Career Development

Financial Analyst Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

A finance analyst is a person who researches and analyzes financial data and information to help companies make financial decisions.

A finance analyst is a person who researches and analyzes financial data and information to help companies make financial decisions.

Finance analysts typically work in large corporations, banks, or investment firms. They use a variety of financial analysis tools, including spreadsheets and financial modeling software, to determine the value of stocks and bonds, forecast company growth, and evaluate mergers and acquisitions.

Finance analysts also use their knowledge of accounting and economics to help companies evaluate their cash flow and investment strategies. They may also work with other departments, such as marketing and sales, to forecast company revenues.

Financial Analyst Job Duties

 Finance analysts typically have a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Providing advice and counsel to senior management on a variety of financial matters
  • Conducting market research and gathering data to support investment decisions
  • Preparing budgets and forecasts for future fiscal years.
  • Preparing financial forecasts, budgets, and projections
  • Assisting with tax planning and compliance activities
  • Performing analysis of accounting data to identify trends or potential problems in the company’s finances
  • Reviewing account statements, reports, and other records for accuracy and completeness

Financial Analyst Salary & Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that, as of May 2020, the median annual wage for financial analysts was $83,660, with the top earners bringing home more than $159,560 per year.

This job will remain in demand as the growth of “big data” and technological improvements allow financial analysts to access a wide range of data and conduct high-quality analysis. This analysis will help businesses manage their finances, identify investment trends, and deliver new products or services to clients.

Financial Analyst Job Requirements

The finance analyst position requires the following training and education:

Education: A bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting or a similar field of study is generally required for a financial analyst role. A master’s degree may be required by some employers.

Training: Not all employers require a financial analyst to complete a specific training program before beginning work in the field. However, many of them complete an internship at a financial institution or a government office. An internship allows them to gain real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed financial analyst.

Certifications: Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) is one of the most common certifications for finance professionals. In addition, many financial analysts obtain a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Financial Analyst Skills

In addition to education and other requirements, candidates that possess the following skills may be able to perform more successfully in the job:

Business sense: A finance analyst needs a good business sense in order to evaluate different investment opportunities.

Analytical skills: Finance analysts must be able to analyze financial data and draw conclusions from it.

Ability to work under pressure: Financial analysis is an intense job that requires employees to meet deadlines and work under pressure.

Mathematical reasoning: A candidate for this position should have an aptitude for mathematics and the ability to solve complex mathematical problems.

Strong communication skills: Employees must be able to clearly explain their findings and make recommendations for action.

Financial Analyst Work Environment

Finance analysts work in an office setting and may spend time in the field for client meetings. They spend a lot of time using a computer and may work long hours.

One downside to this job is the amount of stress involved. Finance analysts must deal with a great deal of pressure in their jobs, and they also have a high risk of job burnout. There is also a great deal of competition for this position, and finding work can be difficult.

Financial Analyst Career Advancement

If you prove yourself an effective financial analyst, you’ll enjoy many advancement opportunities. Some may want to go on to become a portfolio manager, while others will seek out more technical roles in the industry. Opportunities might include becoming an equity analyst or a derivatives trader. You may also be able to advance into management or act as an advisor.

Financial Analyst Trends

Here are three trends influencing how Financial Analysts work. Financial Analysts will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

It’s All About Data Visualization

The world of finance is becoming increasingly data-driven, which means that effective data visualization has become an essential skill for any aspiring or experienced financial professional looking to advance in their career.

For example, Business Insider found that more than half of all business leaders surveyed expect more from employees who can make visual presentations about key company metrics—so if you want to get ahead at your organization, it will be important to develop this valuable skill!

Changes in Regulations

In recent years, regulators have increased enforcement of regulations related to financial misconduct, such as tighter scrutiny over conflicts of interest or increased pressure for organizations to improve ethics policies.

It is crucial that professionals stay up-to-date on regulatory changes as any violations can lead to serious consequences like fines or even jail time; those who neglect this trend may find themselves caught off guard by a sudden change in policy and be unprepared for certain situations.

Increased Data Analysis

In recent years, data analysis has become an increasingly important competency for financial analysts. This trend is driven by the increased prevalence of big data; with more information available than ever before, skilled analytical thinkers are becoming more valuable than ever before as they help companies make strategic decisions about how best to capitalize on new opportunities or avoid pitfalls in a highly dynamic environment.

How to Become a Financial Analyst

1. Planning Your Career Path

Becoming a financial analyst requires a strong understanding of both finance and business, along with advanced quantitative skills and a genuine interest in how companies make money. If any of these points seem elusive or overwhelming to you, take some time to develop your knowledge of both financial and business principles before you decide to commit to a career in financial analysis.

2. Writing a Resume

If you are interested in a career as a financial analyst, it is important that your resume reflect your knowledge of accounting and finance. To make sure that your resume stands out to employers, focus on relevant experience or any achievements you have made in these areas. If possible, include the dollar amount saved or gained through specific tasks.

3. Applying for Jobs

Whether you are looking for your first job or advancing your career, the process of applying for jobs is a challenging one. It can be overwhelming to look at all of the different jobs available and all of the different skill sets that are required to excel in them.

In order to help yourself narrow down the list of jobs to which you want to apply, consider what factors are most important to you in a workplace. A great work environment? Interesting coworkers? Company culture? If you know what you’re looking for, it will be easier to identify jobs that offer those things.

4. Ace the Interview

Before an interview as a financial analyst candidate, it is important to learn as much about the company as possible. Make sure you know their history and goals. Also, be prepared to ask intelligent questions about the position and the industry. During an interview, try to appear knowledgeable by using industry terms and making well-thought-out answers; however, do not be too pushy or overly critical when you are asked questions.


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