Full Form of CPA

Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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Full-Form of CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

Full form of CPA is Certified Public Accountant. It is a degree recognized all across the globe and the exams for the same are organized and conducted by AICPA (also known as American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and aspirants pursuing this course can complete the same and attain the degree in a matter of just seven months to one year.

How to Become a CPA?

Full Form of CPA

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Education Requirement of CPA

The educational requirements of a Certified Public Accountant are a bachelors’ degree in accounting along with 150 semester hours, CPA certification (Uniform CPA Exam), and a minimum of two years experience in public accounting. This can also consider pursuing an MBA for fulfilling the 30 hours requirements.

Work Experience of Certified Public Accountant

The requirements for work experience for a CPA aspirant may differ from country to country. Some countries/ jurisdictions will require a minimum of 2 years of public accounting experience, while some countries/ jurisdictions are also fine with non-public accounting work experience. States with a tier-I system will make it mandatory for aspirants to qualify for the Certified Public Accountant exam and attain the relevant experience, too, for obtaining the CPA certificate as licensure. States with a tier-II system give the certification as soon as the student clears the CPA exam and allows them to fulfill relevant experience requirements after that.


Certified Public Accountant exams are single-level examinations and it consists of only four papers. It is an MCQ or multi-choice question examination. A candidate will have to appear for this single-level exam and will need to answer 4 exam papers, and these questions will be asked in the form of multi-choice questions or MCQs.

The exams in CPA are conducted on the following subjects-

  1. Financial Accounting and Reporting- Maximum time allotted 4 hours
  2. Auditing and Attestation- Maximum time allotted 4 hours
  3. Regulation- Maximum time allotted 3 hours
  4. Business Environment and Concepts- Maximum time allotted 3 hours.


The average salary of a CPA in the US is $119,000 as per the AICPA (Association of the International Certified Professional Accountants). The salary quoted above does not include bonuses or any sort of incentives. This can expect an average increment of 4 to 5 percent each year.


#1 – Global Recognition

CPA course is offered and organized by AICPA ((also known as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), which happens to be the world’s largest accounting association. The course is therefore regarded as a perfect opportunity for professionals that have a CA, CS, ICWA, MBA in finance, LLB, B.Com, and M.Com degree and are seeking a certificate that is recognized all across the globe.

#2 – Immense Career Opportunities

This can apply to various types of organizations, irrespective of the industry they are operating in. CPAs can apply for jobs in a diverse range of industries like, research firms, private equity firms, investment banks, mutual funds, hedge funds, accounting firms, auditing firms, mergers, acquisitions, etc.

#3 – Lot of Ease and Flexibility

An aspirant pursuing CPA can complete the course within seven months to a one-year timeframe. It is an online exam conducted on a single level where the applicant will only need to clear 4 papers.

Difference Between CPA and CA


A Certified Public Accountant is the highest level of degree one can achieve in the field of accountancy. It is a globally recognized course, and an individual with this degree will have the advantage of serving diverse industries like accounting firmsAccounting FirmsPricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP, Ernst &Young LLP, Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, and Grant Thornton LLP are among the top accounting firms that provide services to various individuals, organizations, and other entities.read more, auditing firms, mergers and acquisitionsMergers And AcquisitionsMergers and acquisitions (M&A) are collaborations between two or more firms. In a merger, two or more companies functioning at the same level combine to create a new business entity. In an acquisition, a larger organization buys a smaller business entity for expansion.read more, hedge fundsHedge FundsA hedge fund is an aggressively invested portfolio made through pooling of various investors and institutional investor’s fund. It supports various assets providing high returns in exchange for higher risk through multiple risk management and hedging techniques.read more, research firms, private equity firmsPrivate Equity FirmsPrivate equity firms are investment managers who invest in many corporations' private equities using various strategies such as leveraged buyouts, growth capital, and venture capital. The top private equity firms include Apollo Global Management LLC, Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group, and KKR & Company LP.read more, investment banksInvestment BanksInvestment banking is a specialized banking stream that facilitates the business entities, government and other organizations in generating capital through debts and equity, reorganization, mergers and acquisition, etc.read more, etc. A CPA degree is well-suited for professionals seeking international recognition and excellence in the field of accountancy.

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