Advantages of Online Finance Classes

Best Online Course in Finance

In a world where everyone is forced to stay home, the benefits of online education is apparent. But what if we still had a choice in the matter? Then, is online education beneficial? In this article, we at Orbit Institutes take a look at the advantages of online finance classes, irrespective of the pandemic.

International Collaboration: To begin with, Orbit Institutes works closely with a number of international organizations, the largest being the Professional Accounting Supplementary School or PASS in Canada. This institute is a highly acclaimed CPA review provider. They help us train Indian students to work and live in Canada. International collaborations such as this would not have been quite so easy without online classes.

Easier to Attend: How many times have you been late for class, due to the traffic, weather or some other such issue? And then how much do you have to stretch yourself in order to cover up what you have missed? Quite painful, isn’t it? With online finance classes, all these problems go away, allowing you to focus on what’s important; your syllabus.

Set your Own Pace: Some students grasp new concepts quickly. Others need more time. Learning in a traditional classroom, means that you have to keep up with the majority of your peers. With online classes however, you have the option of going back to your lectures and understanding them better.

Set your Own Timetable: Many of our students also have jobs. Between work, family and social responsibilities, there really isn’t much time for studying. Online finance classes help students set their own timetables, allowing them to balance the pressures of work, home and studies.

Focused Interactions with Professors: Remember what it was like in a physical classroom? You’ve been attending lectures all day. A few minutes before a class is scheduled to end, one of your peers gets into a long discussion with the professor. You can neither focus on the discussion, nor can you move to the next class. Similarly, those participating in the discussion may not get a detailed response from the professor.

With online finance classes, these problems are non-existent. Yes the professor will still adhere to the allotted time. However, usually students have the option of emailing their queries, or sometimes having a one-on-one chat with the professor. This gives the professor time to respond in detail, and the student more clarity on the subject.

No Distractions: How many times have you been more interested in something that is happening outside the classroom? Or even if you are completely focused, your classmates create a distraction. It happens even to the best of us.

With online finance classes, there are much fewer distractions. You get to create your own environment, free of distractions. You can put on a set of headphones, lock yourself in a room and focus better. Though there is a possibility of your online classmates creating distractions, the probability of it happening is far less. Also online forums do not encourage digressions from the topic at hand.

A Comfortable Environment: One thing the lockdown has taught us, is that every professional, irrespective of status, success or power has a dirty little secret; most of the time, they hate being formally dressed! The same applies to students. Studying from the comfort of your home allows you to wear whatever you want. And most people love it.

But that’s not all. Not having to be physically present at a particular location, allows you to customize your environment as you like. Which means, if you focus better with music, play it; if being outdoors helps you concentrate, sit on the park bench; if you’re hungry, grab a snack. With online finance classes you can customize your environment to suit your method of studying.

Cost Effectiveness: The paradox we all face is that sometimes studying finance, can burn a hole in your own finances! On the bright side, at least you’ll know how to recover your money :). Jokes apart, quality education can be expensive and many students may not be able to afford it. With online finance classes, this burden is greatly reduced.

When you physically attend a class, you are paying for more than the course. Your course fee also includes infrastructure costs such as meals, electricity, building maintenance and so on and so forth. Apart from that you pay for your own expenses such as commuting.

Online finance courses don’t just reduce all these additional expenses, they also help save on time. And as we all know, time is money.

Any finance course can be rigorous. And doing it well opens up a world of opportunities for you.  At Orbit Institutes, we believe that online education has huge potential. Our US & Canadian CPA courses are available online. Contact us for registrations.

A word of warning though, before we sign off; remember, any form of education is only as good as the effort you put into it. Self-discipline is the key to gaining the maximum benefit from online finance courses. Stay home and study hard!

Top Skills For A CPA & What They Will Help You Achieve

Certified Public Accountant

Certified Public Accountants or CPAs are highly respected professionals. This group of elite accountants don’t just earn well, they are also considered to be extremely ethical in their work. They have earned the respect and admiration of society as a whole. However, as with any other career path there are some CPAs who are good and others who are considered great. So, how does one stand out in the crowd? What skills can help a CPA achieve the next level of professional respect? We at Orbit Institutes take a look.

Organizational & Time Management Skills: CPAs need to have immense information about their clients. They also need to be able to access this information quickly and efficiently. The less time they spend on accessing the information, the more time they can spend on research and strategy. Time is of essence in the world of accounting. Businesses make important decisions on the basis of the information a CPA provides. Information received too late can impact the future of the company. Therefore a good CPA should have excellent organizational & time management skills.

An Eye for Detail: This is perhaps the most obvious skill for a CPA or any accountant to have. However, students should assess themselves early on and understand if they truly possess this skill or not. CPAs need to read numbers and information in detail, all the time. Even if one has an eye for detail, they need to see if they can maintain it consistently.

Communication Skills: Those who believe that accountants stay buried behind a stack of papers, not having to communicate with the rest of the world; cannot be more wrong.  CPAs need to communicate effectively not just with their clients but also with other departments within a business. CPAs must therefore be able to explain financial details in a clear & simple manner to non-finance professionals. For this reason they must have both effective presentation & communication skills.

Leadership Skills: All qualified CPAs have accountancy skills but very few have leadership skills. CPAs are required to drive financial decisions for companies. They must therefore gain the trust of their employers/clients. Leadership skills allow CPAs to think strategically & implement decisions effectively with the rest of the team. Many CPAs are known to take an additional course in management or a related field.

Technical Skills: Almost all accounting is now conducted electronically. While CPAs don’t need to be tech wizards, they do need be extremely comfortable using a variety of accounting software. Businesses are constantly changing the software they use, and a CPA today needs to be able to adapt to these changes. Advanced Microsoft Excel skills are a must since this software is used almost globally.

An Understanding of Business: Companies range in size, structure & business model. A good CPA needs to have a strong grasp on how different businesses operate. Only then will they be able to provide useful financial guidance. Additionally, as CPAs grow in their careers, top-management further relies on them to make financial decisions at the macro-level. Their understanding of the business at the micro-level will help them gain perspective and give valuable insights at the macro-level.

The Ability to be Creative: Though, creativity is not something people usually associate with the practice of accounting; it is extremely important. Accountancy is a dynamic field. Almost every challenge is unique. While CPAs are usually very comfortable with structure, they need to have the ability to view problems differently. Creative CPAs are more adept at embracing change & providing clients with innovative solutions.

Abreast With the Times: The world of finance is consistently changing in a variety of ways be it legally or operationally. As with any other profession, a good CPA needs to be aware of these changes at all times. Most CPAs spend a large amount of time attending seminars and additional courses. Often employers encourage their CPAs to study the latest trends.

As you can see, being a good CPA requires an individual to go beyond their curriculum. One needs to have a proactive approach & the desire for continued learning. We at Orbit Institutes work towards providing students with an environment where personal development flourishes.

The PASS – Orbit Tie-up & How it Benefits Indian CA’s Applying for the Canadian CPA

Canadian CPA For Indian CAs

For many years now, Canada has been one of the most popular migration destinations for Indians. This is largely due to Canada’s immigrant-friendly policies and lucrative job opportunities. Since 2018, the doors of opportunity have been further opened to Indian Chartered Accountants. Canada-based, Professional Accounting Supplementary School (PASS) has tied with Orbit Institutes in India to help Indian CA’s apply for the Canadian CPA. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how this arrangement works. 

Who Are These People?  

A global citizen and a recognised accountant in at least three countries, Krishan Sharma brought the Becker CPA Review to India in 1997. Today he runs Orbit Institutes which trains students for various accounting courses and has 12 branches across the country. 

Ira Walfish (CA, CPA, MBA) & Michael Levi (1987 UFE Ontario Gold Medallist, CA, CPA, MBA) worked in the audit department of reputed firms for a decade, before coming together to setup PASS in the year 1995. PASS is also responsible for the PricewaterhouseCoopers UFE & CFE programs. 

Why Have They Come Together? 

In 2018, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) regarding reciprocal membership arrangements. This move opened up a number of employment opportunities for Indians choosing to qualify themselves to work in Canada.  

PASS & Orbit have joined forces to help Indian students take advantage of this situation. In fact, Orbit Institutes is the only institute in the country to offer students the Canadian CPA course. 

How Does the PASS- Orbit Program Work? 

The PASS-Orbit program is designed specifically for Indian students. Lectures are delivered online & students have access to the recordings of these lectures as well. Since, the Canadian CPA is a part-time course; students have the flexibility of choosing when they wish to study. When a student registers for the course, they are given a physical binder of study material as well. 

Indian students can study for the Canadian CPA while in India itself. They only need to be in Canada to write the final exam called the CFE or Common Final Exam. The CFE is usually held twice a year, in May & September. 

What Advantage Does an Indian Student Gain from the PASS-Orbit Program? 

The MOU between the two countries already puts Indian students at an advantage by letting them directly appear for the CFE. Canadian students on the other hand need to complete two Capstones before attempting the CFE.  

The Capstones are designed to test a student’s ability to work in groups, make presentations & write case studies. Even though Indians don’t need to do them, the PASS-Orbit syllabus covers them. This ensures that Indian students are in no way behind their Canadian counterparts.  

Capstone 1 is addressed in a 3 hour live session where students are given a summary of what is covered. Students are also marked on practice cases. Capstone 2 is built into the course. Those opting for this are advised to purchase additional Capstone 2 material. For those who absolutely cannot afford it, there is a cheaper program, which doesn’t cover capstones at all.  

Overall the PASS-Orbit course for Indian students is far more comprehensive & economical than what is offered to Canadian students. 

What Disadvantages Does an Indian Student Have When Attempting the Canadian CPA?  

Indian students are required to have a basic understanding of Canadian Taxation. This is something that they may not be familiar with initially. Apart from the IFRS, they also need to be familiar with the ASPE. 

In terms of the writing the exam, Indian students need to focus their practice on case- writing, which is quite different from what they may be used to studying. The PASS-Orbit course offers students a number of study-techniques to help them familiarize themselves with case-writing. 

How Difficult Is It to Immigrate to Canada? 

As a qualified Canadian CPA, it is not actually that difficult to immigrate to Canada. Having this degree adds points to your immigration process. Additionally, under the Federal Skills Workers Stream (FSW) a Canadian CPA is allowed express entry, which takes around 7 months to process. 

Also, if you don’t want to live in Canada, keep in mind that the Canadian CPA designation is also recognized in Europe, Asia & the Caribbean. 

So, are you ready to explore new horizons? If you’re still on the fence, watch this introductory video , where the founders themselves of both PASS & Orbit Institutes give you more details of what’s in store for you. 

What it takes to be a Management Accountant

Skills Needed For A Management Accountant

The world of finance is vast and for a beginner, quite overwhelming, to say the least. In this series, we at Orbit Institutes take you through some of the finance professions out there, so you can make an informed choice. Today we’ll explore what it takes to be a management accountant.

What do management accountants do?

Have you ever dreamed of being a chief executive officer or a chief financial officer of a company? Then your interest may lie in management accounting.

Management accountants work across multiple fields and across all areas of an organization. They essentially advise management on the financial implications of their decisions. They also suggest ways for the company to improve their bottom line and manage financial risks.

On a day to day basis a management accountant may supervise the work of other junior accountants in the company. In smaller firms however they may take on the tasks of their juniors as well, becoming a one stop shop for all the financial needs of the company. They also take charge of ensuring that the company follows all compliance laws. Some management accountants may have a specific area of financial expertise such as taxation . Depending on the requirement a company may have hired them keeping their specialisation in mind.

Who needs management accountants?

It is only natural for one to wonder about the potential of the scope of work available in a certain career path. And those entering management accountancy are in luck!

Management accountants are hired by all kinds of companies be it private firms, large enterprises, government agencies and so on and so forth. They are also not restricted by sector.

How do management accountants differ from public accountants?

A management accountant usually holds a job with one company at a time unlike public accountants who can advise multiple clients at a go. The other difference is that public accountants are usually required to focus on certain aspects such as auditing or taxation, as opposed to the overall view that management accountants are expected to have.

Skills required to be a management accountant

Fundamentally all management accountants are required to have an aptitude for both numbers and business. This includes a foundation in basic accounting along with some amount of economics.

Communication skills

As with any other management role, soft skills are a must. A good management accountant will not just have strong communication skills but will also have great interpersonal skills. The person must be good at collaborating both within and outside of the department. Very often the people a management accountant deals with may not have a background in finance.at these junctures the management accountant needs to be able to summarise and simplify their data, without losing its important aspects.

Big picture thinking

one of the most important skills for a management accountant is the ability to see the overall picture. How would one decision impact the company over time? How do current market trends affect your business and what are the factors that drive your business as a whole? Being able to see beyond the numbers and answer these questions to create and modify strategies is what management accountants need to excel in.

While the above maybe the primary skills required, a management accountant also needs to have excellent problem-solving and analytical skills apart from other things.

Career advancement

As with any other career one needs to begin at the bottom and climb upwards. For a management accountant this usually means starting as a staff accountant or an analyst and growing from there. At mid-level one maybe a senior accountant, accounting manager or even a senior internal auditor. To display true growth in this field one must work on projects that utilise their decision making skills. That could involve volunteering for extra projects and consistently upgrading one’s skills and demonstrating expertise in multiple areas.

Management accountancy is a highly sought after and lucrative career. We at Orbit Institutes work towards helping budding accountants achieve the professional certification of a certified management accountant (CMA). This certification is awarded by the institute of management accountants (IMA) and is a must for anyone aspiring to become a management accountant.

How to Choose the Best Finance Course

Best Finance Course After Graduation

For those who enjoy playing with numbers, finance is perhaps one of the most high-paying, prestigious fields available. Many who have the aptitude don’t necessarily acquire the qualification. However, given that finance is a highly competitive field as well, a simple qualification can take your career a long way. We at Orbit Institutes guide you on how to choose the best finance course for yourself.

Where to Begin

The world of finance is vast. You could join the banking sector, insurance, stocks, investment banking and so on and so forth. So, to begin choosing your finance course first try and pin-point what aspect of finance you enjoy the most. Once you have an idea of that, think about the kind of environment you would like to work in. Finance is required in every business, so you could choose to work in a multinational company, an NGO or even a start-up. Having answers to these two aspects will help you narrow down the kind of course you need to do.

How Far can You Afford to Go?

A finance qualification can be acquired both at the graduate and the post graduate level. However, they require a fair amount of time and money. Depending on how much you can spend initially, you will be able to decide how long you can realistically study for. Take for example if you are an undergraduate student. You could look towards earning a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as economics, accountancy etc., a diploma or even a professional certification. After that you could also think about doing a Master’s program. Your long-term goals will give you clarity on the path you need to take.

What to Look for In a Finance Course?

Now that you have a rough idea of what you want your career path to look like, you need to begin sifting through the courses available.

The Curriculum

Look out for courses that give you details of the curriculum you will study, such as those at the Orbit Institute. There are different courses for different levels. Some will cater to finance students others will be more for professionals and some will be for those who have never done anything related to finance at all. You need to go through the curriculum in detail to see what you stand to gain from the course.

The Duration of Study

Some choose to be full-time students while others study while they work. The course you choose should give you a rough idea of how much time you will need to put in. That way you can plan your studies without hampering other aspects of your life.

The Reputation of the Course

Who is conducting the course? What is the certification you will receive at the end of it? What do the alumni of the course say? As with anything else in life, you must do your research well before joining a course.

Are You The Right Fit For the Course?

Everybody learns differently and unfortunately any course you do will require you to pass a test at the end of it. So before jumping into a course (even if it interests you and serves your career goals), try and understand the format of the exam you will need to pass. Think about whether it is a format that is doable for you. Yes all exams are difficult and certainly you will be trained as per the format, but despite that, understand if you are suited to learning the way the course demands.

We hope this guide helps you choose a finance course that suits you. However, if you are still unsure, you could contact us and we will help guide you to a course you will enjoy and excel in. With carefully selected and continuously evaluated trainers, we are dedicated to success of every individual who walks through our doors. To know more visit our website.

Canada is Calling & Why Indians should Take Advantage of the Canadian CPA?

cpa canada calling indians

Stunning views, open spaces, free basic healthcare, high-quality education, unemployment insurance, social welfare schemes and of course maple syrup! These are just a few reasons why the quality of life in Canada is rated amongst the best in the world. But this is not a piece by the immigration authorities trying to convince you to move. In this article, we at Orbit Institutes take a closer look at the Canadian CPA and why Indian should take advantage of it.

How are Indians allowed to Enrol for the Canadian CPA?

In 2018, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) regarding reciprocal membership arrangements. Apart from other things, this MOU opened up a number of employment opportunities for Indians choosing to qualify themselves to work in Canada. Further, CPA Canada has signed a number of MOUs with other countries as well. Therefore, someone with the CPA Canada qualification has the option to work globally.

But it will take Me Years to Go to Canada!

If that is the only thought holding you back, guess what you’re in luck! You can begin preparations for the Canada CPA from India itself. In fact you can do the entire course without crossing any borders. The only time you will need to visit Canada will be for the final 3 day CFE examination. On average most students take around 6 months to prepare for the CFE, so you will have plenty of time to plan your trip to Canada.

Even then, an International Trip is Expensive!

You’re right to be worried about the cost. But, the good news is you don’t need to spend all your time studying. While you prepare for the Canada CPA, you can continue working full-time! This will allow you to save for your trip. And remember, the Canada CPA will pay off in the long run.

Okay. What exactly does the Canada CPA Exam Entail?

For Canadian students, the CPA course requires them to complete two Capstones before attempting the final exam. These capstones involve a large case study and a few practice cases. Though Indians are exempt from these capstones, at Orbit Institutes our syllabus integrates alternative capstones, so you are up to speed with your Canadian counterparts.

The final exam is called the CFE or Common Final Exam. It is held twice a year, in May & September.  This is the exam for which you will need to be present in Canada. It is a 3day process, where the exam duration varies from 4 to 5 hours per day. The paper on day 1 is evaluated separately. Day 2 & 3 papers have a combined evaluation.

The CFE covers are 6 technical areas including financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, tax, finance & governance. Off these parts of the financial accounting section & the section on Canadian tax will be much different from what you may have already learnt in India. With our expansive resources at Orbit Institutes, you should be able to easily pick-up these new topics.

Alright! So, how do I get started?

At this point the only course preparing students for the Canadian CPA in India is the one provided by us at Orbit Institutes. We have tied up with the Professional Accounting Supplementary School (PASS), an acclaimed CPA Review provider in Canada. To register for the course you need to log on to www.orbitinstitutes.com. Once registered, you will have unlimited access to a large library of technical videos along with a binder, practice cases and live online classes. You can watch these classes on schedule or even view their recordings at a later stage.

That Sounds Great, But isn’t It Difficult to Immigrate to Canada?

 Actually, it’s not. The Canadian government has a special program called the FSW or Federal Skills Workers Stream. Under this Indian CAs or those who have passed the CFE have an express entry option which should take just around 7 months to process. Applicants do not need to have employment in Canada in order to apply for this express entry option.

The Canadian CPA is one of the world’s most respected designations. And with the MOU, Canadian CPAs are in great demand in areas such as Europe, Asia & the Caribbean.  As you can see, the Canada CPA opens many doors of opportunity both for work & travel for the Indian accountant.

CPA Certification – A Ready Reckoner

There’s so much information about the CPA certification online that sometimes it’s difficult to sift out the most relevant parts. For aspiring students this can be problematic and confusing. Not to worry. We at Orbit Institutes have created this guide specifically for you. What exactly does a CPA certification entail? Read our ready reckoner to clarify all your doubts about it. 

The CPA Examination: The Certified Public Accountant(CPA) examination is a computer-based test that comprises four sections. The four sections are:

  1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
  2. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
  3. Regulation (REG)
  4. Business Environment Concepts (BEC)

Syllabus of the CPA Examination: Each section of the examination is designed to test ones expertise in different aspects of finance.

1. Auditing and Attestation (AUD):  These are one of the most important aspects of a CPAs job. Simply put, auditing is the process of examining a company’s financial statements. While attestation is the process of declaring that financial statement as accurate and reliable.

To do an audit one needs to understand how the client’s business functions & the internal checks and balances they have in place. The auditor must also provide an opinion on the basis of certain procedures. The AUD section of the exam, tests all of this. Below is a table that details the areas tested and their weightage.

AUDITING AND ATTESTATION (AUD)

Content Area

Allocation

Ethics, professional responsibilities, and general principles

15–25%

Assessing risk and developing a planned response

20–30%

Performing further procedures and obtaining evidence

30–40%

Forming conclusions and reporting

15–25%

You will be allotted a total of 4 hours to complete this section. To prepare for this section you need to memorize everything from your audit opinion letter to the internal controls.

2. Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR): This section of the exam is considered the widest. It covers subjects such as aspects of financial reporting, the differences between the GAAP & the IFRS basis and the compilation, evaluation and analysis of financial statements amongst others. The below table broadly shows the weightage given to each section.

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING (FAR)

Content Area

Allocation

Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting and Financial Reporting

25-35%

Select Financial Statement Accounts

30-40%

Select Transactions

20-30%

State and Local Governments

5-15%

The FAR section is 4 hours long. The syllabus is vast and often candidates don’t give themselves enough time to prepare between the other examinations. On average one should schedule 7-8weeks of preparation time before attempting the FAR. To prepare for the FAR make sure you are well-versed with your journal entries.

3. Regulation (REG): This section of the CPA is designed to test you on federal taxation, business ethics and business law. It broadly covers tax concepts, your ability to understand legal responsibilities, tax issues and tax implications. The content area and weightage is as follows:

REGULATION (REG)

Content Area

Allocation

Ethics, Professional Responsibilities and Federal Tax Procedures

10-20%

Business Law

10-20%

Federal Taxation of Property Transactions  

12–22%

Federal Taxation of Individuals

15–25%

Federal Taxation of Entities

28–38%

Remember, the ethics & taxation sections are equally important in this paper. It is important you don’t underestimate either section.

4. Business Environment Concepts (BEC): This section of the CPA tests the candidates understanding of business concepts and their understanding of their responsibilities while making business decisions. The BEC exam covers subjects such as corporate governance, financial management and operations management etc. Below is a detailed table.

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT CONCEPTS (BEC)

Content Area

Allocation

Corporate Governance

17-27%

Economic Concepts and Analysis

17-27%

Financial Management

11-21%

Information Technology

15-25%

Operations Management

15-25%


The fact that the BEC section of CPA is perhaps the least technical shouldn’t make you underestimate its difficulty. There are also far less task-based simulations & multiple choice questions in this section as compared to the others, making it tough. This section also has a different question format i.e. – Written Communication.

As you can see, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination is not just one exam,rather it consists of 4 different exams. Cracking this exam involves detailed planning & time management which Orbit Institutes can help you with. No matter how one chooses to approach it; the advantage of this certification is that you could achieve it within just a year.

Trending Career Profiles in Finance

Career in Finance

If money makes the world go round, can you imagine the importance of finance professionals! Apart from those who renounce their worldly possessions, finance is a part of everybody’s lives be it at a commercial level or an individual level. As a student of finance there are a number of doors of opportunity for you. A career in finance employs a range of skills & interests from the extremely niche to the more general. We at Orbit Institutes show you a glimpse of the trending career profiles in Finance.

Corporate Finance: As the name suggests, this involves working for corporations. These could be of any size. A corporate finance specialist helps a company manage their financial strategy. Apart from managing these finances at a macro-level, corporate finance also involves predicting profits & loss, reducing financial risk, preparing financial statements and in some cases even handling mergers & acquisitions. Within a corporation there may be more finance roles such as auditors & treasurers.

Commercial Banking: A commercial bank is a financial institution that grants loans, accepts deposits and offers a range of financial services to the general public. They are what most people refer to as ‘banks’. A job role in commercial banking could involve being a bank teller, loan officer, account manager, branch manager etc. Within this sector it is possible to grow from a local branch position to a position at the corporate headquarters. This would open the doors of international opportunities for you.

Investment Banking: To put it simply an Investment Bank helps organizations raise capital and provides advice on their financial strategy. There are various roles that one could adopt in an investment bank. Some investment bankers specialize in mergers and acquisitions. Others choose to become underwriting specialists (those who help assess risk) and some become venture capitalists, who help new businesses. While careers in the investment banking sector can be quite well-paying and glamorous, they can also be intensely gruelling.

Hedge Funds:  Hedge funds use a pooled investment structure. They are largely unregulated private investment funds. A hedge fund manager works towards raising external funds and then investing them according to a strategy. Hedge funds are usually specialized in a certain field. Working at a hedge fund could involve being a portfolio manager, compliance officer or even an analyst or trader.

Insurance: The insurance sector relies on finance professionals for various roles. Actuaries are people who help insurance companies calculate and set insurance rates. Risk managers recommend the level of risk an insurance company should take, while still staying financially secure. Then of course there are Chief Financial Officers or CFOs who oversee all financial operations of the insurance company.

Public Accounting: Public accountants are in-charge of helping companies maintain a record of their income and expenditure. They are also responsible for boosting sales; increasing revenue and helping the company achieve their long-term financial goals. They usually work in accordance to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP or the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).Public accountants work for both the commercial and private sector.

Financial Planners: Financial planners or advisors are people who help individuals define, develop and achieve their financial goals. Along with an individual’s personal financial data, a financial advisor will use sound financial knowledge and assumptions to guide the individual on where they can invest and how they can further improve their financial situation. A financial planner may also help with taxes, retirement plans, investment growth and wealth preservation apart from other things.

Stock Brokers:  Stocks refer to the shares sold by a company. Stock brokers are those who guide clients on which stocks to invest in for greater returns. Stock brokers are well-versed with the stock markets. They guide people on when to buy or sell. This career path is considered fast-paced and highly lucrative. A stock broker usually receives a commission on every transaction.

Portfolio Management: Portfolio management involves overseeing the investment policies of a company or an individual without getting into the nitty-gritty details of each investment. It also involves doing a SWOT analysis for the client in order to maximize profits and minimize risks.

As you can see the finance sector has varied career options for both experienced professionals and beginners. An individual must work towards finding a role that s/he enjoys and has the skill set for.  At the end of the day, knowledge is power and anyone entering the finance world should make themselves aware of the opportunities available. We at Orbit Institutes are happy to guide you through career options in the finance sector.

3 Globally Recognised Certifications for Finance Professionals – CPA, CMA, CFA

CPA CMA CFA Certifications

There’s no denying that the world of Finance is both highly lucrative but at the same time highly competitive. Young professionals need to have an edge over their competitors. Certifications are the answer. Professional certifications significantly boost ones career prospects. They indicate to the employer not just qualifications but also the individuals’ commitment to mastering their trade. In this article, we at Orbit Institutes show you the three most important certifications for global finance professionals i.e. – the CPA, CMA & CFA.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA): The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is amongst the top accounting credentials in the United States and is similar to the CA Qualification in India. Though the exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA, the world’s largest accounting organization), the certification is recognized across industries globally.

An accountant is one who handles all the financial transactions of a company. This includes bookkeeping, auditing, taxation etc. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is one who has achieved what is considered the ‘gold standard’ of certifications in the finance world. While the role of an accountant and a CPA may overlap there are two things a CPA can do that a regular accountant cannot.

  1. A CPA is licensed to file reports with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission or SEC. This is mandatory for all public companies in the United States.
  2. A CPA can represent clients in front of the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.

A world of opportunity opens up for those who have cleared the CPA examination. These candidates can work in hedge funds, investment banks, research firms and so on and so forth. For Indians who have done a CA, M.Com or B.Com, the CPA is an important way to move their careers forward drastically.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA): The CMA certification is awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to empowering accounting and finance professionals. The course covers financial accounting and strategic management.

A CMA is essentially an accountant who has the skills and certification to help companies take financial decisions. Planning, budgeting, profitability analysis, risk management and investment decisions all come under the purview of a CMA.

Unlike a CPA, the process of qualifying for the CMA is far more streamlined. This doesn’t mean that the course is easier; it just means that one can focus on the exam rather than eligibility rules.

A CMA can hold different positions in different organizations. Chief Financial Officer, Budget Analyst, Financial Manager & Treasurer are a few designations you will see that are held by CMAs. CMAs are highly valued by companies as they are directly responsible for financial decisions. Earning yourself a CMA degree will help you rise to the executive level of your company, which may not have been possible earlier.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is a symbol of distinction and excellence in the investment management field. It is given by the CFA Institute which is a global body.

Management usually prefer hiring CFAs at senior-level finance positions as most CFAs work largely with portfolio management. However, CFAs can also work as stock brokers, risk managers, asset manager and financial consultants.

Many people prefer to obtain a CFA as opposed to an MBA as the examination fee is cheaper, the course structure makes it is easier to study for while doing other things like working and the pay at the end is much higher.

One of the biggest advantages of doing the CFA is that it establishes that you have a high level of integrity and ethics.

Obtaining a professional certification is something every student of Finance should consider seriously. We at Orbit Institutes will guide you right from helping you choose the best certification for yourself to receiving the final certificate. To know more visit our website.