Anybody here have/pursuing both the CFA and the CPA? If so, in terms of difficulty, which do you think is harder? I know they are clearly for different purposes, but I recently got into an argument with some accounting friends who claim the CPA is “way” harder. I find it hard to believe and was wondering if anyone here had some unbiased insight.
Use “Search”. But according to AlphaSeeker: Re: CPA and CFA Posted by: AlphaSeeker (IP Logged) [hide posts from this user] Date: February 10, 2009 01:19PM This combination is crap… CFA is like a Porsche Carrera. CPA is like a Hyundai. Having both will decrease the value of CFA. Yes, I am a CFA.
Well, the guy just violated the ethics.
Theyre both good. but if you want to get out of tax and accounting, I’d say CFA is the way to go. But having a CPA and coming from an accounting background has got to be very helpful in my opinion in trying to get into ER or something similar. I know having the CPA and coming from a big 4acocunting background in Australia (its generally a CA there rather than CPA, but same thing) was pretty helpful for getting into ER at banks. Not sure what its like now, probably a bit tighter market than the old heady days
dhyun3 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Use “Search”. > > But according to AlphaSeeker: > > Re: CPA and CFA > Posted by: AlphaSeeker (IP Logged) > Date: February 10, 2009 01:19PM > > This combination is crap… > > CFA is like a Porsche Carrera. CPA is like a > Hyundai. Having both will decrease the value of > CFA. > > Yes, I am a CFA. How would having CPA decrease value of CFA?
CFA>CPA but CPA is helpful, FAR section goes deep into financial accounting, hmmm doesnt the CFA include knowlege of financial statements? yeah it does,
Unless your friends have taken both tests they have no clue.
CPA’s bang the chicks CFA’s pass on - that is my only understanding of the relationship between the two.
I would think that the CPA is harder than CFA Level One, if that’s what they meant. But no way is passing the CPA harder than all 3 CFA exams, if you put the same amount of time into both. I was a financial analyst for Wachovia’s Fixed Income division and there some investment accountants who had both. If you’re going to be an accountant for a investment firm that has complex financial instruments, it pays to have both.
Scrooge McBucks Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I would think that the CPA is harder than CFA > Level One, if that’s what they meant. > > But no way is passing the CPA harder than all 3 > CFA exams, if you put the same amount of time into > both. > > > I was a financial analyst for Wachovia’s Fixed > Income division and there some investment > accountants who had both. If you’re going to be an > accountant for a investment firm that has complex > financial instruments, it pays to have both. thank you scrooge, finally someone with some knowledge. And I do have friends that have both, they are very very smart and successful.
I have my CPA and haven’t taken lev 1 yet. I’ll wager to say CPA was harder than level 1, but maybe not when you combine all 3 levels. There are a couple of sections on CPA that aren’t that tough, just takes some time to learn.
One of the guys I’m currently studying with has finished his CPA and is now tackling level II. He works for a big 4 firm and knows people with both. Says in his own experience [just through level 2] and what his colleagues say, CFA is harder than CPA.
On a slightly different subject, I am seein a lot of jobs that say required: MBA and/or CFA These are for analyst jobs, do you think that the MBA trumps the CFA? or vice versa? Seems that want both MBA and CFA, but I wonder which one trumps the other. Probably depends on the firm.
LOL @ car comparison. Are we talking about material wise, time wise, etc.? I am a CPA, looked over the CFA material. Here’s what I think: 1. Material difficulty- CFA 2. Test format - CPA (CFA is 100% multiple choice, but 3 out of the 4 sections require essay writing and calculations for CPA) 3. Time - CFA since it takes minimum 2.5 years with an average of 4 years to get the designation. CPA requires about a year’s worth of full-time classes, plus a year and a half window to pass all sections. I’m not sure what the average # of years is from accounting classes to passing of tests, but I would guess that it’s less than 4 years. It depends on the person because I’ve seen people that were able to pass all sections within 4 months (this is not common), to people not being able to pass… for over 5 years… It also depends on if you were an accounting major in college vs. some other major. 4. Maintaining - CPA is harder since you have all these CPE’s to take versus the CFA. 5. Material torture level - CPA… Have you ever tried reading tax codes? People that have trouble sleeping just need to crack upon an IRS guide and they’ll be zzZZZzz in no time. Overall - CFA. Mainly because of the time issue. I’ve found that the ones that say CPA is harder than CFA are the ones that never took the CFA.
Ocean Mist Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > 2. Test format - CPA (CFA is 100% multiple choice, > but 3 out of the 4 sections require essay writing > and calculations for CPA) Not for LIII, which is half essay, half MC.
I know a dozen some odd folks that have both. It won’t hurt you. FTR, I know somebody with CFA, MBA, CPA, CFP and rounded it off with a BA. (ok, just kidding about the BA part, but they do have MBA, CFA, CFP, and CPA in their outlook signature)
I am a candidate studying for L3, and I use the CPA designation under the authority of 1 state CPA society. Following are my impressions: The CFA is realistically MUCH harder, although L1 theoretically should be relatively equivalent (if you have no knowlege of either subject-set going in). Both the CPA and L1 cover a similarly broad expanse of low-detail data (crossing a lake an inch deep and 100 mi wide). With regard to the CFA, L1 was harder for me because it involved so much more all at once - while on the CPA I was able to space it out over the course of 5-6 weeks. Comparison is difficult, but I think I could have studied a lot less for L1 if I could have focused more narrowly during the final review stage. Specifically, I studied about 2 weeks for FAR and 2 weeks for REG, then less than a week for business and audit combined. I have an MBA and Master’s in Accounting, and I took the CPA about a year after I graduated and while working at a Big 4, so there is some recall advantage there (took L1 about a yr later, now on L3). That said, L1 requires far more calculation and it just isn’t something you can cram for as efficiently as you can FAR or REG. Further, Calcs on the CPA were largely 1 dimensional, while calc.s on the (esp L2 and L3) CFA are part of a multi-dimensional analytical framework. Although the CPA has such multidimensional analyses, the decision trees leading to the final calc are typically less quantitative and more qualitative (think recapture, sec 179 deductions, etc culminating in a relatively simple calc, vs. calculating ROE in a scenario where that relies on your ability to first cacl TA t/o, D/E, and NPM - which requires 4 calcs followed by the final, simple calc). As far as professional requirements, the CPA has it hands down. In addition to the aforementioned Continuing Education Reqs (CPE), substantial professional experience is in addition to (generally) a Master’s degree or several years of additional experience. Specifically, you must have audit experience. These additional requirements typically result in a much greater practical familiarity with the subject matter than is required for the CFA (eg: there is no requirement that you have experience with FI, Equity analysis, deriv, etc). Finally, it must be obvious that the CFA’s study time requirement is crazy. As of June, assuming I pass L3, it’s take me 3 years to study for and pass (hopefully) all three levels. Compare that to 6 weeks. Speaking of which, I gotta get back to it!
^Audit experience isn’t required in all states. There is some variance in standards from state to state. I know my state requires a higher passing percentage than most. I personally got the CPA without any prior knowledge, so it was more difficult. I had to learn stuff on the fly, especially because the online classes in accounting didn’t prepare me at all for the exams. In general, I’ve noticed that people that have a background in accounting (as a major mainly), are able to pass within the 18 month period, but it isn’t that common for people without that edge. MMGWK -> Were you working full-time while studying for the CPA? Was the masters in accounting harder, or getting the CPA? Hahah you have the trifecta of the accounting part down.
I know a few people at T Rowe that have both. Actually, now that I think about it their large growth type PMs both have CFA & CPA, because they came from an accounting background. The best PM I know (in my opinion, and yes I’ve known him forever so I’m biased) has top MBA and CFA. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get the CPA, but if you already have CPA CFA can be an excellent way to gain knowledge and cred if you want to run money.
I took the bec and far portions of the CPA out of bordom. Studied 4 days while working for bec, got a 92. Two weeks while working for far and got a 90. Also have my cma which many cpa’s consider nearly as difficult as a CPA. Studied 5 weeks for that while working and passed all 4 parts over that period. Also got recognized for one of the top 10 cumulative scores out of 6000+ candidates. Can’t even compare these crappy designations (cma & CPA) to cfa, which took 1.5 years of my life (3 for 3). That being said, they are worth taking for strictly educational value.