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.
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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.
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.
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
- 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 …
- 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 the 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.