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Everything you need to know about finance professional course in India  

Published : March 23, 2019

Everything you need to know about finance professional course in India  

Presently, there are plenty of options available to a person who wants to make a career in the field of finance. But, sometimes much valuable time gets wasted in exploring these options and gathering vital information. So in order to make things easy for you, we have studied all the possibilities. Besides, we also gathered all the essential information and summed it up in this blog. In light of this, it is an excellent start to choose a finance professional course and get certified as a finance professional in India.

Nevertheless, riding a success ladder in the chosen path becomes less stressful if you have the right certification. Not to mention, in India, three premier institutes offer career choice in the field of finance and accountancy.

Chartered accountant – finance professional course offer by the ICAI

So far, the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India has a global recognization globally as one of the premier accounting body. What’s more, since its incorporation, it has been maintaining high education standards and stringent examination practices. Given that, they conduct exams biennially in the month of May and November each year.

Seeing that, to get a CA award you will need to clear all the three groups of examinations, namely

  • Foundation (CPT)
  • Intermediate Group
  • Final Group

At first, the eligibility to write foundation examination is to clear the 12th class exams from the recognized board. Secondly, the eligibility to write intermediate examination is either after clearing the foundation exams or by completing the eight months course. Then again, to be eligible to write the exams for the final group, the candidate must clear all the papers of the Intermediate group. He must also complete the Article ship.

Cost accountant – ICAI finance professional course

It is another premier institute of India. Formerly it was known as Institute of Cost and Works Accountant of India (ICWAI). Unquestionably it imparts education in the field of cost and works accountancy. Not to mention the CWA course is specifically designed to prepare the candidate to be the financial leader of the enterprise.

CWA exams are also conducted biennially in June and December. CWA exams are also divided into three groups:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Final

Firstly, to be eligible to write the foundation exam the candidate must have passed the 10th board exams or the equivalent from the recognized board. In like manner, to be eligible to write the intermediate exam a candidate must

  • Firstly, pass the 12th board exams or equivalent by the recognized board
  • Secondly, clear the foundation course


  • Thirdly, the candidate must be a graduate in any discipline apart from the field of the Fine Arts

Lastly, to be eligible to write the exam for the final group of CWA exam, a candidate must have cleared all the papers of the CWA intermediate group.

Company secretary – ICSI finance professional course

Identically, another premier institute to add to the list is ICSI. Being that, this institute is the recognized body to regulate and develop the profession of company secretaries of India. Another key point is that the institute awarded the certificate and bestow the designation of CS to all those who qualify to become the member of the institute.

By and large, the institute conducts the exams twice yearly, in the month of June and December. In addition, the curriculum is divided into

  • Foundation Level
  • Executive Program
  • Professional Program

Foundation Level is for the candidates who wish to enter into this field after 10+2 exams Graduate from all streams except Fine Arts is eligible to write exams for Executive Program. After the successful completion of the executive program, a candidate is eligible to write exams for the professional program of the ICSI Institute.

Apart from the above Indian Institute, there are foreign bodies that offer certification and membership in different programs. These professional courses are recognized globally and are of high standards in the field of finance. Here are some of the professional courses which a candidate can choose as a designated career path:

Certified public accountant course by AICPA

Certified Public Accountant is the designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. CPAs are professionals who work as strategic business advisors and decision makers. They offer consultancy services in areas like taxation and accounting. To be designated as CPA, the candidate must pass the CPA examinations. CPA examinations consist of four sections, namely

  • Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  • Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  • Regulation (REG)

Duration of these four sections is of four hours each. A candidate must pass all these four sections within eighteen months. Passing requirement is to score a minimum of 75 in each part. Further, the test schedule for CPA exams is as follows –

  • January 1- March 10
  • April 1- June 10
  • July 1-September 10
  • October 1 – December 10

As a candidate, you can choose from any of the given above dates. To be eligible to write CPA examination, A candidate must hold a bachelor degree in Accounting, Finance or Business. The following are the career options for CPA –

  • They can move to the executive position such as Chief Financial Officers
  • Qualified CPA professionals are known for their roles in taxation
  • They can choose their specialization field from any one of the following:-
    • Auditing
    • Bookkeeping
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Managerial Accounting
    • Information Technology

The certified financial analyst – financial professional course by CFA Institute, USA

The CFA is the designation conferred upon the candidate by the CFA Institute, USA. Certified financial analyst designation is earned by clearing all the three levels of the CFA curriculum Program. The course content covers a rigorous curriculum that includes topics related to Equity, Fixed Income, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Derivatives, and Real Estate to name a few.

This Program equips a candidate adept at decision making by incorporating reasoning and judgment skills in them. CFA exam is conducted on three levels, viz., level 1, 2 and 3.  All three levels are of six hours duration each. Career options for CFA are plentiful. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Equity Research Analyst
  • Fund Managers
  • Wealth Managers
  • CFOs
  • Risk Consultants
  • Corporate Financial Analyst

The responsibilities of CFA professional vary with varying roles. Few of the essential responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating the current and historical financial data
  • Interpretation of the financial data regarding stocks, companies or industries and taking a sound investment decision.
  • Evaluating the value of the company
  • Preparing written reports
  • Studying the business and economic trends in detail

A financial analyst professional must have the following skills to work efficiently in the sphere:

  • Excellent modeling skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills

A candidate must fulfill the following requirements to earn a certified financial analyst designation:

  • He needs to clear all three levels of the institutes’ examination
  • The candidate must have four years of professional work experience
  • He should be a member of the CFA Institute

ACCA finance professional course 

The ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)qualified professionals have a flourishing career in accountancy. ACCA certificate is widely acceptable all across the globe. To become an ACCA member, the candidate has to clear all fourteen papers.

The curriculum covers a wide range of topics. It includes business ethics, law, economics and technical subjects such as auditing and financial reporting. These fourteen papers focus on four main areas, viz., Knowledge, Skills, Essentials, and Options.

A candidate has ten years to pass these fourteen papers. The average time taken by the candidates is three to four years. The good thing about ACCA qualification is that if the candidate has some relevant degree, he gets an exemption for some of the exams. As a Chartered Certified Accountant, the role is diversified. Some of the typical roles and responsibilities include

  • Preparing the financial statements, business plans, and budgets for management
  • To review, implement and adopt new and existing financial systems and controls
  • Produce and analyze annual and monthly accounts
  • Play advisory roles to the client, advising them on the areas of improvement
  • Negotiating the business terms with an associated organization such as suppliers

CIMA finance professional course

Chartered Institutes of Management Accountant is based in the UK. It offers training and qualification in management accounting and other related subjects. With the advent of technology and globalization, business has become more complicated than ever. It confers chartered management accountant, on completion.

The traditional accounting practices have evolved. The role of the accountant has diversified. The area of an accountant is no more limited to the books of accounts. Apart from the accountancy business, the accountant is also working as the manager. With this newly added responsibility, it makes all the sense that an accountant is required to develop his managerial skill set.

Management accounting aids the managers and accountants to have in-depth knowledge of cost and operations. It provides solutions to the managers to help them reduce cost and improves efficiency. To become a member of CIMA, a candidate must

  • Have three years of relevant work experience
  • Pass 12 exams (9 objective type exams and three case studies)

A candidate can apply for the exemption of some of the exams if they hold a relevant degree. The syllabus of CIMA is in three parts and a total of 12 exams. These 12 exams comprise of Nine objective tests and three case studies.

Duration of each objective test is 90 minutes. These are computer-based tests. The candidate can choose any date to write these exams. Duration of the case study exams is three hours. You will get a chance to choose to write the case study exam four times a year. The candidate can choose any of the 5000 Pearson VUE assessment center worldwide to write the exam.

Financial Risk Management by GARP

GARP (Global Association of Risk Professionals) offers ample career opportunities to the candidate. Some of the career positions that are available to the candidate are as follows:

  • Head of operational risk
  • Chief risk officer
  • Head of operational risk
  • Senior Risk Analyst

There is no minimum eligibility requirement to write financial risk management (FRM) exams. Even an undergraduate (final year student) can write part 1 of the FRM exam. On completing the FRM part 1 exam, the student is eligible to write the FRM part 2 exam. To get FRM designation candidate must

  • pass both the exams (FRM 1 AND FRM 2)
  • have a minimum of two years of experience in the relevant field

In due time, the candidate must submit the proof of two years of working experience with the institute within five years after passing the exams. If the candidate fails to do so, the pass status of the exam no longer holds valid. In this case, the candidate will have to re-write the exam again to earn the FRM designation. The detailed curriculum of FRM enables the candidate to get in-depth knowledge on the following:

  • Construction of the efficient portfolios
  • Fundamental of Asset pricing models
  • Enterprise risk management frameworks
  • Data Quality Management
  • Sound understanding of derivatives
  • Valuation of securities and risk models

Shortly, FRM as a career choice helps the candidate to carve a niche for themselves. As a matter of fact, the risk is inherent, and the capacity to handle the uncertainty in business can open multiple doors for the candidate.

Certified Quantitative Finance by CQF Institute, London

Another unexplored career in the field of Finance is CQF (certified quantitative finance). Undeniably, it is a certified professional course certified by CQF Institute in Financial Engineering.

At this point, it is a benchmark qualification in the financial services industry. As the global financial market is ever changing so the curriculum of Quant finance updates in every quarter to include the latest market practices.

Moreover, you can do this course at a flexible time and online. However, you need to complete the whole course in three years.

On the positive side, in India, NISM (National Institute of Securities Market) offers a one-year full-time postgraduate diploma in quantitative finance. So far, at NISM, mostly the industry experts and the subject experts conduct the quantitative finance course. To this end, you will get a unique opportunity to learn the theoretical and practical aspect of financial engineering.

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