CPA vs CFP – Which is Better?

CPA vs CFP – Which is Better? The financial industry is steering for a nerve wracking growth and gaining a foothold in the booming industry is more than important for every finance professional. Each one desires unique professional opportunities and in this cat race the right course will put you right ahead. On one side CPA is all about accounting and auditing, CFP is about Investment and Retirement Planning. Let’s explore two course CPA and CFP.

The article is articulated in this order:

  1. CPA vs CFP Infographics
  2. What is CPA?
  3. What is CFP?
  4. Key Differences- CPA vs CFP
  5. Why pursue CPA?
  6. Why pursue CFP?

CPA vs CFP Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

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

CPA vs CFP infographics

What is CPA?

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam is conducted by the The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which is recognized across the globe for its competence. Accountant professionals who wish to make a successful career in the US or has to work with US based clients is required to take the examination hold by the AICPA. The CPA certified exams can be conducted in the 55 states in the US who have been granted the license to do so. There is no centralized body of control and each state has its own licensing requirements and pattern of exam. A CPA professional is an expert in handling tax law questions or provide tax advice to people. He can choose to practice in his individual capacity or create a small business or work for big firms. A CPA goes through rigorous training and learning to be able to handle financial reports thoroughly and in depth.

What is CFP?

Financial planners aiming to boost their careers through specialization specialize in the strategic financial planning or advisory role in the financial services industry should opt to take the CFP or Certified Financial Planner exam. CFP is a certificate course for financial planners awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) in the United States and by its affiliated body FPBS in India. CFP is recognized as a mark of excellence, and is well respected and considered competent by the finance industry worldwide. The course is designed to meet the stringent standards of education, examination, experience and ethics to ensure that the individuals certified win the trust of employees and have plethora of opportunities waiting for them after completing the course.

Key Differences- CPA vs CFP


The candidates must fulfill the 4E criteria to be certified as a CFP.

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Ethics
  • Experience

The minimum eligibility criterion for the CFP course is a graduate or bachelor’s degree or higher degree with a working knowledge of the financial planning practices prevalent in the industry.

To be eligible for the CPA examination a candidate is required to have education which is equivalent up to five years. The candidate must have a 4 year bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree and this should amount to 120 to 150 hours of credit in the business education domain.

Why Pursue CPA?

The CPA is a prestigious qualification and it commands a great deal of respect from insiders in the industry. The AICPA is body is known for its strict norms and standards, and therefore the CPA exam is looked upon with high regards. The candidates are required to meet a certain criteria to be eligible for the exam and this ensures the quality of the professionals is maintained. The CPA is arguably the highest qualification a CA could achieve and it greatly boosts a professional’s career by availing him opportunities to work in public accounting department in American MNCs as well as the license to practice in the US.

A CPA license is widely respected as an indicator of quantitative skills and high standards of professionalism and it is a necessary achievement to qualify for the Big 4 firms that dominate the public accounting sector, PricewaterhouseCoopersDeloitte Touche TohmatsuErnst & Young, and KPMG.

Why Pursue CFP?

CFP is a mark of professional excellence and is considered to be the highest level of certification a professional can aim to achieve in the financial industry. The certification is accepted and appreciated worldwide by professionals as well as consumers. The certificate has been awarded the Gold Standard Award by the Wall Street Journals which speaks volume of its credibility.  The CFP candidates have been found to benefit leaps and bounds from achieving this course. The professionals are said to have been compensated with attractive salaries in industries such as investments, insurance, tax, retirement & real estate.

Take your right foot forward in your professional journey with the course that meets your career requirements. All the best!

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