Choose the Right Certification

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

With multiple finance certifications to choose from, it’s important to choose the one that will support your career trajectory and help advance you within the profession.

By earning the FP&A Certification, you demonstrate expertise and a commitment to:

  1. Translating corporate and business strategy into a financial plan and supporting the enactment of that plan through the planning process and resource allocation.
  2. Applying financial expertise to business operations and projections through modeling, scenario/sensitivity analysis, key drivers, KPIs.
  3. Earning the role of a trusted advisor to the business, based on credibility, partnership, and communication.

If you’re interested in a career in corporate finance, the FP&A Certification is the way to go.

See how the FP&A Certification supported practitioners below.


"Finance has typically been an accounting function, but I think over time it has become a lot more strategic. Technology has helped drive this as well. It’s not just about looking backwards. It’s about looking forward, taking those numbers and figuring out what they mean for the future. With the speed of business, you need a skillset that converges all of those things into one. This is what FP&A is moving towards and I fully believe the future leaders, including CFOs and CEOs, are going to come from the FP&A track."



"I first found Certified Management Accountant (CMA) sponsored by IMA and after studying for it for two months, I realized that the exam focused more on accounting rather than corporate financial analysis. I think people working in finance departments should consider FP&A even if they have other accounting designations. I especially appreciate that the FP&A exam includes three important aspects: theories, usage of Excel in financial analysis, and the appropriate steps to do in order to deal with various business scenarios, which FP&A professionals encounter every day. Therefore, I decided to choose FP&A over CMA as there is no other comparable designation that give me this almost-tailor-made professional training."


"I started off my career in public accounting as a CPA. Once I was in healthcare, I really started to gain an interest in understanding the operational drivers, the importance of big data and the growing role of FP&A. For me, being in healthcare feel like I’m helping to make a difference by helping support those clinical leaders and helping to make decisions that allow us to have the funding needed or get new programs open."



"I started my job search after I had finished my FP&A. I ended up at Tana Exploration as the controller and director of finance, where I ran the entire finance department. The FP&A propelled me immediately to the top of the finance chain."




For a more technical breakdown of the certifications, check-out the chart below.

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

Already Hold a Financial Credential?

You may be eligible to waive Part I of the exam. In order to qualify for a waiver, candidates must hold one of the following credentials active and in good standing at the time of their application: CFA, CMA, CPA (US, Canada, Australia) or CTP.

Learn more about the waiver and how to apply for it here.