Calculator for CPA exam

CPA exam calculatorWhat calculator can I take into the CPA exam?

You can take any calculator in to your exam, including a scientific calculator or a financial calculator, as long as it does not have any data storage or recording functions, and its primary purpose is a calculator.

CPA Australia will not provide you with a list of appropriate models, because there are so many to choose from. So, there is little point in contacting them or posting a question in the Ask the Expert forum.

Is my calculator for my CPA exam appropriate?

There is a simple test: Can you do all the calculations that you have found throughout the study guide? 

If the answer is yes – then, the calculator will be adequate. If not, then we’d recommend you invest in an appropriate calculator. [Note also that on onscreen scientific calculator is provided to you in your computer based or online proctored exam – check out the online exam demonstrations for more guidance here.]

You can buy a reasonable scientific calculator for under $30.

Here is an example of different types:

March 25, 2021

8 responses on "Calculator for CPA exam"

  1. Hi Courtney,

    I have the similar one with the one you suggested but it doesnot have the power functions? how can we calculate the return generated from paying invoices early?



  2. Hi Quyen,

    Thanks for your message. For SMA, I’d strongly recommend using a calculator with the power function. This will be helpful for the discount saving formula, as well as the EOQ formula and then NPV calculations in Module 5.

    To calculate the discount saving formula without the using the power functions of a calculator would most likely require estimation. Without going into detail on the long mathematical formulas, you would be able to approximate the answer on page 90 by calculating: (1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.0526 x 1.00877) – 1. Here, the first 12 multiplications effectively take 1.0526 to the power of 12. Then, the last figure of 1.00877 represents (1 + (0.1667 x 0.0526). This calculation totals 86.62%, which approximates the 86.58% result on page 90.


  3. Hi

    I normally use the HP10Bii financial calculator but noticed that there is also a HP10Bii+ available. Is the HP10Bii+ allowed to be used in exams?

    Best regards


  4. Hi Courtney,

    May I know if this calculator is suitable and allowed for both SMA and FR exam?

    Model: Casio FX-50FH II Scientific Calculator 10 Digits
    Website FYR:

    Wing Yan

    • Hi Wing Yan,
      CPA will be publishing detailed information on this later in the semester.

      For now the rules on this are covered in the MYOL announcement when you login to MYOL.

      Regards, Courtney

  5. Hi Courtney are calculators not allowed in the test centre for computer based format? Please clarify. Thanks

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