A Review of Major Finance Certifications - Palma Financial
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[cs_content][cs_element_section _id=”1″ ][cs_element_layout_grid _id=”2″ ][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”3″ ][cs_element_text _id=”4″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][/cs_element_layout_grid][cs_element_layout_grid _id=”5″ ][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”6″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”7″ ][cs_element_text _id=”8″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”9″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”10″ ][cs_element_text _id=”11″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”12″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”13″ ][cs_element_text _id=”14″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”15″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”16″ ][cs_element_text _id=”17″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”18″ ][cs_element_headline _id=”19″ ][cs_element_text _id=”20″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][cs_element_layout_cell _id=”21″ ][cs_element_text _id=”22″ ][/cs_element_layout_cell][/cs_element_layout_grid][/cs_element_section][/cs_content][cs_content_seo]Whether to give your career that extra push to get a promotion or to increase your pay, you are probably planning to get professional certification for yourself. Good idea! However, the variety of certifications present in the market is confusing you. Which certification can yield the best result? Which certification is the easiest to complete? Which certification is superior to the rest?

This review of the various financial certifications will help you answer all these questions and more. Each accreditation is different, and depending on your career focus, some of these can be a good fit for you while others, not at all.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Bachelor’s degree needed: Yes
Number of Exams: 4
Exams Dates per year: 4 Windows (9 months)
Exam Length: 16 hours
Estimated Costs: $4,400
Completion Time: 2.5 -5 years
Work Experience: 1 Year
Career Application: Accounting and Finance

The Certified Public Accountant credential is the most popular, respected, and useful certification in the financial industry. CPAs can perform the same tasks that other professionals with other certifications can. The advantage that CPAs have over others is that they are the only certified professionals licensed by the state government and allowed to write audit reports. They can also give opinions on the financials of publicly traded companies. Among many other perks, CPAs can also represent taxpayers in front of the IRS.

To become a CPA, you have to pass all four parts of the CPA Exam, complete your education, and obtain the required work experience. If you are looking for a career in tax preparation or auditing, then this is the certification for you.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Bachelor’s degree needed: No
Number of Exams: 3
Exams Dates per year: 1 / 2 times per year
Exam Length: 18 hours
Estimated Costs: $5,450
Completion Time: 3 -5 years
Work Experience: 4 Year
Career Application: All-encompassing

CFA certification is specially meant to train you for a career in the finance and investment world. It expands an individuals thinking capability to be more analytical about finance, investing, and business operations. With this training, CFAs become great CFOs and Controllers. Most CFAs can extend there working field beyond company management and work for a hedge, investment fund, or on Wall Street.

To become a CFA, one must pass the exams set by the CFA Institute. These exams are much longer and costlier than the reviews for CPAs. If you are looking for a career in the world of finance and investing, then this is the right certification for you.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Bachelor’s degree needed: Yes
Exams Dates per year: 3 Window
Exam Length: 7 hours
Estimated Costs: $2,000 – $6,000
Completion Time: 4 years
Work Experience: 3 Years
Career Application: Retail and Wealth Management

From assessing the clients portfolio to providing personalized financial plans, CFPs are experts in all sorts of financial planning. These credential holders are unique in the aspect that they understand the detailed elements of the client relationship.

To become a CFP, a candidate must pass a rigorous seven-hour test. The study hours vary but average at 1000 hours.

CFAs enjoy an above-average pay, with the average being $140,000 per year as of 2018. However, the pay scale may vary based on the locality of your work and your field experience.

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

Bachelor’s degree needed: No
Exams Dates per year: Window
Exam Length: 8 hours
Estimated Costs: $1,500
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