltd)
Category Students   Report

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