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CPA Full Form - Eligibility, Subjects, Opportunities,

CPA Full Form - Eligibility, Subjects, Opportunities,

Edited By Sansar Singh Chhikara | Updated on Sep 29, 2023 12:35 PM IST

CPA Full Form: The CPA course full form is Certified Public Accountant. CPA is a professional accounting certification given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Basically CPAs are hired by companies to handle their accounts. The CPA certification given by AICPA is the highest standard of competence in global accounting. The Indian equivalent of the CPA certification is Chartered Accountancy which is a similar is prevalent in India. However, professionals can also get a CPA degree in India as well. Mainly, CPA certification is required to practise accounting in the USA. To get CPA certification in India, candidates are required to pass four subjects within a duration of 18 months. Read the complete article to know more about the full form of CPA, careers for CPA, CPA in India and more

CPA Full Form - Overview

Full form of CPA

Certified Public Accountant

Number of Subjects


Testing window duration

18 months

Career options

Internal Audit Director, Tax Manager, Financial Controller etc.

Governing body

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

Minimum salary of CPA

Minimum salary of CPA is around 7.6 lakhs per annum

CPA Certification - Eligibility

Candidates aspiring to get a CPA certification should first meet the eligibility criteria specified by the authorities. The AICPA specified different eligibility criteria for different states in the US and other countries. The CPA eligibility criteria for India has been given below:

  • Applicants must have citizenship of either India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka or USA.

  • Candidates must be members of ICAI, ICMAI, or ICSI.

  • Candidates who have a MBA or M.Com or any other Masters degree in the field of Commerce, Accounting or Finance are also eligible to take up the exam.

  • Applicants require 120 credits to take the US CPA exams and 150 credits to get his CPA licence.

  • Usually one year of University education in India is equal to 30 credits of US education

  • In some cases, first division graduates of a three-year degree from NAAC-A accredited universities of India are qualified to take the US CPA exams too.

CPA Certification - Exam Centres in India

Candidates who are seeking a CPA certification can give the exam at the exam centres specified by AICPA in India. The list of CPA exam centres in India has been given below:

  • Hyderabad

  • Ahmedabad

  • Mumbai

  • Delhi

  • Bangalore

  • Chennai

  • Kolkata

  • Thiruvananthapuram

CPA Certification Subjects

There are a total of 4 subjects in CPA and candidates need to give separate exams for each subject during a tenure of 18 months. Candidates need to score 75 to pass the CPA exam. The complete exam structure of CPA certification has been given below


Course Contents


Question Pattern


Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)

4 Hours Exam

66 MCQs (50% weightage) administered viz 2 testlets & 8 Task-based simulations (TBSs) administered viz 3 testlets (50% weightage).


Auditing & Attestation (AUD)

4 Hours Exam

72 MCQs (50% weightage) administered viz 2 testlets and 8 Task-Based Simulations (TBSs) administered viz 3 testlets (50% weightage).


Regulation (REG)

4 Hours Exam

76 MCQs (50% weightage) administered viz 2 testlets and 8 Task-Based Simulations (TBSs) administered viz 3 testlets (50% weightage).


Business Environment & Concepts (BEC))

4 Hours Exam

62 MCQs (50% weightage) administered viz 2 testlets, 4 Task-Based Simulations (TBSs) administered viz 2 testlets (35% weightage) and 3 Written Communication Tasks (WCs) (15% weightage)

Difference between CA and CPA



Full Form

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant

CA stands for Chartered Accountant.

Governing body

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the governing body of CPA

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the governing body of CA

Continuing education requirements

A CPA is required to complete 40 hours of continued education every year with minimum 4 hours of professional ethics

Education requirements for CAs vary depending on the rules of the board.


CPA is an international degree that is accepted in English speaking countries like the US

CA is accepted majorly in India and a few middle eastern countries


Candidates must have a five year education in the field of business and accounting to enrol in the course

Candidates who have passed their class 12 are eligible to take the CA exam.

How to Become CPA

Now that the eligibility criteria for CPA and the subjects have been laid out in detail above, know the route map or the steps to become CPA:

  • Earn a Master's degree to get the required 150 credits in case you have done a three year graduation course. (30 for each year)
  • Register for and clear the CPA exams within the given time frame
  • Apply for membership and license from the CPA Institute
  • Become a member and practise as a CPA

CPA Career Opportunities in India

There are various career options for professionals who possess a CPA certification. Talking about career opportunities in CPA, here are some of the roles and positions CPA professionals can get into:

  • Internal Audit Director

  • Chief Financial Officer

  • Chief Accountant

  • Commercial Director

  • Finance Manager

  • Chief Executive Officer

  • Tax Manager

  • Vice President, Finance

  • Financial Controller

  • Finance Director

  • Chief Audit Executive

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What is the full form of CPA?

CPA stands for Certified Professional Accountant.

2. What is the eligibility of CPA certification?

Candidates must have a Master’s degree in the field of accounting, business or  finance.

3. Can Indian citizens take the CPA exam?

Yes, Indian citizens can take the CPA exam in India itself as there are many cities where the exam is organised.

4. Can a CA take an exam for CPA certification?

Yes, CAs, CMAs and CSs can take the CPA exam

5. What is the minimum salary of a CPA in India?

The minimum salary of CPA in India is Rs 7.6  lakhs per annum


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