Many accounting students are rather confused regarding the future course of action to be taken to improve their career prospects. US CPA is one such course which can help many to achieve their goals in much less time than expected. Moreover, its global acceptance makes it even more attractive to aspiring accounting students. To start with, it is an eight to twelve-month course with only four papers introducing the applicants to US GAAP and IFRS (FAR), US GAAS (AUD), US Taxation (REG) and Business concepts (BEC). Many people wonder as to how a course that provides the highest accounting qualification in the US is just a one-year course. Well, this is justified as this course is a single level course. Another factor is that the course is designed to bridge the gap between college education and the skills required on the job. It equips the accounting students with the required skill set to become competent. This is a big relief, however, this is just one of the attractive features of this course.
These exams are objective in nature, 50% testing is in the form of Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ’s) and remaining 50% is in the form of Task based Simulations (TBS) which are nothing but case studies. Each CPA exam Section is for four hours each. There are 5 test lets, the first 2 test lets have multiple choice questions and the remaining three have Task based simulations. The number of question in the testlet varies according to the section. The Task based Simulations are designed to test the examinees’ higher learning and processing abilities. For every question in a Task based Simulation, a drop-down menu is available from where the examinees are required to choose their answer option. Some of the Simulations are Research simulations which require the citation to be quoted by searching the Authoritative Literature available.
If that makes you wonder about the difficulty level, it is actually high. To those who feel that objective questions are easy to tackle, let me clarify that the testing is really hard on the CPA exams. Unless you are well versed with the concepts clearing these exams may just become a dream. But one good thing is that once you clear any one of the four papers, you get 18 months to clear the remaining paper. This means that even if you are not able to clear the next paper, you do not lose the one that you have already cleared. You can take the papers in any sequence and any time during the year. This is a reality, there are no specific exam dates, one can choose when to appear for these exams. And with US CPA exams coming to India in September this year, there is no travel cost involved as well. However, the only challenge is that at a minimum you need to be a graduate with accounting/ finance background to be able to write these exams. But for those who already are, my suggestion is there is no time to wait else you will miss the bus.
Clearing the four papers of US CPA is just a step towards achieving the CPA designation. Aspirants need to have 2000 hours or 1 year of work experience to apply for CPA license. Successful candidates can use their past experience as well to get their license. Those who do not have a prior experience in the required area can get the experience and then apply for CPA License. Why so much of a stress on CPA LicenseRs The reason is, just clearing the four papers of CPA will not make anyone a US CPA unless they pass the Ethics exam and get the License as well. That is when one gets the US CPA designation.
What happens next after getting the US CPA designation? What are the job opportunities available?
There is a huge scope for US CPAs in the area of Public Accounting, Corporate Accounting and even Academia with typical areas of specialization being Financial accounting and reporting, Audit, Taxation, Management Accounting, Financial Analysis. Further Specialist areas can be in Financial Forensics, Business Valuation, Personal Financial Planning to name a few.
US based MNCs, their Indian Subsidiaries, Indian companies with presence in the US, Big 4sare a few of the companies which hire US CPAs. Many of these companies sponsor the US CPA course for their employees.
So, if you are aspiring to be a US CPA within the next one year, make up your mind fast without wasting any further time in thinking. It is time to buck up and get down to some serious action to make use of the opportunity to take exams on Indian soil.
To help you achieve your US CPA goals your trusted VGLearning Destination is launching the course in collaboration with Grant Thornton India LLP. Make best use of this opportunity.
Wish you a Happy CPA journey.