Career Discussions CFA & ACA


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      Hello everyone,

      I am currently working for a Big 4 ACA having recently qualified (1st April) within the audit practice. I really didn’t enjoy auditing and wanted something a bit more focussed on transactions, however TS didn’t excite me as it is essentially a different type of audit. After a couple of external interviews within Corporate Finance roles and one internally within the Valuations team I decided to take up the valuations role. It gives me a new job in an area I am interested in and gives me some more time to think about my next move whilst keeping a lot of doors open.

      Part of my thinking is to begin studying for the CFA and look to move around the firm between valuations, TS and CF over the next few years to try and build up some transaction skills but also to keep learning and to keep some options open.

      My question, although very specific to my circumstances, is what is people’s opinion of how useful the CFA will be for me in the future if I decide to stay within a transaction based role rather than move into a more research focussed one? Also, how useful would it be in making the transistion into research/analysis in a couple of years if that is the area I decide I like the look of?

      Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

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      Thanks Sophie, I really appreciate your thoughts.

      Your right it is a means to an end as the CF roles I found did not work in terms of the client base or location. However I couldn’t put up with audit too much longer so moved into valuations where I hoped the skills might help me land a CF type role in London in the future (only the regions will give me a shot straight from audit and my other half wants to live in London) whilst keeping my options open for other roles if my mind changes.

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      Hello @kredman‌, good to have you join us!

      Congrats on the ACA qualification, it’s definitely not easy.

      My first question to you is if you enjoy transactions, why not corporate finance, instead of valuations? It seems like going to valuations is a means to an end (based on your comments), and so I’m slightly confused as to the target here? That said, it’s OK to not know what you want to do yet as you explore various paths. @BeanCounter‌ is also a qualified Chartered Accountant and a CFA candidate, he recently shared his views about taking the CFA (from an accountant’s perspective) in this article.

      If that helps, I used to be in corporate finance and found that Level 2 CFA materials are extremely helpful for me in work, as I didn’t study finance in depth previously (just Economics). CFA isn’t just for asset management and equity/credit research, I think it provides excellent fundamentals to work in finance. Corporate finance or ‘transactions based’ role are all about exchange of value of assets, which involves some form of asset valuation anyway (whether it’s company’s, divisions, or any other asset classes) – all which requires some foundation in asset valuation taught in the CFA course.

      So in short, yes it’s useful for your particular career objectives and the desire to keep your options open. Hope this helps!

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