Professional finance requirements

Since its introduction in 1963, the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation has become the most respected and recognised investment credential in the world.

What is the CFA Charter?

The CFA Charter is a distinction granted to those who undertake and pass a rigorous, graduate-level curriculum. The programme links theory and practice with real-world investment analysis and portfolio management skills and emphasises the highest ethical and professional standards.

Candidates must not only pass three exams, but also meet the work experience requirements of four years in the investment industry. In addition, they must pledge to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, apply to a CFA Institute society and become a member of the CFA Institute.

Those who meet the requirements benefit from the extensive knowledge attained in pursuit of the Charter. They also gain the advantages of membership in an active, global community of recognised investment professionals.

For more information:

The University of Auckland’s partnership with the CFA Institute

Since 2011 the University of Auckland has been a CFA partner with the CFA Institute. The CFA Institute has approved the University of Auckland’s undergraduate programmes as a useful foundation towards the CFA Charter.

Note that CFA exams are of a higher level of difficulty than typical undergraduate exams. They fail around 60% of (self-selected high quality) candidates in the Level I exam, and more at Level II and Level III.

Apart from offering a one-day free class in the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and providing a limited number of scholarships to University of Auckland students for the Level I exam, the University of Auckland is not directly involved with CFA exams and procedures.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct one day course

As part of the CFA partnership, the University of Auckland conducts a free one-day course on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, tentatively scheduled each year in the first week of the mid-semester break in Semester Two. When the specific date, time, and place are finalised, it will be announced to all Stage III Accounting and Finance course attendants.

Enrol and register

To register as a CFA candidate and for the Level I exam, or to find detailed information on the CFA Charter, visit the CFA Institute website.

Scholarships

A scholarship will significantly reduce your exam registration expenses (however, you will still need to pay for CFA books and materials). The scholarship application deadline varies from year to year, usually around early August for the December exam and early February for the June exam. Please check the exact date on the CFA Institute website.

You can find important information about the scholarship process in this Student Guide to Scholarships.

All scholarship applications need to be made online via the CFA Institute website. Please do not register for the CFA program prior to submitting your application for a scholarship.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact cfa.partnership@auckland.ac.nz.

Which classes should I take to prepare for the CFA Institute’s exams?

A BCom with a major in Finance at the University of Auckland is:

  • Business core: All of Accounting 101; Econ 101 OR 191; Business 101, 102; Information Systems 110; Commercial Law 101; Stats 108
  • Finance core: All of Accounting 102; Maths 108, 208; Finance 251, 261
  • At least 3 of 8 from Accounting 371; Finance 310, 351, 361, 362, 383, 384; ComLaw 351 Or Econ 352

The below information outlines relevant University of Auckland courses for the Level I CFA Institute Exam according to the 2011 curriculum:

Undergraduate curriculum guide for CFA Level I Exam

I. Ethical and Professional Standards

  • A. Professional Standards of Practice
  • B. Ethical Practices

Courses covering curriculum domain

Day course to be taught by Vice President of CFA Society NZ and Auckland CFA Charter holders, held at Massey University Albany campus once per year.

II. Quantitative Methods

  • A. Time Value of Money
  • B. Probability
  • C. Probability Distributions and Descriptive Statistics
  • D. Sampling and Estimation
  • E. Hypothesis Testing
  • F. Correlation Analysis and Regression
  • G. Technical Analysis

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 251, week 2; Finance 261, week 3; Accounting 101 week 10
  • B. Finance 261, week 3; Stats class
  • C. Finance 261, week 3; Stats 108, weeks 2, 4-6
  • D. Stats 108, weeks 1-3, 7-12
  • E. Finance 361, weeks 5-7; Stats 108, weeks 7-10
  • F. Finance 261 week 6; Finance 361 week 5; Stats 108, week 12
  • G. Finance 361 weeks 8-9

III. Economics

  • A. Market Forces of Supply and Demand
  • B. The Firm and Industry Organisation
  • C. Measuring National Income and Growth
  • D. Business Cycles
  • E. The Monetary System
  • F. Inflation
  • G. International Trade and Capital Flows
  • H. Currency Exchange Rates
  • I. Monetary and Fiscal Policy

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Econ 191, weeks 1-2; Econ 101, week 2
  • B. Econ 191, weeks 4-8; Econ 101, weeks 5-11
  • C. Econ 352, week 7
  • D. Econ 191, weeks 9-12
  • E. Econ 352, week 12
  • F. Econ 352, weeks 2-6
  • G. Econ 352, weeks 10, 11
  • H. Finance 261, week 3; Finance 361 weeks 4, 10; Econ 352 weeks 1-8, 10, 11
  • I. Econ 352, week 9

IV. Financial Reporting and Analysis

  • A. Financial Reporting System (IFRS and GAAP)
  • B. Principal Financial Statements
  • C. Financial Reporting Quality
  • D. Analysis of Inventories
  • E. Analysis of Long-Lived Assets
  • F. Analysis of Taxes
  • G. Analysis of Debt
  • H. Analysis of Off-Balance-Sheet Assets and Liabilities

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Accounting 211, week 1
  • B. Accounting 102, week 2
  • C. Accounting 311, weeks 2-3
  • D. Accounting 102, week 5
  • E. Accounting 102, week 8; Accounting 211, weeks 4-5
  • F. Accounting 311, weeks 4-6
  • G. Accounting 102, week 9; Accounting 211, weeks 10-11; Accounting 311, weeks 9-12
  • H. Accounting 211, week 3

V. Corporate Finance

  • A. Corporate Governance
  • B. Dividend Policy
  • C. Capital Investment Decisions
  • D. Business and Financial Risk
  • E. Long-term Financial Policy
  • F. Short-term Financial Policy
  • G. Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 351, week 1
  • B. Finance 351, weeks 5-6
  • C. Finance 251, weeks 4,10; Finance 351, weeks 7-8
  • D. Finance 251, week 5; Finance 361, weeks 1-2
  • E. Finance 351, weeks 3-4, 11
  • F. Finance 251, week 11
  • G. Finance 351, week 12

VI. Equity Investments

  • A. Types of Equity Securities and their Characteristics
  • B. Equity Markets: Characteristics, Institutions, and Benchmarks
  • C. Fundamental Analysis (Sector, Industry, Company) and the Valuation of Individual Equity Securities
  • D. Equity Market Valuation and Return Analysis
  • E. Special Applications of Fundamental Analysis (Residual Earnings)
  • F. Equity of Hybrid Investment Vehicles

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 251, week 3; Finance 261, weeks 1-2; Finance 361, weeks 1-2
  • B. Finance 261, weeks 1-2; Finance 251, week 7
  • C. Finance 361, weeks 1-2; Accounting 371; (also Finance 261)
  • D. Accounting 371; Finance 251, week 3; Finance 361, weeks 1-2; Finance 351, weeks
  • E. Accounting 371
  • F. Finance 361, Week 10 (Hedge Funds)

VII. Fixed Income

  • A. Types of Fixed Income Securities and their Characteristics
  • B. Fixed Income Markets: Characteristics, Institutions, and Benchmarks
  • C. Fixed Income Valuation (Sector, Industry, Company) and Return Analysis
  • D. Term Structure Determination and Yield Spreads
  • E. Analysis of Interest Rate Risk
  • F. Analysis of Credit Risk

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 261, weeks 1-2; Finance 361, week 11
  • B. Finance 361, week 11
  • C. Finance 361, week 11
  • D. Finance 361, week 11
  • E. Finance 361, week 11F. Accounting 371

VIII. Derivatives

  • A. Types of Derivative Instruments and their Characteristics
  • B. Forward Markets and Instruments
  • C. Futures Markets and Instruments
  • D. Options Markets and Instruments
  • E. Swaps Markets and Instruments
  • F. Credit Derivatives Markets and Instruments

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 261, week 8; Finance 361, week 3; Finance 362, week 1
  • B. Finance 361, week 3; Finance 362, weeks 1-4
  • C. Finance 261, weeks 8-9; Finance 361, week 3; Finance 362, weeks 1-4
  • D. Finance 261, weeks 8-9; Finance 361, week 3; Finance 362, weeks 6-7
  • E. Finance 362, weeks 5-6
  • F. Finance 362, weeks 5-6

IX. Alternative Investments

  • A. Types of Alternative Investments and their Characteristics
  • B. Real Estate
  • C. Private Equity/Venture Capital
  • D. Hedge Funds
  • E. Closely-held Companies and Inactively Traded Securities
  • F. Distressed Securities/Bankruptcies
  • G. Commodities
  • H. Tangible Assets with Low Liquidity

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 361, week 10; Accounting 371
  • B. Property 102
  • C. Innovent 202
  • D. Finance 361, week 10
  • E. Accounting 371
  • F. Accounting 371
  • G. Finance 362
  • H. Property 102

X. Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

  • A. Portfolio Concepts
  • B. Management of Individual/Family Investor Portfolios
  • C. Presentation of Performance Results (GIPS®)

Courses covering curriculum domain

  • A. Finance 261, week 4; Finance 361, weeks 4-6, 10
  • B. Finance 361, week 10
  • C. Finance 361, week 10

Note

Chartered Financial Analyst®, CFA®, CFA Institute and GIPS® are trademarks owned by the CFA Institute.