CPA vs. CA Difference | Which is Better For Your Career?


The demand for education and expertise in the accounting profession has grown steadily due to the ongoing changes in accounting regulations in different countries. Accounting professionals now understand the value of specific knowledge & skill development, which has allowed them to reassess their career paths. It has led to the discussion of the US CPA vs. CA difference and whether one is superior.
These two top professional certifications in accounting and finance are the finest for landing prestigious jobs and getting high wages. You may have various questions while choosing between these two professional certification programs; therefore, it's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages and the US CPA vs. CA difference to get more clarity.
So, in this blog, we will discuss all the aspects.

What is the Difference Between US CPA and CA?

The following list and discussion outline the primary differences between a US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Accountant (CA):
  • US CPA stands for US Certified Public Accountant, and these exams are administered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). In contrast, CA stands for Chartered Accountant, and The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) oversees these examinations.
  • CPA is an international degree recognized internationally, whereas CA is an Indian degree that is mostly accepted in India and, to a lesser extent, in a few Middle Eastern nations. 
  • CPA includes International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as well as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of US, whereas CA encompasses Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) 
  • The minimum time needed for an applicant to pass the CA exam is four to five years, but the minimum and maximum amounts of time needed to complete the CPA program are seven months and one year, respectively.
  • Examinations for the CPA are given online; exams for the CA are given offline.
  • To get a CA license, a candidate must complete at least three years of Articleship in a firm of chartered accountants, although this requirement is not relevant to CPA students.
  • The CPA exam has four exam parts, including FAR, AUD, BEC, and REG, but the CA exams are administered through four levels:
  1. Common Proficiency Test (CPT)
  2. the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC OR IPCE)
  3. And the final exam.

CPA Becker Review

Many people think Becker is the best for US CPA test preparation. Becker is trusted by virtually every accounting organization, including government organizations and the Big 4 accounting firms, to thoroughly prepare their accountants. Let's go over the specifics of the Becker CPA Review course to evaluate its advantages and disadvantages.

Course Structure and Cost

CPA candidates have a choice between three different courses offered by Becker -
  • Advantage
  • Premium
  • Pro+
Advantage - The Advantage course is Becker's entry-level offering, and it comprises most of the materials you'll need to study for the CPA test. It is basically an essentials-only plan with fewer practice questions and no live courses. Although it frequently goes on sale for cheaper, the Advantage course typically costs roughly $2,400.
Premium - This is Becker's most famous package and is widely regarded as their "standard" course for CPA test preparation. The Premium course is approximately equivalent to the Advantage package but includes unlimited access, more practice problems, and live online classes. Although frequently on sale, this product has a price tag of roughly $3,000.
Pro+ - This package includes 5 hours of individual 1-on-1 coaching with a Becker CPA test specialist, access to live in-person sessions (held around the country), printed flashcards, and free CPE for a year.

Study Material

In the prep course business, Becker offers the most comprehensive collection of study resources. It has over 7,000 MCQs, 400+ TBSs, paper, and digital textbooks, over 200 video sessions, 12 practice examinations that are exact replicas of the real test, and an infinite number of practice exams. The textbook that is shown on the screen with the teacher continually emphasizing crucial topics is supplemented by the 50�55 minute video lectures. A smartphone app, the Accounting for Empires game, 1250+ digital flashcards, 400+ SkillMaster videos with TBS drawings, real-time academic help, and live classes are included in the add-ons.

Free Trial Period

For 14 days, Becker is accessible without charge, so you may become accustomed to its layout and features. With SkillMaster lessons, you get access to 31 hours of lectures, digital flashcards, about 60 adaptive tailored sessions, an infinite number of practice exams, two units for each curriculum part, around 1490 MCQs, and 100 TBSs. It may take up to 30 minutes to complete the free trial registration process, but you can always upgrade to the full package and pick up right where you left off.

Online Content Accessibility

Students may access all of the CPA study material on the Becker program, which they can download and use on their PCs and mobile devices. Students benefit from this since they may use their computers or mobile phones. Users who experience problems with their internet connection can still use this program since they can download the material and utilize it offline.

Access Period

There is a 24-month access period included in the Becker's Advantage package. Users of the Premium and Pro packages may use the study materials concurrently until they pass the CPA test. It demonstrates that Becker's bundles are worth every cent you spend on them.

Eligibility Criteria for CPA and CA

In the discussion of the CPA vs. CA difference, here we will outline the eligibility criteria for both the course:
CPA - If you want to take the Certified Public Accountant Examination, you must pass the Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) with a first-class grade or have both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Postgraduate Degree. Furthermore, if you hold a B.Com degree and are an Indian CA, you are eligible to sit for the CPA exams.
CPA institute in bangalore
CA - After taking the Senior Secondary Exam, you must take the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) if you intend to take the Indian CA Examination. Every year, the CPT Examination is held in June & December. Thus, you first need to register for the exam 60 days beforehand, or by the first of April & the first of October, respectively.

Syllabus for CPA and CA

Now let's discuss the syllabus for both courses in the context of the US CPA vs. CA difference.
Exam I: Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR CPA Exam)Duration: Four hoursQuestion Pattern: 3 MCQ tests (60% weightage) & seven short task-based simulations (TBS) (40% Weightage)Level I: Common Proficiency Test (CPT)Duration: Sessions 1 & 2Session 1: Fundamentals of Accounting (60 points), Mercantile Laws (40 points)Session 2: General Economics (50 points), Quantitative Aptitude (50 points)Question Pattern: Objective Type (For each correct answer - 1 mark. For each wrong answer - Negative 0.25)
Exam II: Auditing & Attestation (AUD CPA Exam)Duration: Four hoursQuestion Pattern: Three MCQ testlets (60% weightage) & seven short task-based simulations (40% Weightage)Level 2: Integrated Professional Competence CourseDuration: 7 Papers arranged into Two groups (Each Paper of 3 hours)Group I: Advanced Accounting, Law, Ethics & Communication, Cost Accounting, Financial Management, and Taxation.Group II: Advanced Accounting, Auditing & Assurance, Information Technology & Strategic Management.Question Pattern: Theory & Practical Based
Exam III: Regulation (REG CPA Exam)Duration: Four hoursQuestion Pattern: Three MCQ testlets (60% weightage) & seven short task-based simulations (40% Weightage)Level 3: CA FinalDuration: 8 Papers arranged into Two groups (Each Paper of 3 hours)Group I: Strategic Financial Management, Financial Reporting,  Professional Ethics, Advanced Auditing, and Corporate & Allied Laws.Group II: Information Systems Control & Audit, Advanced Management Accounting, Direct Tax Laws, Indirect Tax Laws.Question Pattern: Practical and Theory Based
Exam IV: Business Environment & Concepts (BEC CPA Exam)Duration: Four hoursQuestion Pattern: Three MCQ testlets (85% weightage) & Three written simulations (15% weightage).

Career Opportunities

When we understand the CPA vs. CA difference, career opportunities that one gets after certification are one of the most crucial factors in deciding between the two.
CPA Career Prospects - The CPA qualification will provide access to various alternatives. You can work in a variety of accounting professions after receiving your CPA certification, including international
  • Internal & external auditing
  • Consulting Services
  • Assurance services
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Taxation & Financial Planning.
You may locate the finest location to work anywhere in many nations because of its widespread reputation. 
CA Career Opportunities - Similar to this, having a CA designation will provide you with a lot of alternatives in accounting's more specialized fields, like Corporate finance, Auditing, Taxation, and corporate law. After earning your CA certification, you have two options: either work for one of the top accounting companies already in existence or open your own independent professional business.

CPA vs. CA � Salary Comparison

CPA - It has been determined that CPA professionals in India make an average yearly pay of INR 7,68,552. If an individual has more than ten years of experience in this profession, they often move on to other occupations. Given that the CPA is a US accounting certification, we will talk especially about the average wage in the US and India, for both beginners and seasoned professionals, in terms of general buckets.
  • CPA Fresher salary in the US: USD 67K pa
  • CPA Fresher salary in India: INR 952K pa
  • CPA Experienced salary in the US: USD 165K pa
  • CPA Experienced salary in India: INR 6500K pa
CA - The typical annual compensation for a chartered accountant in India is INR 6-7 lakhs. Financial Analysis, Strategic Accounts, Budget Management, and Financial Advisor are skills that are related to high compensation for this position. The average tenure of employees in this position is under ten years. In this position, experience is a major factor in salary. Outside of India, salary packages might reach 75 lakhs. According to data from last year, the average income of CAs in India is 7.36 lakhs. Every year, the ICAI conducts campus placement.


Now that we have covered almost all the details of the US CPA vs. CA difference making a wise decision for your career will not be very difficult. However, given that both credentials have successful careers, choosing between CPA & CA is not easy. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Selecting a CPA is the best option if you want to work overseas or for a global corporation. Another option is to get a CA if you wish to start your own audit practice in India.
You must pass the associated certification examinations to get these credentials, regardless of the course you pick. The certification exams mentioned above will be challenging; therefore, applicants should sign up for classes at a reputable institution like NorthStar Academy (NSA). NSA provides students with specialized study materials, recorded lectures, live sessions, and bundle discounts to keep costs down. Candidates who enroll in the CA or CPA course program can access free sample courses to see for themselves the quality of the course & classes. In addition, get access to the best US CPA preparation materials worldwide by joining as a bonus point with Becker International.
Call us at +918147470707 to speak with one of our counselors about any queries, and we'll be happy to assist.


1. Can I do CPA without CA?

Yes, without finishing your CA, you can pursue US CPA in India. In the field of accounting, the CA and CPA designations are two of the most esteemed. Get a CPA certification if you want to work in accounting.

2. Is CPA better than CA?

You can become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) by completing the required coursework and passing an exam. The main CPA vs. CA difference is the subjects you study in their syllabus. Given that the location, employment position, employer, and work experience are all the same, you may anticipate earning around the same amount of money with both qualifications. What you want to accomplish and where you want to work ultimately determine your options.

3. Is CPA more valuable than CA?

In comparison to a CA, a CPA is paid more. Although a CA earns a respectable wage, it pales in comparison to that of a CPA. A CPA course can be finished in as little as seven months and as much as a year. A CA program takes at least 4 to 5 years to complete. You can refer to the above article to understand the US CPA vs. CA difference and then make an informed choice.

4. Who earns more, CPA or CA?

A US CPA makes an average pay in India between Rs 8 and Rs 10 LPA, whereas a CA makes an average salary between Rs 6.5 and Rs 7 LPA. In addition, 10% bonuses and yearly increases of up to 5% are given to US CPAs. CPAs are in high demand due to the growth of US-based accounting firms like the Big 4 in India. Accounting businesses are searching for capable and experienced CPAs. As a result, they are willing to provide attractive compensation packages for CPAs with less experience.
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