CPA or CFA Designation?

I often get emails from students who want to work in financial research. They sometimes ask me if the CPA designation is a good career move.

If you want to work as a financial analyst, where you would be performing analysis on financial statements, the CPA is most likely not for you.

If your main goal is provide research for investors (e.g., equity research for an investment bank, hedge fund or a mutual fund) you will most likely want to get a CFA.

However, if you are interested in corporate finance, the CPA designation is the way to go.

Financial planning and analsysis usually involves financial modeling, budget analysis, and forecasting. These are functions better suited for CPA’s.