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Cfa after ca

Ravi Goel (Accounts Officer) (51 Points)

05 November 2013  

Dear all, I have qualified last year in November, and now I am planning to go for CFA. I want you all to share your views regarding I should go for it or not. Is my decision a good one or bad one. Will doing CFA can help me to grow in my career.

 16 Replies

Gurpreet singh (Student) (138 Points)
Replied 05 November 2013

Yes u should do....becouse u need specialisation in some area....as well as it will increase ur carrear oppourtunitis....best of luck...

Ravi Goel (Accounts Officer) (51 Points)
Replied 05 November 2013

Dear Gurpreet, but someone suggested that after doing all the hard work for ca and after gaining experience of about 3 years as a ca, Il again be a fresher as a CFA..


CA Rakesh T (Chartered Accountant) (365 Points)
Replied 05 November 2013

Dear Ravi , I dont know why you want to do CFA ? What exactly is your Goal? Just adding degrees will not help , maybe you have what I call it as "Resume Value" , but real valu ?, I doubit it.. 


Having said that , it clearly depends on your goal. I dont want to put thoughts in your head, but at the risk of doing it , You have to understand what works in the real world. Where you want your career to be? Its every CA ( and maybe other niche qualifications) problem. 

I am willing to respond again , but only after you mention your specific Goal of doing CFA .

Having said that , Good luck 

Ravi Goel (Accounts Officer) (51 Points)
Replied 05 November 2013

Dear Rakesh ji, thank u for your reply. What u r saying is correct. MY question is also like, will an additional degree will help me grow in my career..because i have started my career in a very small co., and also I am not so happy with my job profile, and so I want to move on, and so I am thinking of doing it...

CA Rakesh T (Chartered Accountant) (365 Points)
Replied 05 November 2013

Dear Ravi,

As I mentioned earlier, you have to think about your Goal. When you use the word career , its very general , and very difficult to give you a valuable suggestion. I mean , I can give you many suggestions, but its not going to help you. So you have to set your career goal;


For example , I am looking to go to accounting profile in service Industry and in the long term my Goal is to be a CFO .. 

Had you mention your goal is as mentioned above, I would recommend you to NOT do CFA and instead gain experience or find work( if you are not currently) in accounting profile.

It doesnt matter whether its a small or big company, what matters is subject matter expertise and EXPERIENCE.... 

So again , What is your Career Goal ?


1 Like

Karthik (Practice - Advisory) (83 Points)
Replied 05 November 2013

Hi Ravi,

CFA basically Investment Professional course if you are interested to lead your career as a Investment Professional or Financial analyst its a wonderful course. Even this course will help you to lead your career in corporate finance world. Decision to go for it or not should all depend on your passion towards the course, so if you are so passioned about learning things how markets work, investment strategies, wealth management, financial analysis you can surely go for it other wise choose a course which suits your professional instincts.

Ankit Golash (Manager) (28 Points)
Replied 06 November 2013

i too agreed..dont go for cfa for a sake of additional degree..first think drive your thoughts and come to a conclusion...

kiran rathi (Finance Consultant) (100 Points)
Replied 06 November 2013

Hi ravi if u r thinking for cfa just to get a additional degree so that you can grab a good job than i would just tell you that ca in itself is a 1 of the best degree for commerce stream. But yes considering the current job market scenario it can be seen that ca's are not getting the jobs up to their mark, but believe me freind its the case with all the professions. no degree gives you the guarantee of your dream job .

But yes if you have keen interest in finance industry i.e. investment strategies, analysis and ol than ca and cfa can be great combination.


Rakesh Shah (partner) (23 Points)
Replied 06 November 2013

Investment is big business one cannot ignore it

Aditya Vikram ( ) (81 Points)
Replied 05 December 2013

Dear CA Rakesh ji,

I can understand when you say 'dont do CFA, just for the sake of another degree to add to the resume'.

But my point is, isn't it better to have some more expertise in the commerce field, in general? I mean, what exactly is the harm in doing CFA, or MBA in finance for that matter? 

One could at least clear Level 1 or 2, and try for better positions in good companies, right? 

I'm a article right now, just finished 4 months of it.. I dream to be successful in the commerce and management field.. I aim at finishing CA course, and maybe pursue CFA or MBA..and with that, I believe, at least right now, that I could gain more knowledge about commerce and management.

Please advise, and do share your ideologies too. I'd really appreciate if you could shower some guidance.

CA Rakesh T (Chartered Accountant) (365 Points)
Replied 05 December 2013

Dear Aditya,

Let me answer you point by point , using your own words in the question:

1. "expertise" - Based on my over 9 years of experience, let me assure you, that you cannot gain expertise sitting in a room & reading books, and even if you do , its not of any worth , except maybe you get to sell yourself teaching( though I doubt that as well). Having said that , I love reading books and I constantly do it, but I couple it with real world practice and experience. If I have to trade-off between real world experience and books, I will always go for the real thing. So , in other words, you think that learning another course or adding a degree will give you any significant "worth while" expertise, I will not be able to believe that. Now, using the specific course example, CFA, only if you want pursue a career in portfolio management and investment industry, I think you should drop CA and go for CFA( aggressively), because only CFA would really give you an opportunity worth learning. 

MBA is another 2 years/1 year course, which you will not learn anything worthwhile in Finance( because, they will only scratch the surface, when you have studied deeply for years in CA), but MBA will give you the opportunity to connect with many interesting people( assuming you get into top colleges) or else its a total waste of time.

If I ever do MBA , it will be for networking, nothing else.

Note: Companie/Businesses dont care about what degree you have, they care about how good you are, and how do they evaluate, whether you are good or not, is by real world performance. In other words, "you have to ' SHOW ' you are good, and dont tell them you are good, and that you can do only when you get into the real world.


2. harm in doing CFA, or MBA : Unless you dont value your time, maybe its not waste. But I am sure you are intelligent enough to understand that only currency that never goes down/back is time, hence I hope you see the harm in pursuing a degree which the market wont value enough. I am not building a case against any of the above degrees, but compared to what better options you have , if you insist on pursuing, it cannot be called your best decision.

3. clear Level 1 or 2, and try for better positions :  Trust me this is the greatest myth among the students ( I'll admit , even I had it). You dont get better positions in companies because you have more degrees, but you perform remarkably. Your work in remarkable enough to cut accross departments and bosses and super bosses. Infact, If i were to interview you and ask why you didnt complete, no matter what you say I will take that as a bad phase and if you mention that you are still working to complete, I would think in terms of "how bad that could be for the company/business". So, if you insists, ensure you complete.

4. dream to be successful & more knowledge about commerce and management : 
At the risk of repeating it, your knowledge( by additional degrees) is not directly propotional to your success, but your ability to successfully & consistently apply what you will learn( in the real world, sprinkled with technical words, which you can grasp from books) and have HUGE patience.

Infact I think i gained more knowledge from working 1 year in a company than I would have spent in MBA college or studying for any other degree and on top of that , my 1 year real world experience is way ....way more valuable.


Trust me , these are not my ideologies, these are real world learnings and observations, which i acquired working from million dollar business to now billiion dollar business.

As I mentioned before, I am not building a case against any of the degress, I am just saying that experience in a real job, is worth more value,


Feel free to air your thoughts....Always happy to help and contribute.





Aditya Vikram ( ) (81 Points)
Replied 05 December 2013

First of all, I'm really grateful that you took time off your hands to reply in a detailed and rich and expert manner.

One thing I value more than anything is guidance from experienced people, and this is a huge bonus for me.

Yes, real world experience cannot be matched with merely bookish knowledge. Application is a must. 

Secondly, I was never completely convinced about pursuing extra course,or similar course like CS,CWA etc. I am still on a informal survey, asking people and students about these.

But- -- from what I see as a student and a CA article is that competition is fierce than ever. There are tons of students doing the same thing, and even doing it better than the rest. Then, what will set us apart from the other thousands of CAs? 

I believe, in these 3 years of articleship, I want/should try to gain knowledge- read journals, research,learn methods of doing things, learn the 'what's and 'why's. Study the market,learn about market related concepts,case studies etc etc ( i've still to decide how exactly I'm going to do all those laugh)

The thing I want to stress is that as a student(at least for the next 2.5 years, if not more), my real world application/practice are pretty limited. For instance, since I'm fairly new, my seniors only make me do vouching when I go for audits. (although I'm trying to get a jist of concepts like cenvat,reverse charge on my own, by studying the company's records)

So, I conclude by saying I whole heartedly support what you are saying, but as a student, putting it bluntly, "how should I 'grow'"?


espionage (human being...) (769 Points)
Replied 06 December 2013

@ aditya vikram ... Bro the answer to your question is fairly simple....  :)
One can only grow from 'experience' be it a good one or a bad. ..

you can exert, in turn grow, your self by doing studies and research (coz these are also experiences) but only first hand work experience will help u grow and grasp the nuances of the arena. :)

Whst i mean to say is the more u 'learn' and 'experience' the more u grow. It is a never ending process..

god bless :)


1 Like

CA Rakesh T (Chartered Accountant) (365 Points)
Replied 16 December 2013

Dear Aditya,

Apoligies for the delay in response, got stuck in meetings for few days , so didnt get time  and I didnt want to just respond, for the sake of response.

Let me try to again address your concers:

1. Competition :-  I think most of us remain under pressure because of this word which is popularised by business community. The truth is, part of it is a myth, especially if its non- financial areas. ( This topic in itself requires a separate post, which i am hoping will write soon and when I do , I will send it to you), But for now , take my word that you dont have any competition and you are your best competition . What should set you apart from rest of the CA's, is again very subjective, but one word that should drive you and rest of your articleship period is "employability" ( meaning, how employable you are?).

2. Articleship period pressure :-  This is a major problem with all of us, previous CA's and I am sure it will be for Future CA's. The problem , is there is no set guidelines for articles. The articles are mostly treated as stock employees and there is no method of teaching/training articles. I wish, Institute put some guidelines for the practicing CA's to follow. But , anyway , what you should do is that you dont put pressure on yourself learning too much and not focussing on your exams, as that is the most important, whereas you can read economic times and other economic news forcing yourself to connect with whatever your learning. I think there will be a time , when you realize that Economic Times content is not as valuable as its used to be. Vouching is boring, but important, especially if you keep the big picture in mind, one other thing you can do is that ask your seniors to sit with them , when they are finalising the accounts. Tell them that you will not ask any questions and only watch( when they allow you, you befriend them and ask questions, but in this way atleast you get to be close to the guys who are responsible to finalise the accounts). You are doing good by learning about concepts on your own ( as that is the only way you will learn for the rest of your life, so its better to put yourself in this habbit)


Lastly, focus on your exams first, then comes rest. Connect your knowledge, with whatever your are doing in the articleship ( for eg, if your vouching, then see what should auditor keep in mind when doing vouching and read the next topic as well , as how does these vouchers gets accounted for , the controls on these vouchers by the business, is it adequate or not etc).



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