Certifications in the finance and accounting industry matter. They make you more desirable to employers and open the door to new opportunities. The Canadian financial sector has witnessed a proliferation of designations and credentials, making the need for specialized financial professionals rampant. Getting certified, even later in your career, shows your commitment to continued education, a growth mindset, and that you are serious about a finance profession.
In the spirit of back-to-school season, here’s our list of top finance certifications for aspiring and existing F&A professionals wanting to take their careers one step ahead:
1. Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA)
CFAs work with investments, institutional money management and stock analysis. To obtain a CFA designation, you must have a minimum of three years related work experience and complete three qualifying exams. These exams will test you on topics such as Equity investments, Quantitative methods, Corporate finance, Financial reporting and so on. To obtain and maintain your CFA credentials, you must be an active member of the CFA Institute.
2. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
If you would like to venture out as a professional financial planner in any of the Canadian provinces, you must be licensed as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) of Canada. The four main components to the CFP certification are Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics. The CFP exam cover topics such as Risk management, Finance principles, Tax and Investment planning.
The CMA certification has been the global benchmark for management accountants and financial professionals. CMAs are strategic thinkers with the ability to convert data into dialogue. According to IMA’s 2020 Global Salary Survey, 63 per cent of CMA professionals benefit from salary advantage globally. The CMA exam includes two parts covering 12 competencies. To qualify for this credential, candidates must have a professional accounting degree with approved years of work experience and a membership with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).
The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation is globally recognized in the internal audit and compliance industry. The CIA exam focuses on risk management, auditing processes, fraud risk, governance and business controls.