CFP vs CS – What is The Career Scope?

CFP vs CS – What is The Career Scope. Deciding on a career is never a piece of cake. We all know that and hence here is an opportunity to weigh the merits and demerits of both and deciding for yourself what suits you the best.

Read on to know about these two credentials in the areas of accounting & financial profession. I hope this could help you steer towards the right direction in your career.

The article is articulated in this order:

  1. CFP vs CS Infographics
  2. What is Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?
  3. What is Company Secretary (CS)?
  4. CFP vs CS – Entry requirements
  5. Why pursue CFP?
  6. Why pursue CS?

CFP vs CS Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

Lets understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this CFP vs CS Infographics.

CFP vs CS infographics

What is CFP?

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a certification awarded by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., or CFP Board, based in USA. CFP Board is affiliated with no less than 25 organizations globally which award this certification and the certified professionals are known as international owners of CFP. It should be kept in mind that USA and UK boards have different eligibility criteria for this certification.
To earn this credential, a professional should first fulfill the educational criteria and have adequate professional financial planning experience before appearing for the exam. The certification holders must also adhere to the ethical standards and code of ethics as defined by the CFP Board. This certification helps prepare finance professionals work in the capacity of financial planners for their clients.

What is CS?

Company Secretary (CS) is a professional designation awarded by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) on completion of Foundation, Executive and Professional Programme-level exams. A Company Secretary usually acts as the Chief Advisor to the Board of Directors in matters of legal import and as such is supposed to be an expert in corporate laws, securities laws and matters of corporate governance.

A CS should have the required proficiency in corporate laws and be able to communicate with a high level of efficiency in order to fulfill his role with greater efficacy. However, CS does not have the power to legally represent or defend his or her client or the company in case of any legal dispute. CS is also responsible for all matters related to regulatory compliance within the company and deals with corporate issues of strategic significance.

CFP vs CS Entry Requirements


Educational Criteria: Candidates are required to hold a Bachelor’s Degree accredited by a body recognized by the US Department of Education. It must be kept in mind that although Bachelor’s Degree is a requirement for initial certification, it is not a requirement to appear for CFP Certification Exam. It is only within 5 years of clearing CFP Certification Exam, that a candidate is required to verify his or her Bachelor’s Degree details with the CFP Board.

Additionally, a candidate is required to have undergone a college-level program in personal financial planning or an accepted equivalent including the financial plan development course registered with the CFP Board.

To ensure that a professional is capable of delivering quality services to the clients, three to five years of professional experience in financial planning is required in order to earn the rights to use the CFP marks.


The eligibility criteria for getting into Foundation Programme is 10+2  pass or equivalent students from any stream (Arts, Commerce, Science) with the exception of Fine Arts. The Executive Programme can be pursued either after completion of the Foundation Programme or those with a Bachelor’s Degree or a Postgraduate Degree in any stream (except Fine Arts) can enroll directly into the Executive Programme. The Professional Programme can only be pursued after completion of the Executive Programme.

Why Pursue CFP?  

CFP is a highly coveted designation which adds to the credibility of financial planners in the eyes of their prospective employers and their clients. It is a globally acknowledged credential which helps financial planners to enhance their knowledge and skills sets to be able to better serve any individual by acquiring an in-depth understanding of personal financial planning needs. In an increasingly transparent modern setting, financial planning is not the sole domain of financially well-off individuals and it is the duty of a financial planner to guide an average individual realize his or her financial goals with a strategic utilization of available resources.

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Why Pursue CS?

CS is undoubtedly a highly reputed designation and it takes a great deal of hard work to clear the exams themselves. However, apart from it being a tough nut to crack, the trust and credibility invested in this designation is what makes it so valuable. Practically, a company MD or CEO is supposed to act in keeping with the views of CS on matters of legal significance and seek his or her advice to plan corporate governance policies of the company. This designation enjoys global recognition and brings along with it a high level of credibility as well as responsibility for any professional.

You may also read this complete guide on CS exams for further details.


Finance professionals with a keen interest in helping their clients with their financial planning would better opt for CFP. This would allow them the advantage of added skills and knowledge in the area along with greater trust across industry as far as financial planning roles are concerned.

CS is undoubtedly a tougher nut to crack and is more suitable for those looking to gain expertise in the area of corporate law and finance. It would bring along plenty of opportunities to work in an advisory role to the Board of Directors within a company and other roles associated with devising and implementing corporate governance policies.

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