Certified Public Accounts was introduced in Kenya several years ago and since its inception, over 100,000 professionals have successfully completed the professional course and awarded completion certificates.
Each year, more than 10,000 individuals register to pursue CPA so as to acquire more knowledge on accounting and Finance, others register to secure promotions in their work places. A good number register because of influence from the rest.
As more and more Kenyans get certified to pursue their careers with the CPA certificates, the course, which was once the most marketable professional courses In the country, has been rendered ‘almost useless’.
There was a time when companies used to flock to schools, KASNEB and offices, seeking those with CPA qualifications to offer them employment, with fat salaries of course. The era we are living in is one of the worst especially for CPA holders. You cannot boast with just a CPA certificate, people will laugh at you. In fact in Nairobi, for every 10 people mixing concrete and sand in a construction site, 4 of them are CPA holders. Now tell me, will you brag if you have these facts?
The level of unemployment in Kenya has reached worrying levels, and Finance graduates are the most affected.
Majority of them did CPA with hopes of obtaining competitive advantage in the job market, their hopes are dead now.
All is not lost; there is a new course in town-Certified Investment and Financial Analyst, formerly Certified Securities and Investment Analyst. The course is designed in a way that matches Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in terms of content.
The good news is that it’s not flooded as compared to CPA.It is also relatively cheap to pursue.
Employers in Kenya now prefer CIFA holders to CPA holders because they know the employee will bring new ideas to the company.
Since pursuing CFA is a hard nut to crack, CIFA provides a soft landing for professionals who are limited with financial resources and those who wish not to burn their calories to study hard courses like CFA.
CFA is the most appealing professional course in Kenya, since CIFA is somehow similar to CFA; it’s advisable for those who intend to have at least one professional course to pursue CIFA instead of CPA, which is flooded.
As of 2014 CIFA had only 4,000 individuals who had completed the course to level 3 while CPA had over 50,000 certified members.
Human Resources professionals are now sensitive to who they give opportunity to join them.They want somebody who is likely to add value to the firm and not an individual with ideas which have been tested.