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CFA vs CPA for further career advancement?

ankit kumar's Profile

cfa vs cpa

Answers

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Of course it depends on your career aspirations. But in my opinion - CFA. You have already attained an advanced level in Accounting.

ankit kumar
Title: Assistant Manager-A & F
Company: Tibrewala Electricals
(Assistant Manager-A & F, Tibrewala Electricals) |

Thanks Regis for my concern. I also looking forward for CFA but it is more concerned with investment banking, advisory etc but i want to make my career in corporate finance.
I am a fresher and just cleared CA recently, bit confused........

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

You might be interested in this popular and free 34 page PDF titled

"The Value Of Certification:"

https://www.proformative.com/resources/value-certification

It covers this very topic.

Also, value to an employer and therefor value back to the employee often hinges on what the employee knows and can accomplish. That is why you might also want to take a look at...

"The Proformative Community Guide To ERP Selection & Implementation:"

https://www.proformative.com/whitepapers/proformative-community-guide-erp-selection-implementation

Enjoy! Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

If corporate finance is your goal, then it seems a CPA makes more sense. Whether or not it is the better credential is up for debate, but it is the one you'll see requested (and/or required) in most corporate finance position descriptions.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Can I change my vote? I agree with Cindy.

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

In my book, you can, Regis! Have a good day, my friend.

Wray Rives
Title: CPA CGMA
Company: Rives CPA PLLC
(CPA CGMA, Rives CPA PLLC) |

Totally agree with Cindy, in corporate finance CPA is the credential that is going to get you in the door. CFA is more recognized in investment and money management type jobs.

Anonymous
(Big Dog) |

In the US does Chartered Accountant qualification (from UK or Australia Institute) hold any weight and relevance?

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

Well it can, Anonymous. But it has to be in conjunction with your record of contribution. Otherwise, a credential is just that - something on the list of requirements.

While the CPA is still the most-requested credential, I have seen some job requirements that say CPA or CA. And with strong value positioning, sometimes not having the "required" credential just doesn't even matter.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

CPA

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

A couple of new designations are floating around that I would like to get the groups opinion on:
ABA - Accredited Business Accountant - Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation

CPC - Certified Professional Controller - Institute of Finance and Management

Are these legitimate or are they just scams?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Hi Robert - I had to Google both of those designations as I was not familiar with them. I don't believe they are scams, but if you are looking at hiring someone to your team I don't believe you should weigh these credentials in the same fashion as your CPA, CA, or CFA in your overall decision process.

The certifications may signify that an individual is committed to professional development (great thing) but if someone is seeking to throw letters behind their name it could signify they are overcompensating for the absence of other credentials.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Keri;

The ABA is the confusing one as most states are recognizing it as a CPA equivalent. The group that does the accreditation says the only difference is that they waive the requirement of having worked directly under a CPA which opens it up for a lot of people who chose a private vs. public career route. It is a perception issue. Example is that both you and I had never heard of it until we searched for it. I think many employers might view it as the same as those phony degree mills. Somehow I can’t envision an HR person spending the time to search for it given the lack of effort HR people put into Finance positions to start with, but that would be the beginning of a totally different thread.

Anonymous
(Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant) |

Having taken the ABA exam administered by ACAT, I can provide a little insight on this credential:

In some states, passing the ABA exam allows you to become licensed as a second-tier public accountant; it is sometimes regarded as the PA exam. Depending on the state, it either allows you full practice privileges in parity with a CPA, or it allows you limited practice privileges, meaning you can compile financial statements, but you can't express an opinion on them via review or audit.

If a person decides to forego the state licensing and opt to use the ABA letters as a standalone credential in order to find employment, in my opinion, are going to have a very challenging experience simply because it is not well heard of and with the growing number of degree/credential mills only serves to compound this issue, however if an employer gives credence to those candidates who values professional development, they may give the ABA another look, but for many employers, a CPA trumps everything else, including a licensed non-certified public accountant.

Most ABAs I know who use their letters do so as a self-employed/freelance accountant or as a principal in their own accounting practice and in my observation, using the ABA in this capacity tends to yield much better results for the credential holder as far as finding work/clients.

ACAT has been in existence for 40 years, and is a sister organization to the National Society of (Public) Accountants (which has been around since 1945), so it is indeed a legitimate organization and not a credential mill of any kind.

The ABA is for those who genuinely want to show that they have a certain degree of competency in accounting and want to hold themselves accountable to an organization that they will adhere to a code of professional and ethical standards, which is really what being credentialed is all about, CPA or otherwise.

Javier Flores
Title: Financial Systems Manager
Company: Kaydon Corporation
(Financial Systems Manager, Kaydon Corporation) |

If you want to deal with external reporting, auditing, the SEC, taxes and public accounting in general, the CPA is best. If you want to deal with internal accounting and internal management, costing, and anything dealing with the actual financial management of a company, I would recommend the CMA (Certified Management Accountant). I'm not too familiar with the CFA or what it focuses on exactly.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Anonymous (Principal) | Apr 1, 2013
Having taken the ABA exam administered by ACAT, I can provide a little insight on this credential:..............................................

If you could contact me directly off list I would like to communicate with you further concerning the ABA since you stated you have taken the exam.

Topic Expert
Joan Varrone
Title: CFO
Company: Cloud Cruiser
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Cloud Cruiser) |

CFA would be relevant if you wanted were interested in Investment Management but CPA for a corporate position as noted by others. No one has mentioned and MBA which is would be a good credential if you wanted to be in corporate finance, treasury or corporate planning.

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

The MBA is a great add, Joan. In fact, the CPA/MBA duo is often seen in job reqs.

Anonymous
(Accountant) |

How do you rate CMA (IMA-US)? from those more talked about qualifications like CPA/CFA/CIMA/ACCA and sort... Which positions CMA's fit in as good as, or better than others???

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