Know all about the CPA Salary in India and USA

In the field of Accountancy across the world, A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) holds the highest standard of competence. For people considering an illustrious career in the field of Accountancy, the US Certified Public Accountant comes across as the best option. CPA salary in India and USA has seen a steady increase over the years enhancing job opportunities and prospects. CPAs are globally recognized as leading accountants and are hired across industries all over the globe.

The US CPA exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the world’s largest accounting body. AICPA also offers students with educational guidance materials and a great CPA course to help them clear the exams. Gaining this most prestigious US CPA license paves the way for you to become a Chartered Public Accountant of the US. CPA is one of the professions where the wage growth is constant with a lucrative pay scale and hence salary is one of the big attractions of a CPA along with the job’s profile and reputation.

Though CPA is considered to be the ultimate qualification with limitless possibilities and opportunities to show cause your talent in the accounting field, many are still unaware of the responsibilities, scope, and pay scale the job entails. So by learning all these details here along with the compensation and benefits the job comes with, you can start your journey of getting the coveted US CPA license without looking back or searching for other regular accounting courses.

Average CPA Salary in India & USA

According to PayScale, an average CPA salary in India is around ₹6,99,728/year. As per Indeed, the average CPA salary in the US ranges from approximately $35,000 per year for an Administrative Assistant to $155,223 per year for Certified Public Accountant. The average CPA salary in the US is in the high five figures while the senior CPA in the management easily takes home a six-figure salary making it an average of $119,000 per year. When these numbers were dissected, it was known that newly licensed CPAs earned $66,000 while those with two or more decades of experience earned $152,000.

The amount that CPAs make is determined by a lot of factors. The number of years of experience under your belt, the type of company and location you are in, the nature of the work you are handling, and job expertise are some of the major factors that influence the CPA salary.

Taking all this into consideration, below is a brief report on factors that influence CPA salaries in India and US

Job profile and CPA salary

Certified public accountants can work in definite areas like financial reporting, auditing services, booking, management, consulting services, forensic accounting, and information technology in the private and public sectors, or for the federal government. These are some of the most preferred career options available based on the level of expertise. Being a CPA with the right amount of experience you can also reach an eventual position as a chief financial officer or a highly paid tax consultant

 CPA Salary in India based on the Job profile

Accountant Avg Salary ₹ 125k – ₹ 510k/yr
Chartered Accountant Avg Salary ₹ 418k – ₹ 2m/yr
Finance Manager Avg Salary ₹ Rs 371k- ₹ 2m/yr
Financial Analyst Avg Salary ₹ 222k- ₹ 1m/yr
Senior Financial Analyst Avg Salary ₹ 321k- ₹ 1m/yr
Senior Accountant Avg Salary ₹ 242k – ₹ 775k/yr
Account Manager Avg Salary ₹ 263k – ₹ 1m/yr
Account Executive Avg Salary ₹ 157k- ₹ 505k/yr
Assiatant Finance Manager Avg Salary ₹ 397k- ₹ 1m

CPA salary in US based on Job Profile

Tax Accountant Avg $66,632/yr
Accountant Avg $57,697/year
Staff Accountant Avg $57,594/year
Tax Associate Avg $66,771/year
Tax senior Avg $84,124/year
Accounting Professor Avg $88,237/year
Senior Financial Analyst Avg $80,775/year
Forensic Accountant   Avg $67,450/year
Tax preparer Avg $19.29/hour

Fresher CPA Salary in India

 In India, across many industries especially in the field of accounts and finance, US CPA is in high demand, and expertise in these fields extract a good salary. Also, most accounting firms retain their talents by providing high salaries along with bonuses, hikes, and appraisals.

The salary of an entry-level US CPA in India is around 6 lakhs per annum i.e. about Rs 50,000 per month. According to Indeed, the average CPA salary in India is Rs 9.25 lakhs per annum. Also, the salary varies from company to company and on the basis of location too.

Fresher CPA Salary in US

According to Indeed, the average base CPA salary in the US is $79,316 in 2022 taking the data from all the CPA job postings on the job board.

Experience-based CPA salary in India and US

Experience-based CPA salary in the US

Fresher/Entry-level CPA

According to the data given by the Accounting Institute for Success, depending on the size of the company, entry-level CPAs make an average salary anywhere between $46,000 to $68,000.

Senior-Level CPA

 A CPA in the US with four or more years of experience earn between $66,000 to $110,000 based on their experience

Director

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says CPAs in top executive positions earn between $60,300 and $208,000 and the median salary of a chief executive was found to be $179,520 in 2021.

However, it is essential to take into account that these figures do not include bonuses which could be 10% of the annual salaries. In addition to this, CPAs are likely to get a pay increase of 4% to 5% every year

Experience-based CPA salary in India

As in all other fields, the CPA salary in India raises with experience. Experience along with expertise plays a pivotal role in climbing up the corporate ladder. The more job responsibilities you handle, the higher salary you are likely to receive.

According to PayScale, an early career Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹677,535 based on 99 salaries. A mid-career CPA with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹1,171,098 based on 13 salaries while with 10-19 years of experience a CPA is likely to earn an average total compensation of ₹2,391,752 based on 12 salaries. 

Location-based CPA salary in India and US

Like most professional jobs, a CPA salary is also influenced by the location you work. The median salary of a CPA will be higher in Metropolitan cities compared to tier-2 cities.  Working in Big cities also have added benefits like better living condition, easy access to opportunities, and good remuneration benefits which adds to greater job satisfaction resulting in maximum work output. Developed countries that are economically strong with a good standard of living conditions attract financial professionals with attractive salaries.

Country Salary
USA $85,221 (USD)/year
Australia $111,035 (AUD)/year
Canada $95,291 (CAD)/year
Japan ¥7,724,249 (JPY)/year
India ₹9,12,663 (INR)/year

California state has the higher number of job opportunities for accountants and auditors in the U.S. Data given by the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania states have a high number of accountants and provide the highest salaries in the whole U.S., but one has to keep in mind that these figures reflect general accountant salary and not exclusively CPA salaries.

The latest Annual report from BLS in May 2021 states the average CPA salaries in these top 5 states are given as New York ($105,790), California ($92,840), Texas ($85,860), Pennsylvania ($79,200), and Florida ($76,320)

Highest paying cities in the US for Certified Public Accountants 

San Francisco, CA         –  $111,819 per year

New York, NY                –   $111,181 per year

Indianapolis, IN             –   $99,151 per year

Kansas City, MO            –   $91,069 per year

Oklahoma City, OK       –   $87,673 per year

Miami, FL                       –  $86,879 per year

Dallas, TX                       – $86,667 per year

Los Angeles, CA           –  $80,868 per year

Memphis, TN                –    $66,342 per year 

 Highest paying cities in India for Certified Public Accountants

The average fresher/entry-level CPA salary in India is around 6 lakhs/annum which accounts for around 50,000/month but in the big metro cities like New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad the salary can be as high as 13.8 lakhs/annum. According to PayScale, employees with Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in their job title earn 45.4% more than the national average. 

Industry- dependant CPA salary in India and US

As mentioned above CPAs can work in many fields like auditing, taxation, advisory, and assurance fields in accredited local and international firms and also in the Big Fours. Food, Health care, and EdTech companies are also gaining popularity in recent years, especially after the pandemic. The more salary is observed in fields which are more in trend.

Industry-dependant CPA Salary in India

Industry Average Annual Salary
Petrochemicals Companies 12 lakhs/annum
FMCG Companies 10 lakhs/annum
Engineering & Construction 9 lakhs/annum
Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences 7 lakhs/annum
Education / Training Companies 6 lakhs/annum

Industry-dependant CPA Salary in US

Industry Average Annual Salary
Monetary authorities-central bank $87,830
Real Estate $16 /hr
Postal service (federal government) $85,350
Computer and Electronic product manufacturing $79,600
Finance & Insurance Companies $78,600
Oil and gas extraction $82,810
Publishing industries $78,790
Database Management $53T – $86T

Company-based CPA salary in India and US

The salary of a CPA is hugely influenced by the company size. An MNC or any other large firm offers a good salary for a fresher and provides multiple growth options with added job responsibilities and a steady increase in salary with the passage of years. Though the salary is comparatively less while working for small firms, it provides you with more exposure and learning opportunities and gives a platform to exhibit leadership skills

Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and KPMG are referred to as the Big Four because they are the four largest accounting firms in the US. These companies mainly offer legal advisory services, valuation, market research, and assurance. The study done by  ZipRecruiter shows that while the 25th percentile of accounting salaries for all  Big four firms lies at around $70,000, the 75th percentile rests at $125,000

The Average starting CPA salaries in the Big Four reads as given below

Company Average starting salaries
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) $48,000-$68,000
Deloitte $45,000-$60,000
KPMG $46,000-$62,000
Ernst & Young (EY) $40,000-$63,000

Company wise US CPA salary in India

 Company wise US CPA salary in US

Salary comparison of a CPA with other Accountants

Getting a credentialed CPA degree is very important in terms of monetary value and job growth and employees with a CPA license are mainly favored by big firms compared to non-CPAs. The accountants without the license earn much less compared to what CPAs earn in today’s world.

The Salary Survey conducted by CPA Accounting Institute for Success shows that accountants without a CPA license earned an average of $53,402 per year while non-CPA’s even with a high level of job experience and expertise ended up earning 10% less than the CPAs who performed the same job duties and responsibilities.

AICPA has devised a tool in which the CPA’s can compare their salaries with other accounting and auditing professionals who are working in the U.S. By providing all the information about your job like the state, country, industry in which you work along with salary and bonus figures, the tool immediately gives details about the amount earned by other CPA’S in the state and the country. Along with these, it also shows information pertaining to the average annual salary and bonus percentage for the industry. However one must keep in mind that the information provided by the tool is indicative and cannot be relied fully on the current time as the survey was conducted by AICPA in 2017

The art of Negotiating a higher CPA salary

 To earn a better deal for yourself

  • Make a thorough research about your prospective employer before attending the interview which makes you come across as a serious and well-read candidate during the interview leaving a good impression on the interviewer.
  • Always update your professional knowledge since most companies want you to be up to date with the new current regulations
  • Let the company make the salary offer first and never let them know what you are expecting beforehand
  • You should be able to convince the interviewer that the salary they pay should be in accordance with the value you add to their company as an employer and it has nothing to do with your current salary
  •  Be equipped with a well-researched counter offer when you are provided with the proposed salary by the company

Above all, one should always be willing to negotiate since it is often possible your prospective employer ends up raising the salary offer, he proposed initially. It also depends on the company. While smaller firms are more flexible, large companies are not willing to negotiate the salary package especially if it’s you first job you are applying to. Mostly the companies are willing to raise the proposed salary if you are switching jobs with good expertise and experience under your belt.

Gaining a CPA license (and a CPA salary) extracts a tremendous investment of time and energy not to mention a desire for continuous learning. Many government and private educational institutes in India are providing both online and offline CPA courses. Henry Harvin is one such top educational institute with its specialized and best-selling CPA course guarantees great preparation and guidance which helps trainees plan their careers in the field of Accountancy in the right direction. Henry Harvin has a 9-1 program which encompasses training, certification, internship, placement, etc making the US CPA preparation a much more effective and satisfying journey for the trainees. The trainers here with their 12+years of experience in the industry equipped with global certification ensure the trainees procure their dream job through a smooth uncomplicated process which is otherwise considered to be difficult.

For college graduates with a graduate degree in finance or accounting or an entry-level accountant who enjoys more work responsibilities and a seeking higher salary or even for an already established professional in the field competing with other qualified accountants for the top paying positions in big firms, please check out the CPA course offered by Henry Harvin to learn more about the course

Conclusion

Earning a CPA license is not a cakewalk. It takes a lot of time and effort to earn a CPA designation and in turn to earn a high-paying CPA salary. The United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which monitors all major professions and industries in the United States, predicts a stable future for all aspiring a career as a Certified Public Accountant. The accountant and auditors are expected to enjoy up to 190,000 new jobs in this field by the end of the present decade and the federal body estimates that the profession will grow by 16% each year. Becoming a CPA gains you respect in the field, and career development and mainly you have a sense of job satisfaction due to lifetime earning potential. The monetary benefits of a CPA may come years down the line along with added responsibilities, pressure, and long working hours. While making a final decision do look at the yearly CPA salary and what you are looking to earn in your region.

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FAQ’s

Q1. Are Accountants and CPAs one and the same?

Ans. While all CPAs are accountants not all Accountants are CPAs.  The CPAs go through a rigorous examination and must meet educational, experience, and ethical requirements in order to get the license.  The most prominent difference between an average accountant and a CPA is that only the latter is capable of writing the audited financial statements which makes the companies value them the most. Large companies mainly favour CPAs for these and hence will typically earn more than accountants.

Q2. Is CPA a lucrative career?

Ans. Yes especially if you love Mathematics, Taxes and Accounting. A Career in CPA offers work opportunities in the private and public sector, government, and information technology. Certified public accountants are in demand and usually earn a high five-figure salary while the senior CPAs will earn over $100,000 on an average basis. According to the survey conducted by AICPA’S in 2017, CPAs expected an increase in pay rise by 5% over a period of 12 months, while the earlier years saw a salary growth of 4%.

Q3. What is the difference between a CFA and a CPA?

Ans. CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and CFA is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a significant difference between the two though both are related to finance. A CFA’s expertise is mainly in the investment industry and hence you mainly find them working as research analysts, portfolio managers, and investment advisors. CPA on the other hand mainly specialised in accounting and taxes. CPAs mainly have expertise in a wide variety of finance-related areas and have a more broad-based knowledge compared to a CFA.

Q4. Which are the major sectors that need CPA?

Ans. Certified Public Accountants provide a wide range of services across different organizations. Public Accounting firms are in dire need of good CPAs because of their expert knowledge in the fields of accounting and taxes. They are generally involved in the preparation, review, and auditing of client’s financial statements
Small businesses take the help of CPAs to maintain accounting records and also to provide financial advice and assist them with their taxes
Large companies hire the services of a CPA to work in the firm’s accounting, internal auditing, and tax accounting. They prepare the corporation’s financial statements and ensure that it is in accordance with the required regulatory norms

Q5. What are the various job profiles for CPAs in India

Ans. With A CPA certification, you can work in India as well as globally. In India, the job opportunities vary depending on the role you choose. Auditing, Finance, Accountancy, Investments, etc. are some of the major fields that are in high demand with lucrative job profiles and salaries. CPA’s can also work in major designations like chief Financial Analyst and Finance Manager which include mainly auditing and accounting roles

Q6. Can I be Self-employed as a CPA

Ans. Yes, you can be self-employed as a CPA. You can provide your services to small businesses mainly bookkeeping and tax filling. CPAs can also work as consultants to large firms and high-profile private clients. Although, it is always advisable to gain experience before venturing on your own,

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