I think its more to do with there knowledge of accounting What do others things
No question having the background as a CPA helps out for Levels 1 & 2, but helps very little for level 3.
What evidence do you have that CPAs perform better on CFA material than engineers? All my engineer friends (and myself) have done fine on the CFA exams …
show me the data.
Show me the Data too I think dlescook is just talking from his personal exp.
I can add my opinion: many engineers are cocky and arrogant because they did extremely well in math and sciences, or can do triple integrals. They believe that everything is an equation, and apply the same methods to study for the CFA as they did for their undergrad eng. exams. Having gone through an electrical eng program for my undergrad, I can say that the CFA exams are much more difficult than any eng. exam I have ever encountered, because of the time pressure and pure volume of material. You really cant pass the exam unless you put in 200%, whereas I could easily study several days before for my eng exams. Anyhow, those are my 2 cents…
Not sure whether it is true that CPAs do better than engineers, but if it is true, it is clearly due to the heavier weighting of accounting on Levels 1 and 2. I’m a CPA, and I can state unequivocally that had the weighting of accounting (like 72 pts) had been switched with stats (one answer set), I wouldn’t have passed.
I defintiely think that Engineers have a harder time and especially if your job is still engineering related. Everything in CFA becomes so abstract and unlike your universtiy classes where you have the benefit of discussing with others and turtors,teachers etc… , the CFA program is quite self taught. If you are not working in the investment arena its quite confusing and difficult for engineers. Therefore engineers have a harder time with the CFA !!!
I’d like to see the data too. As a CPA, I’d say my only advantage on passing Level I was FSA. I would have preferred to have the analytical background of the engineer.
CPA deals with accounting, a very large part of the CFA exams. I don’t see how being an engineer necessarily helps you. The math is not complex in the CFA exams. You just need addition, subtraction, mult., div., & exponents/roots. Being an engineer would however give you an advantage over someone who was an arts major in college or is coming from a non-quantitative field. But if you were to compare a CPA & an engineer, all else equal aside from educational background, I would most definitely give the edge to the CPA.
It would be interesting to see the data. I studied mechanical engineering (not employed as an engineer) and got my MBA. Out of the top 10 in my MBA class, I think that all of us were engineers, so I think that the analytical skills certainly help with the MBA program. I would have to disagree with the poster who said that the CFA is harder than any engineering exam as I’ve always felt that my test-taking skills were a direct result of rarely having enough time to adequately finish an engineering exam and rarely having anyone in the class score above an 85%. For what it’s worth, I believe that my MBA studies got me through Level 1 this past December. My boss was hammering me and I only studied for approx. 30 hours. Level 2 surpassed most everything that my MBA taught me (and of course, my engineering studies), so I passed purely with self-study, test taking skills and luck (equally weighted). My only reference point to a CPA is that I know a very intelligent CPA in my office who unfortunately did not pass the Level 2 this go-around. He definitely knew his stuff (better than me), so maybe it came down to un-luck or overthinking the problems.
cardinal_j Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > For what it’s worth, I believe that my MBA studies > got me through Level 1 this past December. My > boss was hammering me and I only studied for > approx. 30 hours. Level 2 surpassed most > everything that my MBA taught me (and of course, > my engineering studies), so I passed purely with > self-study, test taking skills and luck (equally > weighted). > NICE JOB!!!
I think Although CPA pass CFA exam much easily as compare to an engineer but I feel engineer are better as Portfolio Managers because CPA’s just don’t have skill to lake different perspective like an engineer have. For example a CPA would look at a utility company and technology just from its financial statements but an engineer will know how these are different.
I have to agree with cardinal_j. I am a tried and true engineer. I have been working for over 10 years as an engineer doing only engineering. I did my MBA also but never really used it until now . Level 1 there is relatedness to the MBA program . At level 2 its a whole different ball game. Options were mentioned in the MBA but not at the depth of Level 2. The maths is straight forward the CFA as topher mentioned , but the trick is how to use the “simple maths”. Knowing what numbers to use is half the problem in an item set in the CFA cirriculum. Oh btw I failed level2 !!! Anybody passed the level 2 exam who isn’t working in the field ???
I think history majors fare better than either
All I am saying is that I don’t see any hard numbers / data between the two groups (CPA vs Eng) so anyone making claims like the subject of this thread is probably spouting bullshit. I find it hilarious that the argument degenerated into placing the burden of proof on disproving the claim, whereas logic would dictate that person that put forth the claim have some damn evidence to back it up. Instead it is simply assumed to be true without any justification. Of course my experience is anecdotal and personal (what else would it be) and I’m not claiming it is representative of engineers as a whole, rather I’m pointing out that the claim certainly doesn’t jive with what I know and have experienced. I might be different since I really have a background in both engineering, finance, math and economics. And anyone that says the CFA exam is “tougher than any engineering exam I’ve seen” probably did not attend a strong engineering program, and if they did they certainly didn’t get far (undergrad at best). I can state without question that the preliminary exams I took in economics as a Ph.D student, were far more difficult than anything the CFA could throw at me. I mean Christ, the CFA is mostly multiple choice questions.
I would say that all else being equal a CPA would have more knowledge in many of the areas tested in the CFA, and therefore would have an easier time studying for the material. First off a CPA has to pass the CPA exam which has some over lapping areas: FSA, a limited amount of Econ, also the audit section of the CPA is asks question in a very similar manner as the ethics questions on CFA (even thought they are on different subjects the thought process is similar.) Secondly in order to take the CPA exam one has to have a certain number of credits (varies by state) in accounting, finance, econ, etc. I also fond that taking and studying for the CPA exam was very similar to the CFA. When I took the exam I used Becker (which is like Stalla - same format even has Peter Olinto as a teacher). The exam is very tough and was two days long! (they have since changed the format and let you take each section alone.) I felt Level I of the CFA was easier than the CPA, and Level II was harder than the CPA. I’ll let you know about level III in june :P… In response to lrb42’s statement: >I think Although CPA pass CFA exam much easily as compare to an engineer but I feel >engineer are better as Portfolio Managers because CPA’s just don’t have skill to lake >different perspective like an engineer have. For example a CPA would look at a utility >company and technology just from its financial statements but an engineer will know >how these are different. Honestly you’ve got to be kidding anyne with half a brain and no financial background would know to look at a tech company and a utility company differenlty. Different business model, rev streams, etc. What about looking at a REIT, or a bank, or a pharma company come yoiu can’ be serious. In truth neither a newly minted CPA or Engineer would have any tangilbe advantage when valuing any company. The only real adavantage come when one is in that industry (each industry being different) and comes to unerstand the particular ins and outs. If not the best you can do when valuaing a company is to look at an S&P industry report, read the 10K, listen/read the latest couple of conference calls, and look at some analyst reports.
dlescook Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > And anyone that says the CFA exam is “tougher than > any engineering exam I’ve seen” probably did not > attend a strong engineering program, and if they > did they certainly didn’t get far (undergrad at > best). > Typical engineer. Stop being so cocky and get off your high horse. Honors in a top 3 engineering program is not strong enough? The post mentioned undergrad, not M.Eng.
I think mzwerner has misunderstood me. What I meant was as an engineer lives a particular field he understands that area much better than a CPA. For example an IT engineer will be far better to value a technology company as compared to plan CPA as he not only understands the financials from his CFA studies but also understands technology and how good/bad it could be for growth of an organization
Is the accounting in the CFA Exam harder than the CPA exam?