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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

  • $64,334

    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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Finance/Accounting Analyst Career Paths

Finance/Accounting Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis Manager, Finance Analysis Assistant Controller
Assistant Corporate Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst/Accountant Finance Analyst Finance Manager
Business Manager-Finance Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Controller, Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Manager Finance Planning And Analysis Controller
Controller/Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Finance Manager Controller
Controller/Director Of Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Analyst Finance Analyst Controller
Controller/Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Corporate Accounting Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Business Manager Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
Divisional Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Controller
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Assistant Controller Controller
Interim Controller
15 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Finance Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Controller Accountant-Contractor Senior Accountant
Manager/Finance Accounting
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst/Accountant Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Regional Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Controller Senior Finance Analyst
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Senior Manager Corporate Controller
Unit Controller
8 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
Finance Supervisor 3.6 years
Cost Accountant 3.5 years
Accountant 3.5 years
General Accountant 3.3 years
Account Analyst 2.8 years
Accounting Analyst 2.8 years
Finance Analyst 2.7 years
Top Employers Before
Accountant 12.1%
Internship 4.1%
Controller 4.0%
Analyst 2.3%
Top Employers After
Accountant 8.0%
Controller 6.2%
Consultant 2.6%
Analyst 2.3%

Do you work as a Finance/Accounting Analyst?

Finance/Accounting Analyst Demographics

Gender

Female

48.8%

Male

48.0%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

54.1%

Asian

16.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.0%

French

11.3%

Cantonese

7.5%

Portuguese

6.3%

Russian

6.3%

Hindi

5.0%

Mandarin

5.0%

Chinese

3.8%

German

3.8%

Indonesian

2.5%

Gujarati

2.5%

Urdu

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Wolof

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Thai

1.3%

Yoruba

1.3%

Bengali

1.3%
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Finance/Accounting Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.8%

DePaul University

9.2%

San Jose State University

6.4%

University of Texas at Dallas

5.7%

University of Connecticut

5.0%

University of Central Florida

5.0%

University of Houston

5.0%

Western Michigan University

5.0%

New York University

4.3%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.3%

Florida State University

4.3%

University of Chicago

4.3%

Florida International University

3.5%

Wilmington University

3.5%

Georgia State University

3.5%

University of Southern California

3.5%

Loyola University of Chicago

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Drexel University

3.5%
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Majors

Accounting

34.3%

Business

28.4%

Finance

23.5%

Economics

3.0%

Management

2.9%

Marketing

0.9%

Computer Information Systems

0.8%

Elementary Education

0.8%

International Business

0.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.5%

Management Science

0.5%

Management Information Systems

0.5%

Real Estate

0.5%

Public Administration

0.5%

Information Technology

0.5%

Engineering Technology

0.4%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.4%

Health Care Administration

0.4%

Human Resources Management

0.4%

Public Relations

0.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.6%

Masters

40.1%

Other

9.2%

Associate

3.0%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Oct 01, 2011 $85,060
Accounting & Finance Analyst IV Tektronix, Inc. Beaverton, OR Nov 17, 2011 $85,060
Ccar Accounting & Finance Analyst Santander Bank, N.A. Boston, MA Oct 01, 2015 $85,000 -
$115,000
Ccar Accounting & Finance Analyst Santander Bank, N.A. Boston, MA Jan 10, 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 Nov 19, 2011 $55,120

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Top Skills for A Finance/Accounting Analyst

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  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:
  • Provide analysis of specific property financial statements and assists with communication to senior management in the utilization of these analyses.
  • Conducted data research for Disaster Recovery Project, closed month-end books, balance sheet analysis and administered general ledger accounts.
  • Performed accounting functions including review of journal entries and preparation of supporting documentation for financial reporting.
  • Developed internal control processes and have worked with senior management and external auditors to explain processes.
  • Performed monthly account reconciliation to ensure proper tracking of assets.

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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
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  • (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)

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