Haha, I hope that’s true, as I plan to start tackling the CPA exams this year. . I doubt that the CPA exams are quite that straightforward though; I took a look through the CPA materials and there is some meaty stuff in FAR (or whatever that section is called).
FAR isn’t as big of a beast as it first seems. If you can crank through the calculations in Becker, you’ll do fine. The CPA exam generally doesn’t throw curveballs like CFA exam likes to.
Diff between the two - CPA is somewhat more complex. It will test your wits, especially FAR. AUD can be hard if you’ve never worked in auditing, simply because there’s a lot of jargon. REG sucks because it’s all law and tax, and there’s just some rote memorization.
CFA is more a test of your endurance. There’s nothing in CFA that’s terribly hard, but the sheer volume of the material is very daunting, even for the most hardy test-taker. You don’t have that problem with CPA, because the test is broken up into four small pieces.
have you forgot level 2 FRA and level 3 portfolio management? probably all of level 3 material is darn hard
^ Not hard if you put in the time. The material in an inch deep.
keeping FRA aside, portfolio management is terribly hard. there is no perfect answer and even a lot of practice doesnt bring you close to perfection which you can attain in other areas…im thinking of those unlimited number of scenario that could show up in behavioral finance and IPS…I’ve tried practicing and it didnt help much as it did in level 2…
^ You don’t need to ace it to pass. I did less than decent in the AM L3 session but still passed easily due to a great (and a lot easier) PM session.
keep your fingers crossed for us then
OMG, you haven’t got enough with CFA, FRM, and CAIA exams? Respect !
Do those that became CPAs before they broke up the exam still have attitude? I sat next to an older CPA, not too old, on an airplane a few years ago. He felt the exam was ruined and “now anybody can pass.”
Took the CA exams some years before starting CFA where I am now waiting for Lvl 3 results.
For CA exam just used to study a few hours each Sunday - normally while watching some TV with a hangover and that was enough to get through each level.
CFA consumes your life.
Not really any comparison between the two.
I’m doing the ACA (UK) and have completed 12/15 exams and will have 2 more under my belt before I sit L1 in December.
As I haven’t yet sat the CFA (though have gone through the material) then I can’t really say how the two compare. Certainly the ACA is much more bite sized with 5x as many exams, hence each one is quite focused while as the CFA is very broad. Haven’t failed any ACA exams yet and if you put the time and effort in to study, there really shouldn’t be much reason to fail.
I would say however that having done at least some chartered accountancy stuff before the CFA can give you a sizeable advantage since I can imagine studying a lot of the FRA and TVM stuff much longer if I didn’t do it on a daily basis at work / for exams. I also feel that having done ethics for my ACA exams, it makes the CFA ethics seem more reasonable and easier to understand.
But thats just my 2 cents as of now, will report again once I’ve actually sat the CFA.
Back in the old days, you didn’t have to pass all four parts. You only had to pass two, and score kinda high in the other two to get credit. Plus, I think the test itself wasn’t quite as difficult as it is now. But it was a day-and-a-half affair.
Now, you take the test in the morning and can be back at work after lunch. But there are four tests, and the material has gotten harder.
I think it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Some of the pension accounting and swap valuation was tough, but the stuff on the CPA exam was tougher.
The material on L3 isn’t terribly difficult. It’s the way that it’s tested, and the “cross-pollination” of the material that makes it hard.
I read your comment somewhere that the difficulty level of CFA exams is artificially inflated by separating the exams a year apart and taking the whole test in 6 hours.
totally agree with that
I was on the border when the CPA exam made the switch to four separate parts vs. all at once. To make up for being able to focus on one part at a time, I can tell you that the material became more concentrated and the exam format became more difficult. Used to be all multiple choice, then they added a whole bunch of variety. (Matching, essay, database research, case study, etc.) Don’t forget that they raised the required credits to qualify to 150 as well.
Remember too–that’s one of the biggest differences between the CPA exam and CFA exam. You can take the CFA exam as long as you have a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. Even for those who have a degree in finance/accounting, there’s a lot of new material on the CFA exam, and you have to teach it to yourself.
With the CPA exam, you have to have 30 hours of accounting and another 24 hours of upper-level business. So the CPA exam is, for the most part, a review of stuff you’ve already studied in college. But that stuff is still relatively harder than what you see on the CFA exam.
Greenman - that isnt true for all states on the CPA exam.
have done both ACA and CFA. Would say they are broadly equivalent in terms of difficulty and time input required.