What is the CPA Exam in India? Eligibility, Syllabus, Age Limit, Fees, Registration

It is acknowledged globally that we live in a world, where the principle of accountancy plays a vital role to deal with the regular aspects of business, whether they are at a large scale or a small scale. In such times, commerce has become one of the most desirable fields across all career options. In addition to that, not only a UG and PG level course under commerce as well as its professional courses also has another level popularity among candidates. Professional courses like CA, CS and CPA many others are one of those professional courses which are always in demand. All offer a wide range of opportunities to the candidates who aspire to work as a professional at their respective job position. In this article, we have discussed every aspect of CPA like Eligibility Criteria, Syllabus, Application fees, How to apply for CPA etc. Now without wasting any time, let’s have a look at it:

What is the CPA Exam?

In this section, we are providing basic information about the CPA exam. Take a look:

Let’s start with its full form; the full form of CPA is Certified Public Accountant and also known as a popular course under commerce stream. The course ensures worldwide recognition which makes it more unique and extreme. The CPA accounting certification has worldwide importance which imparts knowledge of international standards of accountancy and principles of accountancy. Those who want to achieve a CPA license, must qualify the all necessary stages of CPA including education learning and internships and most importantly earn a valid license.

What is the CPA Exam in India

The US CPA is the only best version of the CPA certification that has been preferred by the candidates. But now there is good news for those candidates who want to pursue CPA within India. Yes, you heard right! Now Indian students can appear for the CPA exam without moving anywhere. This course offered by the higher authority namely AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). It has been regulated by the board of accountancy that means who can apply for the CPA exam and the Eligibility of the exam will be set by them.

Once candidates are approved by the board of accountancy, they are eligible for applying for CPA. On the successful registration of the exam, you will get an NTS or Notice to schedule. The Notice to Schedule is valid for a limited duration. If you want to appear for the primary stage of the CPA exam then you need to register yourself and make an appointment for that. Each section or stage holds a separate NTS or Notice to Schedule which is given by the Board of Accountancy. After getting your NTS, you can immediately apply for the CPA exam appointment.

The course is best suited for candidates who are interested to work as a professional accountant and possess required skills and ability like leadership quality, ability to tackle difficult situations, knowledge of book-keeping, preparing data and balance sheet etc. In this section, we provide basic information about the CPA exam.

Eligibility Criteria of CPA Exam:

Interested aspirants will meet some eligibility criteria while they are applying for the CPA exam. Below mentioned requirements are mandatory for all. Let’s take a look:

  1. The candidates should be a postgraduate with subjects like account, economics, business management etc. Overall commerce stream candidates can apply for the CPA exam.
  2. Candidates with science or arts background can also apply for the CPA exam. It all depends on their interest and preference.
  3. Apart from degree holders, such candidates are also eligible for the CPA, if the member of the ICA (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India).
  4. The member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants in India is also eligible for the CPA.
  5. Those candidates are also eligible for the CPA exam who is the Member of the Company Secretaries in India.
  6. Candidates having a Master’s degree especially with Commerce subjects can apply for this exam.
  7. Those who have completed their MBA from a recognized university are eligible for the CPA exam.


The candidates who are pursuing CA and already completed their B.Com or have passed their B.Com along with CA can apply for the CPA certification course. However, some popular institutes in India provide coaching and training and prepared candidates for CPA at all stages. So, the criteria may vary from institute to institute and state to state.


To pursue a CPA certification accountancy course, you must fulfil the nationality requirements. Candidates with the below-mentioned citizenship can appear for the CPA.

  1. India
  2. Bhutan
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Myanmar
  5. Maldives
  6. Nepal
  7. Sri Lanka
  8. USA

If you belong to the above-mentioned countries or have long-term residents in those countries then you can easily apply for CPA.

Exam Pattern and Syllabus of CPA

Before start preparing for the CPA exam, you should know about its curriculum and pattern. It is important to know how many topics are covered under this exam and especially about major subjects. The CPA exam comprises four sections including-

  1. AUD – Auditing and Attestation
  2. BEC – Business Environment and Concepts
  3. FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting
  4. REG – Regulation

Candidates need to qualify for all three sections to become a Certified Public Accountant. After clearing all sections, candidates will be enrolled as CPA and get a valid licence. The candidates must finish all four sections in between 18 months and each section of the exam has a limit of four hours. It is an online-based exam.

Exam Pattern of CPA

  1. AUD – Multiple Choice Questions (50%), Task-Based Simulations (50%)
  2. BEC – Multiple Choice Questions (50%), Task-Based Simulations (35%), Written Communication Task (15%)
  3. FAR – Multiple Choice Questions (50%), Task-Based Simulations (50%)
  4. REG – Multiple Choice Questions (50%), Task-Based Simulations (50%)

Skills Levels

  1. AUD – Remembering and Understanding (25-35%), Application (30-40%), Analysis (20-30%), Evaluation (5-15%)
  2. BEC –Remembering and Understanding (15-25%), Application (50-60%), Analysis (20-30%)
  3. FAR – Remembering and Understanding (10-20%), Application ( 50-60%), Analysis (25-35%)
  4. REG – Remembering and Understanding (25-35%), Application (35-45%), Analysis (25-35%)

Syllabus of CPA

  • Syllabus of Auditing ( AUD)

The area I: Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and General Principles – 15 to 25% allocation

Area II: Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Response- 25 to 35% allocation

Area III: Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence – 30 to 40% allocation

Area IV: Forming Conclusions and Reporting – 10 to 20% allocation

  • Syllabus of Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)

Area I: Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Controls and Business Processes – 20 to 30% allocation

Area II: Economics – 15 to 25% allocation

Area III: Financial management – 10 to 20% allocation

Area IV: Information Technology – 15 to 25% allocation

Area V: Operations Management – 15 to 25% allocation

  • Syllabus of Financial Accounting and Reporting ( FAR)

Area I: Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting, and Financial Reporting- 25 to 35% allocation

Area II:            Select Financial Statement Accounts            – 30 to 40% allocation

Area III: Select Transactions- 20 to 30% allocation

Area IV: State and Local Government – 5 to 15% allocation

  • Syllabus of Regulations ( REG)

The area I: Ethics, Professional Responsibilities, and Federal Tax Procedures – 10 to 20% allocation

Area II: Business Law – 10 to 20% allocation

Area III: Federal Taxation of Property Transactions – 12 to 22% allocation

Area IV: Federal Taxation of Individuals – 15 to 25% allocation

Area V: Federal Taxation of Entities – 28 to 38% allocation

After qualifying for all exams, candidates are eligible for earning a licence. In which state you want to practice as a professional, depends on you.

CPA Exam Cost

The CPA exam involves numerous costs like application fees, license fees, examination fees etc. Let’s discuss that:

  • Application fees – The CPA application is approx. Rs. 3,600 to Rs. 14,500 but it may vary from state to state.
  • Examination fees – The CPA examination is around Rs. 14,100 ( for each section).
  • Registration fees – The CPA registration fees are divided into four parts:
  1. When you take 1 section at a time – ApproxRs. 4,600
  2. When you take 2 sections at a time – ApproxRs. 5,900
  3. When you take 3 sections at a time – ApproxRs. 7,200
  4. When you take 4 sections at a time – ApproxRs. 12,900
  • Ethics Fees – The ethics can be conducted by some states after the completion of the uniform CPA exam. The fees of this exam are around Rs.10,900 to Rs. 14,500.
  • Licensing Fees – On the successful completion of the uniform and ethics exam, candidates will go for the next step namely earning a licence. The fee of a CPA licence is approx. $50 to 500 per year. The fee may depend upon the states.

How to apply for CPA Exam?

Before applying for the CPA exam, you need to make sure that every step should be followed while you are applying. Let’s quickly have a look at how to apply for the CPA exam:

  • Before applying for the CPA exam, make sure you are eligible or not.
  • If you are fully sure that you are eligible then you should send all official transcripts to your state board via mail.
  • Next, submit the CPA exam application and fees.
  • Then, get your ATT ( Authorization to Test).
  • Next is to get your NTS.
  • After that schedule your exam.
  • Then appear in exam and crack it.

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