All About Certificate Programs in Accounting

With the economy going through its changes, many of us are looking to enhance, improve and even change their career paths. If a career in accounting is what you want to do, then you need to know about the different accounting certificate programs to get you going where you want to be!

With the rise of specialization-specific career options and opportunities, getting a certificate or degree in your area of expertise is the right thing to do to ensure that your career options stay on top of the changing economic scenario. There are a variety of certificate programs in accounting which will definitely help you fast track your accounting career path.

Certified Public Accountant or CPA is the most popular accounting certificate program which many accountants opt for. It is a well known fact that the examinations are not quite easy to pass. Gaining this certification, however, ensures that you stay ahead of the game in your accounting career.

Certified Management Accounting or CMA is sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The certification program requires a Bachelors Degree or the CPA certification, along with completing the CMA examination. You also need to have experience in the relevant accounting field. This qualifies you to become a member of the IMA.

Certified Financial Manager or CFM is also sponsored by the IMA. This certification gives you an expertise with financial markets and instruments, managing investor relations, risk management, corporate restructuring and analyzing financial statements.

Certified Internal Auditor or CIA is sponsored by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). This enables you to become an expert in internal auditing processes. You will need to have a Bachelor’s Degree and relevant work experience along with passing the certification examination.

Certified Financial Planner or CFP is an examination offered by The College for Financial Planning and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Along with completing their examination, you will need to have a Bachelor’s Degree and at least 3 years of experience in the relevant field.

Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA is a certification sponsored by The Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR). Apart from a Bachelor’s Degree, you will need to have at least 3 years of experience in investment decision making processes.

Certified Fraud Examiner or CFE is sponsored by by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Members specialize in the investigation, detection and the deterrence of white-collar crime and fraud. You will need to have a Bachelor’s Degree, have at least 3 years of experience in the relevant field, and pass the certification exam.

Certified Government Financial Manager or CGFM is offered by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). Members are knowledgeable and skilled in governmental accounting, budgeting and financial reporting along with financial management and control within the government. This prestigious position requires you to have a Bachelor’s Degree, and relevant experience along with passing the certification examination.

With these top accounting certificate programs you can certainly send your accounting career on to the fast track of success!

by Davy Reiner

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CFA vs MBA? Which is better? There have been many debates on this CFA vs MBA topic for many, many years. Is the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) status worth the time and effort to obtain it? And also, is it any better than other certifications such as the Master in Business of Administration (MBA) or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

It is clear that higher education, after graduating from colleges or universities, has become a must if one wants to have good career advancement in the investment and finance fields. So for those of you who are considering a career in the investment world, you must have heard of the great debate of CFA vs MBA. Both certainly have their advantages and disadvantages. In this CFA vs MBA argument, proponents of both sides have their own valid points.

CFA vs MBA – True Value of CFA

Firstly, to really determine the true value of the CFA certification, you ought to decide whether or not your selected career path will demand a placement within a large financial company. This is because having the CFA is extremely valuable, perhaps even more valuable than the MBA quite significantly, in the eyes of employers in the finance industry. There is certainly no point getting a CFA if you do not intend on working in the financial or investment world. Please always make sure that your targeted employers value the CFA designation greatly, when compared to the MBA and CPA.

CFA vs MBA – Is MBA Easier?

Now, let us look at the MBA. The MBA, unlike the CFA, teaches the students a wide range of other non financial subjects such as business management, marketing, organizational behavior, human resources management, and strategic management. This means that the student not only will be great in the financial skills but also able to have in depth knowledge on various other topics. Although there are many subjects, the MBA is relatively simpler due to all the subjects are broken down in smaller modules.

With a MBA, one can choose to self study, do research, coursework or go for classes. On the other hand, the CFA program is purely a self-study course. Students also do not have any options to choose the subjects as they need to go through each and every given subject which are provided by the CFA Institute. On the other hand, students in the MBA program are likely able to have a range of subjects or electives that they can choose based on their preference. This means that they are able to select the subjects that they are familiar or perhaps good at. This indicates that the chances of one going through the entire MBA program are much better than the CFA.

Some experts argue that the very fact that MBA courser provide coursework to aid students, may not be able to help students to really specialize in investment or finance career.

CFA vs MBA – MBA, CFA or Both?

To attract more students to take up the CFA course, institutions have commenced to educate students on a large proportion of the CFA course within their MBA program. Some even created a “package” where students are able to study for both the MBA and a CFA concurrently. This certainly eliminates the CFA vs MBA issue! No doubt, this is most efficient way to get the best of both worlds. In short, 1 of the 2 courses will likely to propel you to success in the business world, so do not ponder too much on the CFA vs MBA matter and take action now!

by Jason T Ten

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CFA: A Much Desired Finance Course For Professionals

When it comes to courses in finance being offered in India, no other course invokes so much controversy as the CFA, or the Chartered Financial Analyst. The original CFA course is a program of study of the US and is recognized world over. The course is a self study graduation level program meant for the investment professionals. There has been an India based institute which claimed to provide this degree to the candidates but the same was not recognized or allowed by the US based institute. So much for controversy, let us now pay attention to what makes the CFA a preferred course by candidates seeking to do courses in Finance.

The CFA course is favored by the aspirants who want to make it big in the finance stream. This exam is recognized the world over for seeking employment in different countries. Therefore, most of the Indian candidates desirous of seeking the employment opportunities abroad might decide to take up this course. This is the primary motivation for the Indian students to take up high paid jobs with some good MNC investment bankers, PE firms and other similar avenues which are well paid. This gives the candidates a global advantage to compete with the best in the field at the world scale. Further, there is a lot of development of the practical skills and ethics.

The institutes which can provide this course in different countries, including India, are required to take approvals from the Board which administers its conduct all over the world. So, there are some institutes which offer the CFA India program to Indian investment professionals. They are required to clear the three levels of tests and also required to meet certain professional criteria for successful completion of this course and being awarded a charter. Considerable importance is laid on the ethical conduct and before declaring any person as passed in this CFA course a complete check on the ethical conduct of the person is done.

Earlier, the institutes provided this course in India but these were not allowed to conduct the exam for the same in India which saw very less number of candidates taking up this course from the actual US based body. So, while they studied in India, they had to go to out of India for giving the exams which was very inconvenient. The court ruling has now allowed this exam to be conducted in India which is likely to see the increase in the enrollment rate of the candidates.

The popularity of the course is in line with the demand of the finance professionals from a number of different multinational finance companies. Candidates completing this CFA course can either take up the jobs or they can also work as independent professionals providing help to the clients. They can be investment consultants or working with other company. They find coveted organizational places, in the middle or higher level managerial positions.

by ISBF Education

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Money For College Tuition

These days, it is no secret that a number of families and individuals have a terribly tough time paying for college. The cost of a college education continues to rise at a steady rate each year and there is no relief in sight. This should not discourage anybody from attending a good school, as there are always ways to pay for college.
One such way to pay college tuition prices, becoming more popular these days, is through internships. Internships not only provide an intern with necessary and helpful on the job experience, they can be a good way to put oneself through college. Paying for the high cost of an education may seem like a daunting task, unattainable through a college internship, but this simply is not true. More and more students are turning to internships that allow them freedom and flexibility in earning potential. College tuition is now on the minds of many young adults and their families and some companies have realized this. They have begun to provide their interns with higher earning potential while at the same time providing them with more opportunities to gain experience in the working world.
A college student should jump at any opportunity to earn college tuition money when it presents itself. If the opportunity that arises also allows for him or her to have some flexibility and freedom to make as much as they wish out of the internship, then all the better. It should never be underestimated the value of a good internship that gives its interns more familiarity with the real world than their fellow students. Recruiters will be more impressed with a student who interned in college than those who did not. When this same internship also allows the student to pay their ever increasing college tuition bills, you will be in a fantastic position.
While there are some great opportunities out there, there are also some companies that make their internships and jobs sounds much better than they really are. They often times will use tricky and confusing language when describing their positions and the benefits that come with each. This should be a red flag for any student looking for an internship. Companies that use straightforward, clear language have nothing to hide and are more dependable than those other companies who may be looking to ‘hook’ unsuspecting college students looking to pay their bills. Look into companies before you choose an internship or a job. The company’s track record will sometimes be marred and may evoke strong negative testimonials from its former employees and interns.
In a world where the price of a good education keeps going up, college students and their families will continue to search for new ways to pay the bill. When scholarships and grants are not enough, many turn to hefty loans that must be paid back upon graduation. Find an internship or job in college that not only allows you to get some experience that will help you as you embark on the beginning of your career, but also allows you to pay your college tuition as you go.