Chartered Financial Analyst

12/12/2014 Career

Introduction



The economic liberalisation has
brought drastic changes in the
corporate environment. Specialization
has become, the need of the hour.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
though is a relatively new field, it
has assumed significant importance in
the changing business scenario. Their
work primarily focuses on the
financial analysis. To meet the
changing requirements of the financial
sector, CFA programme has been
designed and conducted by various
Institutes. The programme is more of a
practitioner's course. It imparts
trainning in the fields of corporate
finance, investment management and
financial services. The programme is
better suited for executives who want
to enhance their skills in the field
of finance.



Nature of Work



The CFA programme imparts enough
knowledge and expertise in the finance
fields and those having undergone this
programme have an edge over others.
The areas of work for CFAs are as
follows.



CORPORATE FINANCE: Necessary technical
skills and knowledge imparted in the
CFA programme in fields of corporate
finance, like Indian Financial System,
Financial Accounting, Management
Accounting, Financial Management,
Advanceed Financial Management, and
International Management adds to the
advantage of CFAs in disposing of
their duties and responsibilities.



INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT: Investment
management is an analytical subject.
To manage investments, requires
thorough knowledge of the subject. The
CFA programme takes care of all these
needs and covers important aspects of
the subject including, Economics,
Quantitative Techniques, Economic
Legislations for the Securities
Industry and Security Evaluation
Techniques.



FINANCIAL SERVICES: The CFA programme
being a specialization programme in
finance helps CFAs to foray into
financial services like Leasing, Hire
Purchasing, Project Planning, Issue
Management, Credit Rating, Venture
Capital etc.



Personality



Unlike other finance and accounts
related professions like Chartered
Accountancy, Cost Accountancy, MBAs
and Company Secretaryship, the very
basic requirement for a CFA is to have
good numerical ability. CFAs should
have a logical approach so that the
facts and figures are interpreted
accurately. The work involves critical
analysis of data, therefore a
methodical approach helps in efficient
handling of matters. Awarenesss about
the economic conditions and up to date
knowledge of the financial policies
and legislations are also important
for them.



Professional Courses



The CFA programme is conducted by
Institute of Chartered Financial
Analysts of India (ICFAI). The course
targets two broad groups, namely
Executives and Graduates. Candidates
seeking admission to the CFA programme
have to appear for an admission test.
The test is based on verbal and
quantitative reasoning which seeks to
test the aptitude of the candidates
for professional studies in Financial
Analysis.



The course is divided into 4 modules
namely Foundation, Preliminary, Inter
and Final. Graduates and students in
the final year of their Bachelor's
degree in any discipline are eligible
for admission to the programme.
However, Commissioned defence
personnel having 5 years of experience
can pursue the CFA programme even if
they do not have an undergraduate
degree. Certain categories like CAs,
ICWAs, MBAs and Postgraduates are
exempted from the foundation module of
the course. The following segment
highlights the different modules and
thier subjects.



FOUNDATION COURSE: This is a
beginner's course and except for the
exempted categories, everybody else
has to enroll to this module to start
with the CFA programme. The
examination for the module can be
taken in the following subjects, after
3 months of enrollment.



Elements of Financial and Management
Accounting

Basics of Corporate Finance

Essentials of Investment and Tax
Planning

Statistics of Financial Applications




PRELIMINARY LEVEL: After qualifying
the Foundation examination, the next
step is to qualify the Preliminary
level. The preliminary level is
divided into two Groups namely Group A
and B. Group A examination can be
taken up after 6 months of enrollment
and Group B examination can be taken
after 12 months of enrollment. The
subjects for both the groups are as
follows.



GROUP A

Financial Accounting

Financial Management



GROUP B

Quantitative Methods Economics



INTER LEVEL: On clearing the
Preliminary level, students can take
up the Inter examination. The Inter
level has two Groups namely Group C
and D. Examination for Group C can be
taken 6 months after passing the
Preliminary examination and Group D
examination can be taken after 12
months of passing the Preliminary
examination. The subjects for the
Groups are as follows.



GROUP C

Economic Legislation

Management Accounting



GROUP D

Security Evaluation

Project Appraisal Planning and Control




FINAL LEVEL: The last module is the
Final level. This is also divided into
two Groups namely Group E and F.
Examination for Group E can be taken 6
months after passing the Inter
examination and examination for Group
F can be 12 months taken after passing
Inter examination. The subjects of the
groups are as follows.



GROUP E

Advanced Financial Management

Financial Services



GROUP F

Investment Management

Indian Financial System

International Financial Management



Institutions



The Institute of Chartered Financial
Analysts of India (ICFAI) situated at
Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Andhara
Pradesh, INDIA, conducts the CFA
programme which is a 3 years and 3
months Postgraduate programme. The
course can be done as a distance
education course. Contact courses are
organised throughout the country to
facilitate distance education.



CFA programme can be done as a regular
campus course for 2 years. Many
business schools also offer this
course. These are advertised from time
to time in the newspapers and the
entrance tests are conducted
throughout the country. Some of
Institutes where CFA programme can be
pursued are as follows.



Birla Institute of Technology and
Science, Pilani.


Narsee Monjee Institute of Management,
Mumbai.


International Management Institute,
New Delhi.


SP Jain Institute of Management and
Research, Mumbai.


Xavier Institute of Management,
Bhubaneshwar, etc.




Career Prospects



The openings available to CFA degree
holders are in Banking, Insurance,
Corporate Sectors and Finance, Leasing
Companies. Even organisations like
Railways, Reserve Bank of India and
Financial Institutions like ICICI,
IDBI, IFCI and UTI have given due
recognition to the CFA programme. Most
ICFAI graduates receive offers for
challengimg professional positions
with attractive emoluments. The career
prospects are as bright as of any
other in the field of finance. Fresh
graduates with a degree from ICFAI
generally start as executive trainees
in the financial sector. After gaining
experience, they can even go on to,
head their departments.

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