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CFA After ACA

Hi, 
I have my case study for the ACA coming up in July. I did Business and Economics at university, and have always enjoyed finance. In the long-term, I want to become a CFO (ambitious/possibly unrealistic, I know). I was wondering whether or not people think having the CFA in addition to the ACA would help in achieving this goal long-term? Or after you have something like the ACA, is it mainly experience, networking etc that determines how quickly you can progress? 

I appreciate it's quite a broad question, but if anyone has any insight, it would be greatly appreciated.
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  • justingjusting Sunnyvale CAPosts: 11 Associate
    quick intro: I've been around this forum a while and passed with 300hours as a guide, never commented, but have now seen three threads in a row very relevant to me so here I am. I'm a CFO at a tech startup (small one), have been so for the past 3 years or so. Here are some points from my experience that might help:
    • I don't have a CPA or an official accounting degree - my past work experience as a research analyst helps cover that area. Accounting knowledge is very important, but the specific qualifications may not necessarily be, it really depends on the board and CEO's personal biases.
    • Finance experience and networking goes further than any qualification.
    • It's a lot easier/faster to get hired as a CFO outside of the finance industry.
    • CFO is not necessarily unrealistic, it all depends on the scale of the company you join. If you're not getting much success, look for smaller companies and if you help them grow well, you would have proven yourself and moving up to larger companies becomes easier.
    • Small startups CFO responsibilities are mainly budget/cashflow management and fund-raising. CFA helps the practicality of the first one and your credentials in the second. When interviewing you will mainly get assessed on your ability to fund-raise, so again connections and experience matter.
    Overall, just on credibility, I would rank MBA and CFA above accounting qualifications.
    dtbetter
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