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Become A Finance/Accounting Analyst

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Working As A Finance/Accounting Analyst

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $64,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Finance/Accounting Analyst Do

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

Duties

Financial analysts typically do the following:

  • Recommend individual investments and collections of investments, which are known as portfolios
  • Evaluate current and historical financial data
  • Study economic and business trends
  • Examine a company’s financial statements to determine its value
  • Meet with company officials to gain better insight into the company’s prospects
  • Assess the strength of the management team
  • Prepare written reports

Financial analysts evaluate investment opportunities. They work in banks, pension funds, mutual funds, securities firms, insurance companies, and other businesses. Financial analysts are also called securities analysts and investment analysts.

Financial analysts can be divided into two categories: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts.

  • Buy-side analysts develop investment strategies for companies that have a lot of money to invest. These companies, called institutional investors, include mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, independent money managers, and nonprofit organizations with large endowments, such as some universities.
  • Sell-side analysts advise financial services sales agents who sell stocks, bonds, and other investments.

Some analysts work for the business media or other research houses, which are independent from the buy and sell side.

Financial analysts generally focus on trends affecting a specific industry, geographical region, or type of product. For example, an analyst may focus on a subject area such as the energy industry, a world region such as Eastern Europe, or the foreign exchange market. They must understand how new regulations, policies, and political and economic trends may affect investments.

Investing is becoming more global, and some financial analysts specialize in a particular country or region. Companies want those financial analysts to understand the language, culture, business environment, and political conditions in the country or region that they cover.

The following are examples of types of financial analysts:

Portfolio managers select the mix of products, industries, and regions for their company’s investment portfolio. These managers are responsible for the overall performance of the portfolio. They are also expected to explain investment decisions and strategies in meetings with stakeholders.

Fund managers work exclusively with hedge funds or mutual funds. Both fund and portfolio managers frequently make buy or sell decisions in reaction to quickly changing market conditions.

Ratings analysts evaluate the ability of companies or governments to pay their debts, including bonds. On the basis of their evaluation, a management team rates the risk of a company or government not being able to repay its bonds.

Risk analysts evaluate the risk in investment decisions and determine how to manage unpredictability and limit potential losses. This job is carried out by making investment decisions such as selecting dissimilar stocks or having a combination of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in a portfolio.

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How To Become A Finance/Accounting Analyst

Financial analysts typically must have a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often required for advanced positions.

Education

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. A number of fields of study provide appropriate preparation, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, and mathematics. For advanced positions, employers often require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of options pricing, bond valuation, and risk management are important.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the main licensing organization for the securities industry. It requires licenses for many financial analyst positions. Most of the licenses require sponsorship by an employer, so companies do not expect individuals to have these licenses before starting a job.

Certification is often recommended by employers and can improve the chances for advancement. An example is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification from the CFA Institute. Financial analysts can become CFA certified if they have a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of qualified work experience, and pass three exams. Financial analysts can also become certified in their field of specialty.

Advancement

Financial analysts typically start by specializing in a specific investment field. As they gain experience, they can become portfolio managers, who select the mix of investments for a company’s portfolio. They can also become fund managers, who manage large investment portfolios for individual investors. A master’s degree in finance or business administration can improve an analyst’s chances of advancing to one of these positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial analysts must process a range of information in finding profitable investments.

Communication skills. Financial analysts must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand.

Computer skills. Financial analysts must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts.

Decisionmaking skills. Financial analysts must provide a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell a security.

Detail oriented. Financial analysts must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment.

Math skills. Financial analysts use mathematical skills when estimating the value of financial securities. 

To be successful, financial analysts must be motivated to seek out obscure information that may be important to the investment. Many work independently and must have self-confidence in their judgment.

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Finance/Accounting Analyst Career Paths

Finance/Accounting Analyst
Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Accountant Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Supervisor Accounting Manager
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Accountant Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Controller Finance Manager
Finance Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Reporting Manager Assistant Controller
Assistant Director Of Finance
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Associate Senior Auditor
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Assistant Controller Division Controller
Group Controller
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Office Manager Business Manager
Business Manager-Finance Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Associate Senior Auditor
Corporate Accounting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Office Manager Assistant Controller
Unit Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Pricing Analyst Senior Cost Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
Regional Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Business Manager Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Analyst Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Supervisor Accounts Payable Manager Credit Manager
Treasury Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst/Accountant Cost Accountant Accounting Supervisor
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst/Accountant Cost Accountant Accountant And Office Manager
Finance Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Finance/Accounting Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Accounting Officer 4.0 years
Accounting Analyst 3.0 years
Finance Executive 3.0 years
Finance Analyst 2.8 years
Treasury Analyst 2.7 years
Revenue Analyst 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Finance/Accounting Analyst
Accountant 13.0%
Internship 3.6%
Controller 3.6%
Analyst 2.2%
Top Careers After Finance/Accounting Analyst
Accountant 8.1%
Controller 6.3%
Consultant 2.9%
Analyst 2.3%

Do you work as a Finance/Accounting Analyst?

Average Yearly Salary
$64,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$40,000
Min 10%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Median 50%
$101,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Finance/Accounting Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Finance/Accounting Analyst in the United States is $64,496 per year or $31 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $40,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $101,000.

Real Finance/Accounting Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Financial Accounting Analyst MSD Capital, L.P. New York, NY Sep 11, 2012 $150,000
Financial Accounting Analyst Citibank, N.A. Islandia, NY Jul 27, 2015 $105,000
Financial Accounting Analyst Autodesk, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2016 $103,106 -
$123,106
SAP Financial Accounting Business Analyst Copart, Inc. Dallas, TX Sep 20, 2014 $97,822 -
$121,200
Financial Accounting Lead Analyst Citigroup Technology, Inc. Tampa, FL Apr 09, 2012 $91,800
Financial/International Accounting Analyst/Accounting Manager Next Generation Technology Inc. Arlington Heights, IL Sep 15, 2015 $91,270
Financial Accounting Analyst-GSO Finance The Blackstone Group New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $90,000
Accounting & Finance Analyst IV Tektronix, Inc. Beaverton, OR Nov 17, 2011 $85,060
Accounting & Finance Analyst IV Tektronix, Inc. Beaverton, OR Oct 01, 2011 $85,060
Ccar Accounting & Finance Analyst Santander Bank, N.A. Boston, MA Jan 10, 2015 $85,000 -
$115,000
Ccar Accounting & Finance Analyst Santander Bank, N.A. Boston, MA Oct 01, 2015 $85,000 -
$115,000
Accounting and Financial Analyst IV (Technical Accountant) Tektronix, Inc. Beaverton, OR Mar 28, 2016 $82,778
Financial/Accounting Analyst Mark Cunningham Inc. New York, NY Sep 30, 2012 $80,000
Finance and Accounting Analyst Specialty Minerals Inc. Bethlehem, PA Mar 20, 2013 $79,539 -
$85,000
Financial Analyst-Accounting Appnexus, Inc. New York, NY Sep 11, 2015 $65,000
Financial Operations/Accounting Analyst Invex, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 27, 2012 $65,000
Financial Accounting Analyst Fresenius Management Services, Inc., A Fresenius M Waltham, MA Oct 01, 2013 $64,378
Financial Operations/Accounting Analyst Invex Inc. Miami, FL Sep 25, 2015 $63,000
Financial Accounting Analyst Fresenius Management Services, Inc. Waltham, MA Jun 28, 2011 $61,197
Financial Accounting Analyst Citigroup Technology, Inc. Tampa, FL Mar 26, 2012 $61,056
Financial Accounting Analyst Citicorp North America, Inc. Tampa, FL Nov 15, 2011 $60,056
Accounting and Financial Analyst Maxim Commercial Capital, LLC Los Angeles, CA Sep 17, 2015 $60,000
Accounting/Finance Analyst National Youth Advocate Program, Inc. Deerfield Beach, FL Apr 13, 2016 $57,574
Finance and Accounting Rotation Analyst Ca, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 01, 2013 $57,000
Financial/Accounting Analyst Bahwan Cybertek Inc. Natick, MA Jun 10, 2013 $57,000 -
$120,000
Finance and Accounting Rotation Analyst Ca, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 05, 2013 $57,000
Finance and Accounting Rotation Analyst Ca, Inc. Islandia, NY May 09, 2013 $57,000
Finance/Accounting Analyst Humana Insurance Company Campbell, CA Oct 06, 2014 $55,786 -
$85,375
Accounting/Financial Analyst New Deal LLC Fort Lee, NJ Jul 09, 2016 $55,556
Financial Accounting Analyst Alan C. Young & Associates, P.C. Detroit, MI May 02, 2012 $55,120

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Top Skills for A Finance/Accounting Analyst

  1. Financial Statements
  2. General Ledger Accounts
  3. Journal Entries
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared bi-weekly and monthly payroll, attorney/management financial statements, and year end cost accounting and utilization schedules.
  • Reviewed and reconciled general ledger accounts and investigated differences and explained variances.
  • Prepared adjusting journal entries and supported the overall accounting operations by performing a variety of complex reports and reconciliation.
  • Developed internal control processes and have worked with senior management and external auditors to explain processes.
  • Provided comprehensive explanations for significant fluctuations in balance sheet accounts.

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Top 10 Best States for Finance/Accounting Analysts

  1. Connecticut
  2. Minnesota
  3. California
  4. New Jersey
  5. Colorado
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Texas
  8. New York
  9. Virginia
  10. District of Columbia
  • (576 jobs)
  • (1,152 jobs)
  • (6,227 jobs)
  • (1,123 jobs)
  • (940 jobs)
  • (1,455 jobs)
  • (3,081 jobs)
  • (2,323 jobs)
  • (1,756 jobs)
  • (544 jobs)

Finance/Accounting Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

45.2%

Female

43.1%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

54.2%

Asian

15.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.6%

French

12.5%

Cantonese

7.7%

Mandarin

6.7%

Russian

6.7%

Portuguese

5.8%

Chinese

4.8%

Hindi

3.8%

German

2.9%

Gujarati

1.9%

Indonesian

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Wolof

1.0%

Yoruba

1.0%

Bengali

1.0%

Thai

1.0%
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Finance/Accounting Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.1%

DePaul University

8.9%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.7%

University of Houston

5.8%

University of Central Florida

4.9%

New York University

4.4%

San Jose State University

4.4%

University of Maryland - University College

4.0%

Georgia State University

4.0%

University of Connecticut

4.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.6%

University of Texas at Austin

3.6%

Florida State University

3.6%

Florida International University

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.1%

Saint John's University - New York

3.1%

Temple University

3.1%

Webster University

3.1%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.1%
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Majors

Accounting

35.0%

Business

29.2%

Finance

22.3%

Economics

3.1%

Management

2.7%

Computer Information Systems

0.9%

Marketing

0.8%

Business Economics

0.7%

Management Science

0.6%

International Business

0.6%

Elementary Education

0.5%

Liberal Arts

0.5%

Education

0.4%

Management Information Systems

0.4%

Health Care Administration

0.4%

Human Resources Management

0.4%

Information Systems

0.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.4%

Mathematics

0.4%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.4%

Masters

38.1%

Other

8.1%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

1.9%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.1%

Diploma

0.1%
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