Indian CA for US CPA Exam: What’s the Benefit? How to Do It?

India CA for US CPAI have many readers from India who are very interested in becoming a US CPA. Some have great reasons, while others’ desire may be based on incorrect information. I attempt to analyze the situation and help you decide whether it’s worth for Indian CA to pursue the US CPA title.

Indian CA vs US CPA

CPA, which stands for Certified Public Accountant, is an accounting qualification granted by the US government (State Board of Accountancy) to individuals who fulfill certain education and experience requirement as a public accountant.

Only CPAs are allowed to own a public accounting firm, and only CPAs can sign the audit report on behalf of the firm.

While there is no requirement for CPAs in private business, many big corporations strongly prefer their senior financial professionals to have a CPA qualification to show their knowledge and expertise in the accounting field.

I believe the role of Indian CAs is very similar. The main difference is that Indian chartered accountants’ service is limited to India, while US CPA is valued in all US companies around the world, and therefore, is recognized on a global basis.

The Demand for US CPA is Increasing in India

There have been multinational companies entering India for regional expansion in the past decades. The reporting of the Indian regional office needs to be integrated with the global accounts, and this needs to be done in accordance to US GAAP (for US companies) or to IFRS.

In the past, these corporations rely on Indian CAs to do the work, and through on-the-job training, they were able to complete the accounts in US GAAP for financial and compliance reporting. It is understandable though that there were often errors and inconsistency in the work given the inadequate training and supervision. This has created issues with SEC and US regulatory bodies.

Therefore, there is an ever increasing demand for US CPAs stationed in India for US GAAP reporting and general controller role for US subsidiaries in India. At the same time, global Indian companies publicly listed in the US (e.g. Wipro) require US CPAs for quarterly and annual financials, Sarbane Oxley and other compliance reporting and documentation.

Another Demand Which I Believe is Unwarranted

I should also mention that many readers want to get the CPA title for the sole purpose of working in the US. They were told that they would be assigned training opportunities there as long as they take part in the “CPA program”, or that a CPA title can lead them to a job in the US.

Please note that the so called “CPA program” does not exist. The CPA is a qualifying exam only. The exam administrator does not have a program or course for candidates, nor do they provide any review materials. The review courses you may have heard of are developed by third-party commercial providers. You don’t need to take any of them if you are confident to go straight to the test center.

Some even say the CPA title can guarantee a job in the US. This is far away from the truth. Similar to the Indian CA, I don’t think being a chartered accountant will automatically lead to a job? If you are planning to go for the exam only as a ticket to move to the US, please give it a second though. There are other more effective ways, such as joining a US corporation, strive to be a top-performing employee, then request an internal transfer to the US headquarters or regional offices.

The Supply of CPA isn’t Catching Up…

In any case, the number of US CPAs from India is not enough to meet the demand.

India’s higher education follows the 3-year bachelor system in the UK. This is different from the 4-year bachelor degree commonly granted in the US. Because of this, it is hard for Indian candidate to get qualified for the CPA exam without an extra degree.

The fact that most state boards require US CPAs to sign the experience verification form also creates difficulty for candidates. Since the pool of US CPAs in India is small, it is very hard for those who pass the CPA exam to find an Indian supervisor who is actively licensed in the US.

Indian CA Eligibility for US CPA

For those who do have a bachelor and master’s degree in the accounting field, such as BCOM and MCOM, you should have no problem getting qualified for the US CPA exam. Specifically, your educational level is sufficient to fulfill the general requirements of 5 years of higher education together with some minimum accounting and business courses.

If you only have a BCOM and CA, however, it is getting a lot tougher to get qualified since 2012, as most state boards changed their interpretation of the CA qualification. In the past, some of them considered CA to be equivalent to a 4-year bachelor degree. This is no longer the case.

neha-profile-3Neha’s Been There, Done That

Our blogger Neha has passed both exams. This blog post compares the two in terms of format, structure, grading and restrictions. Neha also shares whether she thinks the US CPA is worth it after getting her CA.


If you have a master’s degree in relevant field, I encourage you to take the CPA exam right now, as you are the lucky few who can actually get qualified for this exam in your country.

For BCOM + CA candidates, although I personally don’t have a solution for you, Leslie-Anne Roger at CPAexcel may still be able to help, depending on your own situation. She has been helping primarily BCOM + CA candidates over the years to sit for the exam. Leslie-Anne charges a fee in the form of a CPAexcel course but there is a 95% refund should the application is declined. Please find below my interview with her, or you can reach her directly. Good luck!

For Your Further Research

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites

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  • Deep shah says:

    I am a Bcom graduate and will become a indian CA in may 2017 . I want to shift to US and practice my accountant profession there but I have heard that I will have to do CPA . So do I have to do the full CPA course to practice my accountant profession or I have to appear only for a few CPA exams ? Please reply asap !

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Deep,
      Thanks for your note. I have to emphasize that, even if you have a CPA license, it won’t guarantee a job in the US. Therefore, if the ultimate goal is to work in the US, I would set the goal of getting a job in a big US-based company (e.g. the Big 4) in your country, do an excellent job, and arrange for internal transfer. You can then take the CPA to enhance your credentials and hopefully the US office likes you enough to have to work on a permanent basis.

      Regards, Stephanie

      • Raj Thakkar says:

        I’m studying in 12th commerce in India and i want to become a ca in usa. What will be the procedure for that?

  • MADHU says:

    Hi there,

    I completed in 2007 and MBA (distance) in 2016, am I eligible to study CPA-US

  • Pooja says:


    I am a chartered accountant + working with MNC with 4 years work experience. I will be getting married this December and my fiancee is on H1B working at Chicago.So, i want to know what additional course i can consider in US so as to complete the required credits for US CPA?

  • PRATIK SHAH says:

    HI I am Pratik Shah. I finished my B.Com in 2004 and CA in 2006. I have 9 years of experience in Oil and Mining Industry. Am i Eligible for CPA Exams

  • Saritha says:


    I am saritha,I finished Bcom(distance) in 2010 , icwai in 2013 and ca in 2016.I have one year work experience ,am I eligible for CPA exams?


    Hi myself SHANTANU KUMAR DAS completed B.COM (Hon.) And M.COM in 2014 and now I am thinking to do CPA….so, it is a job oriented course????and how much it would take to complete the course and if completed… What are the chances of getting the job?????

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hello, this is a qualifying exam, not a course. You actually need to find a job yourself in order to fulfill the experience requirement before getting the license.

      In other words, you can’t rely on the CPA “process” to find your first job. You need a job before getting the CPA license.

  • Bijal Shah says:

    Hi. I m Bijal Shah.I have completed BCOM+MCOM(External). Also, I have cleared 2nd level of company secretary called Executive CS. As well as i have more than 4 years working experience in the same field. I am planning to go Australia and want to do CPA. Is it possible for me to pursue this degree over there???? what are the chances to get student visa in my case?

    Kindly do the needful asap.
    Thank you…

  • Tejas Gore says:

    hello there,
    my name is Tejas Gore from India.
    i Can CPA has really given me a broader view of the CPA syllabus and the its strcture.

    my major doubt which still exits is that iam B.Com graduate which i completed in 2015 and now this year i will start with my master’s.

    my doubts are
    1) i consulted 3 coaching classes based on my bcom qualification from which 2 said iam not where as other one said iam eligible. why this is so ?
    3) iam thinking to drop CA and take up CPA. can this be possible for me to clear ?
    4) can i stay in India and seek job opportunities ?

    thank you. waiting for your reply. 🙂
    2) does correspondence M.Com be a obstacle ?

  • Anis says:

    Hi there.
    I am from India. I am a graduate + CA inter qualified. I have applied for Arizona state board but they have declined my application. Is there any other way that I can be eligible to sit for the exams? I would like to finish my exams first and then think of licensing later.

    I have my evaluation certificates with me. If you can provide me your personal contact id, I can forward you those documents which you can look t it and help me out with a suggestion in this regard. If that is so, I would be really grateful for your help. Thank you.

  • Tejas Gore says:

    Iam from India.
    Can a qualified CPA or CMA work from India ?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Tejas, do you mean whether a US CPA licensee can work in India? Sure. According to my Indian bloggers they are in good demand from multinational companies and those with public listing in the US, since these companies need professionals who understand US GAAP. Regards, Stephanie

  • AJAY SINGHVI says:

    I have done my (Hons). This was a 2 year course after completing One year as first year. After that I have completed by CA-India in the year 1996 and working from 1996 and in March 2016 completed by CIMA and CGMA through CIMA UK ( However this was done through exemption on CA-India Qualification). Now my question am I qualified for CPA US. I am earining around 10 to 12 CP Hrs every year from last 6 years or so. does this will help in qualifying for the requirement.


    Ajay Singhvi

  • Keyur Panchal says:

    Hi I am Keyur
    I have done my and 1year PGDTP in taxation .
    Am I eligible for the CPA ?
    If not then .. I trying to go USA in September 2016 for MBA or any Masters in Accounting and finance ,can I eligible after completions of the course in usa.

  • pranav says:

    I am a qualified Company Secretary with a science background (B. Sc.) which is 3 years bachalor’s course. I visited a coaching institute they said, they have a bridging course which will make me eligible for CPA Exam, this is fine but what about the license part?

    What is the scope in India for CPA with CS?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Yes it is smart for you to check out the licensing part, Pranav. I have too many emails from Indian candidates who were lured by these coaching classes to take the exam, only to find out that it is impossible for them to actually get the license (obviously, the coaching class couldn’t care less).

      Please take a look at these states with more flexible requirements. Then work backwards and see if you can qualify for the exam requirements. It is best to plan the whole path before committing to anything. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Madhuri says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a Chartered Accountant from India. I have completed my CPA exams in 2013 from Colorado board and now trying for licensure. But I am not sure whether I should get my education evaluated again for licensure purpose (I am not sure because rules have changed in between and it has been 5 years since my last evaluation was done). My last evaluation was done from FACS in 2010 where I was certified to have more than 150 hours. If I am required to evaluate my education again for licensure, can you please let me know to which board should I go (Colorado or any other), given the new restrictive regulations and that I have B Com and CA only ? I have SSN in USA. Thanks in advance.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Madhuri, it’s hard for me to tell. I don’t have a state in mind for that to be honest, but you can consult Leslie-Anne Rogers. Her contact can be found in the above post. Regards, Stephanie

  • Dhruvik says:


    My name is Dhruvik Shah. I have completed CA in May 2016 and in 2015. Am I eligible for CPA US and also I want to know what are the benefits of being CA in practice + CPA?? What are the additional work which Indian CA in practice can’t do which being CA in practice + CPA can ….

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Dhruvik,
      It’s tough for BCOM + CA to get qualified for the CPA exam — you’ll likely need Leslie-Anne’s help. Here is the background info:

      As mentioned above, the benefit is mostly in multinational / US companies with regional offices in India, and they need professionals to work on the US GAAP. I would think they prefer someone with CPA license to head the finance team there as well (if US GAAP is used). If this is not what you are looking for, then the value of CPA in India is a lot lower. Hope it helps!

  • Ankita Sinha says:


    I have finished my B.COM and my MBA in Finance from India. I have 4.5 years of work experience with Deloitte. I wanted to know if I am available to take the US CPA exam? Also if you could suggest me through which state board should I submit my application? My last query is to know the scope of US CPA’s outside of US.

    Thank You in advance.

  • Hetal says:

    I m ca plus mom in India. Am I elegibile for cpa in us? And yes then in which sate? I have completed my ca in 2010 and mom. In 2008.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Hetal, I am afraid CA and most other professional qualifications are not useful for the CPA exam qualification. Besides MOM (or do you mean MCOM?) what is your education? Do you have an accounting related degree such as BCOM? It would be helpful.

  • Avni patel says:

    i have completed my CA+Mcom in india. am i elegible for CPA in USA? and what is the procedure for the same?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Avni, CA isn’t that helpful in the application, but MCOM is good. How about your bachelor? If you have a commerce or accounting degree, then you should likely to be ok.

  • Avni patel says:

    thanks for your reply. i have BCOM , MCOM degree which are in coomerece and accounting field. and what are the procedure?

  • Ankita says:


    I just got to know that I meet the 150-hour requirement criteria and I am eligible to sit for the CPA exam. However, my query is – suppose if I apply through the California board or Colorado or any other board, my license would be valid for that particular state only. I am aware that licenses can be transferred if we move to other state. But, in my case, I am working for a US based company in India. Will my CPA license have any importance here in India? How important it is for me to get the license if I am working in India and will the Certificate serve the same purpose?


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ankita, this is a good question. The US CPA license is useful in a sense that you have global accounting qualification under your belt. It has more value if you work in a US branch office or any places where US GAAP is prepared. In terms of which state you should go through, it doesn’t matter esp in India because people will just see that as a US CPA license, instead of a California/Colorado etc license. Also, since the license is now good for CPAs to work across state, it really doesn’t matter where you get the license from. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Sarav Sood says:

    My name is Sarav, I completed B.Com in 2004 & MBA-Marketing (Distance) in 2009.
    Since 2004, I have 12 years job experience in total out of which 4 years of Accounting experience.

    Does my candidature fit for US-CPA ?
    if yes, Can I directly sit for exams or do I have to go through any course.

    As I am also thinking to avail IFRS course, it would be great if you can suggest best options for it..!!

  • Uday Ashar says:

    Hi ,

    I’m B com graduate in year 2003, SAP FICO from genovate SAP Germany and also completed my CFA and MFA in year 2014. I am 35 year old and have 10+ year of rich experience in IT company and responsible to prepare financial as per I GAP and US GAAP .

    Worth doing this? if not, then can you guys suggest best for me.


    Uday Ashar

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Uday,
      Hmm, unfortunately the CFA doesn’t count. MFA… is it master’s in finance (guess it isn’t master’s in fine arts as it is commonly known here…) If so you are likely qualified in terms of the degree requirement. For the accounting credit hour requirement, maybe… it is best to get an evaluation report to be sure.

      I guess the bottle neck is whether your experience can be verified. If yes, then you can consider going ahead (age isn’t that big a factor in my opinion):

  • Uday says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for the prompt response.

    I agree CFA “Chartered Financial Analyst” is not counted but with this, I also pursed MFA “Master of Financial Analysis”. I checked with Miles and Concorde, they came up saying, you are eligible to take up CPA exams with B-Com and MFA. Hope there will be no further show stopper due to eligibility.

    Secondly, My experience in US GAAP, I take care my US base company Federal as well State tax returns for past 10+ years. Preparation of financials as per US GAAP for US entity also preparing consolidation of accounts of subsidiaries companies as per GAAP.

    Age factor, I don’t consider age limitation for pursing CPA. I am in nature “born to learn”. If this certification will not help me to grow then definitely will pursue another course.

    Hope my decision for going for CPA is right, still if you feel better than this, do recommend. Also do let me know the further sources to evaluate eligibility apart from above mention classes.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Uday,
      The Master in Financial Analysis sounds good. You won’t know for sure until you get the evaluation report, but looks good enough to invest in a report in my opinion. On your other points, that’s all great. Best of luck to a smooth application! Stephanie

  • Vivek says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I’ve read all your answers to the queries. I know B.Com + CA doesn’t work to get eligible for CPA Exam anymore. I’ve B.Com (external) degree. I don’t have any idea whether US citizens do bachelor degree of 4 years externally or not. My confusion is that if I do M.Com EXTERNALLY (Not regular) will that work?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Vivek, long distance education from a US university is most likely ok. In fact, that from a non-US university (in your case) may work too but it’s just that you should double check with your specific state board before applying. It’s prudent not to assume it must work, that’s all. It is the same case for MCOM. Hope it helps, Stephanie

  • Uday says:

    Thanks Stephanie for your prompt response. Appreciated for your kind suggestion and quick feedback’s.

  • AKHTAR MIRZA says:

    Hello there, Presently I am holding fultime COP and now planning to shift US and start CPA. What to do to retain cop in India? Do I have any other option other than surrendering it? Can I retain membership only, if holding COP is not possible? and what is the procedure?

    Read more at:

  • Sagar says:

    Hi Stephanie.

    I hold a B.Com degree from India earned through distance mode.Would it be possible for me to take some courses from US universities through online mode to fulfill the credit hour requirement and become eligible for the CPA exam?

    This I believe will save me some time because I think I can complete these online courses faster than a 2-year master’s degree.

    If it is possible to gain eligibility this way,which state boards,in your opinion would accept me?

  • Gurpreeti says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a BCom + CA from India and relocated to New Zealand. I am currently exploring options about further studies. Could you please guide me whether or not I am eligible to give CPA (US) exams and from where should I study for it.

    In case I am not eligible, how can I gain eligibility residing in New Zealand?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Gurpreeti,
      It’s tough for BCOM + CA. Please seek help from Leslie-Anne. You can find her contact in the above post. Alternatively, if you are able to become a member of CPA in New Zealand, you can get qualified to the US CPA exam and take only 1 out of 4 parts of the exam. More info here:

  • S K Gupta says:

    I am BA (Arts Graduate) and chartered accountant. My brother has sponsored me for permanent immigration in USA and expected to be in USA in two years time. Am I eligible or CPA.

  • Sandee says:

    I am 46 living in India. Passed CA 1994, MBA 2012, CPA in 2009. Held license from Colrado till 2012.How can i get any job in USA.

  • Jumana Haji says:

    I have completed my B.Com and CA degree from India, and currently stay there as well. I want to pursue the CPA course since I plan to move to the US eventually. Could you guide me as to which state I should apply to, based on my qualifications and which evaluation agency to go through?

  • tarun tandon says:

    Hi, i have completed my in 2013 + CA intermediate and has also completed my articleship training but not CA finals, and now moved to US. Am i eligible to do CPA. and in case i am not what all i have to do to gain eligibility for CPA.

  • Amritpreet Kaur says:

    Hi, I have cleared 3 CPA exams, currently residing in Dubai. My first question is I have worked under CA for over an year. Would my experience under Practising CA (India) holds any good for the purpose of getting training required under CPA. I am doing CPA from Alaska State. And one of the prerequisite for Alaska’s CPA is to get training under CPA. My second question is what else I need to complete after clearing all exams to get the licence.

  • Varun T says:

    I have passed group 1 of IPC of Indian CA and I will be attending for articleship soon and also appear for group 2,I am going to take up Correspondence course in M.Com as I have completed my graduation which will give me relevant credits required for cpa,but which firm should I join for articleship which gives me enough work experience qualification which is minimum 1 year of work experience for cpa and I live in Mumbai.Can any firm articleship give me enough work experience for fulling 3E’s criteria for cpa.

  • Siddhant says:

    I’m from India.
    I have completed my Bcom. In the current Mcom course there are 4 semesters (2years). I pursued Mcom and have completed it. Although the result of my 4th sem is yet to come. My query is:
    1. At least my 12+4 years is complete so is that enough? Should I pursue CPA now or after I get my 4th sem result which will take a few months more.
    2. I have even pursued CA. But haven’t cleared finals. Will my intermediate exam score count for credit hours?

  • Anurag Bajpai says:

    Hi, I have done B.Sc.(3year) + ICWA + CA from India, with 19 years of experience.
    Is it sufficient qualification for CPA certification

  • Sree says:

    I’m from India and have qualified CA Final. But i donot posses any graduation degree. Can i Still appear for CPA exam.

  • Arushi jain says:

    Hello ma’am,

    I’m from India.
    I know that BCOM + CA is not sufficient for CPA qualification. I am currently pursuing my BCOM as well as CA. So I want to ask that in order to become eligible for CPA in near future, what is preferable for me to do after BCOM… Either MCOM or MBA so that I can fulfill both 150 hrs credit requirement as well as accounting and business requirements too.

    Please help… I’m so confused….

    • Varun Tavaria says:

      I asked, They said if you are IPC both the groups cleared and plus M.Com then you are eligible to give exam.But for licensure you need to work for 1 year under a cpa.

      • Arushi jain says:

        Thank u soo much,….. And I also want to know that after doing MCOM, am I also fulfill the other accounting and business requirements or I have to do an additional course for it…

        • Varun Tavaria says:

          See I am not a cpa,I am just an article of icai who is aspiring cpa after completion of my tenure.But as I said when I asked my reputed sources,they said that obtaining licensure and obtaining cpa degree are two different things.You can obtain the degree just by giving and passing the exam which you could probably write on CV or matrimonial site(No offence,just joking) but to be an active cpa accountant you need to work one year under a licensed cpa just like an article for one year irrespective of any country(India too) and then you can obtain license for working as a cpa.

          There are many people who dont want to work as a cpa but obtain a degree just to get higher post especially in American Multinational Countries for which no licensure is required,I heard so.

  • Nupur says:

    I am Nupur Shah
    I want apear CPA in USA.
    I have pass B’Com + C. A. Enternse + IPCC with 3 years article
    Percentage in B Com as under
    FY B Com 61%
    SY B Com 58%
    TY B Com 83%
    As per above detail can I apear for CPA

  • Ashok says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    How are you? I have a question. I completed all papers of CPA by Jan 2013. I couldnt apply for license at that time as i was a B.Com only. Now, i have a M.Com from the same university. Just got my degree certificate. Am i eligible for a license now? I did thru NH. Which state i can apply for and how? Please guide me. Thanks in advance for your reply

  • Puja says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am Puja. Thanks for the detailed article. It has been of great help!
    I have completed my B Com, M Com, MBA (all first class) from India. I have done all full time courses. Also, I have a work experience into accounting and finance for last 5 years. I have recently joined a US based company, in their India office. I observed our US counterparts, most of them who are CPAs. Hence, even I wish to pursue CPA if it has rewarding prospects.
    Do you think it is worth doing CPA at this stage in terms of career growth and the cost of appearing the exams? Also, what about the difficulty level of exams of CPA? Please guide me further, as I wish to have an upper edge in this field in terms of job opportunities in India and abroad. Thank you in advance!

  • Ranjith Kumar says:

    My Self Ranjith a qualified Chartered Accountant(CA) and Cost Accountant (CMA) from India , so may I know am I eligible for US CPA?

    Thanks in advance for your response

  • Anu says:


    I have B Com and Masters in Computers (MCA).

    My main interest is in Accounting and i would like to do CPA if i have eligibility.

    Please guide me if i am eligible for doing CPA in texas?


  • Suraj P Nair says:

    Respected Sir / Madam myself Suraj P Nair i have completed bcom plus pursuing CS i want to know is there any percentage criteria for B.COM graduates to join CPA

  • M.Tyagi says:

    I am B.Com. Plus CA. I passed CA in 1992 and since then practicing in India. Now I wish to Have CPA exam . Is it possible or not?

  • Dishita Mhatre says:

    Hello! I am just a 11th std student from Mumbai. I’ve already registered for CPT. I’m further planning to do and CA obviously. So if I complete my and .CA will I be eligible for CPA(US) course?

  • isthiyaq p.a says:

    hii, I am isthiyaq from india.i have , mba ,ca ,cma ,cima
    (UK) and many paper will i get exemption?

  • Abishek says:


    I am a 12th grade commerce student willing to CA FOUNDATION course after my 12th

    am planning to complete CA and to get settled in UK,London

    What more course should I complete after completing my CA to get a permanent Job in UK

    please guide me

    my ultimate goal is to move on to UK

    let me know what should be my moves and what courses should I complete to migrate to London UK

    please reply asap as I have to make a decision in a month

  • Alpesh says:


    I am recently become CA in india in 2018. I already Completed my B.Com in 2015. I want to get CPA qualification. So for that I want to know that How many and which exam will be give to yet for get CPA qualification.?

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