CFA Vs CPA: What’s the Difference?

I’ve always had a love for both finance and accounting. I earned my CPA license after I graduated from college and was practicing in a small firm before I got tired of sitting my ass on a chair all day. Despite the fact that I’ve spent years working in both fields, I decided to get my CFA before I got my CPA license. This is because with the CFA designation, I am able to learn more about the business side of the finance and accounting world and network with larger firms.

CFA Vs CPA: What’s the Difference?

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) have been around for over a century, and yet, they are still the two most widely recognized accounting professional designations in the U.S.

CFA and CPA are two professions that are in high demand by students who aspire to a career in finance and accounting. These certification courses have become very popular with career-oriented students. Often candidates are confused and think the two options are the same in terms of future growth and job prospects. Let’s be clear: there are important differences between the two that you should be aware of before you start. The CPA professional training focuses on auditing and accounting, while the CFA focuses on understanding investments, banking and portfolio management. You will have to read the whole article to know more about the differences to get a clear picture.

CFA Vs CPA – What are CFA and CPA?

What is a CFA degree?

The CFA is one of the most sought-after qualifications for investment professionals who want to work as financial analysts, research analysts, etc. The full form of the CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst; a full professional qualification offered by the CFA Institute and of global importance. The CFA program is designed for individuals who wish to become professionally qualified in the field of financial management and investment. During the course, candidates acquire a solid foundation of knowledge in advanced investment analysis and real-world skills in portfolio management. Earning a CFA degree allows candidates to work as professionals in the field of investment analysis.

What is a CPA course?

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. This is one of the most requested business certification courses offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the largest accounting body. The CPA requires a higher level of knowledge and experience in the relevant field. The CPA is the most demanding certification course, covering various aspects of accounting. Candidates are trained to work for national and international companies that hire accountants for their organizations. Once a CPA has earned his or her professional title, he or she can easily find a better job anywhere in the world.

CFA vs. CPA – organised advice

Organised body of the CFA :

The CFA course is offered by the CFA Institute. It is recognized and accepted worldwide.

Regulatory CPA :

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is authorized to administer the exam for candidates taking the CPA exam. This institute is also internationally accredited and not limited to one country.

CFA and CPA – Selection criteria

The two courses have different selection criteria. Let’s see:

CFA Eligibility Criteria:

  • To take the CFA exam, candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent program in any discipline from a recognized university.
  • Students in their final year of study may also take the CFA exam, but the candidate must have completed an undergraduate degree by the time they take the Level 2 CFA exam.
  • In addition to diplomas, candidates must have at least 4,000 hours of experience before they can take the Level 1 exam.
  • Candidates who own their own business or are doing an internship will also be credited for work experience.
  • Candidates should have skills such as business communication skills, technical skills, analytical skills and many more.
  • Candidates must be in possession of a passport.
  • Candidates must have a good command of the English language.

CPA eligibility criteria :

  • Candidates must hold a university degree or equivalent from a recognised university.
  • In addition to academic qualifications, candidates must hold a CPA license to practice. This is possible if they take 150 semester hours of a CPA course.
  • Candidates must have 1 to 2 years of experience under the supervision of a qualified CPA before obtaining their license. Experience requirements may vary from state to state. But one year of experience is required in all states.
  • All of the above admission criteria do not apply to U.S. citizens. It may be different than with them.

CFA and CPA – Duration to completion

Duration of the CFA

A minimum of 2 years and 4 years of relevant experience is required to achieve the three levels of the CFA.

Duration of the CPA

Compared to the CFA, it takes less than a year to complete the CPA. Some students can complete all four components of the CPA in six months.

CFA and CPA – Examination format and content

Format and content of the CFA exam

There are three levels in the CFA: Level I, level II and level III. Phase I is divided into 2 sessions of 2 hours and 15 minutes each. The CFA Level I consists of 180 multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Each session consists of 90 questions. After passing the first level, candidates take the CFA Level 2 exam. It also takes place in two sessions. The level exam consists of a total of 88 MCQs, which are administered in the morning and evening. The duration of this level is 4,5 hours. CFA Level III is the final step to becoming a CFA Charterholder. Level III is a combination of open-ended and open-ended questions. The exam is administered in two sessions – morning and evening, and lasts 4.5 hours.

Language of instruction – English

The exams take place twice a year (Level I in February, May, July, August or November).

(Level II and Level III – May, August or November)

Examination content :

The CFA covers important topics such as:

  • Ethical and professional standards
  • Quantitative methods
  • Economy
  • Financial reports and analysis
  • Corporate finance
  • Equity investments
  • Fixed income
  • Derived products
  • Alternative investments
  • Portfolio management and asset planning

Format and content of the CPA examination

The CPA exam is more flexible than the CFA exam. You can participate in a level with only 4 newspapers. The CPA exam consists of four parts: Audit and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Accounting and Financial Reporting (FAR), and Regulatory Affairs (REG). A maximum of 4 hours is allowed for each section of the CPA. The questions asked in the CPA are MCQ (multiple choice) only. Each section also includes modeling and written communication tasks (except AUD, FAR, and REG for the communication task).

Language of instruction – English

Review Frequency – Each section covers a single review window. It is held four times a year. There are no restrictions on taking the CPA exam.

CPA Exam Format

The CPA formula covers a variety of topics, including. B. :

  • Ethics, professional liability and general principles
  • Preparation of findings and reports
  • Economy
  • Financial Management
  • IT
  • Selection of financial reporting accounts
  • National and local authorities
  • Corporate law
  • Federal income tax
  • Federal corporate income tax, etc.

CFA vs. CPA – Difficulty

The CFA and CPA are the highest level of professional training. If there are questions, which one is the most difficult? It can be harder to tell. After the CPA 2020 exam, the average pass rate for each ranged from 49.98% to 65.56%. On the other hand, current data on CFA exams show pass rates ranging from 49% (for Level I) to 56% (for Level III). It is clear from this data that the aspiration level of the CFA and CPA is almost the same.

Based on data from the last decade, the CFA review is quite difficult compared to the CPA review. Moreover, the success rate depends on the presence and knowledge of the candidate. Some students can easily pass these exams on the first try, while others cannot. Both courses require a high level of knowledge and concentration. Candidates are advised to familiarise themselves with the weighting of difficulty levels and individual questions before taking the examination.

CFA and CPA – Participation fees

CFA exam fees

The CFA exam includes three types of fees, namely:

  1. Entrance fee – The entrance fee is approximately 450 USD.
  2. The application fee is approximately $700 or $1,000.
  3. The transfer fee is about $25.

In total, the minimum cost for the CFA exam for all candidates is $2,550.

APA review costs

The cost of the CPA exam includes four different fees:

  1. Audit and Certification – $356.55
  2. Business environment and concepts – $356.55
  3. Financial Accounting and Reporting – $356.55
  4. Prescriptions – $356.55

CFA and CPA – Career opportunities and job descriptions

Career opportunities and professional roles for the CFA certificate holder

The CFA is a professional certification course that offers better prospects and results in the workplace. After the successful completion of CFA certification course, they can get jobs in various positions such as Chartered Financial Analyst, Business Consultant, Market Research Analyst, Investment Manager, Private Banker, Risk Manager, CFO etc. Several private and public companies have employed CFAs such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Crisil etc.

Career opportunities and positions for the CPA owner.

Upon completion of the CPA program, CPAs can seek employment in validation services, consulting services, international accounting firms, financial planning, tax services, and CPA positions.

Final Judgment :

On the threshold of secondary school, choosing a profession from the available specialisations seems a difficult task. The common question about the difference between CFA and CPA is inevitable. Both professionals are reputable and offer the candidate an excellent position. After learning all about the CFA and CPA, you can see that both professions are great, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can compare the two options based on your qualifications, outlook and other aspects to choose the best option for your specific needs.

The post CFA Vs CPA: The post What’s the difference? appeared first on CoursesXpert.Ever wonder what the difference between a Certified Financial Planner and a Certified Public Accountant is? One thing to keep in mind is that CFA has a narrower focus than CPA. For example, CPA’s are licensed to practice in all 50 states, while CFA’s practice only in states that have formal CFA requirements. In addition, CPA’s may serve in a variety of roles, while CFA’s generally focus on one role: financial planning or public accounting.. Read more about cfa vs cpa salary reddit and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the CPA harder than the CFA?

The CPA exam is a more difficult exam than the CFA exam. The CPA exam is a three-hour, 150-question multiple choice exam, while the CFA exam is a two-hour, 50-question multiple choice exam.

What is difference between CPA and CFA?

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. The CPA is a professional designation in the United States that is awarded to individuals who have passed a series of examinations in order to demonstrate their knowledge of accounting and finance. The CFA is the international designation for a professional in the field of investment management.

Is CFA worth it after CPA?

CFA is worth it after CPA if you are interested in pursuing a career in investment banking, consulting, or financial services.

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