CA, CS or CFA: which One is Easier to Crack

One of the most common questions amongst newly graduated students is what to choose after B.Com. Some common questions that most students ask are 'how to do CA after 12th' and 'how to become a CFA'. The reason is that students often prefer CA, CS, or CFA but get confused about which is better.

All three career options are considered highly prestigious and in great demand. To pursue a career as a CA, CS, or CFA, you need to obtain a license from the central authority, and only then can you start working in either of these profiles. Are you also confused regarding which is easier to crack, CS, CFA, or CA exam? Read on to learn more about qualifying for these exams.

CA, CS or CFA: which one is easier to crack

Chartered Accountant (CA)

The chartered accountant career path is one of the best options for students with a commerce background. This is why many students search for how to become CA after 10th online or ask their teachers and parents about it as soon as they opt for commerce.

The chartered accountant profession is regulated by ICAI and is an accounting profession. The job profile of a chartered accountant includes dealing with tax dues, investments, account details, business management, and general management of any organisation and helping them solve accounting-related disputes.

To become a chartered accountant, students need to qualify for the CA exam. The different stages in the CA exam are:

  • CA Foundation
  • CA Intermediate
  • CA Final

To become a CA, the first step after clearing +2 is to qualify for the Common Proficiency Test and apply for the Accounting Technician Course (ATC). This exam features questions related to various CA subjects. Students who clear CPT can directly enrol themselves for ATC. Candidates who have formerly applied for Professional Education (Course II) can also directly apply for ATC.

Students must then score at least 200 marks in their CPT to register for the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC) programme. The programme includes seven courses for 100 marks each. Students must score at least 40 marks in individual subjects and above 50% aggregate to get exempted from reappearing for the exam. CA course duration after BCom is a minimum of three years.

Students are also suggested to take up an internship for almost three years after they have cleared the IPCC programme. During the last six months of the internship, students can appear for the final CA exam, after which they will become certified Chartered Accountants.

Chartered Finance Analyst (CFA)

The chartered Finance Analyst (CFA) career path is also popular, especially for students with a commerce background. With the CFA qualifications, graduates can apply with national and big multinational companies. It is an accounting profession recognised internationally by central institutions. CFA passing percentage in India is quite low, making it a tough nut to crack. But that means a career pathway as a CFA will fetch a handsome income.

This career path is considered one of India's toughest and most challenging courses after the CA foundation exam. The job opportunities for a student opting for a CFA course are:

  • Credit analyst
  • Auditor
  • Risk analyst
  • Portfolio manager
  • Research analyst
  • Relationship manager
  • Investment banker
  • Wealth management and planning

The CFA course has three levels - I, II, and III. The level I exam is conducted twice a year, and Level II and III are conducted once a year. Students who have completed their graduation and have work experience of at least four years are eligible to apply for this course.

Company Secretary (CS)

This career pathway is open to students from any educational background. A company secretary is responsible for ensuring conformation with the regulatory, statutory, and legal requirements of the company and employees. A CS looks after the administration of a company and whether all the decisions are correctly implemented.

A company secretary is the in-house legal advisor responsible for advising senior management to implement all the board decisions. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) regulates the job of a company secretary. There are executive programs and professional programs that are crucial to qualify to become a company secretary (CS).

Students can opt for the foundation program if they want to apply as a CS after completing their +2. Executive programmes can be opted for by students who have completed their graduation. After completing the executive programme, students can opt for a professional programme. After qualifying, students become eligible for jobs like legal advisor, chief administrative officer, corporate planner, and many more.

 The different stages in the CS exam are:

  • CS Foundation Programme
  • CS Executive Programme
  • CS Professional Programme

Difference between CA, CS, and CFA

Becoming a chartered accountant is among the most challenging career paths. It requires a minimum of five years of dedication towards this course and requires students to qualify for the CA exam on the first attempt. CA is also a very popular career path as compared to other options.

Becoming a CS is also a great career option for students nowadays, as national and multinational companies have started offering opportunities to company secretaries. The responsibilities of a CS are crucial for any company as they handle the company's administration and legal activities.

The CFA job field is one of the best options for candidates looking for a profession in investment banking and portfolio management. Although the CFA is challenging, students who clear the CA exam can easily qualify for the first level of this exam. The CFA profession is in high demand as there is an increase in the need for financial analysts and investment bankers nationally and globally.


CA is for students who want to make their career in tax and audits and who can invest their crucial years dedicated to this field. CFA is a field for aspirants interested in working as financial analysts or investment bankers. CS is a field for students of any subject background who want to work as relationship managers and legal advisors with companies. You may choose any of these as your career options.

You must access the best learning resources when preparing for the entrance exam for these professional courses. You must visit Physicswallah's website, which offers live classes, study notes, and other resources to help you improve your chances of clearing the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is CFA better or CA?

Ans. If the student is interested in audits and taxation, then CA is better. CFA is a better career option if the student is interested in analysis, investment banking, and portfolio management.

Q2. What is the time required to become a certified CA?

Ans. The minimum duration for a student to become a certified Chartered Accountant is five years.

Q3. Is the CFA exam hard to clear?

Ans. Yes, CFA consists of a few difficult topics that need more time than others.

Q4. What is the job profile of a CS?

Ans. A CS has the responsibility to manage the administration department of the company. A CS advises senior management to implement the board decisions properly and is the company's in-house legal advisor.

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