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cfa vs cma

The primary difference between CFA and CMA is the skills obtained. CFA is conducted by CFA Institute (USA) and focusses on enhancing Investment Management skills, including Investment Analysis, Portfolio Strategy, Asset Allocation, and Corporate Finance. Whereas, CMA is conducted by Institute of Management Accountants enables you to develop a level of expertise in both financial and management accounting and strategic management.

We will look at both the credentials and guide you on which one is better for the features each one of them has to offer.

What is the Chartered Financial Analyst  (CFA) charter?

 The CFA® Program focuses on investment management. The top employers of shareholders include the most respected financial corporations globally, e.g., JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, and Wells Fargo, to name a few. Many of these are investment banks, but the CFA® Program focuses on the knowledge and skills most relevant to the global investment management profession from a practitioner’s standpoint.

Investment professionals who hold the CFA®designation (or CFA® charter) meet rigorous educational, work experience, and ethical conduct requirements.

Only those who complete three graduate-level examinations, four years of work experience, and annual membership renewal (including ethics and code of professional conduct attestation) are permitted to use the CFA® designation. Complementary codes and standards (such as the Global Investment Performance Standards and Asset Manager Code) help enhance this professional distinction.

What is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA)?
  • The CMA credential will make you a certified management accountant and enable you to develop expertise in financial accounting and strategic management.
  • CMA program was introduced in the year 1972 and has its value-add by specializing in cost accounting, financial analysis, and strategic planning.
  • CMA is ideal for both accounting and finance majors who wish to work in the corporate world.
  • This designation applies to those who are into cost and inventory accounting.
Why should you go for CMA?

CMA has over 70,000 IMA members and around 20-30K active CMAs.

Globally, CMAs earn 59% more in median salary and 63% more in median total compensation than their non-CMA peers.

The global median salary is $60,000, and the global median total compensation is $66,000

  • This credential is designed to help you improve your ability to make strategic business decisions depending upon the company’s financial situation.
  • The eligibility criteria are flexible, and hence the entry barrier is low.
  • The CMA exam is designed to be completed within a year as it has testing windows spread across 6 months in a year.
  • The scope is narrowed down to learn about management accounting, specifically.
  • Accounting is considered a necessity, and hence the demand for professional accountants is usually on the higher side.
Why should you go for CFA designation?

Top ten companies hiring CFA® include JP Morgan Chase, PwC, HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS, Ernst & Young, RBC, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

As of 31st August 2019, CFA® Institute has over 178,000 members in more than 165 countries and territories, and around 95% of members are CFA  charter holders.

  • CFA® is required, particularly if you wish to get into equity research, investment banking, or portfolio management roles.

The differentiating benefits of earning the CFA designation include:

  • Real-world expertise
  • Career recognition
  • Ethical grounding
  • Global community
  • Employer demand

As of 30th June 2019, IMA has over 75,000 CMA members and around 40,000 active CMAs. Globally, CMAs earn 63% more in total compensation than their non-CMA peers.

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