Difference Between CPA and MBA

Education has always been an important factor in living a good lifestyle. Jobs require higher education which can be in any field. There are many courses; some of them can be done after high school, while some require a graduate degree.


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What is GPA used for?


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All of them have different importance and is required for different jobs and career. They may not be essential for living but obviously add some value for having a good life.

Examples of such courses are CPA and MBA. Both of them have their own importance for students persuading different careers. They are mainly focused on different subjects and syllabus.

To choose between them, it is important to understand the difference between both of them.


The difference between CPA and MBA is that both of them are organized by different bodies. The organizing Body of CPA is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, while the organizing body of MBA is different business schools. MBA is persuaded after the graduation degree course, whereas CPA is a specialized course of advanced certification. CPA is more focused on accounting subjects and does not require lots of work experience, whereas MBA is broad that includes accounts, economics, business, and many other subjects, whereas it also requires lots of experience. Generally, MBA has higher value to the employees. Except this, they also differ in terms of duration, pattern, affordability, jobs, etc.


Certified Public Accountant is an advanced course that is also considered equivalent to the Chartered Accountant course. It is divided into four parts which mainly focus on accountants and financial subjects.

The duration of this is 18 months. It is affordable by many but still offers many career options after the completion of the course.

Master of Business Administration is a degree pursued after graduation. It can be persuaded and offered by different business schools.

Subjects or the pattern on MBA is divided into different semesters or trimesters that depend on respective institutions. The duration of this course is 1 year in executive and 2 years in regular.

It can be quite expensive but offers several jobs after the completion of the course.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCPAMBA
Organizing BodyAmerican Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Business Schools.
PatternDivided into 4 parts.Divided into semesters or trimesters.
Duration18 months1 or 2 years
JobsPublic and forensic accountants, etc.Financial analyst, financial advisor, etc.

What is CPA?

In some countries, it is given the most value, while in some, it is not. Following are career scopes or benefits of CPA:

  • Public Accounting Firms: CPA includes subjects focusing on auditing tax, accounting, consulting services for different types of customers. And public accounting firms are among most desirable job in the world which pays the highest salary. 
  • Financial Advisor: it also trains the students to give advice related to monetary decisions, such as savings, business investment, home purchases, retirement plans, etc., everyone in their life requires these bits of advice, and therefore this profession holds good value. 
  • Government or Not-for-Profit: government and not-profit-organizing are most of the time in need of good financial and accountant employers. Mainly they are responsible for drafting budgets and checking all the expenses of the organization.

In some countries, it is a more important course than CA. This mainly focuses on accounts and financial jobs mainly. It is said to be difficult as it is not cleared by many students. There is certain advantage of earning a CPA license, these includes:

  • Higher jobs opportunities.
  • More incentives.
  • Rising job adaptability.
  • Job stability.
  • The higher the additional potential of earnings.

What is MBA?

MBA is said to be one of the difficult courses, and the following are some of the career scopes for a person after pursuing an MBA:

  • Investment Banking: while MBA students undergo subjects that include topics related to investments, this is the most desirable career option after MBA. This job includes helping people related to the decisions of investments.
  • Private Equity: apart from the investment banking role in private equity is also an important option in which investment-related decisions and advice are sought.
  • Marketing: this is the most important career option for people as it plays an important part in business to be successful. Marketing is an important topic in the syllabus of MBA. Marketing is a position that can make or end a product. 
  • Product Management: it is although a function under marketing, still a separate person is appointed as product management so that proper measures are taken for marketing a product. This is also taught during the course of MBA.
  • Project Management: in MBA, students are taught how to manage a project, companies hire employees to manage projects in the long and short term.
  • Business Development: MBA aspirants also look for a career option in the field of business development where advice is given for growing and managing the business. 
  • Human Resource Management: this is becoming an important career nowadays where the employee has to manage the human; they have to manage the manpower for proper working.

Main Differences Between CPA and MBA

  1. Both courses involve different types of subjects and courses, subjects included in the course of CPA are Financial Statements Accounts, Entity Federal Taxation, Ethics, and General Principles, etc. and subjects or syllabus included in the course of MBA are Accounting Financial Management, Business Statistics, etc.
  2. Both of the courses required to pay fees for the examination purpose. In comparison to this term, CPA is quite more affordable, whereas MBA is expensive and cannot be afforded by most people.
  3. As both of them focuses on different subjects, jobs after the completion of courses are also different, after CPA jobs that can be after this are Forensic Accountants, Internal Auditor, Public Accountant, etc. whereas MBA includes jobs such as Financial Advisor, Human Resource Manager, Marketing Manager, Operation Manager, etc.
  4. In terms of difficulty, both of them are difficult, but in comparison, CPA is relatively more difficult. CPA is mostly cleared by 50 percent of the candidates and is considered moderately difficult, whereas MBA is quite not as difficult as CPA as almost all candidates can clear it after joining.
  5. Both of them are divided into different parts, CPA is divided into four parts, and continuous examination takes the place of respective parts, whereas MBA is divided into semesters or trimesters and examination depends upon the institutes.
  6. Lastly, they also differ in terms of duration. MBA is a long-term course; it can be of either 1 or 2 years, while CPA is of 18 months of one and half years only.
Difference Between CPA and MBA


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