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FP&A Analyst Certification By AFP

FP&A AnalystAnyone have any thoughts on this new FP&A analyst certification?  I'm a little confused to the intent as IMA offers the CMA which tests Financial Planning along with other management accounting skills.  Thoughts?


(independent consultant) |

My guess is the AFP is pushing forward on its business model. From a cynics perspective, that model is to make money -- serious money -- by positioning itself as the go-to source of information for a financial specialty along with having a certification for that specialty.

Part of the trick is to get totally free content from its constituency and then sell it back to the profession (directly or indirectly). The AFP then further locks in people using the AFP products as the main source of earning credits to maintain the certification.

That model has certainly worked for the treasury profession. FPA Analyst certification is a stretch and less defined profession.

And to be less of a cynic, all trade associations end up working in a similar way. It's a natural monopoly. It does help to have a central "library" of accumulated knowledge for the profession. And it does help with employment for trade associations to have a certification to show they at least have basic knowledge.

BUT it's a question of how much the AFP charges. It's too much.

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

As personal career marketing, probably has some value.

The main thing is what is one actually capable of and how does that compare to the reality of the job? They may have some really cool letters after their name, but not be up to the task.

To that end, take a look at Proformative's

Free 5 Minute Career Insights Analysis

It analyzes and benchmarks a person's skills to a specific job title or the job title one aspires to.

It's terrific for clarifying resumes, writing job descriptions, testing applicants, making your case in performance reviews or promotion or increased compensation, finding new career paths, finding skills gaps to fill in, etc.


Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Just another in a host of "certifications" that have little or no meaning, other than passing a test which can be difficult (CPA/CMA) or not.

It beckons to the current trend (aka buzz words) that letters after your name signify expertise and ability to apply said expertise.

OMHO, save your money.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

To add to the other thoughts here, the best qualification you have to prove yourself as being an expert, at least someone with credentials, is to be able add value to your company's decision making process with your analysis of FP&A. Then being able to show that to a potential hiring manager.

Regardless of how many job searches I have done since 2005 when I graduated college, I have only seen the CPA, CMA, and the CIA ever mentioned in a job posting. I've also seen many MBAs, but I don't count those because an MBA isn't a certificate requiring CPE. It's simply a diploma, albeit an honorable diploma.

James Morales
Title: Manager, Business Planning & Strategy
Company: US Gas & Electric
(Manager, Business Planning & Strategy, US Gas & Electric) |

I have CFA charter, FP&A Cert and CMA Cert so I can speak intelligently on the topic.

My approach to getting all three was simple. I wanted to have certifications that cover the holy trinity of Finance:

Investment Finance - CFA
Corporate Finance, Consulting, Project Management, IT - FP&A
Accounting - CMA

CTP would be next if I ever had a Treasury focus.

There is some overlap between the 3, with most being between FP&A and CMA. FP&A is a broader coverage area and lines up very well with what pure FP&A folks should be doing. FP&A is a broader area than accounting and requires a much different skillset. Folks with the cert have demonstrated some competency in the areas you want someone to be strong in

CMA focuses more on accounting (duh) with some FP&A concepts sprinkled in but it's more of management accounting and reporting. It will not tell you if someone has basic IT, Excel, consulting or project management skills.

As someone said, it is career marketing and gets you a look. Rest is up to you at that point.


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