Careers Is the CFA worth it for an MBA/CPA?

Is the CFA worth it for an MBA/CPA?

  • Author
    • Up

      Hello all,

      Brand new to and already a lot on my mind. I am wondering if the community can help me in making a very important career, academic and personal decision.

      For the last couple of years, every year I kick around the idea of going forward with the CFA exam. Not counting this time, every year I said it wasn’t going to be feasible. I’m wondering this time around: is it worth it?

      Here is my background: I have a CPA as well as an MBA from a very well known university. I thought I was ‘done’ with school when I completed my MBA but now was wondering was could further boost my credentials and my career. I work in corporate banking and have my own consulting business as well – I believe the CFA charter would be a credible addition to both my corporate career and my consulting business. I think things that worry me are lack of motivation and effort as well as finding the time to study and scared of failure on the exams. I’ve tried to push a lot of work/life balance in recent years and I guess I’m worried to derail that.

      Any advice would be great and much appreciated in making this very important decision.

      Thank you.

    • Zee Tan

      The value of a CFA charter to your career will depend heavily on the nature of your role – can you share more on that?

      As for your consulting business, I think it will be a lot more relevant, as sales will depend on reputation (and CFA adds to that). But again it also depends on your business (I’m assuming asset management related or similar?)

    • Up

      Thanks Zee for the feedback!

      I work in an analyst role in a major financial institution. My consulting practice is also providing business education training at the undergraduate and graduate level.

    • Up

      After some ‘soul-searching’ I have decided to proceed with level 1 for 2015. Based on my schedule, I will likely attempt level 1 in December of 2015. Ideally it would have been better to give it a go in June 2015 (this may change depending on the next couple of months).

      In this ‘soul searching’ process I have been called many things from friends, colleagues and family members. The words told to me included things to do with my sanity and if I had a life other than getting professional titles. Despite this I do know I enjoy learning and value education and at the very least, I can further deepen my knowledge of corporate finance. I also realize that a lot of people around me do not really know what it is to take on such projects and this I understand. Embarking on the CFA process won’t be easy but I am up for the challenge. On to the next discussion board – CFA level 1 prep.

    • Up

      Hi CFSblitz,

      Good luck with this journey. I am also a CPA MBA looking to take the CFA exam. My background is audit with PWC and now with a private equity group in an accounting function. I have been given the opportunity to dabble in the budgeting, long term model, and business analysis process and I have enjoyed it. I am looking to get into more of a business transactional role. Do you think a CFA would be the right step into this part of my career? Is it even possible for someone from an accounting role to move into the mergers and acquisitions realm?

    • Up

      Hi @chanman201‌ 
      Thanks for the words of encouragement! It looks like the CFA would definitely boost your credentials in terms of moving into the M&A realm. I know many with your background currently pursuing the CFA as they work in M&A in major public accounting firms. Have you decided if you will pursue this journey as well? I’ll send you a PM so we can further our discussion

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