CPA and CFA Combination

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CPA and CFA are two certifications that can improve your career. Even if you have one of these certifications, you are able to get promoted and make more money. However, what will happen if we have both certifications? Will it be good if we have CPA and CFA certifications? Let’s take a look at it here.

Having CFA and CPA Certifications

According to the I Pass The CPA Exam site, if you want to work in the research department in investment banks, mutual funds, hedge funds or want to hold another job in the investment or finance community, having CPA and CFA is the best thing for you. By having both of these certifications, you may be able to get a higher salary if compared to only having one certification.

However, according to the Wiki Accounting site, there is another perspective of specialists about the combination of CPA and CFA. This perspective believes that having CFA and CPA may not give a big advantage, but you will have to spend expensive costs for these different courses.

If you want to know about each certification, you are able to read about it below according to the Wiki Accounting site.

About CPA

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and it is considered as the most advanced accounting certification if you want to get a license and work as an independent accounting and financial professional. The Board of Accountancy in every state has a responsibility to award professional CPA certification, but the one which provides resources for getting a CPA license is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It is considered that CPA is the most prestigious certification. If you have completed this certification, as the public accountant, you are able to join public accounting, government service or corporate accounting.

If you want to take CPA exams, you have to meet the requirements first, namely in the education section and here are the requirements to take the CPA exams according to the Wiki Accounting site.

  • You need to have completed a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 150 credit hours of coursework. Even though it is not mandatory to get a bachelor’s degree in accounting, it is recommended to take an accounting major to compete successfully. If you want to increase your success rate, you can earn a Master’s degree because Master’s degree holders have a bigger number to pass CPA than bachelor’s degree holders.

If you take the CPA exam, you will find 276 multiple-choice questions, 28 task-based simulations and three writing portions. The entire content is divided into four sections including Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting, Regulation, and Business Environment and Concepts.

About CFA

CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst and the one that awards this certification is the CFA Institute which was previously known as Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR). If you are a professional accountant or financial analyst, you must have competency in financial analysis such as accounting, security analysis, ethics, money management, economics and many more. Same as CPA, CFA is also one of the most prestigious charter certifications. If you have obtained CFA certification, it means that you have expertise in real-world investment analysis.

If you want to take the CFA exam, there are also requirements that you have to meet as you can read below according to the Wiki Accounting site.

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree or you have to be in the final year of a bachelor’s degree. According to the CFA Institute, you need to have 900+ hours of self-study, 10 topic areas, and in-depth investment analysis, ethics knowledge, and portfolio management.
  • You need to have 4 years of experience combined with your education. According to the CFA Institute, you must have 4000 hours of experience.

The certification of CFA has been divided into three parts namely Level I, Level II and Level III.

The Benefits of Having Both CPA and CFA Certifications

According to the Wiki Accounting site, here are some benefits of having both CFA and CPA certifications.

  • You have better industrial expertise. If you want to build industrial expertise in research in hedge funds, investment banks, mutual banks and many more, you have to take a CFA certification and a CPA certification.
  • You will have more career choices. Let’s say that you have 4 career choices when you hold a CPA. Then, if you get CFA certification, you will have 4 more career paths. Let’s say again that you have done your CPA but you want to change to the investment banking and financial analysis industry. If so, you can get a CFA charter because it is the fastest way. If you firstly have CPA certification and then you get CFA certification afterwards, it will add investment knowledge and in-depth analysis to your skillset and as a result, there will be a lot of financial institutions and banks that want you to be their employee.
  • You will have more professional skills and credibility. If you have a broader skill set and knowledge base, your professional credibility will also increase. Besides, it also increases your credibility because only highly-motivated and committed people can do the hard work needed to get CFA and CPA. By having two certifications, it proves that you have work ethics and commitment to your professions and it will make you a desirable candidate for different employers.
  • You will get faster advancement in your career. If you have CFA and CPA certifications, your pace of advancement in your career will increase as well.
  • You will get exemptions from licensing. What does it mean? In a lot of countries, if a person has a CFA degree along with CPA, it can make the licensing process faster and easier. Let’s say that you have a CFA. If so, you will not need to go through the whole CPA licensing process.
  • You may be able to get higher salaries. If you have two certifications namely CFA and CPA, it will make you have better salaries than only having one certification. By having a CFA certification, you are able to earn around $87,000 to $499,000 per year depending on the years of experience and designation.

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