CPA, CA, CMA, MBA – Is it worth ?

Is it worth seeking so many  financial degrees?

I often come across the above mentioned question by aspiring students (including my children).
My answer to this question is that all these multiple levels help you ONLY TO ENTER corporate world. Once you have entered the business community, it is only your value addition to the organization that will decide your way forward.
For me, it helped in seeking a job with EMPLOYER OF CHOICE at that point in India i.e. Siemens Ltd. I choose to work with Siemens for more than a decade. Was well paid, so decided in my early 30’s to invest in Equity Shares and apartments in Mumbai (Bombay, India). After working for 13 years in India and various parts of the World, I choose to migrate to Dubai with my family. Dubai proved to be “Land of Dreams” for me. Successfully earned petrol dollars and that too tax-free. After working there for seven years, I have now decided to migrate to Canada with family. After landing here, I can say with confidence that finance professionals can save much more in the Middle East compared to North America, especially if you are occupying the high-level managerial position.
CMA and CA are considered one of the toughest course to pass in India. With passing percentage less than 5%, there are presently around nine hundred thousand members for a country of 1.28 Billion.
The course is an optimum blend of practical and theoretical education. Further, one has to undergo three years of practical training under a practicing Chartered Accountant to appear before the final exam. The Chartered Accountancy course is considered to be one of the rigorous professional courses in India but not difficult if one put his fullest efforts. Similar is the situation in North America. Chartered Accountant from England and Wales is comparatively easier.
Once you have completed CMA India, one can opt for CMA (USA). Alternate could be CMA Strategic level, Management Accounting from The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), based in London, UK.
I believe CA or CMA, is one of the best professions.  Over a period, you experience mistakes companies commit. More than 70% of businesses fail, mainly due to inadequate cash flow. Finance is the key to any business, and if you don’t manage your working capital, you are doomed to failure. I have experienced that CEO’s who have a financial background or who have professional CFO’s make a better business judgment.
As finance professionals, after working in Corporate World for a decade, one can either start his practice or start a business (preferably international consulting).
Comments solicited.
Joginder Gujral,
Director, TOCCAI
FCMA(India), CMA (USA), FCA (India), CPA, CA (Candidate)

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