CFA or ACCA?
Are you deciding between the CFA and ACCA qualifications? Most finance students ask themselves this question at some stage, and since these two types of courses are very similar, making the best decision is difficult.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) accounting course and the CFA Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course are both available to take in the UK. Both finance qualifications hold worldwide recognition. The right one for you will depend on your own career goals and what qualifications and work experience you already have. Looking at both course structures can also help you.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants course is reported to be one of the world's most popular accounting qualifications. The ACCA has 150,000 members across the world to date.
To enrol on this prestigious accountancy course, you should have a degree or good GCSE and A level results or have completed the AAT or FIA training successfully. To pass the course, you will need to complete at least three years of relevant work experience.
The ACCA course is made up of 16 exams, 14 of which you will have to pass. Subjects covered are:
• Accountancy in Business
• Management Accounting
• Financial Accounting
• Corporate and Business Law
• Performance Management
• Financial Reporting
• Audit and Assurance
• Financial Management
• Governance, Risk and Ethics
• Corporate Reporting
• Business Analysis
• Advanced Financial Management
• Advanced Performance Management
• Advanced Taxation and finally,
• Advanced Audit Assurance
This course will undoubtedly increase your career and earning potential. You should be hardworking, dedicated and motivated by success. This is the ideal financial training qualification if you are set on following a career in accountancy.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course is intended to be completed in a self-study format. Specifically designed to show your competence in the areas of portfolio management and investment analysis, this course will no doubt increase your career prospects. It is especially respected as you will have to be very self-motivated to succeed. Remember, no one will be there to push you into completing the work.
The CFA qualification itself is made up of 10 different subjects that have to be studied at three different levels for completion. Subjects are:
• Quantitative Methods
• Financial Reporting and Analysis
• Corporate Financing
• Equity Investments
• Fixed Income
• Alternative Investments, and
• Portfolio Management
To gain the CFA qualification, you will need to pass a large number of exams. In order to enrol on this course, you will have to have earned a Bachelor's degree or equivalent. Alternatively, you can register once you have at least four years of relevant work experience completed.
Which One is Best?
When deciding on the best course for you, seeking independent career advice is highly recommended. Your decision will depend on where you want to take your career. ACCA is clearly the best choice if you are looking for an accounting qualification. However, both of these courses are internationally recognised, and both will further your career and your earning potential. ACCA and CFA courses both require hard work and dedication in order for you to succeed.
If you think a self-study course will require too much in the way of self-discipline, then the CFA might prove more difficult. Your decision may also depend on the amount of hours you can dedicate to study and on your financial availability.
Ask your current place of employment for recommendations. They may even have some sort of funding available to help you with the costs incurred. The end decision is yours, so make sure you do thorough research into these two courses and other financial course options before committing yourself to a final decision.