The CPA designation will help you take your career to the next level
Being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) means you are at the forefront of your profession. A CPA serves many clients as an objective outsider or in an advisory capacity. Today there are over 46,000 public accounting firms in the United States, ranging from small local accounting practices to large international firms. The role of a CPA has evolved from traditional accounting into a multi-dimensional area of expertise, making CPAs highly desirable to companies, educational institutions, NGOs and government agencies.
There is a real job market demand for CPAs and this demand isn’t a short-term fad. And despite a challenging global business scene, the job opportunities as a CPA are still plentiful. Today CPAs can look forward to:
- Job opportunities
- Great pay and benefits
- Career stability
- A bright future
Since the CPA is a highly respected professional designation in accounting, it sets you above the competition.
Benefits of the CPA Program
Becoming a CPA is a challenging process which involves passing a rigorous four-part exam. For those that persevere, the rewards can be significant because of the rising demand for CPAs. The CPA program crafts skills and hones useful competencies that are essential to the success of your career including:
- Superior accounting knowledge base (theoretical and practical)
- Analytical, problem solving & research skills
- Personal skills (including leadership and motivational)
- Strong communication skills with the ability to be a good listener
- Technologically up-to-date (e-commerce, internet, database…)
- High ethical standards
- Marketing and client oriented with insight into behavior
- Project Management with the ability to organize and prioritize
- Technical analysis ability (business factors))
- Significant know-how
In addition to nurturing all these indispensible skills, Students who prepare with Becker pass at double the rate of non-Becker candidates, based on averages of AICPA-published pass rates.
Real World Relevance
Take a closer look at the content the CPA covers. With such rich material and pertinent topics, the CPA really symbolizes the height of public accounting.
Financial Accounting & Reporting
- Conceptual framework, standards, standard setting, and presentation of financial statements
- Financial statement accounts: recognition, measurement, valuation, calculation, presentation, and disclosures
- Specific transactions, events and disclosures: recognition, measurement, valuation, calculation, presentation, and disclosures
- Governmental accounting and reporting
- Accounting and reporting for nongovernmental not-for-profit organizations
Auditing & Attestation
- Auditing and attestation: engagement acceptance and understanding the assignment
- Understanding the entity and its environment (including internal control)
- Auditing and attestation: performing audit procedures and evaluating evidence
- Evaluating audit findings, communications, and reporting
- Accounting and review service engagements
- Professional responsibilities
- Ethics and professional and legal responsibilities
- Business law
- Federal tax procedures, accounting and planning
- Federal taxation of property transactions
- Federal taxation – individuals
- Federal taxation – entities
Business Environment & Concepts
- Corporate governance
- Economic concepts and analysis
- Financial management
- Information systems and communication
- Strategic planning
- Operations management
CPA Certification Basic Requirements
To become a full-fledged CPA, you have to qualify to take the exam, meet some additional requirements and pass the exam. In general, most of the states require 1 to 2 years of accounting experience attested by a CPA. Some states also require an ethics exam or additional university credits. While this may sound daunting, the rewards and benefits of being a CPA are well worth it.
CPA Exam Basic Requirements
The CPA title conveys a commitment to excellence and is a very specific professional designation; hence, becoming a CPA is not for everyone. In order to qualify to take the CPA exam you need at least 120 semester hours of college coursework that includes Accounting and Business classes. Each state board varies with their requirements; you may contact us for more information.
It’s worth noting that candidates can take the exam in one state and then move to another state but they will have to go through certain procedures for exam validation. And now the CPA exam can be taken at international locations!
About the CPA Exam
To best prepare for the CPA Exam, it’s important to know what to expect:
- A modern designation warrants a modern assessment and so the CPA Exam is computer-based. To make the CPA Exam more manageable for candidates, it is divided into 4 parts. The best thing about this is the flexibility and hence you can take the parts in the order you want.
- You have 18 months to take all 4 parts once 1 part is passed. This provides you with enough time to study even if you have a busy schedule.
- The pass rate is a reassuring 75%.
CPA Exam Content and Structure:
Audit & Attestation: 4 Hours
- 3 tests let 24->30 MCQs (60% of the grade)
- task based Simulations (40% of the grade)
Financial Accounting: 4 Hours
- 3 tests let 24-30 MCQs (60% of the grade)
- 7 task based Simulations (40% of the grade)
Regulation: 3 Hours
- 3 tests let “24->30 MCQs (60% of the grade)
- 6 task based Simulations (40% of the grade)
Business Concepts: 3 Hours
- 3 tests let “24->30 MCQs (85% of the grade)
- 3 tasks based simulations (15% of the grade)
CPA Exam Schedule and Locations
You can take the Exam whenever you like except for March, June, September and December.
Since CPAs are in high demand, the CPA Exam can now be taken outside of the US! This is great news for candidates with permanent or long-term residencies and natives of the following countries:
- Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and UAE
Sitting for the exam at one of the international locations is easy if:
- You meet the exam eligibility requirements of one of the State Boards that took part in the international shift (CPC can help you identify which have shifted)
- You meet the international exam eligibility requirements:
- Make a commitment to seek CPA licensure upon passing the CPA Examination and thereafter maintain your status as licensee
- Meet citizenship/residency requirements
- Provide demographic information
- Pay additional fees (every exam part has a relative increase in the fee and fees are non-refundable)
Once you’ve met all the requirements, you can start applying so you can take the official exam.
- Send a copy of your college and/or university transcript(s) and certificate to CPC’s office for advice and assistance
- Have your transcripts evaluated by an approved evaluation service
- Fill in the initial applications and pay the corresponding fees
- Wait until you receive the Notice to Schedule “NTS” (this usually happens within 6-8 weeks of applying)
- Once you have your “NTS”, go to the Prometric website and schedule the exam date and location accordingly
- If you wish to take the exam in the USA, then check for nearby hotels on www.usa-lodging.com (according to the Postal Code) OR if you wish to take the exam closer to home, then check your nearest international exam center.