Financial Analyst Job Description: The Only Guide You Need

Yesterday I got an email with this simple question: “How to become a financial analyst?”

I get that question almost ten times a month.

I thought people who are doing MBA, CFA, CAIA, CPA, CA would already know what is the job profile of financial analyst. But, when I did a search on Google, I was surprised to know that there is a big chunk that wants to know the details of the financial analyst job description.

Before I share my analysis and observation about the topic—financial analyst job description—I want to state that the following analysis should be used with data on offline mode as well.

I’ve already written about financial careers available for good Financial Analysts.

Well, you have to be good to break into financial analyst roles or anything, really.

If you want to “break into” finance or already are “into” finance, and still want to reach greater heights, here are some ideas to polish your skills and do a fresh start.

The basics

First of all, you need to check the job description of a financial analyst career based on your aptitude.

Here’s a short but powerful guide to finding your aptitude.

Once you know what interests you, the second step is to check whether it will pay you enough.

In short—whether you can make money out of this passion or skill.

I said skill.

Not information.

The third and most important thing is to combine three things—Your passion, your core skills to do the job and whether people are ready to hire you for your skills.

I recommend doing this exercise first and once you think you have what it takes to be a financial analyst, go and check what market demands.

Financial Analyst Job Description

Financial analyst job description

  • Participate in compensation management, semi-annual incentive compensation payments. Provide financial and analytical support for the incentive compensation calculation and forecasting processes. Respond to ad-hoc projects related to the incentive compensation program
  • Assist with the new business process and working with Finance and Business Managers.
  • Cash reconciliations, monthly reporting and report production, daily modeling, analysis and reporting, and financial analysis.
  • Research and resolve Business Unit(s) inquiries for assigned functional areas.
  • Perform monthly balance sheet, income statement and changes in financial position/budget variance analysis
  • Investigate and report to the Manager any inconsistencies or improprieties.
  • Prepare financial reports, charts, tables, and other exhibits as requested
  • Train new employees and ensure training material/documentation is kept current
  • Responsible for performing special projects to improve process efficiency and performance Projects as assigned by Management
  • Provide timely, relevant and accurate reporting & analysis of the results of the division’s performance against historical, budgeted, forecasted and strategic planning results to facilitate decision-making toward the achievement of the budget and strategic plan.
  • Maintain and develop various financial models and standard templates
  • Support Financial Planning & Analysis(FP&A) business unit analysts by being the first point of contact for issues and questions.
  • Describe an insightful use of financial analysis techniques, tools, and concepts, to provide practical counsel to business area partners and management to drive business results.
  • Understand and facilitate the integration of business processes, people, and relevant technology, in order to identify, configure, and communicate useful information, and to provide practical business leadership to drive business decision making across the company.
  • Identify non-value added processes within the department and seeks solutions.
  • Support the Govt.’s Configuration Management organization in the planning and requirements for an enterprise-based tool solution investment analysis effort.
  • Support program planning and development and tracking of documentation required by the investment analysis effort, including development and updates to the business case.
  • Coordinate with process owners and stakeholders as the investment analysis process continues.
  • Responsible for developing, interpreting and implementing financial concepts for reporting and control.
  • Understand and apply complex concepts. Identify risks, propose recommendations and solutions to issues.
  • Prepare and analyze account reconciliations promptly. Assure availability of timely and well-presented, high-quality actual P&L, balance sheet, and sales detail results vs. current and prior year benchmarks as well as trended information.
  • Forecast risk
  • Ability to analyze and interpret financial data and make recommendations.
  • Responsible for compliance with applicable Corporate and Divisional Policies and performing other duties as assigned by management.
  • Analysis and approval of project expenditures as well as invoicing per contracted billing milestones.
  • Review billing milestones upon each budget change to ensure financial data accuracy and consistency.
  • Review and approve project expenditure items for billing on a regular basis.
  • Provide financial tracking and maintenance support to Project Managers.

Expertise and Qualification Required

The financial analyst position demands the following skills and qualifications.

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics, Accounting, or related field. CPA/MBA preferred having corporate finance knowledge.
  • Must have extremely strong MS Excel expertise
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to multi-task and work in a challenging fast-paced environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication mastery
  • Maturity, professionalism, and high level of discretion are required
  • Knowledge of procedural controls and data validation techniques required
  • Strong work ethic with a positive, can-do attitude
  • Independent worker and analytical thinker with an ability to conduct research, data analysis and resolve complex problems
  • Strong presence with the ability to interact with Senior Leadership.
  • Financial modeling expertise a plus
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data.
  • Ability to plan, implement, and administer financial information and control systems. Knowledge of the principles, processes, and standards for integrated financial analysis and reporting.
  • Proficient in Excel. Understanding of financial accounting systems, preferably SAP and PeopleSoft.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of pricing/budgeting tools and how to reflect operational changes in the tools
  • Well-experienced with Microsoft suite of products

What are job descriptions of financial analysts in telecommunications companies like AT & T, Cox Communications and ViaSat? For a detailed answer, read on …

Job responsibilities

  • The Financial Analyst will play a critical role by supporting the Division Controller and Program Managers in division-level financial control.
  • You will also have the opportunity to support proposal preparation and assist in the preparation of division financial budgets and operating plans.
  • Conduct financial research, analyze financial performance against objectives and
  • Determine emerging financial trends
  • Interact as a team member and set the pace for the Financial Analyst team. Interface
  • with other department members on special projects or on as-needed.
  • Provide direction and expertise to analysis team to complete projects, including ad-hoc financial analyses at multiple levels of complexity which may include calculations of rate of return, investments, budgeting, cost analysis, and financial and expense
  • Performance comparisons.
  • Create, test, distribute and track financial models and reports.
  • Recommend and implement changes, analyzes and reviews submitted data, and
  • Resolve questions and/or problems.
  • Oversee the completion of projects or assignments, including planning, assigning,
  • monitoring, and reviewing progress and accuracy of work, evaluating results, etc.
  • Responsible for analysis of financial reports, trends, and opportunities.
  • Evaluate and make recommendations relating to business opportunities, investments, financial regulations, and similar financial projects or programs.
  • Gather, interpret, and evaluate financial information. Work may be performed under the review of a senior analyst, but may also lead to simple projects.

Skills & qualifications required

  • 3+ years "hands-on" Financial Planning and Analysis experience
  • Background in ERP systems
  • Knowledge of GAAP accounting
  • Understanding of CAS, FAR
  • Prior government contracting experience
  • Project accounting experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business, or related discipline
  • Require strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
  • Advanced financial modeling expertise required
  • Strong presentation mastery a must
  • Prior experience with budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, and management reporting required
  • Solid communication mastery (verbal & written) required
  • Ability to analyze data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations
  • Ability to multi-task with minimum supervision
  • Advanced Modeling/Excel knowledge preferred
  • Five or more years of work experience in Corporate Finance, Cash Budgeting, or Forecasting. The wireless background is preferred
  • Telecommunications background is preferred

I am sure you are absolutely clear on the duties and job responsibilities of a financial analyst in various industries now.

Do you still have any questions? Comment below.

Financial Analyst Job Description: The Only Guide You Need 1
Financial Analyst Job Description: The Only Guide You Need 2

38 thoughts on “Financial Analyst Job Description: The Only Guide You Need”

  1. Hello Sir,
    Your article had helped me a lot , before reading this article I just have basic knowledge about financial analysis but after reading this i get more core knowledge about wht is an actual financial analyst should be .
    And know iam sure that choosing and financial anayst is an good option for me.

    Thanking you,

    Reply
  2. dear Avadhut,

    i found this article is very good and also help us to understand the core responsibilities of FA in different industries.

    thank you so much

    Reply
  3. Hi Avadhut,

    I have little query to you, So initially thank you for helping me to understand this in a better way.

    I have completed M.Com(H) degree in 2012, and started working as an accounts executive since 2012. After such a journey I am very much interested to build my career in Financial Analyst position which is having a good growth in future in Finance field.

    am i eligible to apply for Financial Analyst position or should I have any other course/Certificate ?

    Reply
  4. Hello Sir,

    I am Sonali. I am a student of CA course. I have completed Inter and now pursuing Final. I wish to built up my career in finance. My vision was not clear about the roles
    and responsibilities of a financial analyst. I found your article really useful in this regard.

    I think the training course will also be very helpful in this regard. Do you people conduct any such practical demonstration batches in Kolkata or online ? If yes, what is the fees ?

    I would like to encourage you to write more articles on this career opportunity.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  5. I have just completed economics hons from du. So plz guide me what should be the right step to start career as FA

    Reply
    • Dear Payal,

      The first step is to acquire the practical skills mentioned on this page.

      Reply
  6. Hello Sir

    I am vishnu i am pursuing my BBA final year. i wanted to join as an financial analyst is it good for me ?

    Thanks & Regards
    Vishnu Vardhan Feddy

    Reply
  7. Dear Avadhut ,

    Thanks a lot this was a wonderful article and really a very helpful . I want to take your opinion in my case . I have a bachelor in Accounting and now I am working at a bank as a ” Teller ” , my dream is to be a financial analyst . How to start ? what’s the first step must be taken to be a junior financial analyst ?

    Best Regards ,

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Your question requires a detailed discussion.

      Step 1: I suggest you become our Email Member.
      Step 2: Email me for a detailed career coaching session.

      Reply
  8. Hi

    I just wanted to known what are the job description of FINANCIAL RESEARCH ANALYSIS.
    I just had a call for interview the jd are
    -Research information regarding companies, such as products, suppliers and consumers etc
    -Tracking updates from companies such as press releases
    -Entering companies data into web based products to be accessed by clients
    -Evaluating and suggesting improvement for their product enhancement
    -Research publicly available data for financial information
    -works on research based projects
    -coming up with idea deeper data that can be incorporated into company own products

    Reply
  9. Hi Avadhut,

    I need to some advices from you. Can you please give me your mail id.

    Thanks in Advance

    Reply
  10. Hi Sir,
    The post was really worth reading. I have perused MBA in Finance in the year of 2010,
    and been running Commodity Broking franchise,
    I want to start my carrier as an financial Analyst, it would be really helpful if you could guide me in which sector my experience would be appreciated, I’ll be starting my job hunt from next month.

    Reply
    • Hi Dileep,

      Please read this guide if you want to make career as a financial analyst.

      Reply
  11. Thank you.
    Seems like I’ll work for this profile for a while, give my PG exam, make my concepts clear and will hop for the much deserved job role.

    Reply
  12. Yes.
    We do read the entire financial statements including the Notes and any additional information like director’s names, auditor’s fees, any asset impairments, etc.

    I am a fresher into finance and will soon complete my PGDFM. If I work for 6 months for this profile, will it anyways be counted as relevant experience for profiles like equity/credit research, etc. or will it be a waste of time?

    Reply
    • It’s very much relevant profile. Focus on “analysis” when you do data crunching. Ask Why, How, What while entering data in each field. Try to focus on relationship of this data. For example: Why XYZ company’s current ratio is less than 1? How can ABC company increase it’s free cash flow? This way you’ll build your own judgment and independent thinking and THAT’s required for equity/credit research roles.

      Reply
  13. I have recently joined this company and I am a little worried whether this profile is similar to a “DATA ENTRY”
    I would tell you the details of this job, kindly tell me whether this job is a financial analysis job or just a Data Entry.

    The job designation is “Financial Analyst”

    Job profile : We refer to 6-7 financial statements of different companies in a day, we understand all the elements of the statement. Then we update this financial statement elements/accounts into our client website in a tabular form. Once we accertain the entries are correct, we then order the file and an automated rating is been generated, no one knows how the rating is generated, as in which all ratio the system has used to provide the rating.

    Now this gives a rating however our job is only to read and understand the financial statements and punch in the data in tabular form, the only analysis is to know that deferred revenue can also be listed as deferred income or for a service industry which all component will form a part of revenue/COGS, etc.

    Please let me know that whether this profile is rightly called as financial analyst or just a data entry analyst.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Ashish,

      This is data entry in finance domain. Do you read annual reports thoroughly for your work including Notes to Accounts?

      Reply
  14. Hi Sir,
    I am currently pursuing my PGDM from SDMIMD, Mysore. I am looking for summer internship opportunities in the area of Finance. Kindly guide me on possible companies that I can apply to. What kind of roles might be available in Finance?

    Reply
    • Hi Gayathri,

      There are hundreds of companies where you can apply for internships. To start with check this and this list.

      Reply
  15. Hi sir,

    I like all yours articals on finance. I got job in eclearx ltd as financial anyalst in financial services.i want to know what kind of growth is there on such post and can i go towards equity reserch anyalst after such post..

    Thanks & Regards

    Reply
    • Hi Varun,

      Please mention your detailed job profile/ responsibilities at eClerx. Based on that I’ll answer.

      Reply
  16. I did b.com 2012,Now I m working as finance and account process…I m looking some short term finance course..I want to build my career as financial analyst plz suggest me some short term course..

    Reply
    • Hi Manoj,

      Here‘s a short-term classroom program that will help you build core finance career.

      Reply
  17. Hi

    Thanks for posting this blog…This is really helpful in determining the industry which interests the person.

    I have a question regarding financial modelling. I am doing Financial Modelling course and pursuing MBA in finance. I want to know how to start with FM and make my career in this field.

    Reply
    • Hi Kritika,

      Financial modeling is a skill like report writing that you can use in various roles and industries. You need a combination of skills including financial modeling to make a career in finance.

      Here‘s an article that explains the use of financial modeling in different areas.

      Reply
  18. Thank you very much!! Helped a lot!!!

    Reply
  19. Thank u for posting it is very useful information

    Reply
  20. Hi,
    I want to know whether all KPOs are having age criteria.I have done M.B.A.(fin.) but due to some reason I could not work.I have brush up my knowledge don’t know how to start?

    Reply
    • Hi Mohini,

      Not all, but some KPOs have age criteria. Better to contact/ apply directly and ask them this during interview.
      Read this KPO guide before you enter any KPO.

      Reply
  21. This was a very helpfulp post. I needed it to know what I should expect for a FA in one of the above-listed industries. Normally, one will just read then leave but I must tell you, THANK YOU!

    Writing from Lagos, Nigeria.

    Reply
    • I’m glad. It helped you 🙂

      Reply

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