CPA Exam in India

CPA Exam in India 2021

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam is a globally recognized and US-approved credentialing test for accounting professionals. January 2021 marked the arrival of continuous testing of US CPA Exams in India. Here we discuss the CPA Exam eligibility, application process, fees, and exam centres in India.

The CPA ExamCPA ExamThe CPA Exam assesses accounting professionals not just on their financial knowledge, but also on their ability to review and seek out key abilities.read more is conducted throughout the year across borders and continents. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and Prometric jointly decided to expand the CPA Exam testing in India. 

With a successful test run of the exam in 2020, the professional bodies adopted the continuous testing model this year. The CPA Exams are scheduled to be held at eight designated Prometric Test Centres in India. 

Eligibility

As an international candidate, you must fulfil both citizenship and exam eligibility requirements to take the exam in India. For that, you must first select a US jurisdiction participating in international testing. This jurisdiction must declare you eligible to sit for the exam in India.

For more information on jurisdictions participating in the international administration of the exam, you can check the NASBA website.  

Citizenship or residency requirements

To take the CPA Exam in India, you have to be a long-term resident or citizen of any of the following countries:

  • India
  • USA
  • Bhutan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
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Exam eligibility requirements

Each jurisdiction’s State Board of Accountancy (BOA) has specific exam and licensing requirements. Basic requirements which are common to most state boards are as follows:

  • 120 to 150 credit hours of education
  • Education from a recognized institution
  • 24 credit hours in accounting and business course works

However, as an international CPA candidate you can check your eligibility through the NASBA’s International Evaluation Services (NIES). NIES offers academic evaluation services for international candidates. It verifies your educational records through a thorough assessment.

Always remember to translate all the documents in your native language into English before submitting it for evaluation. You must submit an online application with the following documents for testing in India: 

  • Mark Sheets (annual or semester wise)
  • Final degree certificate from the university (provisional certificate, if two years left for completion)
  • Signed and sealed mark sheets, transcripts, or degree certificates (attested by University Registrar/Controller of Examinations/Academic Records Office)
  • Course code key or official syllabi (applicable if mark sheets are not detailed enough)
  • Copy of your passport or any government-issued certification

Please note that NIES only accepts transcripts or mark sheets from autonomous colleges and attested degree certificates from universities. However, all documents from affiliated colleges must be attested or issued by the university (except the University of Mumbai and the Savitribai Phule Pune University affiliated colleges). 

NIES charges an application fee for evaluation service. It varies from $25-$350 as per the specified purpose. It also offers an Education Verification Service for candidates who are unable to have their official documents issued by the university. 

Also, NIES closes an application after a year of no status update and destroys all official/replaceable records after that. 

Fees

The basic application fee varies as per your jurisdiction or state board. The approximate exam fees for all exam sections is $850 (₹ 63,546). 

However, irrespective of the state boards, candidates testing in India must pay an additional exam administration fees for each of the four exam sections before scheduling with Prometric. Bear in mind that the additional fees are non-refundable.

The following table outlines the approximate fees in dollars ($) and rupees (₹). 

ParticularsFees (in dollars)Fees (in rupees)
AUD$357₹ 26,690
BEC$357₹ 26,690
FAR$357₹ 26,690
REG$357₹ 26,690
Total additional fees$1428₹ 106,758
Application fees$150₹ 11,214
Exam fees (all sections)$850₹ 63, 546
Total fees$2428₹ 181,518

Examination process

Please note that the CPA exam and licensure process remains the same for candidates testing in the United States and India, with a few exceptions. 

First, you must select a US jurisdiction participating in international testing. Then, apply to the concerned jurisdiction’s BOA or its designee along with fees. After you receive your Notice to Schedule (NTS), register to take the exam in India and pay the additional fees (per section).

The following image depicts the examination process for taking the exam in India.

Kindly keep the following points in mind while applying:

  • Have a valid National ID Card or passport 
  • Enter “Unknown” in the Mother’s Maiden Name section (if left unentered in the original application)
  • At the time of additional fee payment, ensure that the information you provide matches the information already stored in the database. 

For further information on exam scheduling and testing in India, visit the Prometric website

CPA Exam Format

The format of the CPA Exam remains the same for candidates testing in the United States or any other international location. Precisely put, you must qualify all four sections of the CPA Exam with at least a score of 75 out of 99 within the 18 months.  

Furthermore, each of the four-hour-long exam sections includes different item types, namely, multi-choice questions (MCQ), task-based simulations (TBS), and written communication tasks (WCT).

Exam Section Testlet 1 (MCQs) Testlet 2 (MCQs) Testlet 3 (TBSs) BREAK (15 minutes)   Testlet 4 (TBSs)       Testlet 5
TBSs WCTs
Auditing & Attestation (AUD)   36 36 2 3 3
Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)   31 31 2 2 3
Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)   33 33 2 3 3
Regulation (REG)   38 38 2 3 3

For more information on the exam content and prep materials, go through the AICPA’s CPA Exam Blueprints and the NASBA website.

CPA Exam Centres in India

CPA Exam is administered at the following eight Prometric test centres:

  1. Ahmedabad
  2. Bangalore
  3. Calcutta
  4. Chennai
  5. Hyderabad
  6. Mumbai
  7. New Delhi
  8. Trivandrum

Know that you can sit for a CPA Exam in the selected location only. In case you have already paid the exam administration fee for any other country and want to change it to India, email your details (name, jurisdiction ID, exam section ID, current and new location) to iexam@nasba.org.

Score Release Dates

Prometric testing centres in India send the exam data files to AICPA within a day of testing. AICPA declares the score release dates globally throughout the year on an ongoing basis. It declares CPA Exam scores for the exam section taken in the first half of a year in December of the previous year and the second half by June of the current year. 

The following table presents the score release dates for exam sections taken between July 1-December 31, 2021.

Exam Date (On/Before)Target Score Release Date
July 23August 10
August 15August 24
September 7September 15
September 30October 12
October 23November 9
November 15November 23
December 8December 16
December 31January 11

Major Firms in India hiring CPAs

CPA is a globally recognized accounting credential. Hence, you can work as a CPA in plenty of well-known US firms and join the league of high-profile professionals earning handsome salaries and enjoying better career prospects. 

The “Big 4Big 4Big Four refers to the top four accounting firms in the world that audit more than 80% of the US public companies. These firms are Deloitte, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, KPMG, and Ernst & Young. These firms have earned this title because of their huge size, good reputation and the worldwide reach in the field.read more” accounting firms recruiting US CPAs are:

  • Deloitte 
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • Ernst & Young

Some other reputed firms hiring US CPAs are:

  • Genpact
  • Phillips
  • Accenture
  • Cognizant

In a nutshell, with CPA Exam being held in India, you have the benefit from not having to bear the time, effort, and cost of visiting any other testing location. Apart from that, taking the exam on your home turf provides you with a sense of comfort and personal touch. However, as mentioned above, the overall licensure and exam process differs as per your state board. 

Moreover, make sure to go through the Prometric Test Center policies before attending the examination. Finally, pay up the fees only at the authorized website and don’t forget to print out your NTS for verification at the examination hall.  

This has been a guide to the CPA Exam in India. Here we provide information on the fees, exam process, and testing centres for taking CPA Exam in India in 2021. You may also have a look at the below articles to compare CPA with other examinations –

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