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Difference between AFM-PA and Math/CA

A photo of abe1144 abe1144
Hello,

I am deciding between AFM-PA and Math/Ca, but I do not know the difference is.
Also I heard that there is an AFAA for AFM----what is that?

Thank you in advance for replying
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A photo of g93 g93
AFM is Accounting and Financial Management. The program has underwent a massive overhaul, so some htings that were true in the past about the program are no longer true. There are two "co-op streams"- Public Accounting (PA) and Financial Management (FM). The admission average two years ago was 92 reportedly for PA and 89 for FM, so you can see the competitiveness of the program in general and of the two streams. You will take a variety of accounting, business and finance courses over your first two years. After that, you begin to specialize. There are 3 ways you can specialize- public accounting (for prospective CAs essentially), management accounting (for prospective CMAs essentially) and finance (for prospective CFAs essentially). It can and does get more complicated than that, but that is the easiest way to explain it. More information on that here.

Math/CA is essentially the same thing as AFM, except you take math courses as your electives and I believe now after the changes to all of the programs you take a couple less AFM courses in order to have room for more math courses.

Math/CA has a higher admission average than AFM. There are many people who apply to it because it is more prestigious and harder to get into, so it must be good. Some of these people end up wondering why they are in accounting, let alone math and accounting. Don't be one of these people.

The argument for Math/CA vs AFM is that taking math courses develops "higher learning" and builds up your critical thinking skills. There are also options to pursue graduate studies in math-related fields. You can also always switch into AFM and drop the math courses if you find that Waterloo math is too difficult.

The argument against Math/CA is that it gives no advantage when applying for co-op jobs, and the extra time dedicated to math courses could be better served focusing on ECs or other core courses.

Bottom line only go for Math/CA if you are intrigued by the benefits listed, love math, and have strong math skills.

The other programs that are part of the Waterloo School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) are Biotech/CA (same principles as Math/CA but with science) and Computing and Financial Management (CFM).

The AFMAA (Accounting and Financial Management Admissions Assignment (AFMAA) is a test written at the Waterloo Campus in April (unless you live too far away, in which case you arrange to write with a proctor where you live). Invites will be sent out in March (as long as your average is above ~83/84% I believe). There will be thousands of parents and students there on the day of the AFMAA, and faculty/students of AFM will be there to answer questions. The test is 2-3 essay questions, and takes 2 hours. The AFMAA "requires no preparation or previous knowledge in the areas of accounting, business, or math". "The goal of the AFMAA is to admit students who are not only academically strong, but have certain skills and attributes which will make them more successful both in the classroom and in the workplace. Although there are many skills and attributes that are important, the School of Accounting and Finance has chosen to assess the following areas:

Written Communication
The ability to read and comprehend, to write well, make appropriate word choices, correctly apply grammar rules, use appropriate sentence structure, organize and express ideas clearly, and develop and support the main idea of the written piece.
Interpersonal, Teamwork and Leadership Skills
The ability to reflect on experiences as a leader and as a team/group member, and knowledge in group dynamics, interpersonal skills and organizational skills that relate your knowledge and those experiences in a written response.
Critical/Analytical Thinking/Judgment
The ability to think analytically, form an opinion and support it, and to solve problems."

More information on the AFMAA can be found here.

If you have any more questions about AFM or Math/CA, or anything related to accounting/business/admissions/etc. in general, feel free to ask here or send me a PM (it will be the fastest way for you to get a response from me).
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Good post, I'll add some of my opinion later.

One thing though - I believe MathCAs may only transfer to AFM-FM and not AFM-PA.
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A photo of Ren416 Ren416
hey so through the AFM-PA you can still get your CA licience in 5 years? Also, how long would it take to get your CFA if you take one of the co-op programs in Waterloo?
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A photo of g93 g93

@immaculatedx wrote

One thing though - I believe MathCAs may only transfer to AFM-FM and not AFM-PA.


I believe you are correct.


@Ren416 wrote
hey so through the AFM-PA you can still get your CA licience in 5 years? Also, how long would it take to get your CFA if you take one of the co-op programs at Waterloo?

f course you can become a CA through AFM (PA or FM btw). Think of AFM as the base program, and Math/CA and Biotech/CA are the same thing with a few modifications.

It will be possible to write the UFE after 5 years if you choose to complete the MAcc program or if you choose the Diploma program you are 4 2/3 years plus you have to write the CKE and SOA. You will get the chance to get up to 20 months of work experience towards your CA designation. Once you pass the UFE and complete your work experience requirements you will have your CA designation (not license btw).

As for the CFA designation, Waterloo will not hold you up any. You might be in school a few months longer potentially but you will have some extra co-op time in there, and work experience is a requirement. There are a few exams that you must write for the CFA designation, and I am not 100% sure of the timing. If you really want to know how the timing is specific to a Waterloo program just PM me and I will get an answer.
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A photo of chocolate121 chocolate121

@immaculatedx wrote
Good post, I'll add some of my opinion later.

One thing though - I believe MathCAs may only transfer to AFM-FM and not AFM-PA.



It's true. I was told by Carol Treitz that:

1. All transfers take place beginning in a Fall term. We do not transfer students into the Winter term.
2. All students transferring into AFM are placed into 1st year in the FM co-op option.

You'll pretty much have to start over again, in a non-CA stream no less. So pick Math/CA only if you really like math since it's hell staying just for the CA part of the program (I know from experience).
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A photo of Virtuoso Virtuoso
I heard that the big 4 only hire (co-op) from Math/CA and not AFM-PA . . . Is this true?

Also, if it is not true do students from both programs have an equal chance?
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@Virtuoso wrote
I heard that the big 4 only hire (co-op) from Math/CA and not AFM-PA . . . Is this true?

Also, if it is not true do students from both programs have an equal chance?


The Big 4 hire from both PA and Math/CA. There is no advantage to being in Math/CA: employers don't care that the admission average is higher.

Math/CA is a great program, but it's not for everyone. If you're good at math, genuinely enjoy it, would like to build your critical thinking skills and give yourself the option to pursue graduate studies in mathematics, Math/CA is for you. If you want to go because it's harder to get into and it's perceived to be more prestigious, don't even bother applying.

With the recent program changes, I truly believe that AFM is better than Math/CA. Not everyone is going o agree with this, but I'd say for most people considering either or both, AFM is the better/safer option.

@ chocolate121 Hmm, so with the recent program changes and the differences between the two I guess they're making Math/CAs redo first year. Did you happen to ask/find out what they do with the courses youve already taken? Seems odd that they'd let you repeat courses.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@g93 wrote

With the recent program changes, I truly believe that AFM is better than Math/CA. Not everyone is going o agree with this, but I'd say for most people considering either or both, AFM is the better/safer option.




Fully agree.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
With that being said, unfortunately the Math/CA admission average is going to stay as high for the next couple of years (at least), misleading typical Asian parents, giving them reason to believe this program is really great and forcing their sheltered teenagers here. This large demand will keep the average up ... and the cycle repeats.

Oh well.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@g93 wrote

Math/CA is a great program, but it's not for everyone. If you're good at math, genuinely enjoy it, would like to build your critical thinking skills and give yourself the option to pursue graduate studies in mathematics, Math/CA is for you.




But if really wanted those skills, the 3 required math (Statistics) courses beyond first year aren't really going to help you achieve them.
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