Which One is Better-  CFA vs CA? Here is Everything You Need to Know

cfa vs ca
February 5, 2021
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Choosing the right career path is a very crucial decision for a student. Almost every other finance student gets this question in mind which is the right career for them and they need to choose between CFA vs CA. The idea of whether the career they are choosing is meant for them or not. The phase that makes you question two prospective career choices is not going to be easy. Being conflicted while choosing between Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) is quite natural; both of them are well-paid jobs with very high perks. A majority of aspirants seeking a career in the financial field are found to be flummoxed and having to weigh in every aspect between CFA vs. CA. These are two of the most captivating and intriguing jobs in the corporate worlds, hence it is very usual for people to get stuck in a dilemma while choosing between the two. It’s better to understand and consider all the factors related to these two jobs before actually reaching a definite conclusion.

cfa and ca salary


However, both of these jobs have various classifications that are essential to differentiate between the two. CFA has to be a viable option for you only if you want to acquire more knowledge and expertise in training in financial or investment sectors as an analyst. On the other hand, if you want to better your number-crunching skills, accounting, auditing, taxation, then you must consider CA as your career option. That makes choosing a little simpler to choose between CFA vs CA.

Read our blog on scope and salary of CFA in India for more ideas.

Here we have articulated all the points that you need to know before you make your final decision. But, first, let us understand both of these jobs separately.


Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA is conducted by the CFA institute globally. This job mainly consists of investment management and wealth management overall. The CFA program focuses primarily on knowledge and expertise applicable to the investment and management profession. According to the CFA Institute, the following is the minimum required time to acquire the CFA designation:

  • Four years, approximately, to complete the program
  • Six months of preparation for each exam
  • Over 300+ hours of study time

Even after rigorous studies, there are several students who fail and never achieve the position, be it due to a lack of academic skills or responsibilities. There is a cut-throat competition for this job. This course is divided into three levels and requires four years of work experience as well. You can only be eligible to sit for the exam of CFA after you have completed your graduation. Being a CA you can even work internationally. Having a CFA institute certification, helps one to become a member of the global network of investment and also join a reputable group of elite investment professionals. It also makes the candidate eligible for several jobs belonging to investments and related fields.

Individuals with CFA certification are immediately hired by big Multi-National Companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Canada, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, BofA Securities, HSBC Holdings, Wells Fargo, and Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BlackRock, TD Bank Financial Group to name a few.


  • Credit analysis.
  • Coming up with investment strategies and opportunities.
  • Investment banking.
  • Helping and consulting companies with stocks, financial assisting, and money-making investment opportunities.
  • Research and track the financial position of the company or an individual.

CFA average income: Fresh CFA graduate earns up to 4 lakhs


Chartered Accountancy or CA is conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants India (ICAI). Chartered Account, also known as Certified Public Accountant, is a professional accountant working with various accountancy firms or companies related to the same. A CA regulates accounting systems, prepares monthly financial status, and files tax returns, and provides consultancy for the same. Most CA’s opt for specialization in the taxation process.

Being a CA provides you the flexibility to work as an analyst, auditor, accountant, or even a consultant in various companies. CA’s can even offer their services in capital markets. CA’s can form their own private firms and develop a client base and offer financial services and taxation help to individuals or join the government, public or private sectors. CAs are always in high demand within the manufacturing and financial fields. It is considered a very feasible settled career option by the majority of aspirants in the commerce field.


  • Head of the accounting department and overlook the duties for the same.
  • Creating and maintaining the accounting systems and processes.
  • Coordinate income statements.
  • Prepare monthly financial reports.
  • Review and release online banking payments.
  • Ensure compliance with state revenue service.
  • Provide ongoing accounting and reporting support.
  • Manage the full financial process.
  • Prepare an expense budget report.
  • Financing reporting and auditing

CA average income: Fresh CA graduate earns up to 6-8 lakhs, which increases with experience

CFA vs CA – Differences

Now, let’s factor in and compare all the points that differentiate between a CFA vs CA. This tabular table can help you decipher, which job is most compatible with you according to your academic qualifications and skills.

OrganizationChartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFAI)Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI)
Academic Qualification Required12thGraduation
Duration of the courseDivided into three levels, CFA requires a minimum of 4 years of work experienceDivided into three levels, CA requires a minimum of 3 years of work experience
Exam TypeMCQ paper-based examSubjective paper-based exam
Core Area  FinanceAccountingTaxationAuditLawFinance
Focus subjectsEthicsAccountingFixed IncomeCorporate FinanceEquity investmentsPortfolio Management Business environment and its conceptsFinancial accounting and reportingAudit and attestation regulations 
Job descriptionInvestment bankingPortfolio managementEquity researchPublic accountingGovernment accountingManagement accountingInternal auditing 
Average IncomeFresh CFA graduate earns up to 4 lakhsFresh CA graduate earns up to 6-8 lakhs, which increases with experience

If CFA vs CA is still a question for you, try to analyze your choice by keeping the above-shared information in mind.

So, now is CFA better than CA or vice versa? No one but you can answer this question for yourself. CFA is a preferred choice by individuals that are keen on learning the insights of finance and risk management and hence, investment banking as well as portfolio management whileCA is an ideal choice for students who are interested in gaining expertise in accountancy, audit, and taxation. Both of these jobs are very reputed and high in-demand jobs. CA is more in demand within India, while CFA is the most popular option across the globe as a professional career.

You can also read our blog on CFA vs MBA.

Become a subject matter expert at Chegg India

cfa and ca

Teaching is one of the most thriving jobs in our country. Not only will you impart knowledge to your students, but this would also help you in learning something new. Either you are a CA graduate or a CFA aspirant, students pursuing both can apply for the job of Subject Matter Expert at Chegg India.

Chegg India, a premier educational services firm, offers students and graduates a chance to become subject matter experts in engineering, business, health care, mathematics, sciences, etc. Chegg can act as an online learning platform where you can apply for the role of subject matter expert. Your tasks would include answering academic questions on the Question and Answer Board of the website in your area of expertise.

Becoming a subject matter expert doesn’t only entail you to an attractive salary and enhances your subject knowledge, but also provides you with an experience certificate at the end of your tenure. The working hours are flexible; it caters to your academic development and gives you the exposure of working in an MNC in the corporate world. The company also organizes ‘expert meet-ups’ that can in itself help you expand your network with your peer-groups.

How to apply?

Click on this link to apply for the job of Subject Matter Expert: Sign Up

After signing up you would be required to appear for an online test, which is a screening process, which will help decide your fluency in the subject as well as your competency. The minimum passing percentage is 60%. Once you pass the exam, you can upload the necessary documents.

Average income: INR 30,000 -80,000 per month


Having a CFA certification along with a CA certificate is quite possible. Pursuing CFA after completing CA is considered a deadly combination in the field of finance and will definitely make you stand out among others. This path will certainly open new avenues for you in financing. CAs can easily clear the CFA level 1 exam. That’s one of the advantages of doing CFA after CA, as the syllabus for CA overlaps with the syllabus of the CFA level 1 exam and is almost similar. A CA+CFA combination not only broadens your horizon but also help you understand the financial and auditing field better. You will acquire new skills and a lot of knowledge, which will only help you become better professionally. Blending these two sectors together will result in your careers as well as your personal growth, and reflect your love, dedication, and commitment to your industry and job.

A majority of CA aspirants head towards CFA, as it not only increases your hiring potential but also your demand within high-end firms. Companies always prefer individuals with a deeper sense of knowledge and expertise in the financial domain. Pursuing a CFA course after completing your CA eventually makes you eligible for a very high raise in your income. Hence, the CA+CFA combination automatically makes you a suitable candidate for the position and increases your chances of getting associated with top tier global companies.

Average income: After completing CFA level 1, an individual can earn somewhere between 4-5 lakhs. However, after completing all the three levels of the CFA course, one can earn somewhere between 6-15 lakhs.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I tried to give you a fair comparison between CFA vs CA so that you can find the right career path for you. Both of these jobs carry with them high credentials and weightage when it comes to flourishing jobs within the financial industry. Both require absolute hard work, sincerity, and dedication to get through. So, both these jobs are better in their own criteria. Accomplishing such great professions as a full-fledged career earns you a lot of recognition and respect within society.  The decision is now yours to make. You need to jot down all your qualifications, skills, knowledge, work experience, and consider the option most feasible and suitable for you.

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