A Certified Financial Analyst
With increasing sophistication of corporate sector, financial management has become complex and needs specialization. Apart from Chartered Accountants and Cost and Work Accountants, there are other functionaries named Financial Analysts who are involved with financial analysis. A Certified Financial Analyst is comparatively new in the field.
The CFA programme is provided by Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI). The course is meant for 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 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.
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.
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.
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.