CFA vs CMA: Comparison, Differences

April 14, 2022
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Wondering which certification course to settle on between CMA Vs CFA? Get deeper insights on the course structure, jobs, salary, and key differences between CFA and CMA.
The field of finance has promised lucrative career opportunities for college kids.
CFA and CMA are two of the foremost popular, globally recognized certifications that students choose in this field to advance their careers.
CMA may be a finance certification that helps students advance in their careers as finance professionals. While CFA is a course for financial analysts and people interested in researching and managing stocks and assets.

Both courses have their benefits and drawbacks, and students must carefully consider CMA vs CFA to make a decision that is true for them. This article highlights the differences between CMA and CFA for a better understanding.

CMA vs CFA - Course Highlights

One of the essential courses in portfolio financial analysis is Chartered securities analyst. Chartered securities analyst (CFA) may be a broad field of study that focuses on equipping students with investment and financial management skills and knowledge. Because CFA may be a self-study program, candidates aren't required to attend regular courses.

Full-Form Chartered Financial Analyst Certified Management Accountant
Governing Body CFA Institute Institute of Cost Accountants of India
Duration 2 - 4 years 6 months - 3 years
Fees INR 40,000 - 1.25 Lakhs INR 40,000 - 1 Lakh
Average Salary INR 6.84 LPA INR 5.72 LPA

CMA vs CFA - Overview

The CMA may be a financial accounting and strategic management qualification. The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) may be a worldwide recognized certificate that focuses on finance and management accounting.
Students may expect to figure during a sort of firm and have a highly fulfilling career. CMAs add an organization's accounting, finance, and strategy teams.

The CFA course may be a globally recognized professional qualification that assesses and certifies financial analysts' competence and integrity. People curious about stock research, hedge funds, asset management, and other investment management should take this course. The CFA charter is widely considered the gold standard in financial analysis and is one of the foremost prestigious awards.

CMA vs CFA - Eligibility

CFA and CMA are certifications that have rigorous courses, and students must fully understand if they're eligible to use these certifications before proceeding to review these courses. Both courses are generally pursued after graduation and significant work experience, making them highly competitive and enriched with specialized knowledge.

CFA Eligibility Criteria

  • Students who wish to review CFA need to fulfill certain criteria to seem for the examination.
  • Students must have graduated from a recognized university with at least 50% scores.
  • Students are often graduates from any stream and field.
  • Students must have gained a minimum of four years of labor experience before applying for the primary level of examination.
CMA Eligibility Criteria

  • Students must have completed class 12 from a recognized board.
  • Students must have gained a minimum of two years of labor experience before applying for the primary level of examination.

CMA vs CFA - Benefits of Pursuing

Both equally valuable certifications in finance, students may wonder which course is better for them: CFA or CMA? This makes it harder for college kids as they could not fully understand the scope of those courses and what students stand to realize from them. The courses that students take will affect their career path, and hence the advantages of every are highlighted below.

Benefits of Pursuing CFA

Scope: The CFA Curriculum is a worldwide recognized program that gives students a solid foundation in financial analysis. Asset management, equities research, investment management, hedge funds, and other topics are covered in the certification. • Opportunities: CFA is a tough course to crack, and the certification is not just a sign of knowledge but also of determination and great ability to work under pressure. The course opens more opportunities for certification holders and brings them a competitive edge over their peers.
Benefits of Pursuing CMA
CMA maybe a certification that students can use to accelerate their career growth within the field of finance. This course is important for college kids curious about building bigger careers in valuations, capital management, etc.
Scope: The CMA curriculum prepares students for careers in a variety of sectors and corporate responsibilities. The certification enhances one's knowledge of capital management, budget analysis, and valuation concerns, among other topics. • Duration: CMA is a comparatively shorter course than CFA. Depending on the students' ability, it is often completed within six months or takes up to three years. The IMA requires students to finish the course within three years after registration. •

Exam Schedule: The CMA course allows students to take tests on any given day during the testing period. CMA examinations are accessible for testing six months of the year. Because the CMA tests are computerized, applicants may generally complete them on their own time, consistent with their schedule. Exams are normally accessible in January/February, May/June, and September/October.

CMA vs CFA - Syllabus

The syllabus of both programs differs thanks to the difference within the aims and objectives of the courses. Both certifications provide different levels of competency and knowledge on varying subjects that meet the certification objectives.

Subjects in CFA:
• Professional Ethics
• Investment Decisions
• Risk Management
• Decision Analysis
• Corporate Finance
• Financial Statement Analysis
• Internal Controls
• Cost Management
• Performance Management
• Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting
• External Financial Reporting Decisions
Subjects in CMA:
• Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning
• Alternative investments
• Derivatives
• Fixed Income Investments
• Equity Investments
• Corporate Finance
• Financial Reporting and Analysis
• Economics
• Quantitative Methods
• Ethical and Professional Standards

CMA vs CFA - Career Prospects

CFA and CMA are highly specialized certifications that have many advantages within the job market. Students who complete this course have an excellent competitive advantage over other students within the field of finance.
Job Roles Salary
Chief Financial Officer INR 13.45 LPA
Financial Analyst INR 14.7 LPA
Financial Controller INR 18.38 LPA
Chief Investment Officer INR 12 LPA

The salaries for these jobs rise exponentially, with CFOs and CIOs expecting to earn over INR 1 Crore once a year by mid-careers. These fields are, thus, a number of the simplest career options for college kids who have an interest in the field of finance.

Job Profile Salary Package
Risk Manager INR 10 LPA
Investment Manager INR 7 LPA
Chartered Financial Analyst INR 9.5 LPA
Private Bankers INR 9 LPA

Which is more tough CMA or CFA?

Both CMA and CFA are professional designations that require a significant amount of time and effort to complete. However, it is difficult to say which one is more challenging as they have different focuses and require different skill sets.
The CMA program focuses on management accounting, which involves planning, analysis, and decision-making within an organization. The CMA exam consists of two parts and covers topics such as financial reporting, strategic management, and risk management. The exam is designed to test candidates' practical knowledge of accounting and finance.
The CFA program, on the other hand, focuses on investment analysis and portfolio management. The program consists of three levels, and the exams cover topics such as ethics, economics, financial reporting, and analysis. The CFA exam is known for being particularly challenging, with a low pass rate.
Both programs require a significant amount of time and effort to complete, with candidates typically needing to study for several months to prepare for the exams. Ultimately, the difficulty of each program will depend on the individual's background and experience, as well as their aptitude for the subject matter.

CFA or CMA - Which One to Choose?

Students must consider the subsequent factors before enrolling in CFA Course to know its benefits.
Job Profile: If students want to figure in equities research, investment banking, or portfolio management, they'll need a CFA. CMA certification is meant to assist students to enhance their capacity to form strategic business decisions supported by the organization's financial status. The focus has been to find out about management accounting especially.
Demand: Accounting is seen as a requirement in organizations. Therefore, the CMA certification is in high demand always and across different industries. The role of a CFA is an important part of business management, and organizations publicly and personal sectors employ their services.
Students must analyze the pros and cons of every with care before deciding on a career path that they're curious about and are hooked in to. These factors have an important impact on the ultimate decision, and students can find the simplest choices for them by studying the differences between CFA and CMA.

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