6 Tips for Choosing the Best Prep Course Provider

Professional qualifications offer candidates greater insight into key finance and accounting topics. The curriculum incorporates the industry’s best practices and trends which ensures that candidates have the expertise required to climb up the ladder. Being an extensive program, candidates often need to spend months preparing and practicing the curriculum. An experienced training provider helps candidates focus on the right learning outcomes and prepare for success.

Here are 6 key features you must look for when choosing the right guide for your learning journey.


Tip 1: The Program Curriculum is a core element of their training programs

The questions asked during the exam, center around the program curriculum and the Learning Outcome Statements (LOS) developed by the governing program bodies. The program body surveys the needs of the industry and job requirements across the globe to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, current, and valid.

By choosing a training provider that focuses on the curriculum day in and day out, you ensure that you have chosen someone who has first-hand insight into the changes of the curriculum and knows the best study strategies.

Tip 2: Training Faculty’s Qualifications & Experience

Skilled prep providers employ multiple trainers to teach different topics which ensures that you are learning from a trainer who is well aware of the specific topic and can monitor the highs and lows of the particular subject on a personal level. Knowledgeable trainers will focus on ensuring you master the curriculum, do not neglect the learning outcome statement (LOS) and are more likely to predict key areas that may appear in the exam based on their experience.

An added advantage would be to learn from a trainer who achieved the qualification himself and has over years of experience training and working in the related industry.

Tip 3: Flexible training solutions

To successfully prepare and achieve a professional qualification, candidates are expected to prepare for at least 3-5 months. Therefore, it’s important to choose a training program that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

Live classroom sessions offer candidates the opportunity to interact and solve queries with their fellow peers as well as trainers during the lecture. They also include in-class practice tests and mock exams that replicate the ambiance of an exam hall. This serves an important purpose as these exams are strictly monitored and mock exams help candidates abide by the guidelines set by the governing body.

On the other hand, Live Online programs offer scheduled live online sessions by the trainer every week.  It includes a participant panel that allows candidates to raise questions and interact with the trainer via audio or text. The testing method for these sessions is generally online mock exams and full-length practice exams that are known to mimic real-world testing conditions.

Tip 4: Confirm the claims made by the Prep Provider

Program governing bodies like the CFA or IMA Institute do not release previous exam questions, therefore any provider stating that they use actual questions from previous exams is a red alarm. Furthermore, if the provider is stating a particular pass rate for their material, confirm how this has been calculated and its validity.

Tip 5: Reliability of Prep Provider’s Study Material

The most efficient way to pass the exam is to practice as many questions as possible. The significant issue that students face is that even though the content has been understood well when attempting mock exams, they are often confused or lost. Therefore, the more questions you practice, the more comfortable you will be. Some important study materials to go through before the exams are end-of-section questions, mock exams, and question bank tests. These questions will equip you with tricks, tips, and methods for quicker problem-solving.

Certain providers may encourage studying for the exam without using the curriculum which isn’t recommended as although the prep material highlights the core elements for the exam, they should never be seen as a substitute for the main curriculum.

Tip 6: Study with an Approved Prep Provider

The approved prep provider program highlights training institutes that fulfill the guidelines required to offer candidates a holistic and effective learning journey. Some of the guidelines are training expertise of more than one year, developing course material in-house by experts, etc. One key highlight of these providers is that they constantly update their content according to the exam changes to maintain their prep provider status. These providers also offer candidates additional support outside the classroom which shows that they are willing to help the students thoroughly understand and excel.

Although take note that, choosing a certain provider among the many approved is solely your choice as the institute doesn’t verify the claims made by these prep providers.

Therefore, remember that the goal when choosing a prep provider isn’t choosing the most cost-effective one but rather a training guide that will help you achieve your qualification.

Career opportunities for CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) charterholders

he CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation is a globally recognized mark of distinction in the finance industry. Being an extensive program, it requires candidates to invest a significant amount of time, money, and effort, which can leave them with the thought of whether it’s truly valuable. Upon reviewing numerous blogs and forums, we found that supporters of the CFA charter outnumbered those against it by around 80% with many claiming that it has helped them climb the corporate ladder and helped enhance their existing skillset.

According to the 2020 Middle East Salary Guide by Robert Half, the compensation scale annually for financial analysts range between AED156K and AED217K while senior-internal auditors can earn between AED 287K to AED 295K.

Based on a survey conducted by the CFA Institute about the job roles held by CFA charterholders in 2019, we have summarised the top careers that pursuing or certified CFA candidates can attain.

Research Analyst

Over 13% of CFA charterholders hold the coveted position of being a research analyst. Research analysts play a key role in the world of business and finance as they use qualitative data to analyze past financial history and make recommendations for the future. The information that they gather is crucial for organizations as it helps prioritize and develop investment decisions.

Corporate Financial Analyst

A hybrid of a research analyst is a corporate financial analyst. The financial analyst, unlike the research analyst, goes beyond data input to frame conclusions. During venture choices, they offer research and guidance on budgets and income statements along with other financial data. They account for over 9% of CFA charterholders and are one of the commonly opted-for job roles soon after the qualification has been achieved.


Approximately 7% of all CFA (chartered financial analysts) charterholders work as consultants. They offer an external and personalized view of the organization’s practices, changes and deal with crucial monetary decisions related to savings, investment, or insurance. Their skillset includes business valuation, financial investigations, and identifying methods to increase shareholder profitability.

Portfolio Manager

Over 5% of chartered financial analysts are employed as portfolio managers. Portfolio managers facilitate the purchase and sale of assets constantly. Effective asset sale requires interaction with clients, analysts, and researchers to remain up to date with the market trends. An extraordinary portfolio leader can see past the surface and settle on educated choices for their customers because of insightful expertise.

Risk Managers

Risk is an inevitable aspect of every flourishing business. To grow and earn greater profits, a certain amount of acceptable risk is continuously undertaken to achieve and excel in organizational goals. 5% of charterholders have the job role of a financial risk manager, a role that identifies potential monetary risks that the organization could face in the near future and helps highlight risks that can be converted into prospective opportunities.

Chief-Level Executive

Top-level executives are the most imperative and influential individuals in an organization and branch into CEO, COO & CFO. Being the apex of the organization, the significant choices that they finalize, drive the accomplishment of strategic, tactical, and operational goals contingent upon the organization’s structure and market.

Relationship Manager

Networking is crucial for effective business management. A relationship manager offers both a financial and humanistic aspect which is imperative during mergers, acquisitions, or other business relations. The relationship manager also prevents or rather limits the extent of unpredictability by constantly assessing the current financial status and elements that impact it. 5% of CFA (chartered financial analysts) work as Relationship Managers.

Financial Advisor

Advisors are usually known for being the go-to professionals that assist customers with speculations, assess laws, and take insurance decisions. They help individuals formulate short and long-term objectives, and additionally a budgeting framework that helps them accomplish their financial goals. Some of the advisors also make investments for their clients and provide levy assistance.

To know more about our CFA training programs, click here

How do you climb the corporate ladder?

Finance and accounting graduates no longer need a master’s degree to improve their career prospects or climb up the corporate ladder. Companies instead are scouting for candidates that have a specialized skill-set and hands-on experience which young graduates can gain through pursuing job opportunities or a professional qualification.

Although pursuing a career opportunity seems like the most ideal choice, it isn’t the easiest to opt for given the level of competition present among applicants in the region. Therefore, the next best alternative would be to attain a professional qualification.

Professional qualifications help candidates learn the ropes of the field, offer training flexibility, worldwide recognition and are reasonably priced in comparison to an MBA which can cost more than 60,000$. The benefits aren’t limited to post completing the certification, instead, they are seen to be impactful during the training tenure as well since it shows recruiters that you can work during the day, are committed, and have both technical and practical expertise.

The course curriculum of these qualifications is constantly updated to ensure that candidates can assess and make financial decisions based on current market trends and using the latest technology. The time-efficient and innovative techniques you will learn during the course will offer you the practical experience and advantage that your colleagues lack.

Furthermore, Candidates are required to gain work experience in order to qualify for the certification. This requirement is often seen as a plus as companies are looking for certified candidates and are more than welcome to employ those that are still pursuing their certification. Some companies also sponsor employees who are pursuing a qualification due to the high regard they have for its fruitful and rewarding curriculum.

During your course, you will also receive the opportunity to network and receive career insight or mentorship from candidates higher up the ladder. It’s always a good idea to look for a mentor as it will help you learn strategies to tackle roadblocks and methods to optimize opportunities.

Therefore, if you would like to grow in your career, there’s no better time to enroll in a professional training program than now. The extensive benefits not only include the applied skills you will learn and the influential people you might meet, but also the increased potential for career advancement.

Some of the professional qualifications that you can aim to pursue this year are:

ACCA Program:

The qualification offers you a flexible route into a career in accounting, audit, business, or finance. It offers candidates a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge, skills, and techniques required by the modern accountant.

CFA Program:

The CFA Program is a globally recognized qualification for evaluating the skill, experience, and ethics of professionals across the world. It exhibits a comprehensive understanding of advanced investment and portfolio management and is one of the most highly regarded and valued financial titles in the industry.

CMA Program:

The CMA certification portrays one’s expertise in the field of management accounting. It is an advanced US-based professional certification that demonstrates crucial financial and accounting management skills required by current versatile organizations.

CIMA Program:

Develop your accountancy skills to lead finance departments or provide management accounting consultancy by earning the UK-based CIMA qualification. It is recognized worldwide as the most relevant global finance qualification for a career in business. Once you complete the CIMA Professional Qualification, you will be awarded the CGMA designation, recognizing your value and showcasing your professionalism, business and leadership skills, ethics, and commitment.

Are mock exams important for CFA candidates?

You have invested over 300 hours preparing for the exam, attended classes by an experienced training provider and your books look like they have just returned from war. What’s next? Now it is time to put all your hard work to the test with a CFA mock exam.

There are multiple CFA mock exams on the market, but the most effective ones are designed to simulate the actual CFA exam format, difficulty, and length. It should be the closest you can get to attempting the exam before sitting for the exam.

We would advise appearing for the mock exam, a month prior to the actual exam as taking it too early will not help you remember your mistakes, and taking it late will not offer you a lot of time to improve your performance.

How are the CFA Practice Questions and Mock CFA Exam different?

Nearly all CFA providers incorporate practice questions and tests into their curriculum. For instance, Schweser offers the QBank, a tool used throughout your preparation to ensure you understand what you have already studied and are prepared to move to the next topic.

CFA mock exams are designed to assess your mastery of everything you will be expected to know when you sit for the actual CFA exam. Mock exams and practice questions are not a substitute for each other, both serve their own purpose and have unique benefits.

Attempting the mock exams

Ensure you have extra sheets of paper, a calculator, and most importantly a timer, prior to attempting the mock exam. Since the aim is to replicate the actual exam, you should write the answers just like you would during the exam and write the answers preferably in pencil to simplify corrections and adjustments.

During the mock exam, aim to attempt all the questions within 3 hours while devoting 1.5 minutes per question for 120 questions. The key skill that mock exams teach you is knowing how to save time by prioritizing the questions you know over the questions you are uncertain about.

Honesty is the best policy!

After the mock exam, be strict when marking yourself as this ensures that the score you attain represents an honest assessment of your exam preparation. While we acknowledge the fact that the score you achieve in a mock exam isn’t an accurate predictor of your final score, it will help you understand how much more you need to prepare.

The best strategy involves giving more attention to questions that you got wrong as this is the only way to close any existing gaps in knowledge. We advise candidates to not only analyze the answers but also go back and read the concepts again. By doing so, you are most likely to accumulate more extensive knowledge on a given topic, and you won’t have problems tackling similar but slightly tweaked questions.

How do you appear for the Kaplan Schweser mock exam?

Kaplan Schweser offers mock exams in over 100 locations worldwide but the rise of covid has led to live mock exams being made unavailable. Fortunately, online mock exams are still available. While you will not be able to simulate testing room conditions with the online version, an online mock exam will still be comparable in format, difficulty, and length to the actual CFA exam. From 2021, all levels of the CFA exam will be computer-based, hence the online mock exam will be closer to the real thing.

If you are looking to cut down your exam preparation time, a mock exam might provide exactly what you need to cap off your studies. It will highlight your strengths and your weaknesses while ensuring you understand the question patterns.

The Kaplan Schweser mock exam is paid, but you can access a free version of a mock exam created by our team here – Free CFA Mock Exam

How to prepare for CMA essay questions

The essay portion of the CMA exams is a worry to many candidates, and this is for valid reasons. The essay questions consist of written and quantitative analysis and responses.


Expectations on Exam Day

Each CMA exam has two essay questions, and each question presents a business scenario that will have multiple questions. You have 1 hour to answer both essay questions. You have 3 hours to finish the multiple-choice question section of the exam before starting the essay portion.

If you finish the multiple-choice questions section before the 3-hour limit, the remaining time gets carried over to the essay section. The focus of the essay questions is on the CMA candidate’s ability to understand and apply concepts presented in the part being tested in a business scenario.


The score for Essay Answers

The subject matter experts who will score your essay responses will use a grading guide. For example, there may be 120 possible points but only 100 can be awarded in total. The expert’s goal is not to deduct points from your essay answers, but to award you points.

Partial answers will also award you points. For example, if you had to calculate 10 ratios but were only able to calculate 6, the experts will award you partial points for your answer. So, if you get a tough essay question, try to work on it as much as possible, even if you don’t complete it. You’ll be able to get some points. Be sure to show your calculations.


Methods to prepare for the exam

The essay section represents 25% of your overall score. It’s very important that you diligently prepare for it by including the following tips in your preparation:

  1. Practice, practice, practice. Understand what essay questions ask of you and practice answering them. It’s very easy to go on a tangent on a response. Practice staying focused.
  2. Calculate what is asked of you, not what you think is asked of you. For example, if you are asked to calculate liquidity ratios, don’t calculate activity or solvency ratios because you think they’ll be needed.
  3. Know your formulas very well. You may need to calculate many figures before you can begin to answer the question at hand. The best way to memorize formulas is to write them down repeatedly and being mindful of it. Don’t day-dream while you practice.
  4. Get your hands-on essay question samples to get familiar with the format.


Crucial Advice

The most important advice that we can give you is to understand the material that you are studying. If you are just memorizing without understanding the WHY of things, it’ll be difficult to pass the exams, much less do well in the essay questions. The essay section will test your comprehension of the material in a real business scenario.

Top 8 Reasons to study the ACCA Qualification

The ACCA Qualification is a highly recognized accounting certification across the world. It is designed to equip its members with the accounting knowledge and skills needed to thrive and succeed in the fast-paced accounting industry.

Its curriculum covers beginner to advanced accounting topics such as financial reporting, taxation, audit and strategic business reporting, which helps candidates gain extensive insight and expertise in the accounting sector. The comprehensive curriculum is the core reason why organizations look for certified ACCA professionals who can evaluate the financial needs of the organization and propose business solutions.

While there are many reasons why aspiring accounting professionals choose to pursue the qualification, here are some of the main reasons:

1. Globally Renowned Certification 

The ACCA certification is internationally recognized in 181 countries and has over 200,000 members and 486,000 students. The certification focuses on strategic thinking, technical skills, and professional values that helps individuals develop into innovative, strategic-thinking accountants. Furthermore, the ACCA body has partnerships with multinational organizations, overseas accounting bodies, governments, and organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations which has helped increase its credibility and global recognition.

2. Network of Accounting Professionals

Once the ACCA qualification has been completed, certified candidates become a member of an elite group of the world’s leading accounting professionals. ACCA’s global network offers professionals access to a large talent pool and networking events that helps them gain entry to the best and latest opportunities anywhere in the world.

Furthermore, The ACCA has partnerships with over 8,500 approved employers all over the world. These employers work closely with the ACCA body to increase career prospects and opportunities to the members and students.

3. Computer-Based Exams

Some of the ACCA exams can be attempted as OnDemand CBEs. This offers students the flexibility to appear for the exam at any point throughout the year, receive instant exam results and re-sit for the exam soon after instead of waiting for the next scheduled date.

The key difference between CBEs and paper-based exams is that all live CBEs have different questions as they are automatically constructed from a question bank. It means two people sitting the exam at the same time will get a different version of the exam. It also means if someone sits on an on-demand CBE on a Tuesday, they will get a different version of the exam if they resit the same subject later that week.

4. Comprehensive Curriculum

ACCA takes into consideration emerging trends, legislation, and legal requirements when developing the curriculum. The qualification helps candidates master key technical and management skills required by a chartered accountant such as taxation, auditing, law, business, financial reporting, and ethics.

Furthermore, the curriculum is based on international accounting and auditing standards which ensure that ACCA members are equipped with skills to work in any country where these standards are accepted.

5. Multiple Exam Exemptions

The ACCA certification has multiple entry pathways due to the exemptions it offers candidates based on their highest level of education. This helps candidates start at a level that is consistent with the knowledge and skills gained from prior learning.

Depending on any existing qualifications, exemptions can be awarded across:

  • The Foundation level qualifications
  • The 9 Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills exams of the ACCA Qualification

6. Exam Flexibility

Candidates that would like to pursue the ACCA qualification, can choose from multiple study options such as classroom trainingOnDemand, and live online programs. Each program offers candidates unique benefits that will help them balance their work-study needs while ensuring exam success.

The exam sessions are held each quarter and while some exams can even be taken on-demand, giving the flexibility to progress through the qualifications at one’s own pace. Some of the ACCA levels have optional papers that offer candidates the opportunity to specialize in a chosen area and in several countries, you can even take exams based on your national tax and law.

Additionally, one can even gain additional qualifications on your journey to membership, including:

  • BSc in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University
  • MSc in Professional Accountancy from the University of London

7. Develop your skillset after receiving the certification

ACCA professionals receive continuous support and guidance from the ACCA institute even after completing the certification. Professionals have access to a range of world-renowned technical and comprehensive resources designed to support one’s professional development (CPD).

Some of the elements it includes are:

  • Free access to accounting jobs adverts posted by top employers
  • Free access to accounting and auditing standards
  • Access to exclusive online and face-to-face learning opportunities and accountancy qualifications from ACCA, as well as from reputable academic and professional partners
  • Other national accountancy bodies will recognize your member status

8. Scholarships and Special Offers

Being a widely recognized and valued program, ACCA training providers often provide scholarship opportunities to high-achievers and special discounts such as bundle or group discounts that help candidates save costs when preparing for multiple papers. Some providers also offer added benefits such as training by certified professionals, online learning, and exam practice through doubt clearing sessions and mock exams.

How have the CFA® Exam Formats and Schedule changed?

From 2021, all the levels of the CFA® exam will be offered in a computer-based testing format, a new shift from the 60 years of paper-based testing. Furthermore, the exams will be offered over 10 days rather than one uniform date depending on the location.

In this blog, we will clarify the key highlights and changes of the new testing with clarification on the next steps ahead.


How Is It Different from Earlier?

  • All levels of the CFA exam will be computer-based.
  • The Level I exam will be offered four times a year.
  • The Level II and Level III exams will be offered twice a year.
  • There will be exam windows of up to 10 days instead of one uniform date.
  • The total testing time for all levels has been reduced to 4.5 hours instead of six hours.
  • The Level I exam will continue to be a multiple-choice format.
  • Level II and Level III will use the same item set (vignettes) and essay format (Level III) used for the paper-based exams. The total number of item sets on the exam might vary slightly.


What Are the New Schedules for all the exams?

A special exam schedule will be released for Levels II and III in 2021, and then a regular cadence will begin in 2022. The planned 2021 exam windows for Level I are still in effect. The exam windows in 2021 are:

  • February, May, August, and November for Level I
  • May and August for Level II
  • May and November for Level III

Beginning in 2022, the schedule for all exams will be:

  • February, May, August, and November for Level I
  • February and August for Level II
  • May and November for Level III


I Registered for the Postponed June 2020 Exam. What Do I Do?

There are several options you can opt for based on your registration status:

  • If you have registered for the final paper-based exam in December 2020, you can continue with this option or switch to any of the available 2021 windows based on the level.
  • If you had registered for the June 2020 exam and chose to defer to the June 2021 paper-based exam, you may register for the December 2020 paper-based exam by August 19, 2020. Candidates also have the option to select any of the available 2021 computer-based options.
  • If you would like to move to a computer-based exam, you have until October 20, 2020, to do so.
  • For the February Level I exam, registrations are currently open. Registration for all the levels will be open on August 20, 2020, with the dates for 2021 computer-based exams.


What If I Need To Postpone My Exam In The Future?

If you are trying to decide the right exam date, you must check the guidelines and rules of the government and health advisories in your test area. CFA Institute follows the guidance of local governments. Therefore, exams will only be held in locations where CFA Institute can meet public health and safety requirements.

If you were registered for the June 2020 postponed exam, and the exam you subsequently registered for is also postponed, you will have the option to defer again. Also, you can request a refund for the registration fee you paid for the June 2020 exam.


Why Is CFA Institute Making These Changes?

The world that investment professionals experience today is increasingly digital. Hence, CFA Institute has decided to embrace the new changes and transition its exam from paper-based to computer-based henceforth. The COVID-19 global pandemic was the impetus for CFA Institute’s decision to accelerate the move from paper to computer-based testing. The computer-based testing environment and additional dates and times available means that fewer candidates will sit for the exam at the same time, which reduces personal risk compared to the high-capacity venues used for the paper-based test.

Now that you have a better idea about the upcoming Level II & III exam changes, start your journey with Kaplan and learn in a manner that suits your learning needs best. To learn more, call us at 800346 or click here – https://bit.ly/studycfa

4 Reasons a career in Investment Management is the best choice!

Investment bankers advise companies on large, corporate-level transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity issuances. They help management teams market and sell companies, find potential targets to acquire, analyze the financial value of a project or recommend the best terms for a capital raise to investors.

It is an extremely rewarding industry that offers you the flexibility to develop, innovate, and deliver solutions that could change the financial journey of individuals or the way a business and capital moves forward.

Why is it the right career choice?
1. Diverse career choices
The investment management field offers candidates opportunities across banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, and insurance companies. You could choose to be a financial analyst, fund manager, portfolio manager, risk manager, hedge fund manager, alternative investment analyst, stockbroker, risk analyst, and more.

With the right education and knowledge, you are more likely to work in well-known financial institutions like Vanguard, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and HSBC, companies that manage the investments of both individuals and businesses.

2. A fast-paced industry
As an Investment Associate, you will need to advise clients both individuals and companies on what to do with their money. One day you might be helping a fashion designer, and the next day, you might be helping a company raise funds for an innovative app. With each day being different from the previous, investments can be affected by global changes, weather conditions, and even human emotions. So, you have to keep coming up with investment strategies that direct the funds of your clients in the most profitable direction.

Since the position is in demand by companies like Goldman Sachs, Citi Bank, and JP Morgan, candidates can earn from 100K to 500K in the UAE each year based on their expertise and qualifications.

3. The Hiring Outlook Is Bright
With so many different financial products, it’s no surprise that most industry analysts expect strong employment growth in the investment management field in the upcoming years. This field has much higher job prospects than the average for occupations, especially if you are tech-savvy and hone financial modeling skills.

4. Multiple Qualifications aren’t essential
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) qualification is all you need to enter and grow in the investment management industry.

Since the CFA program equips you with strong technical and analytical expertise in key areas of finance such as quantitative methods, financial reporting, investments analysis, and portfolio management, it offers you the skillset required to excel throughout your career.

4 tips to ace the ACCA strategic professional exams!

You have just finished the applied skills level and you’re wondering how Strategic Professional is going to be different. A comprehensive set of questions have been mentioned beneath to evaluate the most favorable qualification for an aspiring financial candidate.

Style of the exam

There is a definite change in style towards a much deeper application of knowledge and you need to add value when answering questions as the multiple-choice sections have been replaced with a case study approach.

Kaplan’s research shows a strong correlation between students that complete their practice tests and their pass rates and therefore, the secret exam technique at this level is lots of practice and tutor feedback.

Ethics Module

According to ACCA, students who complete the ethics module are 25% more likely to pass the SBL exam. Ideally, you should complete your Ethics and Professional Skills module before, or alongside, your first Strategic Professional paper to increase your chances of passing.

Strategic Professional (Essentials)

SBL & SBR are compulsory exams that require you to demonstrate professional skills that you wouldn’t have come across before such as communication, analysis, skepticism, and commercial acumen so again exam practice is key.

I would recommend you complete SBR before, or alongside, AAA because in SBR you learn about the accounting standards and in AAA you learn about auditing them.

Strategic Professional (Options)

For this tier, you must choose 2 papers between AFM, APM, ATX, and AAA. There’s no set combination, although students often select ATX with AAA and AFM with APM this is not compulsory.

If you liked FM you are likely to enjoy AFM as it builds on earlier knowledge and this is the same with AA and AAA, and others.

If you are working in practice you should do AAA but if you are working in the industry you may find AFM and or APM more useful.

Whatever you choose to do at the next sitting – good luck!

Do you have what it takes to become a CFO?

So, you want to be a CFO, but don’t know where to start. There are different certifications you could obtain to achieve your CFO dream but the CMA qualification is one of the few career choices that will help you significantly in your career and even help you achieve your dream of being a part of the c-suite.

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) qualification is often associated with the role of the CFO because it includes core topics such as financial management, strategic decision-making, and accounting.  As the global benchmark for auditors and financial experts, it offers candidates greater job security and a wider range of potential career opportunities, from financial controller to chief financial officer (CFO).

In fact, almost half of Robert Half’s employees report that accountants who hold the CMA certificate can expect entry-level salaries that are above the market average. Investopedia also recently profiled a finance chief who recognized his CMA certification for the decision-making skills that helped propel his career and guided his company through the recession.

If you want to be one of the young CFO’s in the industry, start gaining actual CFO experience instead of waiting for a promotion. Start thinking about how you will take decisions as a CFO, the impact of your decisions, and build a network that will be useful to you. By building a career at an early age, you will be able to gain the practical experience required to communicate effectively, formulate goals and be ready when your dream job comes.


Here are some questions that will help you plan your CFO journey:

Do you need strong analytical and digital skills?

CFOs are expected to analyze data in a manner that they can relate important information and help make executive-level decisions. More and more, CFOs are dependent on innovative software for data analysis. Therefore, CFOs will also be expected to understand blockchains and how blockchain-based solutions will impact finance and accounting.

Is it Hard to be a CFO?

A CFO is the highest (and highest paid) finance position in a company. It can come with a significant set of responsibilities, not limited to making strategic decisions that impact all employees. While it can be stressful, it can also be immensely rewarding and lucrative. If you have the ambition, it’s well worth the effort.

What does a CFO do?

The common responsibilities of the CFO include preparing the annual reports of a company, making capital expenditure decisions, reporting and evaluating financial performance as well as managing financial risks of the company.

What degree does a CFO need?

While an MBA degree is a very popular one, it is too generic in nature. It will give you a general idea about how business is to be done and also about the basic concepts of finance. However, it is too broad-based and the syllabus of most MBA programs across the world does not contain many financial concepts which are critical to performing the role as a CFO.