A finance analyst is responsible for evaluating a company's financial data and historical reports to assess investment opportunities and provide accurate financial statements in support of business strategies and company performance prediction. A financial analyst's duties also include suggesting recommendations to boost operations efficiency and grow revenues, researching the current market performance and economic trends to adjust budget goals as needed, and managing client portfolios. Finance analysts must have excellent critical and analytical thinking skills to identify the best actions for the company's profitability.

Finance Analyst Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real finance analyst resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage company asset accounts, wire funds to clients and record and structure amounts into QuickBooks.
  • Manage the UAT team involve in the testing of an enterprise accounting and project management software.
  • Manage data entry, reporting, analysis of G/L, A/P, A/R, billing, purchasing & bank balances.
  • Manage monthly and annual forecasting processes, including submission of numbers to HQ as well as budget packet for CFO.
  • Manage contract database and SalesForce for historical research and financial reporting purposes.
  • Manage and maintain information in worldwide-military database which include exemptions, transfers, retirements, and payroll records.
  • Close WbS elements, update purchase orders with new WbS elements.
  • Maintain working papers for year-end CPA audit and develop expense reports in FRX.
  • Prepare consolidate financial reports and tax schedules for CPA use in preparing corporate income tax returns.
  • Prepare PowerPoint presentations for operating and business performance reviews highlighting volumes, margins, and cost variances.
Finance Analyst Traits
Computer skills involves understanding how to operate a computer, as well as computer programs and applications.
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.

Finance Analyst Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a finance analyst is "should I become a finance analyst?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, finance analyst careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a finance analyst by 2028 is 20,300.

A finance analyst annual salary averages $72,552, which breaks down to $34.88 an hour. However, finance analysts can earn anywhere from upwards of $47,000 to $110,000 a year. This means that the top-earning finance analysts make $63,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a finance analyst. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a treasury analyst, cost analyst, control analyst, and investment analyst.

Finance Analyst Jobs You Might Like

Finance Analyst Resume Examples

Finance Analyst Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 22% of Finance Analysts are proficient in Financial Statements, Financial Models, and Special Projects. They’re also known for soft skills such as Computer skills, Analytical skills, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Finance Analysts that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Financial Statements, 22%

    Reviewed monthly and annual financial statements of Wealth and Assets Management, analyzed and linked financial results to operational performance.

  • Financial Models, 5%

    Provide support company-wide through business planning process by creating fiscal year budget, balance scorecard, financial modeling and true-up/allocations process.

  • Special Projects, 4%

    Selected for special project valuations involving multiple disciplines based on keen ability to research and identify company/industry data at minimal charge.

  • Variance Analysis, 4%

    Provided general ledger account variance analysis and explanation of monthly reconciliation of general ledger accounts and follow-up on outstanding items.

  • Business Partners, 3%

    Demonstrated professional communication skills through daily collaborations with foreign and domestic business partners in explanations of highly complex algorithms and processes

  • Customer Service, 3%

    Conduct cost investigations to determine pricing adjustments using advanced Excel applications; Customer service financial and service level conference calls.

Most finance analysts list "financial statements," "financial models," and "special projects" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important finance analyst responsibilities here:

  • Computer skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a finance analyst to have. According to a finance analyst resume, "financial analysts must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts." Finance analysts are able to use computer skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "accomplished in material resource planning (mrp) and erp procedures and computer software. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform finance analyst duties is the following: analytical skills. According to a finance analyst resume, "financial analysts must process a range of information in finding profitable investments." Check out this example of how finance analysts use analytical skills: "developed, maintained financial models/applications (vba excel/access) to automate and streamline business processes and perform financial analysis. "
  • Communication skills is also an important skill for finance analysts to have. This example of how finance analysts use this skill comes from a finance analyst resume, "financial analysts must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "improved internal communication efforts among business units. "
  • In order for certain finance analyst responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "detail oriented." According to a finance analyst resume, "financial analysts must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "utilize knowledge of excel, sharepoint, and vba to create reports, scorecards, and macro-oriented templates. "
  • As part of the finance analyst description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "math skills." A finance analyst resume included this snippet: "financial analysts use mathematical skills when estimating the value of financial securities." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "managed the monthly and quarterly key statistics reports for two online business units. "
  • See the full list of finance analyst skills.

    Before becoming a finance analyst, 75.9% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 16.2% finance analysts went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most finance analysts have a college degree. But about one out of every nine finance analysts didn't attend college at all.

    Those finance analysts who do attend college, typically earn either business degrees or accounting degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for finance analysts include finance degrees or economics degrees.

    Once you're ready to become a finance analyst, you should explore the companies that typically hire finance analysts. According to finance analyst resumes that we searched through, finance analysts are hired the most by Robert Half International, Deloitte, and Amazon.com. Currently, Robert Half International has 161 finance analyst job openings, while there are 119 at Deloitte and 68 at Amazon.com.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, finance analysts tend to earn the biggest salaries at DineGigs, Luminus, and McKinsey & Company. Take DineGigs for example. The median finance analyst salary is $179,126. At Luminus, finance analysts earn an average of $167,645, while the average at McKinsey & Company is $165,600. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on finance analyst salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at IBM, Lockheed Martin, and JPMorgan Chase. These three companies have hired a significant number of finance analysts from these institutions.

    In general, finance analysts fulfill roles in the finance and technology industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the finance analyst annual salary is the highest in the finance industry with $90,414 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the technology and retail industries pay $89,439 and $74,141 respectively. This means that finance analysts who are employed in the finance industry make 25.8% more than finance analysts who work in the health care Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious finance analysts are:

      What Treasury Analysts Do

      A treasury analyst is a professional who manages and analyses the financial activities of an organization that can include cash flows, liability obligations, and assets. Treasury analysts are required to execute the daily cash management of the organization such as cash forecasting, investing of excess cash, and running a hedging program in interest rates. They must present monthly reports and daily briefings on cash flows to senior management and provide advice on the financial operations of the movement of cash. Treasury analysts also update treasury policies and procedures for the organization to comply.

      In this section, we compare the average finance analyst annual salary with that of a treasury analyst. Typically, treasury analysts earn a $6,904 higher salary than finance analysts earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both finance analysts and treasury analysts positions are skilled in financial statements, financial models, and special projects.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a finance analyst responsibilities require skills like "business partners," "customer service," "financial performance," and "data analysis." Meanwhile a typical treasury analyst has skills in areas such as "treasury operations," "ach," "treasury department," and "credit card." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Treasury analysts receive the highest salaries in the energy industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $104,531. But finance analysts are paid more in the finance industry with an average salary of $90,414.

      The education levels that treasury analysts earn is a bit different than that of finance analysts. In particular, treasury analysts are 4.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a finance analyst. Additionally, they're 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Cost Analyst?

      Cost Analysts are employees with a strong background in finance or accounting. They are in charge of collecting financial data and analyzing the entries. They study the company's expenses and prepare pertinent reports. Cost Analysts look for inconsistencies in the financial data. This way, they can assist in auditing the company's spending. Cost Analysts also look for inefficiencies. They do so by tracking item costs and department budgets and monitoring department expenses. They are also involved in budget-setting activities.

      The next role we're going to look at is the cost analyst profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $9,940 lower salary than finance analysts per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of finance analysts and cost analysts are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "financial statements," "special projects," and "variance analysis. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, finance analyst responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "financial models," "business partners," "customer service," and "ad-hoc analysis." Meanwhile, a cost analyst might be skilled in areas such as "cost estimates," "dod," "project management," and "cost models." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, cost analysts earn a lower salary than finance analysts. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, cost analysts earn the most pay in the energy industry with an average salary of $79,955. Whereas, finance analysts have higher paychecks in the finance industry where they earn an average of $90,414.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, cost analysts tend to reach lower levels of education than finance analysts. In fact, they're 8.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Finance Analysts in the next 3-5 years?

      Miguel Vicens

      Associate Dean of School of Business, Associate Professor of Finance, Western New Mexico University

      You might already be an expert in social media, but most importantly, you want to differentiate yourself from the mass movement of social media. Find your expertise, the tools you will use that are unique to your profession, and be the best you can in doing what you do. Technology in the financial sector is regulated and overseen by many institutions to safeguard the system's financial stability and secure the funds from your investors. That is your primary goal as a finance major; to be ethical, technologically savvy, and a professional in your field.Show more

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Finance Analysts in the next 3-5 years?

      Dr. William Wood Ph.D.

      Academic Unit Head, Economics; Director, Center for Economic Education, James Madison University

      I believe open-source software, such as R and Python, will become even more important and prevalent. But beyond learning as much R and Python as they can get, I think economics graduates should be alert to what replaces R and Python -- because no technological system or feature lasts forever. The useful life of technical systems seems to be getting shorter.Show more

      How a Control Analyst Compares

      A control analyst is a professional who is responsible for identifying weaknesses in the work process of an organization and implement methods to minimize risks. Control analysts are required to supervise the process for incident reports and provide technical guidance to their personnel. They must prepare monthly general ledger account analysis and balance sheets reconciliations that are according to the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Control analysts should also assist with the organization's ISO audit procedures and findings.

      The control analyst profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of finance analysts. The difference in salaries is control analysts making $2,355 lower than finance analysts.

      While looking through the resumes of several finance analysts and control analysts we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "financial statements," "special projects," and "variance analysis," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a finance analyst is likely to be skilled in "financial models," "business partners," "financial performance," and "ad-hoc analysis," while a typical control analyst is skilled in "procedures," "risk assessments," "business process," and "project management."

      Control analysts make a very good living in the insurance industry with an average annual salary of $71,888. Whereas finance analysts are paid the highest salary in the finance industry with the average being $90,414.

      Control analysts typically study at lower levels compared with finance analysts. For example, they're 11.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Investment Analyst

      An Investment Analyst provides research and information to help traders, fund managers and stock brokers make decisions about investments. They are hired by companies, investment trusts, stock trading and brokerage firms, and insurance providers.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than finance analysts. On average, investment analysts earn a difference of $15,899 higher per year.

      While their salaries may vary, finance analysts and investment analysts both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "financial statements," "financial models," and "special projects. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a finance analyst might have more use for skills like "variance analysis," "business partners," "customer service," and "pivot tables." Meanwhile, some investment analysts might include skills like "portfolio," "investment strategies," "powerpoint," and "risk management" on their resume.

      In general, investment analysts make a higher salary in the real estate industry with an average of $97,702. The highest finance analyst annual salary stems from the finance industry.

      Investment analysts reach similar levels of education when compared to finance analysts. The difference is that they're 2.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.