Your guide to finance and accounting professional credentials

If you are pursuing or planning to pursue a career in accounting or finance,.you will know the importance of training courses and professional designations in this field. Advancing your career in these fields do not just happen. Because, it takes a lot of hard work, sweat and tears to achieve career progress. Employers are raising their bar of their the job market is getting more and more competitive.

The letters next to your name

The few letters you add beside your name are more than just an abbreviation for the certificate you earned. As a matter of fact, these letters can make a huge difference in your career. Hence, obtaining your professional designation improves your chances to land your desired job. In addition, it demonstrates a higher degree of specialization and professionalism.

How technology helps

Perhaps every other day you congratulate one of your LinkedIn contacts for obtaining a certificate or a promotion. You can be on the receiving end of those congrats and cheers. If you are contemplating the idea of obtaining your very own designation,.we are here to give you the final push. Despite the challenges, preparing for your credential has never been more convenient. Thanks to technology, you can attend video classes from the convenience of your home. Also, most material providers now provide question banks.that you can upload on your phone and solve questions on the go.

Which credential is the right one for you

Deciding on which credential to obtain can be tricky. We try to help you by highlighting the key differences among.a selected number of certificates based on the value they can add to your career. The following certificates are highly viewed in the accounting and finance industry and can give you a real boost.

Professional credentials in brief

Before we talk in details,.below table is a summary for the highly recognized credentials based on our opinion,

Estimated costs(5)HighMediumMediumHighLow
  • Difficulty differs from one to another based on their previous knowledge and experience. However, for an average candidate, CPA and CFA are considered harder to obtain than the remaining credentials. (10 represents the most difficult)
  • Convenience includes many factors such as availability of testing centers in the same country, ease of pre-requirements, nature of exams. (10 represents the most convenient)
  • Pre-requirements are the minimum requirements a candidate should have before sitting for an exam. (the higher the number the more requirements)
  • Post-requirements are the requirements needed for a candidate to obtain and maintain their license after passing the exams. (the higher the number the more requirements)
  • Estimated costs are obtained from the websites of the granting bodies. However, they may differ depending on the candidate’s location, pre-requirements costs, and other related matters.

CPA or Certified Public Accountant

Granted by NASBA

There are 664,532 actively licensed CPAs around the world.

Who should get it?

CPAs work in many roles. Such as public accounting, management accounting, governmental accounting, taxation, financial advisory, compliance and other roles. Hence, the CPA is highly valued throughout the accounting industry, and some companies require it for managerial jobs.

You may find all information needed to become a CPA here.

CMA or Certified Management Accountant

IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) and is highly recognized globally.

There are 50,000 professionals around the world have earned the CMA credential. However, only 30,000 are active holders

Who should get it?

Many accountants choose to get both the CPA and the CMA, as there is considerable overlap in the exam topics. The CMA is often considered a more practical application of the theoretical concepts tested in the CPA exams..It is recommended for accountants in the corporate sector, particularly in large, multinational companies.

You may find all information needed to become a CMA here.

CIA or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

Granted by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation worldwide has crossed the 100,000 mark.

CIA is the only internationally accepted designation for the internal auditor career path..As a matter of fact, professionals who hold this financial certification demonstrate competence in many areas. Such as.risk and control and information technology. Additionally, they express proficiency in working with internal staff and external clients.

Who should get it?

The CIA is really only useful to internal auditors,.with particular importance for those who would like to become managers or chief audit executives.

You may find all information needed to become a CIA here.

CFA or Chartered Finance Analyst (CFA)

Granted by CFA Institute, a nonprofit based in the U.S.

There are 150,000 charter holders around the world.

CFA certification demonstrates your knowledge and competence regarding important principles. Principles related to portfolio management, investment analysis, economics, and professional and ethical standards.

Who should get it?

This has become a must-have for security analysts and asset managers in the investment community. Finance professionals who are (or aim to become) equity analysts, fund managers or hedge fund managers will also find the CFA useful,.as will anyone who hopes to reach the CFO or senior finance manager levels. However, If you are pursuing a career in audit, however, it won’t be particularly useful to you.

You may find all information needed to become a CFA here.

FMVA or Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst

Granted by the CFI or Corporate Finance Institute in Canada

FMVA is very useful and handy for financial analysts, who want to close the skill gap between formal education and becoming a world-class financial analyst.— one who’s competent, confident, and poised to advance.

You may find all information needed to become an FMVA here.

P.S. Contact us to claim a discount through BusinessBOX coupon code.


In conclusion, it is very critical to know how relevant the professional certificate is to your career. First, you need to set your career vision. Then, you should realize what credential to pursue. Most importantly, don’t let people put you down. Above all, if you want to become certified, they you can and will be. Whoever created the content of the certificate is a human and you are no different than him. Just be determined and work hard towards it.

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