one main financial career

A classic from 1910.

One main financial career

When I go into a bank I get rattled. The clerks rattle me; the wickets rattle me; the sight of the money rattles me; everything rattles me. The moment I cross the threshold of a bank and attempt to transact business there, I become an irresponsible idiot. I knew this beforehand, but my salary had been raised to fifty dollars a month and I felt that the bank was the only place for it.

So I shambled in and looked timidly round at the clerks. I had an idea that a person about to open an account must needs consult the manager. I went up to a wicket marked “Accountant.” The accountant was a tall, cool devil. The very sight of him rattled me. My voice was sepulchral.

“Can I see the manager?” I said, and added solemnly, “alone.” I don't know why I said “alone.”

“Certainly,” said the accountant, and fetched him.

The manager was a grave, calm man. I held my fifty-six dollars clutched in a crumpled ball in my pocket.

“Are you the manager?” I said. God knows I didn't doubt it.

“Can I see you,” I asked, “alone?” I didn't want to say “alone” again, but without it the thing seemed self-evident.

The manager looked at me in some alarm. He felt that I had an awful secret to reveal.

“Come in here,” he said, and led the way to a private room. He turned the key in the lock.

“We are safe from interruption here,” he said; “sit down.”

We both sat down and looked at each other. I found no voice to speak.

“You are one of Pinkerton's men, I presume,” he said.

He had gathered from my mysterious manner that I was a detective. I knew what he was thinking, and it made me worse.

“No, not from Pinkerton's,” I said, seeming to imply that I came from a rival agency.

“To tell the truth,” I went on, as if I had been prompted to lie about it,“ I am not a detective at all. I have come to open an account. I intend to keep all my money in this bank.”

The manager looked relieved but still serious; he concluded now that I was a son of Baron Rothschild or a young Gould.

“A large account, I suppose,” he said.

“Fairly large,” I whispered. “I propose to deposit fifty-six dollars now and fifty dollars a month regularly.”

The manager got up and opened the door. He called to the accountant.

“Mr. Montgomery,” he said unkindly loud, “this gentleman is opening an account, he will deposit fifty-six dollars. Good morning.”

A big iron door stood open at the side of the room.

“Good morning,” I said, and stepped into the safe.

“Come out,” said the manager coldly, and showed me the other way.

I went up to the accountant's wicket and poked the ball of money at him with a quick convulsive movement as if I were doing a conjuring trick.

My face was ghastly pale.

“Here,” I said, “deposit it.” The tone of the words seemed to mean, “Let us do this painful thing while the fit is on us.”

He took the money and gave it to another clerk.

He made me write the sum on a slip and sign my name in a book. I no longer knew what I was doing. The bank swam before my eyes.

“Is it deposited?” I asked in a hollow, vibrating voice.

“It is,” said the accountant.

“Then I want to draw a cheque.”

My idea was to draw out six dollars of it for present use. Someone gave me a chequebook through a wicket and someone else began telling me how to write it out. The people in the bank had the impression that I was an invalid millionaire. I wrote something on the cheque and thrust it in at the clerk. He looked at it.

“What! are you drawing it all out again?” he asked in surprise. Then I realized that I had written fifty-six instead of six. I was too far gone to reason now. I had a feeling that it was impossible to explain the thing. All the clerks had stopped writing to look at me.

Reckless with misery, I made a plunge.

“Yes, the whole thing.”

“You withdraw your money from the bank?”

“Every cent of it.”

“Are you not going to deposit any more?” said the clerk, astonished.

An idiot hope struck me that they might think something had insulted me while I was writing the cheque and that I had changed my mind. I made a wretched attempt to look like a man with a fearfully quick temper.

The clerk prepared to pay the money.

“How will you have it?” he said.

“How will you have it?”

“Oh” - I caught his meaning and answered without even trying to think - “in fifties.”

He gave me a fifty-dollar bill.

“And the six?” he asked dryly.

“In sixes,” I said.

He gave it me and I rushed out.

As the big door swung behind me I caught the echo of a roar of laughter that went up to the ceiling of the bank. Since then I bank no more. I keep my money in cash in my trousers pocket and my savings in silver dollars in a sock.

This is My Financial Career by Leacock, Stephen, published Thursday, January 23, 2003. It is part of Texts, which is part of Anthologies, which is part of is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.

About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

CA, CS or CWA which one is better – Career in finance

Finance is a growing field with huge opportunities in India and abroad. Regardless of the size and scale of an organization, all are required to track their financial data and maintain books of accounts. All of these require finance professionals. The new law and issuance of accounting standards has made it more challenging than before. Finance professionals occupy center stage in every organization and are powerful figures in companies. If you want to choose finance as your main domain of expertise then you need to get a professional degree from any recognized educational institute.

Chartered accountant (CA), Company secretary (CS) and cost and works accountant (CWA) are managed by Institutes of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and Institute of Cost accountant of India (ICAI) respectively. All these institutes are under the jurisdiction of the ministry of corporate affairs. These independent institutes are set up by a separate act in parliament and managed by that.

One main financial careerThese three courses have similarity with regard to the course syllabus with the only difference in the depth of subjects studied. Chartered accountancy course will give an in depth knowledge on financial accounting, auditing, income tax, indirect taxation, corporate law and financial management. Cost accounting course will give you an in depth knowledge on cost accounting, financial management. Company secretary has in depth study relating to all corporate laws starting from companies act to secretarial practices.

Let us discuss which course is better and why.

Admission to these courses

Any 10+2 pass student can register any of these three courses. There are different stages of passing out all these courses. After passing out the final exams of institute of chartered accountants of India you will be eligible to get membership from ICAI and become a Chartered Accountant. Similarly after passing out the final stage of CWA and CS you will be able to avail membership of these institutes.

In terms of joining and the process of passing exams, all these courses has no difference except in CA course you need to do 3 years of articleship with a chartered accountant in practice. Now CWA course has also made it mandatory to have 3 years practical experience either under a CWA in practice or in industry to get the membership. Similarly a company secretary before becoming a member has to under gone 15 months practical training.

CA has advantage over CWA in terms of industry recognition and finance practice. Chartered Accountancy is highly recognised in all areas of finance like financial accounting, cost accounting, taxation, corporate law, internal audit and other audits where as CWA can work only in the areas of cost audit and internal audit. Companies in India are recognising CA as a better course than CWA because of its course contents and other relevant advantages over CWA.

Even though CS course is related to finance, specialisation is more into corporate law and secretarial practice. If you want to get into legal compliance matters of a company then this is the best course to do. CS has a very good acceptance in industry.

CA, CWA and CS Practice

A chartered accountant can practice in the area of accounting, corporate law, auditing, taxation and other corporate financial areas. Our statutory law has made certain audit compulsorily to be done by a chartered accountant like company audits, bank audits and income tax audits. After passing out CA final exam, a chartered accountant can open up his own firm with a permission of ICAI to practice in all these areas.

Similarly a Cost and works accountant can practice in cost audit, internal audit and corporate finance. But such CWA practitioner cannot take company audit, bank audit and income tax audit. This is where CWA lacks behind in comparison to a chartered accountant in practice as the area of company audit, bank audit and income tax audits are wider than cost audit.

A company secretary can practice in corporate law, corporate finance and other legal matters. Companies act has made it mandatory for certain companies to provide compliance certificate from a company secretary in practice. A company secretary can be appointed and provide compliance certificate to such companies. Compare to chartered accountant, such profession has less scope of practice.

It all depends on your interest and area of specialization. We suggest you to choose any of these courses based on your ability, aptitude, career outlook and the area of your interest. If you have decided the area of your specialisation then you can choose any of these courses to build your future career. You can simultaneously pursue CWA or CS along with CA with a written approval of ICAI. But while practising you can only practice as a CA or CWA or CS. Undoubtedly CA is better than CWA and CS in job prospects and practice as the opportunities are more in comparison to other professions. But it does not mean that there is no scope for CWA or CS in practice. A CWA or CS can also practice but the avenues available to them in comparison to a CA are lesser.

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Which one is easier, cost and work accountant or company secretory?

10 Tips For New Financial Planners To Maximize Career Progression

Getting started as a financial planner is difficult.

Although not quite the ugly environment of decades ago, where every prospective advisor was simply thrown out into the cold to fend for themselves trying to find clients in a brutal demonstration of natural selection and survival of the fittest, the fact that financial planning is still dominated by small firms with limited experience in hiring and training makes formal career paths rare.

Sadly, financial planning still has quite a ways to go to create the sorts of clear career progression paths that exist in the fields of medicine, law, and accounting. Nonetheless, there are certainly ways to increase the likelihood that each step you take in your early career will be a positive step forward.

10 Tips To Improve Your Journey Down The Financial Advisor Career Path

In this blog post, I give my own top 10 tips for new financial planners looking to maximize their own progression down the financial advisor career path.

Fortunately, most people looking to get started on a finanical planning career today have already gotten this message, but in case you haven’t, you heard it here first – go get your CFP certification.

Sadly, the reality is that CFP certification is still not a requirement to hold yourself out to the public as a financial planner, financial advisor, or financial consultant. Ultimately, though, getting your CFP certification from a quality educational program is still crucial for two reasons: 1) if you want to give comprehensive financial advice, you need to know what you’re talking about in the first place, and the CFP educational curriculum is a fantastic starting point to ensure you’re competent; and 2) the CFP certification is increasingly becoming the baseline standard that any firm serious about financial planning expects to see you have, or at least be working on.

Notably, if you’re just getting started in the business, you won’t be able to actually use the designation, as you’ll lack the Experience requirement; nonetheless, get enrolled in a CFP Board registered program and start your education. And yes, this applies even if you already have another professional license in law or accounting or a graduate degree like an MBA; those professions and degrees have a lot of overlap to financial planning, but do not provide the same comprehensive education (although as background they’ll certainly make a few sections of the CFP exam very easy for you!).

Yes, I realize you may already be looking to get a job in a financial planning firm, but let me emphasize this: get A job. It doesn’t have to be THE perfect financial planning career job from day one. It needs to be a job that gets you some experience related to the financial services industry.

I don’t want to belittle the importance of taking your time to find a good firm where you can learn and train (or working with a firm that can help you find such a job), and you should certainly be cautious not to take a position that will require you to go out immediate and get your own clients to survive unless you really want to take on that kind of entrepreneurial position.

But don’t spend too much time trying to find that perfect position from the start, as it’s kind of like trying to hit a home run your the first time at the bat – trying to swing harder for the fences may increase the odds you hit it out of the park, but it also increases the odds you strike out entirely. And you may not even realize exactly what direction you want to take your financial planning career until you’ve been doing it for a few years, and really find what you enjoy.

The key aspects you should look for when trying to get that first financial planning job: make sure it’s a firm that is really serious about doing financial planning, that you’re a good fit for the person you will be working for, that you can focus on learning and getting some experience (that includes operations and administrative experience!), and that you will have an opportunity to be involved in the process (even if it’s just behind the scenes for the first year or few).

If the firm has a sophisticated advisor career path laid out for you, that’s great, but it’s not essential your first time out. And if you really want to hang your own shingle and start your own firm, don’t; make that your second job, not your first.

Notwithstanding the importance of getting your CFP certification to ensure basic competency in providing comprehensive financial advice, earning the CFP marks should be considered a starting point, not an end point, for your education.

So what to do after you’re done with your CFP educational curriculum? The good news is that there are a growing number of post-CFP educational options. Personally I think the best default option is to pursue a Master’s degree in Financial Planning, which provides a broad but more in-depth financial planning education, and can be done through distance learning with a light courseload through a number of organizations, including the American College and the College for Financial Planning. Alternatively, if you have a particular interest in specializing in a certain niche area of financial planning, there are many focused advanced designation programs to consider, including the CLU for life insurance, the CFA for financial and investment analysis, the CPWA for private wealth management, and more.

In the long run, you’re going to want to pick a particular niche or area to specialize, but early on you’ll be focused more on learning and getting some experience in your first financial planner job (especially if you’re working as a staff member in a financial planning firm, and not out trying to get your own clients from scratch).

Also, while it’s important to continue learning, don’t delay on the prior step – get a job and get some experience, both because you’ll need it to get your CFP certification, and because it’s frankly easier to really learn the information when you’re doing it anyway! Work on your education part-time while you are working.

4) Join A Professional Membership Association For Financial Planners

If you want to be treated like a professional during your financial planner career, you need to be a part of a professional membership association. Your primary choices are the Financial Planning Association (FPA), or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA); the primary difference is that the latter is for advisors compensated only by fees, so you can only be involved there if you work for a fee-only firm.

If you’re eligible for both, try out a meeting or two with each (if there are local groups for both in your area), and see which one is more comfortable for you. (If you are coming to financial planning as a CPA, the Personal Financial Planning section of the AICPA is also a good option in this category.)

The financial planning membership associations all have a group for young planners to join, which gives them the opportunity to network and get to know other young planners at a similar career stage.

For the FPA, it’s NexGen; for NAPFA, it’s Genesis. The early years of your career will have challenges, and it’s good to have a group of peers going through similar difficulties, with whom you can relate, commiserate, and get some friendly advice.

If you’re a career changer who is new to financial planning but not “young” (as both NexGen and Genesis have age limits), consider the FPA’s MPACT (Mid-Profession And Career Transition community) group instead. And if you’re really serious about going out on your own as an independent advisor, check out XY Planning Network.

6) Get A Mentor To Help You Advance Your Financial Planner Career

One main financial careerIn continuing to build out your peer and support network for your early years as a financial planner, get a mentor (or several).

Mentor relationships can be formal or informal. For a formal mentor relationship, check out the mentor programs available through both the FPA’s MentorMatch and the NAPFA Genesis Mentor Program. Alternatively, if there’s a particular person you want to work with as a mentor, reach out to him/her directly as well.

Bear in mind that mentoring means different things to different people, though, so if you reach out yourself you may need to give the relationship some structure; I suggest buying yourself, and your requested mentor, a copy of “The Heart of Mentoring” by David Stoddard to help set a roadmap for expectations.

For an informal “mentor” relationship, just keep it simple – reach out to anyone you think you can learn something from, offer to buy him/her lunch, ask a lot of questions during your time together, and then just listen and learn! You’ll be amazed at how much most fellow planners are willing to share, especially with someone who’s new to the business.

As a part of both continuing your education, expanding your network of relationships, and overall professional development, go to at least 1 conference per year outside of your local area to gain some new perspective.

The FPA Residency program is a standalone intense training program – so intense, in fact, that the week you spend there is eligible for 3 months towards your CFP certification experience requirement! It’s not cheap (although there are sometimes scholarship programs to help), but if you’re planning to attend, the FPA member discount alone makes it worthwhile to join the FPA.

If you choose NAPFA University, you’ll attend one of the main NAPFA conferences, but simply participate in the NAPFA University track; although not quite the intensive and immersive experience of FPA Residency, the upshot is that you’ll get a bit more opportunity to interact with practitioners at all levels across the conference itself.

If you’re looking for something in a larger conference setting like NAPFA University, but aren’t eligible for NAPFA membership itself, there is a Nexgen track at the FPA National conference that’s worth considering as well.

Now that you’ve spent some time engaging in one of the membership associations, volunteer and give back. Join a committee for the local chapter or study group, or volunteer to contribute some of your time to the national organization.

Volunteering is not only a positive for the simple chance to give back to your profession, but it becomes an opportunity to meet people, network to future jobs, build relationships with future colleagues, and find additional mentors. If you’re thinking of starting to build your own business and clients someday, begin to volunteer and establish relationships with the community you someday hope to work with, whether that’s joining the local Chamber of Commerce or a specialized association in your target market.

You’re not going to be perfect at everything coming right out of the gate when you start down the financial advisor career track, and you are probably aware of some of your weaknesses. Tackle them.

Are you afraid of public speaking? Join Toastmasters. Looking to hone or start building some leadership skills, or learn to network better? Check out Dale Carnegie training. Are your technology or typing skills behind where they should be? Find a class for it.

In the long run, you’re going to be most successful by focusing on your strengths, but at some point you’ll have to shore up some of your weak points as well, and there’s no time like now to get started.

No, this doesn’t mean that you should stay in a dead-end job with a firm that isn’t growing, but it does mean that it’s unrealistic to expect that the firm will hand you a bunch of clients of your own in your first year.

Realize that every job you can do within a financial planning firm will teach you something – yes, even those administrative tasks, because the reality is that paperwork matters and botching it for clients is a great way to lose them – and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as next year you get to spend a bit more time on bigger and better tasks and job duties.

If you’re not happy with how things are progressing, ask to sit down with your boss and then ask for more responsibility, but accept that sometimes the answer will be “eventually, but not right now” and that you’ll need to ask again in 6 months.

Most of those successful planners you see took 7, 10, or 15 years before their firms got to a comfortable point of providing a stable income to them, so be happy that in today’s world you may get to a similar place in only 5-10 years.

So what do you think? Did I miss anything important on my list here? Is there something you’d disagree with? Do you have tips for new planners from your own experience? Or any regrets you’d suggest someone else not repeat? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!