CPA exams have four papers, single-level exam which consist of:
This four subjects, covers pretty much all the areas required to enter into the professional field. CPA covers wide range of topics but not in depth, which actually helps candidates to finish its course on time and practically apply the concepts in real world.
On the other hand CA has around 16 papers,divided in three levels i.e.
Each level covers each topic in depth. By the time you start working you forget half of the concepts, which you studied in your previous levels. This in depth knowledge is good from education perspective, but the question lies here is, do we apply all the knowledge in the true practical sense? Do we apply all the concepts learnt in the CA exam?
If the answer is no, then we have to start focusing our energy in the course, which gives us the broad knowledge of the subject and areas and prepare us for the industry.
Big4s like Deloitte,PWC, EY, KPMG or multinational companies like Ranbaxy, Pepsi co, Nestle, Citibank or the banks like ICICI, HDFC who raise money from USA capital markets and are registered with SEC are required to present their financial statements as per US GAAP for which they need a CPA.
These companies can only hear CPA even if you shout both CA and CPA.
CA candidates, often feels the need to enhance their qualification and finish their CPA just to fit into the role required by this foreign multinationals.
They end up doing CPA anyways, so its like 16 papers for CA and then additional 4 papers for CPA. Why to use this long route, If we can attain same level of credibility by just clearing 4 CPA papers. Most of the CA candidates can't believe that they can attain same level of credibility, recognition and career growth by just clearing 4 papers of CPA exam.
Globalization had brought lot of opportunities for the CPA candidates to work anywhere in the world but this is not possible in the case of CA candidates as they have restricted geographic recognition i.e. recognized only in India.
Besides, the accuracy requirement is pretty high on CPA with 75 as the passing score. Nevertheless, the pass rate on the CPA exams is still 45%-50% (way higher than CA)
I conclude my article with a note that there is a huge difference between the papers i.e. 4:16 but the knowledge and credibility remains pretty much the same. So it's the matter of choice that we make.