If you’re considering a career in accounting and seeking a globally recognized professional certification, a CPA course in the USA may be the perfect fit. However, several factors must be considered when selecting a professional certification, such as the field of expertise, recognition, duration, eligibility, and fees.
Credential evaluation is crucial for obtaining a CPA license in the USA. The foreign transcript evaluation for CPA assesses if the candidate’s education and credentials align with the state’s requirements, ensuring eligibility for the CPA exam. It also helps non-US accounting degree holders to meet the educational requirements and become eligible for the CPA license.
This article will delve into the fundamentals of the CPA course in the USA, including how to obtain it and the benefits it can offer.
Understanding the CPA Credential
A Brief Overview of the CPA Credential
The US CPA credential, granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), signifies an individual’s expertise and knowledge in accountancy. To obtain this certification, candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Exam administered by AICPA.
Certified US CPAs are sought after by businesses, non-profits, and government organizations to meet their financial needs. In addition, this professional certification opens up a wealth of high-paying job opportunities for individuals.
After passing the exam, the AICPA issues a CPA license that allows individuals to practice as a US CPA. Preparing for the Uniform CPA Exam is possible with the help of CPA courses in the USA.
Credential evaluation is required if the candidate’s educational background does not meet the state board’s requirements. This applies if the degree is from a foreign country or an unaccredited institution. The evaluation report must be submitted with the CPA license application.
What Are The Requirements For Obtaining A CPA Credential?
Before taking the Uniform CPA exam, candidates must meet specific eligibility requirements set forth by the AICPA. These requirements for the US CPA course include the following:
- Obtaining a Master’s degree from a recognized university or institution,
- Having at least one to two years of work experience under a licensed US CPA,
- Acquiring 150 credits after graduation (one year of university or college education equalling 30 credit hours)
Candidates can apply for the US CPA exam by fulfilling these eligibility criteria.
What Are The Various Benefits Of Having A CPA Credential?
Obtaining a CPA credential in the US can offer several benefits to professionals in accounting and finance. Some of the benefits of earning a CPA certification include the following:
Increased career opportunities: Holding a CPA certification can open up more job opportunities in accounting and finance, as many employers prefer or require candidates with this credential.
Higher earning potential: CPAs often command higher salaries than non-certified professionals, as they possess specialized knowledge and skills in high demand.
Professional credibility and recognition: The CPA certification is a widely recognized credential that increases credibility and recognition among peers, clients, and employers.
Career advancement: The CPA certification can help professionals advance their careers by demonstrating their competence and expertise in accounting and finance, which can lead to promotions and higher-level job roles.
How To Become A Chartered Accountant In The USA?
Becoming a licensed CPA involves meeting education, examination, and experience requirements aligned with passing the Uniform CPA Exam. Here is a brief guide to ace all of these requirements with ease.
What Is The Structure And Format For This Exam?
Understanding the syllabus is crucial for passing the Uniform CPA exam with flying colors. In addition, familiarizing yourself with the syllabus and structure helps develop strategies for passing the exam.
There are four sections in the US CPA exam, including:
The Uniform CPA Exam section on Regulation comprises five sub-sections, including:
- Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, & Federal Tax Procedures with 10 – 20% weightage, Business Law having 10 – 20% weightage,
- Federal Taxation of Property Transactions carrying 12 – 22% weightage,
- Federal Taxation of Individuals having 15 – 25% mark weightage,
- Federal Taxation of Entities consisting of 28 – 38% weightage.
Auditing and Attestation (AUD):
The AUD section is divided into four categories, each with a specific weightage.
- The first section, Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, & General Principles, carries a weightage of 15 – 25%.
- The second section, Assessing Risk & Developing a Planned Response, carries 25 – 35% weightage.
- The third section, Performing Further Procedures & Obtaining Evidence, holds 30 – 40% weightage.
- Finally, the fourth section, Forming Conclusions and Reporting, carries a weightage of 10 – 20%.
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
The FAR section includes the following topics and weightage allocation:
- 25 – 35% weightage on Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting, & Financial Reporting
- Select Financial Statement Accounts getting 30 – 40% marks weightage
- Select Transactions comprising 20 – 30% weightage
- Lastly, State and Local Governments with 5 – 15% weightage
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
The BEC section includes five sub-topics:
- The first sub-topic, Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Controls, and Business Processes, comprises 20-30% weightage.
- The second sub-topic, Economics, makes up 15-25% of the BEC section.
- Financial Management contributes to 10-20% of the exam.
- Information Technology, making up 15-25%.
- Finally, Operations Management is another critical sub-topic contributing 15-25% to the BEC section.
What Are Some Successful Strategies For Preparing For The CPA Exam?
How to become a CPA in the USA?
The secret lies in preparing for it meticulously. Here are some successful strategies for preparing for the CPA exam in the US:
- Create a study plan: A well-structured study plan is crucial for adequate preparation. Allocate sufficient time for each exam section, considering your strengths and weaknesses.
- Use reliable study materials: Choose from reputable sources and use various resources, such as textbooks, online courses, and practice exams.
- Practice with simulations: Practice with simulations to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions.
- Join a study group: Joining a study group can help you stay motivated, gain new insights, and learn from the experiences of others.
- Take breaks and practice self-care: Studying for the CPA exam can be mentally and physically exhausting. Take regular breaks and practice self-care to prevent burnout and maintain your focus.
- Stay up-to-date on exam changes: Keep informed of changes to the CPA exam syllabus or format and adjust your study plan accordingly.
By following these strategies, you can prepare effectively for the CPA exam and increase your chances of success.
Obtaining a CPA credential in the US is a rigorous process that requires dedication, preparation, and experience. However, with the proper preparation, candidates can pass the CPA exam and open up many opportunities for high-paying jobs in accounting and finance.