Master in Accounting Vs CPA

Which programme you want to select is entirely dependent on your location, your long-term goals, and a thorough comparison of Master in Accounting Vs CPA for the student to assess and make a better decision.

What is mean by Master in Accounting?

Mostly master in accounting referred to any of these ways.

  • Master of Accounting (MAcc or MAc).
  • Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcy, MPA, MPAc or MPAcc).
  • Master of Science in Accounting (MSA).
  • MBA in business accountancy or accounting also referred as a master in accounting.

A specialized graduate degree in accounting will contain a few courses that will provide you a broad overview of the corporate world, but it will be considerably more focused on accounting at a later part of your master degree when choosing your specialized subject, the most chosen one are Accounting and Tax, They are getting a more thorough and deeper knowledge of their specialized subjects.

Time to complete Master in Accounting

A master’s degree in accounting generally lasts one or two years. Students must finish 30 to 36 credit or semester hours in order to qualify for their degree in either situation.

Requirement to get in to Master in Accounting

Must hold a bachelor’s degree including certain conditions according to as per institution wise such as (Subject held by the candidate, grades and professional experience, with additional requirements (such as language proficiency tests) for international candidates.

Other Requirement Held by Universities and countries in case of international student.

In general 2:1 bachelor’s degree in accounting or a comparable quantitative subject such as commerce, computing, business studies, economics, engineering, or finance is required.

Some institutions do not need candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or an accepted accounting subject; instead, they ask them to take a test or an interview to see whether they are ready to join.

Some institutions only accept professionally qualified accountants onto the Masters in Accounting program and will specify the accreditations they accept.

Some institutions require Candidates to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations test (GRE) and international candidates may have to prove their language proficiency.

What is Mean by CPA

CPAs are a diverse group of professionals. They work as CFOs for Top 500 corporations and as advisers to small businesses in their communities. They work for both small and major public accounting companies. They are well-known strategic business advisers and decision-makers in the industry. They provide advice on a variety of topics, including tax and Account.

A CPA or certified public accountant is a trusted professional advisor to any firm, industry, or organization and helps them by applying their best knowledge and experience to be able to achieve their goals.

If you want to be a CFO or CEO of a company or a financial adviser without wasting a lot of time, a CPA is undoubtedly the credential that will get you there in less time than a degree holder.

CPA itself isn’t a degree but a certification and after meeting all requirements which includes credit hours and Passing the Uniform CPA Exam conduct by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)  is one of the steps in the process of becoming a CPA,

The State Board of accountancy gives you the license to practice accountancy to all states except certain conditions from each state.

Time to Compete

After getting all 150 credit hours, it will almost take 4 years to complete including 2 years of exams which consist of four sections are Regulation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Auditing and Attestation, and Business Environment and Concepts. You have to gain at least 75 percent to pass all four sections.

2 years of practical experience.

Requirement to get in to CPA Exam

As said earlier you need 150 credit hours.

Passing the bachelor’s degree will get you 120 credit hours.

A graduate/master’s degree gives you 30 credit hours and eligible for the CPA exam.

You can have a bachelor’s degree and fulfill the remaining 30 credit hours by ad hoc, non-degree courses.

Best to take a master in accountancy or any relevant subject which helps you not only in CPA exam in fact adding a value in your credentials.

For more about how to complete all 150 credit hours go to this guideline.

Other Requirement Held by Universities and countries in case of international student

As of today, 26 US States do not require US residency to be able to get a CPA certification

States that do not require us Residency are:

Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

More: Best Accounting Programs in the US

Few states require at least 6 months of residency so check with your intended jurisdiction.

Master in Accounting Vs CPA similarities and differences

Master in AccountingCPA
Graduate degreeProfessional Certification
No Maintenance Fee after Getting the DegreeEach year you have to renew your membership
CostlyLess costly than any master program in the US
Degree sometimes restricts you to move to a higher level if you don’t have any professional certification.Certain industries in the US are required to have a CPA license once an employee moves to a senior finance position.
In accounting, profession master doesn’t add value to your worth especially in the accounting professionCPA and other certifications do add value and help to reach a higher level.
Restricted in the US onlyAccepted worldwide
Most Us industries trust less when accountants don’t have CPA certificationAccording to the survey, Top US industries trust more CPA decisions relevant to financial matters rather than graduate holders.


Master in AccountingCPA
Less salary particularly in the accounting profession with fewer job opportunities.Accounting professionals earn higher pay. In comparison to accounting degrees, CPA demand has risen dramatically over time.

Time Duration

Master in AccountingCPA
Master degree maximum can take less than 2.5 yearsAfter finishing all 150 credit hours, you will need two years to pass examinations and two years of practical experience before receiving your CPA license.

Cost to complete

Master in AccountingCPA
A degree in any field, from a respectable university through completion, can cost anywhere from 12,000 to 34,000 US dollars on average.It cost you less than 4000 dollars, including registration, books, and other expenditures.

About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an experienced technical writer with an ACCA qualification. I have written on various topics including finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I am skilled in using infographics and diagrams.

Follow Us:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top