Additional Courses that Students can Pursue along with CA

There are a lot of options for CA Students who wants to pursue Additional Qualification Courses. Students can Pursue these courses along with CA or after completing it. Some of these courses may be the certified courses or diploma courses which relates to commerce. 

Additional Qualification/Certified Courses for CA Students

ACCA- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants:

ACCA is a fast-growing international accountancy organization with 2,00,000 members and 4,86,000 students in 180 countries. As a globally recognized education and updated/Industry relevant content, ACCA qualification is a great way to build a career in Accounts and finance. Students can pursue this along with their graduation. Its flexible examination scheme makes this qualification more attractive.

Students pursuing ACCA can:

  • earn a Diploma/Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business and go on to earn an ACCA Member status
  • earn a BSc. (Hons) degree in Applied Accounting awarded by Oxford Brookes University
  • get an MSc in Professional Accountancy awarded by University of London

ACCA offers exemptions to the students who have previously studied for a relevant accountancy qualification which includes CA. An exemption means that you will not have to study for and undertake exams of certain ACCA papers. Exemptions offer you the opportunity to start your ACCA qualification from the right level.

To know more, read: ACCA in India - Eligibility, Career Options and Salary || ACCA Exemptions for CA Students

CFA- Chartered Financial Analyst:

The combination of CA+CFA is good in case you have interest in Investment banking and Portfolio Management. CFA is internationally approved and required certification which lends you thorough knowledge of investment management and portfolio management skills which form the main base of the investment industry. You can pursue CFA certification course which is regulated by Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) or from the CFA Institute of USA, which is a distance education program. In the booming financial sectors, such as banking and insurance, a CFA holding professional has great significance. CFA exams are conducted four times in a year and they should be pursued by every ambitious CA aspirant.

To know more, read: How to Become a CFA Charter holder || CFA Program in India & FAQs Answered

FRM- Financial Risk Mangement:

The Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) designation is offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and is the globally recognized standard for those who manage risk. Certified FRMs are part of an elite, global network, and are valued by top employers across diverse businesses. Requiring the successful completion of a rigorous two-part, practice-oriented examination, the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation provides a bedrock foundation in a profession and industry that is rapidly evolving. Since the FRM Program’s inception in 1997, Certified FRMs have achieved positions such as Chief Risk Officer, Senior Risk Analyst, Head of Operational Risk, and Director of Investment Risk Management, to name a few.

FRM can be pursued:

  • By those who wants to or who is working in finance and wants to climb up the success ladder.
  • One can develop their expertise in Risk Management domain. 

Since the FRM Program’s inception in 1997, Certified FRMs have achieved positions such as Chief Risk Officer, Senior Risk Analyst, Head of Operational Risk, and Director of Investment Risk Management, to name a few.

Important reads: All You Want To Know About FRM || GARP : Frequently Asked Questions on FRM

CIA (USA)- Certified Internal Auditor:

The Certified Internal Auditor Program conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors – USA. With this qualification you’ll be an expert in the field of Internal Audit. CIA Students can appear for exams from their home country through CIA exam centers located in different parts of the world. There is no need to visit USA for exam. Basically it is an online exam and you can give exam any time during the year. After becoming a Chartered Accountant, if one is looking to grow career as an Internal Auditor, then one should go with this course. With this course, you will be gained a wide knowledge of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act).

CPA- Certified Public Accountant:

CPA is the American version of Chartered Accountancy. The CPA degree is given by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and it is mandatory to have this degree in order to practice as a Public Accountant in US. A Chartered Accountant with a CPA degree can work in a wide variety of areas like Assurance services, Forensic Accounting, Tax and Financial Planning, International Accounting, Internal and External auditing etc. In India there are various American companies which prefer a candidate with CPA qualification and knowledge of US GAAP.

CS- Company Secretary:

Pursuing CS along with CA is helpful in long run to grab top opportunities at management level. CS is a very good combination with CA as far as course content and understanding the corporate environment is concerned. Being a Chartered Accountant, if you are having an additional qualification of Company Secretary, then you can easily and confidently handle or administer secretarial work/department along with managing account related work/finance department.

SAP- System Analysis Program Development:

SAP has an enormous range of features & the implementation of SAP differs from company to company. Because of this implementation complications, various IT companies such as Accenture, IBM and many more came up with the idea of SAP consulting. There are various modules of SAP such as Human Resources, Production Planning,  Project Management, Treasury, FI (Financial Accounting), CO (Controlling/Management Accounting) etc. As Chartered Accountants, the core areas of competency in SAP are FI and CO (commonly referred to as SAP FICO).

For a Chartered Accountant involved in financial accounting, statutory reporting,  costing, taxation (direct and indirect) etc, the modules which are most relevant are SAP FI (Financial Accounting) and SAP CO (Controlling/Management Accounting). A qualified Chartered Accountant can choose to be an SAP Consultant or to be a certified SAP Auditor or to be into the Finance team of an organisation having SAP ERP or be a certified SAP Trainer. The options are endless. Although the training in SAP is advised it's not mandatorily required, it increases the chances of getting hired. There are various sets of certifications & training for SAP FI & SAP CO.

Financial Modeling:

Financial Modeling is a must-have skill these days, especially those who’re planning to have a career in mergers & acquisitions (M&A), investment banking, equity research, project finance etc. FM will help you become proficient in making spreadsheets and use your technical knowledge to prepare financial models for various purposes. Even more, if a CA wishes to go into practice, financial modeling is an important skill set that is useful for preparation of project finance reports for clients that are seeking funds.

One of the biggest reason why Chartered Accountants should learn financial modelling is because they are not just restricted to Accounting, Auditing and Taxation anymore. They are exploring other arenas such as research, analysis, project finance manager, forex analyst etc. Lucrative compensation of these profiles as well as lower passing percentage of Chartered Accountancy exams have led most CAs to step out of the stereotypic roles to more challenging ones.

CFP- Certified Financial Planner:

For all those keen on a personal financial planning career, the CFP is an apt choice. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is an additional certification that will especially hone the skills towards guiding your clients in building a successful portfolio and planning their wealth & investments wisely. There are plenty of financial products are investment options available these days, however, investors need someone with expertise who will guide them the right option that will help them achieve the objective with available resources.

CFE - Certified Fraud Examiner:

A fraud examiner is a professional investigator trained to identify fraud and other types of financial crimes by examining financial records, analyzing financial transactions, and conducting forensic audits. Fraud examiners work for banks and other financial institutions, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and legal and accounting firms. Like other types of investigators, they may also work in private practice as independent consultants for a variety of different clients.

Actuarial Science:

CA and Actuarial has become a popular career path these days. Many people do both the degrees. Actuary is a combination of a mathematician, a statistician and an economist. Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries and professions. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified in this field through intense education and experience. In many countries, actuaries must demonstrate their competence by passing a series of thorough professional examinations.

Actuaries are expert in:

  • Evaluating the likelihood of future events using numbers and not crystal balls.
  • Designing creative ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events.
  • Decreasing the impact of undesirable events that do occur.

To know more, read: A Career In Actuarial Science


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