Ineligible For US CPA? Here’s What You Need To Know

After the pandemic, restrictions have been lifted and professionals are once again grabbing the opportunities to work and earn abroad. The demand for international courses has been at an all-time high. Since the finance and accounting industry has grown dramatically during the pandemic, most students who have an interest in this industry are keen on taking professional courses that give them a global edge. Among the various international finance and accounting courses, if there’s one course that’s gaining immense popularity, it’s the US CPA course. The US CPA course is also known as the black belt in accounting course.

A course conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), US CPA 1 to 1.5 year-long course with four examinations on Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Regulation (REG), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). Each paper is about 4 hours long and comes with a mix of multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations.

US CPA  (Education)

To become a qualified US CPA, the AICPA, NASBA, and the jurisdictions of America have a criterion for three essential categories.

  • Education: A bachelor’s degree or a credit score of 120 in the field of commerce.
  • Exam: The board requires you to complete all 4 papers of the US CPA exam within a window of 18 months.
  • Experience: Based on the jurisdiction you choose to work in, you need to have at least 1 year of relevant work experience.

Coming to the education criteria, as per the US’s ‘120-hour credit rule’ which quantifies to 30 hours per year, most Indian students often tend to get stuck. Since the US has a 4-year bachelor’s program (4 x 30 = 120 hours) and India has a 3-year bachelor’s program (3 x 30 = 90 hours) Indian students often fall under the eligibility criteria.

Solution: If you are a B.Com student already pursuing a CA degree, you can easily qualify for the US CPA exam. Another way to fit into the criteria is to pursue a 2 years Master’s program. Taking M.Com, in that case, would prove to be a boon for you since the subjects overlap with that of US CPA.

US CPA Eligibility (Examination)

After meeting the basic education requirement, the next step is meeting the examination requirement. After completing the 120 credit hours, it’s time to find a jurisdiction where you qualify easily. Send your mark sheets and Indian transcripts to an international credit evaluation agency. Your evaluation depends on where you’ve completed your education from. For Indian-international students who’ve studied in the US, there’s no evaluation required. But for Indian students studying in India, there’s an evaluation process.

Similarly, for US students studying abroad, an evaluation for US CPA is mandatory. Make sure that you double-check all your documents before sending them for evaluation. NASBA has the contact information of each and every accounting board.

Solution: There is a basic charge that you need to pay for your professional evaluation. This could range anywhere from $100 to $400. The cost also varies on the evaluation required, the cost of a general diploma evaluation is way lesser than that of a course-by-course evaluation.

Some jurisdictions also provide pre-evaluation as a service that helps you identify which courses you are currently lacking in order to appear for your examination.

US CPA Eligibility (Experience)

The minimum experience requirement often comes off as the greatest roadblock when applying for US CPA.  The work experience required for US CPA is about a year. However, when it comes to experience ‘relevance’ and ‘verification’ plays an important role.  For Indian students, only if you’ve worked under US CPA for a year, will your experience be counted.

Solution: While experience is mandatory for many states in America, it doesn’t necessarily have to be public accounting experience. It could also be an experience in related domains such as taxation or academic teaching.

We hope that with this detailed explanation your doubts regarding the US CPA eligibility have been answered. However, since it can be a complicated process to get through, you’ll need a coaching institute that helps you through every step of the process, from application to placement. Apply for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) through Zell Education or simply get in touch with our experts with a click the WhatsApp icon.

What is the minimum eligibility for the US CPA course?

The minimum eligibility for US CPA is a graduation degree with a total of 120 credit scores.

Can a BA student pursue US CPA?

A BA student can pursue US CPA if they complement their degree with a postgraduate degree in accounting or an MBA.

How can I get the extra 30 credits for US CPA?

If you’ve cleared your B.Com in the first go from a NAAC-A accredited university, you will be awarded extra 30 credits making you eligible for the US CPA course.

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