Choose the Right Certification

Should I Pursue the FP&A, the CFA, CPA or CMA?

That depends on what your career goal is. All of these are rigorous credentials that demand time, experience and a commitment to your career. But what career are you committing to?

If you want to pursue a career in investment analysis and portfolio management, then the CFA may be the right fit. If you are looking to a career that has a heavy dose of accounting, reporting, compliance or controller, then the CPA or CMA may be the best fit. And if you already have one of these credentials, then adding the FP&A credential can be a powerful complement.

Here’s a quick general breakdown of these credentials:

FP&ACPA/CMACFA
Career in corporate finance focused on FP&A Career in public or private accounting or management accountingCareer in Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
Real-world application of FP&A knowledgeFocus on past fiscal performance and compliance and business analysisDeep knowledge of investment analysis, management, and ethics
Apply knowledge to add value to one’s own organizationApply knowledge to one’s own firmApply analysis to evaluate third-party organizations
80+ hours of self-study300 hours (CPA), 140 hours (CMA) per part900+ hours of self-study
Pass 2 exam partsPass 4 exam parts (CPA), 2 exam parts (CMA)Pass 3 exam parts
FP&A Manager
FP&A Senior Analyst
FP&A Analyst
Director Finance
Vice President, Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Management Accountant
Cost Accountant
Accounting Manager
Senior Accountant
Corporate Controller
Financial Analyst
Business Analyst
Accounting Supervisor
Chief Financial Officer
Portfolio Manager
Relationship Manager
Research Analyst
Chief Executive Officer
Consultant
Corporate Financial Analyst
Financial Advisor
Risk Manager