A Comprehensive Guide on Understanding CFA vs CA

March 17, 2023
CFA vs CA

Table of Contents

CFA vs CA is a choice that every commerce student must make once in their lifetime. Just like any other choice this is something crucial, the choice between these two courses can alter the path of one’s career. With over 1 lakh students applying for the CFA exam and over 1.2 lakh students applying for the CA exam every year these are in-demand career choices among students. But the question remains the same which one of these courses to choose?

Don’t worry after reading the article you will be able to choose the best course for yourself. So, let’s get started and know all about CA and CFA in detail.

CFA vs CA- About

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Accountant (CA)

Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA is conducted by the CFA institute globally. The CFA course mainly consists of investment management and wealth management analysis. The CFA program focuses primarily on knowledge and expertise applicable to the investment and management profession.

Chartered Accountancy (CA) is conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). A chartered accountant, 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, files tax returns, and provides consultancy. Most CAs opt for specialization in the auditing and taxation process.

Also Read:
Career Path and Scope of CFA in India
Complete Chartered Accountancy (CA) Course Guide
What is CA and How to Become One in India?

CFA vs CA- Eligibility Criteria

According to the respective CA and CFA Institutes, the following is the minimum required time to acquire the CFA and CA designation.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Accountant (CA)

1. Graduation in any discipline from any recognized institute.

2. Four years, approximately, to complete the program.

3. Six months of preparation for each exam.

4. Over 300+ hours of study time.

For Non-Graduates:

1. Candidates must clear the 10+2 examination from a recognized board/institute.

2. A minimum aggregate of 50% in class 12 examinations.

3. No age restrictions.

 For Graduates:

1. A minimum aggregate of 50% for commerce graduates.

2. A minimum aggregate of 60% for non-commerce graduates.

CFA vs CA- Top Hiring Companies

Once a person clears the CFA exam or CA exam, they become eligible to apply for jobs. If you clear your exams with higher marks, then you can even get offers from the best companies for CA and CFA. Some of the top hiring companies for CA and CFA candidates are:

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Accountant (CA)

1. JPMorgan Chase

2. Royal Bank of Canada

3. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

4. BofA Securities

5. HSBC Holdings

6. Wells Fargo and Company

7. Pricewaterhouse Coopers

8. BlackRock

9. TD Bank Financial Group

1. Deloitte India

2. Ernst & Young India

3. Price Waterhouse Coopers India – PwC India

4. KPMG India

5. Luthra & Luthra India

6.  Lodha & Co.

7. Grant Thornton International

Give a read to Salary and Top Recruiters for CA.

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CFA vs CA- Responsibilities

Both CA and CFA play a crucial part in their company, there are certain tasks and responsibilities which can only be done by them. These are the responsibilities which CA or CFA has to fulfil.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Accountant (CA)

1. Credit analysis.

2. Coming up with investment strategies and opportunities.

3. Investment banking.

4. Helping and consulting companies with stocks, financial assistance, and money-making investment opportunities.

5. Research and track the financial position of the company or an individual.

1. Head of the accounting department and overlook the duties for the same.

2. Creating and maintaining the accounting systems and processes.

3. Coordinate financial statements.

4. Prepare monthly financial reports.

5. Review and release online banking payments.

6. Ensure compliance with state revenue service.

7. Provide ongoing accounting and reporting support.

8. Manage the full financial process.

9. Prepare an expense budget report.

10. Financing reporting and auditing

CFA vs CA – Job Profiles

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Accountant (CA)

Career Prospect

Average Salary (in INR)

Career Prospect

Average Salary (in INR)

Research Analyst 

3.5 LPA

Tax Auditor

5 LPA

Corporate Financial Analyst 

7.5 LPA

Internal Auditor

3 LPA

Auditor

2.7 LPA

Accountant 

2.5 LPA

Consultant 

11 LPA

Forensic Auditor

7 LPA

Risk Manager

9.9 LPA

Management Accountant 

9 LPA

Relationship Manager

3.5 LPA

Investment Banker 

4 LPA

Credit Analyst 

5 LPA

Management Consultant 

22 LPA

Portfolio Manager 

7 LPA

Government Accounting 

4 LPA

Salary Source: AmbitionBox, Glassdoor

CFA vs CA- A Comparison

Both certifications have various classifications that are essential to differentiate. CFA must be a viable option for you if you want to acquire more knowledge and expertise in training in the financial or investment sectors as an analyst.

On the other hand, if you want to better your number-crunching skills, accounting, auditing, and taxation, you must consider CA as your career option. That makes choosing a little simpler to choose between CFA vs CA.

Now, let’s factor in and compare all the difference between CFA and CA at a glance.

Components

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Chartered Accountant (CA)

Organization

Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFAI)

Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI)

Academic Qualification Required

10+2 Examination

Graduation

Duration of the course

Divided into three levels, CFA requires a minimum of 4 years of work experience.

Divided into three levels, CA requires a minimum of 3 years of work experience.

Exam Type

MCQ paper-based exam

Subjective paper-based exam

Pass Percentage (Overall)

34.6%

25.28%

Core Area

Finance

Accounting, Taxation, Audit, Law, Finance

Focus subjects

  • Ethics
  • Accounting
  • Fixed Income
  • Corporate Finance
  • Equity Investments
  • Portfolio Management
  • Business environment and its concepts
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Audit and Attestation Regulations

Job Profiles

  • Investment Banking
  • Portfolio Management
  • Equity Research
  • Credit Analyst
  • Chief Investment Officer
  • Commercial Banking
  • Public Accounting
  • Government Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Finance Controller 

Average Income

Fresher: 6 Lakhs
Experienced: 8 – 10 Lakhs

Fresher: 7 Lakhs
Experienced: 10 – 20 Lakhs

Course Fees

₹3-3.5 lakhs approx

₹2-2.5 lakhs approx

You can analyse your choice of CFA vs CA by keeping the shared information in mind.

CFA + CA Certifications

CA+CFA Certification

You might be confused about CFA vs CA, but what about a combination of both of these degrees? Having a CFA certification along with a CA certificate is also possible. Pursuing CFA after completing CA is considered a profitable combination in the finance domain and will make you stand out among others. This path will certainly open new avenues for you in financing.

Chartered Accountants can easily clear the CFA level 1 exam. That’s one of the advantages of doing CFA after CA, as the syllabus for CA course overlaps with the syllabus of the CFA level 1 exam and is almost similar. A combination of CA+CFA not only broadens your horizon but also helps you understand the financial and auditing field better.

Many CA aspirants even head towards CFA, as it increases their hiring potential and demand within high-end firms. Companies always prefer individuals with deeper knowledge and expertise in the financial domain. Hence, the CA+CFA combination can be considered suitable for acquiring better position and increases your chances of getting associated with top-tier global companies.

Check Your Accountancy with Chegg

Do you know what you can earn while preparing for your CA or CFA exams. Yes, it is possible thanks to Chegg India. Chegg gives you the opportunity to become their Subject Matter Expert, and solve questions posted by students. With every correct answer not only, do you gain confidence in your knowledge but earn money too.

And Chegg is not only for Accounts students, anyone with expertise in any subject can go and register as Subject Matter Expert on Chegg. You just need to register yourself on the platform, go through a screening process and after verification you can start answering questions. There are numerous subjects like Accountancy, Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Biology, Nursing, Earth Science and many more.

CFA or CA Choose Your Path

Choosing one from the best of the bests can be a puzzling task, in such situations comparing all the opportunities on various basis can help. Just like this piece where the comparison between CFA vs CA is done on a different basis.

If you are still confused then please re-read the information, and also do some more research. But in the end, it’s your call what you want to choose, and it is advised that you take your decision based on your passion, abilities and future goals. So, choose what’s right for you and All the Best for your Future.

Evaluate numerous career choices to choose the right career path for yourself. Dive in to our guide on Career Advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CFA harder than CA?

No, on the contrary, CA is considered much more difficult than CFA. CA requires more preparation, time and hard work to pass. With only a 0.5% passing percentage throughout the world, CA is the toughest exam. And if you clear the CA exam you can easily pass CFA.

Who pays higher CFA or CA?

CFA vs CA who gets paid more, the answer to this question is CA. With an average salary package of 7- 10 lakhs per annum, CA gets paid more than CFA, who’s annual income lies between 6-8 lakhs per annum.

Is CFA worth it after CA?

Yes, pursuing CFA after CA is positively worth it. Once you clear your CA exam you can start preparing to get CFA certification. And if you get the certification your employment demand will increase, and you can demand for higher and better salary package.

Does CFA have scope in India?

There are great career prospects for candidates who choose and get CFA certificate, one can pursue following careers:

1. Investment Banking
2. Portfolio Management
3. Equity Research
4. Credit Analyst
5. Chief Investment Officer
6. Commercial Banking

To read more related articles, click here.

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