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    I've just completed my second year of studying accounting and finance at Cass Business School, City University London. My second semester went well which means I hit a first this year and am just hitting a first overall by the skin of my teeth. I'm starting to think about what I want to do in the future and I'm really unsure as to wether I should do ACA or a CFA.

    Having done financial analysis and company valuation as electives this term I had realised I quite enjoy financial analysis. I got firsts in both modules (73.1% in company valuation and 78.7% in financial analysis). I've never really done too well in my financial accounting modules until this term.
    (Introduction to Financial Accounting-54% (Year 1)
    Financial Accounting-60.3% (Year 2 semester 1, note: there were complaints about the examination of this module)
    Financial Accounting 2-70.7% (Year 2 semester 2)

    I've still yet to get a first in a final exam. I've got good guests in midterms but my highest final exam results for financial accounting 2 where I got 65%.

    I also didn't do very well in my assurance module (60.4%). In fact my financial accounting and assurance modules were my worst modules this year by far. Whilst preperstion is a major factor this seems to suggest to me that it'll take more time for me to truly master accounting based on my results thus far but I do have a decent base to do an ACA (I will have 8 exemptions by the end of my degree God willing)

    I know the CFA qualification is very difficult to obtain. I also understand that it takes a lot of dedication and requires a lot of knowledge in a lot of areas. However, I feel doing an accounting and finance degree at a good institution provides me with a solid base to begin CFA preparations especially since I took financial analysis and company valuation as electives both which are in the CFA syllabus. Having an accounting background also helps with the CFA as there is a lot of accounting in the CFA particularly level 2.

    My uncle who is a CEO for one of the subsidiaries of capita Plc (a FTSE100 company) recommends doing an ACA. He may be a bit biased having done an ACA himself but he makes the point that a lot of CEOs are former accountants. He also said that if would like to become a CEO or CFO or FD (I mentioned to him that this may potentially be my long term aim) that I should not do CFA as this will not allow me to do these kind of roles.

    Furthermore, he says that a CFA only limits you to financial services whereas an ACA is a more broad qualification which enables you to go into many other fields. He also stated that a lot of jobs put qualified accountant in their job description but not many jobs require a CFA. However, having read online it seems to suggest that being a CFA is more financially rewarding than being an ACA. I've also read that a CFA is also a very broad qualification (I need some clarity on this). I enjoy accounting but from what I've done so far I'm not an expert but I can with some work become an expert. I feel that I understand financial analysis a lot better and my grades seem to suggest I do. However, I'm afraid that doing a CFA is too restrictive in career paths.

    I'm currently 20 years old (21 in September) and have an idea what I'd like to do in the next few years. I have 3 routes.

    1) Complete degree, ACA , MBA (5-6 years total)
    2) Complete degree, CFA, MBA (6-7 years total, note it takes on average 4 years to complete the CFA)
    3) Complete degree, ACA, CFA, MBA (9-10 years total) (I'm not sure wether to do ACA or CFA first if I go down this route so if you suggest this route please advise me on what to do first)

    I'm really sorry for this long winded forum starter I just really wanted to mention my entire situation so it'll be easier for you to evaluate what the best option would be for me. I'm so confused and I would really like some help particularly from people who've either done an ACA, CFA or both. It'll be much appreciated.
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    Don't you need to have at least 3 years of experience to acquire any of these two qualifications?
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    (Original post by KTS89)
    Don't you need to have at least 3 years of experience to acquire any of these two qualifications?
    Yes, for the ACA 450 days of work experience is required. This normally takes 3 years to do. For the CFA 4 years of work experience is required.
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    (Original post by Hamzah17)
    Yes, for the ACA 450 days of work experience is required. This normally takes 3 years to do. For the CFA 4 years of work experience is required.
    Wow, that's a lot of time for the CFA, and it is probably considered to be the hardest of all the financial qualifications. I know that for Banking/PE/HF and CorpFin of course CFA is the way to go.
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    (Original post by KTS89)
    Wow, that's a lot of time for the CFA, and it is probably considered to be the hardest of all the financial qualifications. I know that for Banking/PE/HF and CorpFin of course CFA is the way to go.
    Disagree. Plenty of big 4 ACAs with CF experience in banking / PE. Maybe for HF / MF CFA is more relevant though.
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    Train for the ACA at a big4 firm and you'll have the most options out there. CFA is only useful if you want to do institutional asset management or equity resesrch

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Train for the ACA at a big4 firm and you'll have the most options out there. CFA is only useful if you want to do institutional asset management or equity resesrch

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Would you say the same for training for CA at big 4?
 
 
 
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