CPA Course – Every you need to Know – Difficulty, Eligibility, Syllabus, Earning Potential

CPA course is a course that covers extensive accounting topics and other topics like taxation, auditing, evaluation, law, analytics, regulatory frameworks and planning, procedures, ethics, and management of finances.
Certified Public Accountants (CPA) is a license required for Accountancy professionals in many countries.
You need to attend a CPA course and pass the CPA exam to get the CPA certificate. After you get the CPA certificate you need to gain experience practicing under a licensed CPA to apply for the CPA license.

The most prominent CPA c is the US CPA A.K.A Uniform CPA. After getting the US CPA license you give equivalency exams get CPA licenses in other countries such as Canada, Australia, etc.,

CPA License Eligibility

To appear for CPA Exam you should have

  • Graduation or equivalent accounting degree with 120 credit hours
  • 150 semester hours of CPA course to earn a CPA license.
  • 1-2 years of experience under any CPA

CPA Eligible Degree

For US candidates

Accountancy Undergraduates and BBA / BA / BSc graduates – 4 years course with 120 credit hours.
You have to register for the CPA exam provided by the state in which you want to practice.

* Eligibility requirement and the experience varies from state to state.

International candidates (India and other nationalities)

International candidates register for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination.

  • + (90 + 60 = 150 hours) totally 5 years
  • + MBA
  • B.Com + CA  Inter/few years accounting experience

There are other eligibility criteria such as direct CA after graduating from school. But you can confirm your eligibility with a CPA Review Course provider before you apply for the CPA exam.
Other than CA, Accountancy education shall also be gained from being a CMA (Certified Management Accountant) or ACS (Company Secretary).

** Some states in the US do not allow for international candidates, check and apply to one of the state boards that permit international candidates.


If you are a licensed Chartered Accountant (CA) / Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in one of these countries Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, you can give an exam called – IQEX exam and directly get a CPA License.

CPA Course Job Prospects

CPA is a professional designation. It is not a job title or a career path. It gives accounting professionals flexibility and mobility in their careers.
CPA professionals can get jobs in various sectors such as Private Business, Public Accounting, Non-profit, Education, and Government.
Companies that sell products & services in the US but are located outside the US, would hire a CPA professional to maintain compliance with US laws & policies.

Jobs for CPAs

You could get a CPA job if you’re actively pursuing to become a CPA. The entry-level salary for CPAs is $50,000 annually.  You can get more salary as you gain experience.
Some of the common jobs for CPA professionals are as follows:

CPA Course & Exam Overview

It consists of 4 sections or 4 exams. That is you will write separate exams for each of these sections. Each section focuses on the understanding of fundamental principles and how to apply them in real life.

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD) –
  2. covers audits, attestation engagements, and preparation, compilation, and review engagements. This section is to test your ability to assess problems and use your judgment to conclude.
  3. Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)is to train you to internal audit a company or work as an external auditor in public accounting. It covers topics relating to a variety of business areas, from operations to corporate governance.
  4. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – is considered to be the most difficult part of the CPA exam and covers a wide range of topics from how to calculate depreciation to which financial statements are required for business, not-for-profit, and state and local government entities.
  5. Regulation (REG) – covers taxation and law. It gives you a firm understanding of tax concepts and how to apply them. Gets you to know the ins and out of business law.

Some US states require additional Ethics exams or Ethics courses to complete a CPA license. So please check if this additional Ethics course is required in your state.

CPA Course Syllabus

The CPA course syllabus is based on the CPA Exam so it constitutes 4 sections mainly based on the 4 exams. Each section has different subjects to be covered.

Syllabus of Auditing and Attestation

Syllabus of Business Environment and Concepts

Syllabus of Financial Accounting and Reporting

Syllabus of Regulation

CPA Course & Exam Duration

CPA course is flexible and candidates can control the CPA preparation.

  • The candidate must complete 150 hours of the CPA course semester to be eligible to obtain the CPA license.
  • Many states require a candidate to have 1-2 years of experience under a CPA before you apply for a license.
  • After you have taken the 1st test in CPA Exam you will have 18 months maximum to attend and pass all the tests. Many candidates complete all 4 exams within 12 months.
  • The candidate has to complete the four-part assessment in 18 months to be eligible for the CPA license.

CPA Course Providers

The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) which conducts the CPA Exam does not provide any official study materials.
But you can get study materials from various course providers which are known as CPA review courses. There are many CPA review course providers. The most popular of courses are listed below.

1. Becker CPA Exam Review

Becker CPA Exam Review is a very popular CPA course provider who has helped 1 million+ students prepare for the CPA Exam with an astonishing 94% CPA Exam pass rate.
They use an adaptive learning software with a powerful AI technology that is created to suit multiple learning styles.

They offer different packages from $ 2,299 to $ 2,999.

2. Wiley CPA Review

Wiley CPA Review is another popular CPA course that comes with a lot of materials updated with the most relevant and latest information.
It also generates a custom study schedule that will meet your specific study needs.

They offer multiple courses in different packages from $ 1,799 to $ 2,199.

3. Surgent CPA Course

Surgent CPA Review Course comes with the most efficient study system that helps candidates pass CPA exams very quickly. It helps you prepare for the CPA Exam in the shortest time and notifies you if you are ready to appear for the exam with a ReadySCORE.

They offer multiple courses in different packages from $ 1,599 to $ 2,999.

CPA Course & Exam Fees

Study materials (payable to course provider) –  $1,500 – $2,500

Payable to NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy)

* International testing fee is not applicable If you are writing the CPA exam in USA.
** Travel expenses might apply if you’re appearing for exams outside of the country you reside in.

The total CPA Exam fees come around $3000 – $4,400.

The total fee for CPA  varies for each state. For exact fees check the state in which you want to get a CPA license.