About KICPA

Lim, Do Yeub

From Yonhapnews

Many people in Korea are interested in having specialized jobs nowadays as it is getting harder to start a career. For business school students, the most popular one is a certified public accountant(CPA). The number of applicants for the CPA exam is increasing recently. It was 8,512 people in 2019, and it increased up to 9,055 last year. In this year, 11,655 people applied for the exam. The number of qualified applicants is also increasing as there are more demands of accountants. 1,172 people passed the exam this year. In Korea, KICPA certificate is required in order to work as an accountant. Only accountants have authority to approve financial statements of firms. They also do tasks related to M&A or tax.

In order to become an accountant, you need to pass the exam and work at accounting firms for at least two years. An exam is managed by the Financial Supervisory Service, and it is held once a year. Not everyone can apply for the exam. They require an authorized English test score and total 24 credits regarding courses related to accounting, economics, and business in the university. After you are satisfied with those requirements, you are finally allowed to take the first exam.

The exam consists of two tests. Everyone who is satisfied with applicant requirements can take the first exam. However, only those who pass the first exam can take the second exam. The first exam is held in February, and the second exam is held in June. The first exam consists of five subjects. They are commercial law, tax law, economics, business management, and accounting. They are all multiple-choice questions. The first exam is based on relative evaluation, so you pass the first exam if your total points are high enough to rank within approximately the highest 2,000 people without any failure subject(failure means a score below 40 points out of 100 points).

The second exam also consists of five subjects. They are tax law, financial accounting, cost management accounting, financial management, and auditing. In contrast to the first exam, questions of the second exam are all short-answer questions and essays. Scoring 60 points out of 100 points for each subject is a pass criterion. They give two chances for the second exam. For example, if you fail on two subjects on your first trial, you may only take a test on the two subjects on your second trial without taking the first exam again next year.

More students are having interests in KICPA as it is getting hard to get a job recently. Also, the prospects of accountants are considered nice as the law regarding audits has recently changed and there will be more demands of accountants in the future.

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