Licensing Requirements for a Finance Career Path

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The major that I want to pursue is Finance. This course introduces students to basic concepts in finance, and allows them to apply finance theories and concepts to practical analysis of financial instruments. The financial major also allows individuals and groups to make informed decisions regarding financial options and issues facing their organizations, as well as portfolio management, risk management, and investment decisions. I chose this major because I am enthusiastic about financial instruments and investments. The maximum career achievement for this major would be to become a Chief Finance Officer (CFO) in an organization; but I would also be interested in gaining knowledge for individual investment purpose. This essay explores the licensing requirements for a finance career path, eventually leading to the top position of a CFO.


            For an individual to practice as a finance officer or an accountant, he or she must be duly licensed and certified by various organizations such as Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Various employers may require one or more of these certifications as a primary requirement or an added advantage to be employed in a finance position.

            Apart from university qualifications such as Bachelor of Science in Finance, an individual may require certification from the Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Accountants in Saudi Arabia may also join the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA), an organization which provides great opportunities for accountants and financial analysis to advance in their career. Finance students may need to do a CPA exam and join SOCPA. The organization regulates the accounting and finance profession to ensure that accountants meet the accounting and auditing standards, and achieve ethical standards within the profession (IFAC, 2017).

            Employers also require CMA and CFA certifications/license to work as a finance officer, advisor or analyst. A financial analyst is required to sit for a Certified Financial Analyst exam from a recognized institution and pass to qualify for employment. The CFA certification is offered by the CFA Institute to financial and investment professionals to boost their career growth and provide opportunities for advanced portfolio management and investment analysis skills (Alfaisal University, 2017). The CFA qualification is recognized across the world, and gives opportunities for better jobs and entrepreneurship. Certified Management Accounting (CMA) may also be required for advanced practice in financial analysis and risk management. The certification improves one’s employability opportunities by improving business skills and professional competencies (Morgan International, 2017).

If anyone wishes to start their own business as financial analysts or bankers, they may require licensing from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA). These organizations implement regulations and provide procedures for licensing of financial activities in Saudi Arabia.


            With a finance major, one could also be an accountant, financial analyst, financial planner, budget analyst and a financial advisor or consultant. These positions require various licenses and certifications to qualify for employment and practice as private financial analysis and advisors. The CMA, CFA, CPA, IFAC, and SOCPA provide different certifications that will improve competencies, business skills, and employment opportunities of graduates. As I focus on financial analysis and advice, I will focus on acquiring CMA, CFA and CPA certifications from recognized institutions immediately after my finance major. In future, I may decide to acquire certification from Capital Markets Authority to start my own financial consultancy firm.


Alfaisal University (2017). CFA Level 1 Program for Men and Women. [Online] Available at [Accessed on Feb 5, 2018].

IFAC (2017). Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants. [Online] Available at [Accessed on Feb 5, 2018].

Morgan International (2017). Certified Management Accountant (CMA). [Online] Available at [Accessed on Feb 5, 2017].

August 18, 2023




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Saudi Arabia

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