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  • How important it is for you to pass the exam in this attempt?
  • What percentage of course you have finished well so far roughly?
  • How many hours you study in a day?
  • How many times you have revised the topics you have finished
  • Have you taken online or pen drive or live class from a renowned faculty?
  • What percentage of the classes you have watched?
  • Have you attempted mock tests or practice tests yet?
  • Are you planning to attempt mock tests conducted by external bodies- ICAI, ICSI, ICMAI or other institute?
  • How many tests you have taken?
  • Did you manage to finish the test papers on time?
  • Are you strictly following study material provided by the exam conducting authority such as ICAI/ICSI/ICMAI/Other Body?
  • How is your health in general?
  • How is your food habit?
  • Any interest in yoga or exercise or play sports regularly?
  • Planning to sleep well nights before the exams?
  • Planning to have light food and water before exams?

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum : Just like Chartered Accountants (CA’s) are granted a license to practice the profession of Accountancy & Taxation in India, similarly Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are granted the license to practice in US. In some countries, these qualified accountants are called Chartered Accountants (CA’s) and in some countries these are called as Certified Public Accountants.

This Accounting qualification is called Certified Public Accountant in the US and to become a CPA, a Candidate is required to fulfill the 3E’s i.e.

1. Education

2. Examination

3. Experience

To become a Certified Public Accountant, a candidate has to successfully clear all the exams conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This is a uniform exam conducted by the AICPA and is the same across all the 55 states in the US.

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum : The eligibility requirement and the experience required to become a Certified Public Accountant varies from state to state and different states have mandated different eligibility requirements as determined by their respective state boards of accountancy. All these 55 states are members of the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy).

As the minimum education and experience requirement are set by the States, a CPA License is only valid for the state from where it has been taken and not for the whole USA. However, a CPA holder can practice in a different state as well provided he meets the eligibility norms of that state. The eligibility requirement of each state is given here.

The Exam for becoming a Certified Public Accountant is an online computer based exam held at more than 400 prometric centres across the US. The Exam is conducted twice every quarter. These months in which the testing is available are called “Testing Windows”. The testing schedule is as follows:­

Testing is AvailableNot Available
January & FebruaryMarch
April & MayJune
July & AugustSeptember
October & NovemberDecember

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum :  A CPA requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and proficiency in it. The purpose of CPA exam syllabus is to provide detailed information on the subject matter of the CPA course. So, the entire CPA exam syllabus is broken down into 4 sections, each section dealing with a body of related knowledge. Each section has different subjects to be covered.

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum : The 4 sections of the CPA exam are as follows:

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD),
  2. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  3. Regulation (REG),
  4. Business Environment Concepts (BEC)

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum :  Auditing and Attestation (AUD)

Considered as the most difficult section of the CPA exam, this section mainly focuses on the all aspects of auditing. This section tests the examinee’s ability to handle professional tasks of certified public accountant and how they would further apply in real-life scenarios.

Auditing and Attestation covers:

  • The basic principles of auditing and designing of audit plans.
  • It enables you to learn and prepare audit reports with ease.
  • It encompasses compilations and attestation engagements to maintain a professional code of conduct during audit process.
  • You will have to give a demonstration of their awareness level with regards to International Auditing and their standards.
  • It also includes understanding risk assessment.

The broad areas of CPA AUD syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Auditing and Attestation
Engagement Acceptance and Understanding the Assignment12% – 16%
Understanding the Entity and Its Environment (including Internal Control16% – 20%
Performing Audit Procedures and Evaluating Evidence16% – 20%
Evaluating Audit Findings, Communications, and Reporting16% – 20%
Accounting and Review Services Engagements12% – 16%
Professional Responsibilities16% – 20%

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum :  There is the vast volume of FAR materials, therefore, it is suggested that they opt for this section first. Taking up the FAR section first will benefit candidates in the long run, as it is considered as the most time consuming section.
Financial Accounting and Reporting covers:

  • The various aspects of the financial reporting practiced in the modern day business enterprises, or government entities.
  • The key differences between GAAP basis and IFRS basis.
  • The content which will help you to perform proper judgments in the application of principles in accounting.
  • Compilation, evaluation and analysis of financial statements, execution of calculations and identification of various financial and reporting methods.

The broad areas of CPA FAR syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Financial Accounting and Reporting
Conceptual Framework, Standards, Standard Setting, and Presentation of Financial Statements17% – 23%
Financial Statement Accounts: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures27% – 33%
Specific Transactions, Events and Disclosures: Recognition, Measurement, Valuation, Calculation, Presentation, and Disclosures27% – 33%
Governmental Accounting and Reporting8% – 12%
Not-for-Profit (Nongovernmental) Accounting and Reporting8% – 12%

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum :  Business Environment and concepts (BEC)

Business Environment and concept section is treated as one of the most challenging exams because of its extensive material and it deals with business and economic concepts. The CPA BEC section will help you to move one step further in business knowledge and help them apply the knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Business Environment and concepts covers:

  • Business environment in general, and its core concepts.
  • Foundational grounding in accounting and are exposed to underlying reasons for accounting implications
  • Financial management information technology, and business strategies in addition to accounting concepts.
  • Economic concepts, financial management, information systems and communications, strategic planning and operations management.
  • Testing to determine different business strategies with their knowledge in strategic planning and market risks.
  • Making financial decisions, forecasting trends in the market, and understanding internet’s implication in business.

The broad areas of CPA BEC syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Business Environment and concepts
Corporate Governance16% – 20%
Economic Concepts and Analysis16% – 20%
Financial Management19% – 23%
Information Systems and Communications15% – 19%
Strategic Planning10% – 14%
Operations Management12% – 16%

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum :  Regulation (REG)

Regulation (REG) is the combination of federal taxation and business law. This section comprises of basic understanding of business ethics. Most of the portion will seem like content straight out of business law books.

Regulation covers:

  • Tax concepts related to personal, partnership and corporate.
  • Capability to understand legal responsibilities
  • Tax implication and its various uses in business entities.
  • Various tax issues and its consequences, wherein they will have to make alternative treatment and its application in real life scenarios.

The broad areas of CPA REG syllabus and their weightage is as follows:

Ethics, Professional, and Legal Responsibilities15% -19%
Business Law17% – 21%
Federal Tax Process, Procedures, Accounting, and Planning11% – 15%
Federal Taxation of Property Transactions12% – 16%
Federal Taxation13% – 19%
Federal Taxation of Entities18% – 24%

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam


AUDITINGEthics, Professional Responsibilities, and General Principles; Assessing Risk and Developing a Planned Process; Performing Further Procedures and Obtaining Evidence; Forming Conclusions and Reporting
BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT & CONCEPTSCorporate Governance; Economic Concepts and Analysis; Financial Management; Information Technology; Operations Management
FINANCIALConceptual Framework, Standard-Setting, and Financial Reporting; Select Financial Statement Accounts; Select Transactions; State and Local Governments
REGULATIONEthics, Professional Responsibilities and Federal Tax Procedures; Business Law; Federal Taxation of Property Transactions; Federal Taxation of Individuals; Federal Taxation of Entities

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

US CPA Curriculum : The subject areas and times allotted per subject are:
Auditing and Attestation (AUD) – 4.5 hours
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) – 3 hours
Regulation (REG) – 2.5 hours
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) – 4 hours

Candidates may apply to take one or more sections of the exam during a “testing window” but each section may only be taken once during a testing window.  A “testing window” is a three-month period of time during which the candidate is able to take the exam.  There are four “testing windows” each year.  The exam is not offered during the last month of each window (referred to as “dark”) to allow for maintenance on the system.
The testing windows are as follows:
January 1 – February 28 (March dark)
April 1 – May 31 (June dark)
July 1 – August 31 (September dark)
October 1 – November 30 (December dark)

US CPA Curriculum – 2017 Exam

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