Which Course is Better After 12th CFA or CA?

After having tough decisions of selecting and passing the desired stream in 12th, once again there is a difficult situation for students interested in the corporate sector to select their career choice between CFA vs CA which is better.

CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and CA (Chartered Accountant) both are trending in the corporate and in the finance sector especially of India. With having the world’s 6th largest GDP, India demands a large number of CA and CFA nearly in every sector. Every company requires the CA or CFA to manage its financial activities. It is now difficult and confusing to students whether to choose between either CFA or CA better for students.

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Let’s analyze the difference between two CFA vs CA for your better career choice. But let’s first look at them independently in order to have a comparison between CFA or CA better.

Chartered Accountant (CA) Course

The chartered accountant is an accounting profession recognized globally with no single international institution to handle it but each country has its centralized institution to regulate it, unlike in the case of CFA. In India, we have such a centralized institution of ICAI to regulate all concerns about CA. A CA can work in a wide variety of fields related to corporate sectors such as following ;

  • General Management
  • Taxation
  • Auditing( Internal, Forensic,Tax)
  • Business Management
  • Treasury function Management
  • Finance Controller

With having the renowned packages of salary, CA is very popular among new generations of youngsters. Even in the CFA and CA difference of CFA vs CA salary, CA is ofcourse a winner.

It is recommended for CA students that before going to get a job it is better to have practicing experience with the senior chartered accountants. They can have practice with an architect professional/ actuary professional/ company secretary etc.

Requirements for CA Course

Now a question arises, for having vast job opportunities in CA, you must clear the exams that are regulated by ICAI every year. What are the basic requirements as guided by the ICAI which must be fulfilled by the interested students for appearing in CA exams? Let’s have a look at it.

  • After clearing your 12th with minimum threshold marks (guided by ICAI), students can apply for CPT exams. However, you have the opportunity for the Intermediate CA exam directly, if you didn’t appear for CPT and completed your graduation with more than the minimum required marks.
  • The intermediate CA exam is further categorized into 2 stages and will be cleared by clearing the IPC level or 1st group and then by having article assistant training of 3 years in a Chartered firm.
  • In the 3rd year of the training session, students have a chance to work in the industry before appearing for finals.
  • Candidates must also go for a soft skill development orientation program along with the completion of 100 hrs of IT training.

Chartered Finance Analyst Course

Chartered Finance Analysts are the accounting profession globally having an internationally recognized central institution as its governing body is the CFA institute of America also known by AIMR. With having CFA qualifications one is ready for opted by national or MultiNational Companies. Having a wide variety of difficult topics is one of the toughest courses in India. With having fewer job opportunities than that of CA in India, it is less popularised among Indian students interested in corporate sectors. Especially emphasized in pure finance-related fields, it requires a much clear and applied tendency to concepts rather than just mugging up the theory. A CFA has job opportunities in the following sectors ;

  • Research Analyst
  • Relationship Manager
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Credit Analyst
  • Auditor
  • Risk Analyst

CFA is popular among new generations but at a lower rate than that of CA mainly due to the lagging of CFA vs CA salary.

However, it has seen that from the last 15 years there is a tremendous increment in CFA’s in India with about 25%. Mainly designed for the students interested in finance sectors of the corporate world. Since it is a globally recognized course hence most of the MNC’s are looking for CFA.

Let’s look at the basic requirements for having CFA exams in order to make career opportunities with it.

  • CFA demands to have 4 years of education along with the practical experience of relevant work recognized by the CFA institute before the after final exams to be completed.
  • The CFA syllabus as guided by the CFA institute must be prepared accordingly.
  • Another requirement for having CFA exams is that the candidate must be a member of the CFA institute along with a member of the local CFA governing body.
  • Students are recommended to be disciplined and learn ethics and the professional conduct standard to be part of the global institute of CFA.

CFA vs CA which is better?

There is always a confusion among students while choosing their career in the corporate world between CFA vs CA. Each has its own features and job opportunities. However, the final decision always depends upon your situation and qualifications to go with a better choice.

Factors CA Course CFA Course
Certified By CA is certified by ICAI as an Indian authorized institution to regulate the CA activities. CFA is a globally recognized institute and certified by the CFA institute in America or AIMR. It handles all activities regarding CFA.
Stages CA has 3 levels but with the 4 years of study span. With the CPT – 2years, IPCC, and finals with one year of each. CFA is just 3 years of course with stages 1, 2, 3, each having one year of course.
Span of Exam The span of CA exams is also 3 hours for each and every subject in each year. There are 3 hours morning and afternoon sessions for each level of CFA
Exam Window Every year ICAI conducts CA exams as IPCC and final in the month of May within the first week. All stages of CFA are conducted in the month of June with its first Saturday. Although Part 1 can be conducted in the month of December.
Emphasized Subjects It mostly focuses on business and environment concepts, financial accounting, reporting, etc. CFA has a syllabus emphasizing ethics, portfolio management, finance-related topics, derivatives, etc.
Clearing Percent In the case of CA, one must clear Audit and attestation with 46.35%, Reporting and financial accounting with 47.6%, Regulation with 49.41%, business and environment concepts with 55.46% With the 42, 46, and 54 %, candidates can clear all the stages respectively.
Fees Including examination and registration, it requires to have a 900-1000$ The registration and examination fees are about 1350$ in the case of CFA.
Title Offered With CA, you can have the title of General Management, Internal Auditing, taxation, etc. It offers you with the title of

Research Analyst, Credit Analyst, Portfolio Management, etc.


With the above comparison between CFA vs CA, we come to the conclusion that CA is a better course to opt rather than that of CFA. CA gives you better job opportunities in India with nearly every sector with a tremendous amount of flexibility as auditor, budget management, etc in all the industries whether it is in public or private sectors and even in government jobs. With having good initial packages of salary that ensure the increment with experience, it is widely trending among Indian youngsters.

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