Difference Between CFA and CA
CFA focuses on investment management and covers topics in finance like corporate finance, ethics, equity investments, derivatives, and fixed income while preparing you for careers in investment banking, research, and portfolio management. In contrast, CA focuses on accounting, taxation, and auditing and prepares you for careers in budgeting, accounting & auditing, and management accounting.
Choosing between these two tough career options may be very confusing. But since your entire career depends on this decision, perhaps a little information can help you decide.
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Table of contents
- Difference Between CFA and CA
What is the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®)?
The CFA® program focuses on investment management. The top employers include the most respected financial corporations globally like JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, and Wells Fargo.
Many of these are top investment banks, but the CFA® program focuses on the knowledge and skills most relevant to the global investment management profession from a practitioner’s standpoint.
Investment professionals who hold the CFA® designation (or CFA® charter) must meet rigorous educational and work experience and ethical conduct requirements.
Only those who complete three graduate-level examinations, four years of work experience, and the annual membership renewal (including Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct Attestation) are permitted to use the CFA® designation. In addition, complementary codes and standards (such as the Global Investment Performance Standards and Asset Manager Code) help enhance this profession’s distinction.
What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?
CA is an internationally recognized profession, and a Chartered Accountant can work in all fields of business and finance, for example, taxation, auditing, and general management. In addition, CAs can be employed by government bodies and public and private sectorPrivate SectorThe private sector is a section of the national economy that the government does not own. The business conducted under this sector is carried out by companies or entrepreneurs who focus on profit maximization and customer satisfaction. companies. In short, skilled CAs are always in demand in all industries. To become a qualified CA, candidates must qualify for different examinations and a rigorous training process.
A CA can manage financial accounts for an organization, be it tax accountant, management accountant, budget analystBudget AnalystBudget Analyst is a professional data-oriented person. He/she organizes and allocates various financial resources (Income from business/profession, interest income from bank deposits, profits from trading in stocks or shares) by monitoring each spending on an estimation basis and then produces probable surplus/deficit from the said calculations., and of course, the most interesting of all, auditorAuditorAn auditor is a professional appointed by an enterprise for an independent analysis of their accounting records and financial statements. An auditor issues a report about the accuracy and reliability of financial statements based on the country's local operating laws.. The international recognition of this degree gives you the ability to even work abroad under this qualification. The Chartered Accountants’ Institute encourages members to undertake a minimum level of continuing professional development to remain professionally competitive.
CFA vs CA Infographics
CFA and CA Exam Requirements
#1 – CFA® Requirements
- You can appear for CPT after clearing your 12th or directly take up the intermediate exam after you complete your graduation to enter a profession.
- The CFA® program needs to be completed by mastering the latest syllabus and clearing 3 to 6 hourly examinations.
- It is important to become a member of the CFA® institute, along with registering as a member of your local CFA® member’s society.
- Most importantly, you need to adhere to the code of ethics and standard of professional conduct of the CFA® institute.
#2 – CA Requirements
- To enter a profession, you can appear for CPT after clearing your 12th or directly take up the intermediate exam after you complete your graduation.
- The intermediate exam is divided into two groups to be cleared after completing the IPC level’s first group. The candidate needs to undergo training as an article assistant for a minimum of 3 years in a chartered firm.
- During the third year of training, the trainee can also work in the industry before appearing for the finals.
- Before being articled, the trainee also has to complete a 100 hour IT training and soft skills development orientation program.
|The CFA Institute, USA, conducts the exams.
|The exams are controlled by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
|The course is divided into three levels.
|The course is divided into three levels.
|Duration of course
|If a candidate can clear all the levels in the first attempt, he/she can complete the course in 4 years.
|A candidate can complete all the levels within 4 to 5 years.
|The course covers the following topics.
|The core curriculum includes
|The cost of the course varies between $2,550 and $3,450. It includes exam fees of $700-$1,000 per level and a one-time registration fee of $450. The exam fee varies depending on the time of registration.
|The cost for the entire course lies in the range of $900 to $1,100.
|Some of the common profiles include
|Some of the common profiles include
|It is one of the most difficult exams, and only 1 out of every ten candidates clear it. The pass rate in the June 2019 exam for Level I, Level II, and Level III stood at 41%, 44%, and 56%, respectively.
|It isn’t easy to clear the exams. For example, during November 2019, only 10.2% (old course) and 15.1% (new course) of the candidates cleared both groups of the finals.
|Upcoming exam schedule for 2021
|The upcoming exams are expected to start on Jan 21, 2021.
Why Pursue the CFA® Designation?
The differentiating benefits of earning a CFA® designation include
- Real-world expertise
- Career recognition
- Ethical grounding
- Global community
- Employer demand
The sheer demand for the CFA® charter speaks to the difference it makes.
More than 245,000 global candidates registered for the June 2020 CFA® exams scheduled to be held in 193 cities across 95 different countries.
Why Pursue CA?
CA gives you the flexibility to work in all industries as an auditor, accountant, or budget analyst. These candidates can offer their services in the capital marketCapital MarketA capital market is a place where buyers and sellers interact and trade financial securities such as debentures, stocks, debt instruments, bonds, and derivative instruments such as futures, options, swaps, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). There are two kinds of markets: primary markets and secondary markets. as well. They can set up their practice and develop their clients; they can also work in a CA firm or join companies that can be government, private, and public sectors. CAs can practice this course internationally and are in demand in the manufacturing and finance industry. They do not necessarily need to work on excel sheets, calculations, numbers, and number crunching. They can also work as auditorsAuditorsAn auditor is a professional appointed by an enterprise for an independent analysis of their accounting records and financial statements. An auditor issues a report about the accuracy and reliability of financial statements based on the country's local operating laws. and increase the company’s profitability.
These credentials are of the highest weightage in the accounting and finance industry. Both of which will require dedication and sincere efforts to get through. Whatever you choose, we wish you the very best :-)
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This has been a guide to CFA vs. CA. Here we discuss the top differences between CFA and CA professions and their exam requirements. Do we also discuss why to pursue them? You may also have a look at the following articles –