Australian CPA vs CA exams

Discussion in 'Accounting' started by dijabringabeeralong@lycos.com, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Guest

    How do Australian CA exams and course compare to CPA exams in terms of
    difficulty.

    I will be pursuing a CA or CPA designation, preferably CA, but I am
    concerned about the difficulty of the courses. Especially when I see
    first write pass rates in recent CA exams of just over 60%.
     
    , Nov 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. Joker Guest

    d> How do Australian CA exams and course compare to CPA exams in terms
    d> of
    d> difficulty.

    d> I will be pursuing a CA or CPA designation, preferably CA, but I am
    d> concerned about the difficulty of the courses. Especially when I see
    d> first write pass rates in recent CA exams of just over 60%.

    I think the last statistic I read was the first time pass rate fo the CPA
    was around 45% which seems to suggest it is harder. If you will be working
    in Australia, would the CPA even transfer?
    --
    Joker
    "...God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me."
    Gen. 21:6
     
    Joker, Nov 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. J Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > How do Australian CA exams and course compare to CPA exams in terms of
    > difficulty.
    >
    > I will be pursuing a CA or CPA designation, preferably CA, but I am
    > concerned about the difficulty of the courses. Especially when I see
    > first write pass rates in recent CA exams of just over 60%.
    >

    Never mind the exams..Would you rather be called a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
    or a Certified Practising Accountant - seems this latter group is quite
    embarrassed that they don't even call themselves that anymore : )

    Note: the US CPA is quite different from the Aus CPA. The US CPA is
    probably equivalent to the Aus CA (I sure someone will correct me).
     
    J, Nov 3, 2005
    #3
  4. S.M.Serba Guest

    In the US a CPA is a Certified *Public* Accountant.

    "J" <> wrote in message
    news:4369ba4b$0$44192$...
    >
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> How do Australian CA exams and course compare to CPA exams in terms of
    >> difficulty.
    >>
    >> I will be pursuing a CA or CPA designation, preferably CA, but I am
    >> concerned about the difficulty of the courses. Especially when I see
    >> first write pass rates in recent CA exams of just over 60%.
    >>

    > Never mind the exams..Would you rather be called a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
    > or a Certified Practising Accountant - seems this latter group is quite
    > embarrassed that they don't even call themselves that anymore : )
    >
    > Note: the US CPA is quite different from the Aus CPA. The US CPA is
    > probably equivalent to the Aus CA (I sure someone will correct me).
    >
    >
     
    S.M.Serba, Nov 3, 2005
    #4
  5. David Jensen Guest

    On Thu, 3 Nov 2005 12:40:23 -0500, in alt.accounting
    "S.M.Serba" <> wrote in
    <>:
    >In the US a CPA is a Certified *Public* Accountant.


    And is the equivalent to a Chartered Accountant.

    >"J" <> wrote in message
    >news:4369ba4b$0$44192$...
    >>
    >> <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> How do Australian CA exams and course compare to CPA exams in terms of
    >>> difficulty.
    >>>
    >>> I will be pursuing a CA or CPA designation, preferably CA, but I am
    >>> concerned about the difficulty of the courses. Especially when I see
    >>> first write pass rates in recent CA exams of just over 60%.
    >>>

    >> Never mind the exams..Would you rather be called a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
    >> or a Certified Practising Accountant - seems this latter group is quite
    >> embarrassed that they don't even call themselves that anymore : )
    >>
    >> Note: the US CPA is quite different from the Aus CPA. The US CPA is
    >> probably equivalent to the Aus CA (I sure someone will correct me).
    >>
    >>

    >
     
    David Jensen, Nov 3, 2005
    #5
  6. Guest

    I would absolutely rather be a Chartered Accountant than a CPA. I
    started out in the CA program in Canada, but there was 7 courses, which
    almost no one got on first write, and then the horrific Uniform Final.
    The exams had about a 50% pass rate, and I just couldnt see writing 14
    exams and then a UFE, which most people I knew did. Less than 50% ever
    made it to the UFE. So, I chose to go the CMA route, which was hard
    work, but do-able. However, it didn't do me much good. I was offered a
    partnership if I got a CA, but the CMA was useless. Then, when I moved
    to Australia, it was completely useless. I didn't get a single credit,
    and had to do 3 university level courses before even starting the CA or
    CPA. SO, I said "stuff it" and stayed in technical writing.

    So, now I'm 47 and have a driving need to return to accounting and get
    a CA or CPA. CA is definately first, as the CPA being non-transferable
    and second rate (in public accounting) doesnt thrill me. HOWEVER, at
    47, I am worried about my ability to compete with young hotshots just
    out of uni, if there is a low pass rate in the CA program. I've seen
    their stats, and they are a little bit misleading.

    So, basically, that's the long story about why I would prefer a CA, but
    need to know how the exams compare.

    And, yes, the US CPA is the equivalent to the CDN, UK and Aus CA.
     
    , Nov 4, 2005
    #6
  7. Guest

    G'day from another Jensen!

    Brett Jensen
     
    , Nov 4, 2005
    #7
  8. S.M.Serba Guest

    Does Australia not have a CGA programme? Could you not look into that?


    --
    Stephanie Wells, AICIA
    Partner, Durham Business Outsource
    Accounting & Technology
    www.dbo.ca
    smwells <at> dbo <dot> ca


    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I would absolutely rather be a Chartered Accountant than a CPA. I
    > started out in the CA program in Canada, but there was 7 courses, which
    > almost no one got on first write, and then the horrific Uniform Final.
    > The exams had about a 50% pass rate, and I just couldnt see writing 14
    > exams and then a UFE, which most people I knew did. Less than 50% ever
    > made it to the UFE. So, I chose to go the CMA route, which was hard
    > work, but do-able. However, it didn't do me much good. I was offered a
    > partnership if I got a CA, but the CMA was useless. Then, when I moved
    > to Australia, it was completely useless. I didn't get a single credit,
    > and had to do 3 university level courses before even starting the CA or
    > CPA. SO, I said "stuff it" and stayed in technical writing.
    >
    > So, now I'm 47 and have a driving need to return to accounting and get
    > a CA or CPA. CA is definately first, as the CPA being non-transferable
    > and second rate (in public accounting) doesnt thrill me. HOWEVER, at
    > 47, I am worried about my ability to compete with young hotshots just
    > out of uni, if there is a low pass rate in the CA program. I've seen
    > their stats, and they are a little bit misleading.
    >
    > So, basically, that's the long story about why I would prefer a CA, but
    > need to know how the exams compare.
    >
    > And, yes, the US CPA is the equivalent to the CDN, UK and Aus CA.
    >
     
    S.M.Serba, Nov 4, 2005
    #8
  9. David Jensen Guest

    On 4 Nov 2005 05:07:28 -0800, in alt.accounting
    wrote in
    <>:
    >G'day from another Jensen!
    >
    >Brett Jensen


    Nice nick.
     
    David Jensen, Nov 4, 2005
    #9
  10. Bob Williams Guest

    On Thu, 03 Nov 2005 12:22:13 -0600, David Jensen
    <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 3 Nov 2005 12:40:23 -0500, in alt.accounting
    >"S.M.Serba" <> wrote in
    ><>:
    >>In the US a CPA is a Certified *Public* Accountant.

    >
    >And is the equivalent to a Chartered Accountant.


    Absolute rubbish. Public accountants in Australia can be CPA, CA or
    members of another organisation called the National Institute of
    Accountants. Each body is precious about its standing, with the CPAs
    and CAs requiring a university degree as a prerequisite.

    In each case, a public practice certificate is required for public
    practice. CAs, CPAs and NIA members also work in corporations. There
    are over 100,000 CPAs, of whom more than 10,000 are in public
    practice. There are fewer CAs in both categories, and probably have a
    higher proportion in public practice. CPAs and CAs work for the same
    firms and when in partnership together, one can bring either
    designation to the firm.

    There may be a perception that being chartered is better (and the CAs
    are trying to promote this with advertising), but as in any field
    there are good and bad. There have been a few CAs recently involved in
    some rather shady dealings (re:Vizard and ACCC for example, and I
    believe Arthur Andersen were CAs - they have gone now due to some poor
    practices in the US. Likewise, the CPAs have some of these characters
    two. From what I can see from four decades of watching from the
    sidelines (as a teacher) and now for a few years as a CPA, there is
    precious little other than prejudice that separates the two
    organisations. They have similar entrance standards and professional
    training, and they adopt the same accounting standards and similar
    codes of ethics.

    If you want to be a CA - go for it. Or a CPA. Or join the NIA.
    Whatever you do, don't make your decision on the so-called ease of
    examinations or on some specious comparison with the same post-nominal
    as used in another country. Do a bit of research as to what you want
    to do in Australia, and select the organisation that will best help
    you achieve your goals.

    Bob Williams CPA

    >
    >>"J" <> wrote in message
    >>news:4369ba4b$0$44192$...
    >>>
    >>> <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>> How do Australian CA exams and course compare to CPA exams in terms of
    >>>> difficulty.
    >>>>
    >>>> I will be pursuing a CA or CPA designation, preferably CA, but I am
    >>>> concerned about the difficulty of the courses. Especially when I see
    >>>> first write pass rates in recent CA exams of just over 60%.
    >>>>
    >>> Never mind the exams..Would you rather be called a CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
    >>> or a Certified Practising Accountant - seems this latter group is quite
    >>> embarrassed that they don't even call themselves that anymore : )
    >>>
    >>> Note: the US CPA is quite different from the Aus CPA. The US CPA is
    >>> probably equivalent to the Aus CA (I sure someone will correct me).
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
     
    Bob Williams, Nov 6, 2005
    #10
  11. Guest

    No, as far as I know, it only has CA, CPA and NIA, and only the CA and
    CPA are highly recognised. CA and CPA here seem to be close to
    equivalent, but CA is recognised more in other countries.
     
    , Nov 6, 2005
    #11
  12. Guest

    >>If you want to be a CA - go for it. Or a CPA. Or join the NIA.
    Whatever you do, don't make your decision on the so-called ease of
    examinations or on some specious comparison with the same post-nominal
    as used in another country. Do a bit of research as to what you want
    to do in Australia, and select the organisation that will best help
    you achieve your goals. <<

    >From what I have seen and heard, CPA or CA are close to equivalent in

    terms of finding work. CPA is more appealing because it allows more
    choice and more specialisation.

    However, for me, getting no credit for my Canadian CMA, therefore
    having to start from scratch again is frustrating. Add to that the fact
    that I am restarting again at 47, not having done a professional exam
    in 15 years. As a result, between my age, and frustration at doing it
    all over again, competing with a bunch of hot-shots out of uni is
    intimidating, especially if the fail 50% of them like they did in the
    Canadian CA system.

    Had I got a CA in Canada, I wouldnt be going through all this. And I
    could easily end up back in Canada at some point.

    Therefore, since the two are fairly equivalent in terms of employament
    options, based on my situation, the difficulty of the exams and the
    transferability are by far the most important issues that separate the
    two, and quite possibly the only ones that really matter.
     
    , Nov 7, 2005
    #12
  13. Bob Williams Guest

    On 6 Nov 2005 18:32:34 -0800, wrote:

    >>>If you want to be a CA - go for it. Or a CPA. Or join the NIA.

    >Whatever you do, don't make your decision on the so-called ease of
    >examinations or on some specious comparison with the same post-nominal
    >as used in another country. Do a bit of research as to what you want
    >to do in Australia, and select the organisation that will best help
    >you achieve your goals. <<
    >
    >>From what I have seen and heard, CPA or CA are close to equivalent in

    >terms of finding work. CPA is more appealing because it allows more
    >choice and more specialisation.
    >
    >However, for me, getting no credit for my Canadian CMA, therefore
    >having to start from scratch again is frustrating. Add to that the fact
    >that I am restarting again at 47, not having done a professional exam
    >in 15 years. As a result, between my age, and frustration at doing it
    >all over again, competing with a bunch of hot-shots out of uni is
    >intimidating, especially if the fail 50% of them like they did in the
    >Canadian CA system.
    >
    >Had I got a CA in Canada, I wouldnt be going through all this. And I
    >could easily end up back in Canada at some point.
    >
    >Therefore, since the two are fairly equivalent in terms of employament
    >options, based on my situation, the difficulty of the exams and the
    >transferability are by far the most important issues that separate the
    >two, and quite possibly the only ones that really matter.


    Do you know if they will knock you back on an approach to have your
    other qualifications and experience recognised. There is another
    approach to gaining membership of these associations - they all have
    the ability to recognise experience and qualifications similar to a
    CPA or CA (I know from personal experience that the CPAs have such a
    rule). You should approach the membership officer in your state in
    each association, especially the one you prefer.

    BTW, I get your drift - and that what was what I was driving at - it
    should be the outcome that is best for you. The snobbery driving the
    differences between the CPAs and CAs should be seen for what it is!

    Best wishes

    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Nov 7, 2005
    #13
  14. Guest

    I wasn't aware that there is a chance of any degree of recognition. I
    actually would have been happy even to have been treated like an
    Australian graduate, where if they didnt have auditing or tax, they
    could take it as an option, but since I have a foreign (4.5 year
    degree) instead of an Australian (3 year degree), the CPAs don't give
    me that option. I thought that was pretty random.

    What I might do is approach the CPAs and see if they will let me take
    audit as one of the courses, in view of the fact that I have done an
    internal audit course with the CMAs, and I had eight years of audit
    experience.

    Looking at the programs, I would agree with you, that it appears to be
    snobbery. In fact, the CPA program looks better. The CAs might claim
    tougher and more in-depth courses, but the reality is that what makes
    someone a good accountant is learned more on the job than in a
    classroom. For example, in Canada, I was the Senior Audit manager in a
    CA firm, without having actually taken an audit course. Although, I
    would have been a way better auditor with training, the to me, that's a
    fairly extreme example of the importance of on-the-job training.

    Thank you very much for all your comments, they have been very helpful.
    Especially the comments about the numbers or CPAs vs CAs. That's an
    angle that I hadn't really considered.
     
    , Nov 8, 2005
    #14
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