Which one, CPA or CFA, is the better choice for me?
People who are thinking about pursuing a career in corporate finance or the capital markets frequently ask questions along the lines of “Should I get a CPA or CFA?” and “Which is better?” In this post, we will compare and contrast the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) distinction with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and try to point you in the correct path regarding which of these two designations is more suitable for your needs. There is no clear winner between the two options; rather, whatever one you choose depends on the priorities you have for your professional life and your car.
CPA vs CFA designation
What does it mean to be a Certified Public Accountant, sometimes known as a CPA?
The term “Certified Public Accountant,” or CPA for short, is used as a classification for accountants who are legally qualified in a number of nations across the world. In the United States of America, in order to receive the designation, one must first pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, in addition to completing extra coursework and gaining relevant professional experience.
The titles “Chartered Accountant” (CA), “Chartered Certified Accountant” (ACCA), “Chartered Professional Accountant” (CPA), “Certified Public Accountant” (CPA), “Certified Practicing Accountant” (CPA), and “Certified Management Accountant” (CMA) are some of the accounting designations used in countries other than the United States that adhere to an accounting standard that is comparable to the American one.
What are the most prevalent routes that CPAs take in their careers?
The following are some of the most typical career paths for CPAs:
Assurance, taxation, advising, and valuation services provided by a public accounting firm.
Accounting for corporations often includes accounting, reporting, finance, and the treasury.
CPAs have a wide variety of job options available to them, including working in the government, academia, and non-profit organizations. The first group, public accounting, contains a wide variety of enterprises, each of which can be classified according to their size, structure, and the types of businesses they serve. Within a specific company, there could also be a wide variety of career paths available to choose from, such as auditing, tax and advisory services, or consulting. On the side of business and industry, there is also a large variety of organizations and options available within them, such as financial accounting and reporting, financial planning and analysis, management accounting, treasury or cash management, and corporate development. These are just some of the possibilities.
Given that the primary focus of CFI is corporate finance, our attention is mostly directed upon the most lucrative job opportunities available to CPAs working in corporate accounting. On the corporate side, the following is an example of a possible career path for a CPA:
Accounting on Staff (1-3 years of Experience)
Senior accounting (three to six years of experience)
Manager of Accounting with 6+ Years of Experience
Assistant Controller, with 8+ years of experience
(10 years of experience or more)
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with twelve years of experience or more
The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation stands for what exactly.
The Chartered Financial Analyst® title is conferred by the CFA Institute and is available on a global scale. The designation has an emphasis on financial analysis and also includes a sizeable portion on portfolio management. A applicant must not only pass each of the three levels, but also satisfy standards on their professional experience in the car industry in order to be eligible for the designation. As of the beginning of June 2016, there were roughly 132,000 charterholders all over the world.
What are the most common types of careers taken by people who possess charters?
The CFA Society identifies UBS, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank as the leading employers of CFA charterholders. Other top employers include Barclays and Deutsche Bank. The following are the most prevalent types of careers pursued by those who possess charters:
Research on stock prices
Finance for corporations
Trading and Sales
Given the nature of the curriculum, it should come as no surprise that investment management is ranked as the most desirable job choice on the list above. From there, it can lead to a wide variety of employment in corporate finance, most of which are on the banking side of the industry. The major employers are primarily financial institutions like banks, and those who possess charters can work in a broad variety of capacities inside such institutions. You can view an example of the average compensation for a charterholder by clicking here.
CPA vs. CFA: Which Professional Designation Should I Pursue?
It is absolutely up to the individual. It’s crucial to know which of the two is more suitable for you because they both offer fantastic career pathways. If you want to advance your career in the finance department of a large corporation and eventually become the CFO, or if you want to advance your career in a public accounting firm, the C P A is an excellent choice. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certificate, on the other hand, is excellent if your goal is to work in banking, and more specifically in investment management or equities research. People who are interested in breaking into corporate finance can find solid chances in either one.