CPA vs CFA, Which Is Better?

If you are looking for a career in accounting or finance, you may be wondering about the benefits of obtaining a CFA vs CPA. While both are great and one is not necessarily better than the other, there are a few key differences:


Time Commitment:

While both degrees have rigorous testing, obtaining a CFA takes longer than obtaining a CPA- so you should be prepared to spend a lot of time with your CFA self-study materials. In addition to passing the CFA exam, you must also spend 48 months working in investment decision making before applying for the license. For the CPA, the requirements vary by state, but in general, you should hold at least a bachelors degree.


Apart from the cost of the CPA and CFA self-study materials, the fees for the exams are similar, although CFA is a bit more expensive.

The Exam:

The CPA is a 14-hour exam, while the CFA has three parts that are 6 hours each. Both exams are challenging and you may need to make several attempts to pass. Each exam has a different focus, so it is wise to invest in CPA or CFA self-study materials as part of your preparation- though you may be able to obtain CPA or CFA exam materials as part of a prep course.

Job Outlook:

If you want to focus on accounting, the CPA may be a better choice. If, however, you want to branch out into finance or consulting, the CFA will provide a stronger setup. While both degrees allow you to work in finance, the CFA will give you more options.

According to Crush The CFA Exam, choosing between CPA and CFA is tough, but it is an important choice that you should make after careful research. The degree you choose will help determine your future career.