As a commerce student, by now you’d obviously have asked yourself – What do I choose between CA and CFA?
With both fields being equally appealing, promising, and in demand, there’s a lot to consider before you choose either.
By 2023, on average, more than 1 Lac students appear for the Chartered Accountancy (or CA) exam by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). It’s considered one of the best careers in India because of its demand and growth.
On the other hand, becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) opens you up to unique and global opportunities.
So what do you choose?
Let’s take a closer look at both CA and CFA in this post.
CA vs CFA - An Overview
- Accounting and auditing
- Financial Planning
- Financial Analysis
- Securities Valuation
- Investment analysis
- Portfolio management
- M&A and Consulting
|Areas||Accounting, Taxation, Financial Planning, and Consultancy||Financial Analysis, Equity Credit, M&A, Portfolio Management, Consulting|
|Organizer||Institute of Chartered Accountants of India||CFA Institute (USA)|
|Duration||3 to 5 years (Avg)||2-4 years (Avg)|
|Subjects||20 subjects in 3 groups in total||A total of 10 subjects repeated over 3 levels|
|Exam Pattern||Subjective||Objective and Essay (L3)|
|Average pass percentage in India||More than 11% in 2022||Level 1: 37% Level 2: 40% Level 3: 48% in 2022|
|Difficulty level||With an average pass rate of 20%, it can roughly take 4 years||Over 37% pass rate for Level 1 CFA|
|Career Options||Auditing, Taxation, Bookkeeping, Accounting & Finance, etc.||Financial Analysis, Equity and Credit, Portfolio Management, Private Wealth Management|
|Hiring firms||All firms across all industries||MNCs, Banks, Investment companies, Research & Consulting firms|
CA vs CFA - Eligibility Criteria
CA vs CFA - Responsibilities and Salary
Since Chartered Accountants branch into different domains, the approximate salaries across these domains also vary.
- Accountant – 6 to 8 LPA
- Consultant – 6 to 9 LPA
- Tax Auditor – 6 to 9 LPA
- Investment Banker – 5 to 9 LPA
- Management Accountant – 9 LPA
Much like CA, Chartered Financial Analysts also have multiple career directions with different salary ranges. Here’s an approximate breakdown of CFA salaries:
- Research Analysts – 7 to 12 LPA
- Finance Analyst – 6 to 12 LPA
- Credit Analyst – 6 to 12 LPA
- Portfolio Manager – 7 to 15 LPA
- Equity Research Associate – 5 LPA
CA vs CFA - Training and Certifications
Both CA and CFA can open multiple career options for you in the future.
However, both require rigorous hard work, practice, and necessary training.
In fact, when it comes to training for both domains, there are certain similar ways to give yourself a headstart:
- Start preparing early
- Create a personalized learning roadmap
- Keep on practicing mock exams and interviews
- Consult professionals and join learning groups
- Build your skills with certifications and training programs
To build your skills in both of these career options, you need to work on building your skills and knowledge as part of your preparation.
A good understanding of your preferred field can give you a lot of advantages when it comes to landing a job or applying to different companies.
At CFI, we have curated a comprehensive CFA Level 1 Certification for you to get a deeper understanding of CFA and understand what it takes to clear the CFA Level 1 Exam.