What is the CPA Exam Syllabus in Detail - CPA Exam Pattern?

CPA Exam Syllabus in Detail 2022

Globalization opened up many barriers in the trade of goods, but now businesses have begun to expand. Their goal is to be better and work better, because of which a need for professional accountants has increased. These professionals act as financial advisors and keep track of the capital of the organization. To fulfill this requirement, certified accounting professionals like the CPA are in great demand.  
The CPA certification is considered a prestigious certification gained by an individual who has a forte in Accounting and Finance. It is in huge demand in various fields like Public Accounting, Business and Industry, government, and education sectors.
A CPA performs several roles and responsibilities like Financial Planning and Business Valuation, Auditing and Review, Tax Preparation, Company Management, Litigation Services, and Forensic Accounting Services. 
The best part is that the CPA exam syllabus can be completed in 1 year, and it is offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ( AICPA).

CPA eligibility in India

The eligibility criteria for CPA vary from country to country. Indian students have to fulfill the criteria set by the national CPA organization. 
The basic requirements are:
  • The candidates must have a bachelor's degree in an accredited college. They must meet the minimum aggregate in a relevant field of Accounting and Finance. This could be by pursuing BBA, Bcom, or MBA with courses in Accounting and Finance to have a foundational understanding.  
  • Membership in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) or Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) or the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). 
  • The candidate has to complete the CPA exam syllabus and clear 4 Papers with 75% marks in 18 months, to qualify for the CPA Certification.
  • Also, the candidates must meet the 120 credit hours (a bachelor's degree + 30 extra credits from a Master's degree) to write the exam and 150 credit hours for the CPA course semester.

Course Duration:

The CPA Exam syllabus takes nearly 12-18 months to complete with exams conducted every month. It is a pretty short duration course, and hence can be completed easily while adding a lot of value and weightage to your resume. 

CPA Exam Syllabus:

The CPA Certification requires a broad gamut of knowledge, so the entire CPA exam syllabus has 4 sections. Each section focuses on a body of associated knowledge with different subjects. 
The 4 sections in the CPA exam are: 
  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Business Environment Concepts (BEC)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)

Detailed CPA Exam Syllabus in India 

The CPA Exam Syllabus includes:
Syllabus of Auditing of the CPA Exam in India (AUD): This part of the curriculum covers SAS (Statements of Auditing Standards)
  • Professional Responsibilities & Ethics
  •  Planning & Supervision
  •  Internal Controls
  •  Corroborative Audit Evidence
  •  Audit Sampling
  •  Audit Reports
  •  Other Auditing & Attestation Topics
Syllabus of Business Environment Concepts of the CPA exam in India  (BEC): This part helps the student understand Business Environment & Concepts
  • Corporate Governance, Internal Controls & ERM
  • Cost Measurement
  • Financial Management
  • Financial Planning & Risk Management
  • Performance Measures
  • Economic Concepts & Strategy
  • Information Technology
Syllabus of Financial Accounting and Reporting of the CPA Exam in India (FAR) : This part of the syllabus covers USGAAP and IFRS
  • Conceptual framework, Financial Reporting & Misc. Topics
  • Current Assets and Liabilities
  • Investments, PP&E and Intangibles
  • Bonds, Leases and Pensions
  • Deferred Taxes, Equity, EPS & Cash Flows
  • Consolidation, Foreign Currency, Partnerships & NPO
  • Governmental Accounting
Syllabus of Regulation of the CPA Exam in India  (REG): This covers everything under US Federal Taxation
  • Taxation of Individuals
  • Property Transactions & Depreciation
  • Taxation of C-Corporations
  • Taxation of Other Entities
  • Supplementary Taxation Topics
  • Statutory Reg. & Business Structures
  • Business Law
The CPA exam pattern is as follows:
CPA Exam Time Taken Questions
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) 4 hours 90 questions and 7 task-based simulations
Business Environment & Concepts      4 hours 72 questions and 3 written tasks
Financial Accounting and  Reporting      4 hours 90 questions and 7 task-based simulations (FAR) 

 Regulation (REG)
4 hours 72 questions and 6 task-based simulations
The duration of each section of the exam is 4 hours (a total of 16 hours). The CPA exam dates are in March, June, September, and December.

Exam Centers for the CPA Exam in India

There are 10 exam centers from where you can choose to write your CPA exam as per the CPA exam dates: 
  • Ahmedabad
  • New Delhi
  • Chennai
  • Pune
  • Bangalore
  • Coimbatore
  • Ernakulam
  • Kannur
  • Secunderabad
  • Mumbai

Career prospects and scope after CPA exam in India

If you want to take your accounting career to the next level, CPA is the course that can accomplish your future. CPAs have knowledge similar to that of a Chartered Accountant (CA), additional knowledge of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), and GAAS (Generally Accepted Accounting Standards).
With this knowledge and proficiency, they have a scope in careers like
a. Financial Analyst
b. Management Accountant
c. Risk and Compliance Analyst
d. Tax Accountant
e. Management Consultant
f. Information Technology Auditor
g. Finance Director

Salary Offered to a CPA Professional

There are a plethora of jobs in Accounting, Finance, and Taxation in India. Some top companies that are hiring Certified Public Professionals include Genpact, Philips, Deloitte, Accenture, Cognizant, etc. along with the Big 4 including PWC, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst, and Young. They are hired for the knowledge as CPAs are known to be well versed in US GAAP and IFRS reporting.
The freshers who have passed CPA can get a starting package of 4 � 6 LPA based on the organization they are working for after finishing the CPA Course. But don't worry about the salary. It will not be a constraint if you have the right skills and talent. The salary varies based on the skillset and diligence, and experience gained by the individual in the workforce.


Choosing the CPA course can be the best decision in your career. But to pass the exams you need to get expert guidance from experienced faculty. Hence you must invest enough time, effort, and resources to do well. NorthStar Academy has everything that you might need to complete your CPA exam syllabus to turn your aspirations into reality. Becoming a CPA will no longer be a dream but your reality. 
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