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Become A Finance/Accounting Analyst

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Working As A Finance/Accounting Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $56,143

    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 jobs

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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 Lead Analyst Citicorp North America, Inc. Tampa, FL Dec 13, 2010 $90,000
Financial Accounting Analyst-GSO Finance The Blackstone Group New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $90,000
Associate Financial Accounting Analyst Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Houston, TX Dec 01, 2010 $80,740
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
Analyst, Finance & Accounting Comcast Cable Communications, LLC Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $78,631
Financial Planning & Accounting Analyst III Santander Bank, N.A. Boston, MA Apr 11, 2016 $75,000 -
$85,000
Financial Accounting Analyst Wilson Subway LLC Plymouth, NC May 04, 2016 $73,000
Analyst, Financial Accounting & Services Arcelormittal USA LLC East Chicago, IN May 25, 2011 $68,640
Financial Accounting Analyst Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $67,000
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
Finance and Accounting Rotation Analyst Ca, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 01, 2013 $55,000
Financial and Accounting Analyst Topson Downs of California, Inc. Culver City, CA Aug 09, 2016 $55,000
Finance & Accounting Analyst Omnium Chicago, IL Mar 07, 2010 $55,000 -
$70,000
Finance and Accounting Rotation Analyst Ca, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 05, 2013 $55,000
Financial Accounting Analyst International Sos Assistance, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 16, 2014 $55,000 -
$65,000
Finance & Accounting Analyst Citadel Solutions, LLC Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2009 $55,000 -
$70,000

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Top Skills for A Finance/Accounting Analyst

MonthlyFinancialStatementsExternalAuditorsGeneralLedgerAccountsAssetBalanceSheetAccountsPayrollMonth-EndJournalEntriesVarianceAnalysisFinancialAnalysisPFinancialReportsSOXGaapIncomeBusinessUnitsFinancialDataLossFinancialInformationPeoplesoftSpecialProjects

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Top Finance/Accounting Analyst Skills

  1. Monthly Financial Statements
  2. External Auditors
  3. General Ledger Accounts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed and approved monthly Financial Statements.
  • Developed internal control processes and have worked with senior management and external auditors to explain processes.
  • Reconcile and analyze a variety of internal general ledger accounts.
  • Analyzed and reconciled $1.1 billion Fixed Assets for SEC reporting monthly, quarterly and annual statements.
  • Review and certify balance sheet accounts.

Finance/Accounting Analyst Videos

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