This is a comprehensive financial analyst job description that entails everything that must be included in a financial analyst job vacancy.
The financial data of companies cannot be properly and professionally studied and handled by laymen who have no prior professional expertise or experience if strategic investment decisions must be made to rake in profits.
Companies, both small and massive conglomerates have been victims of financial bankruptcy and calamities over the years due to certain factors which they did not take into consideration, were unaware of or just poorly decided on.
Companies must understand that they are in the business of making money and as such be aware that every decision taken consciously or subconsciously has the capacity to bring gain or cost them some bucks as the case may be.
With the above being said it is then imperative for companies both big and small, startups and established to understand the unavoidable importance of the role and services of a financial analyst.
Financial and investment decisions were not meant to be taken in a vacuum or by head knowledge given their importance and considering their consequences on both the short run and long term bases.
The next few headings will be educating you on the importance of a financial analyst, trust me, it’s not going to be a boring one.
Table of Contents
Who is a financial analyst?
A financial Analyst is responsible for the financial planning and analysis of a company, allowing the organization to make well-informed commercial and financial decisions.
A financial analyst is also responsible for helping a company track its finances against a plan, analyzing business performance and market conditions to create forecasts, and help the management make tactical and strategic decisions by providing period reports.
When it comes to financial analysis, the financial analyst is more concerned with measuring resources and plotting it against plans with the aim of achieving best results in any given situation.
The conservation and proper dispensation of a company’s available resources is of utmost importance to a financial analyst.
Financial analyst job description
For those who are considering career paths as financial analyst or looking to update their knowledge on what is already existing here is a comprehensive financial analyst job description.
- Provision of analytical, forecasting, reporting, and project support to senior management
- Produce monthly reports, which include key metrics financial results, and variance reporting
- Spearhead the annual and quarterly budgeting and forecasting processes
- Identify opportunities for performance improvement across the organization
- Maintain knowledge and keep abreast of new investment regulations or policies
- Develop models that help with the decision making of the company
- Work closely with the accounting team to ensure accurate financial reporting
- Analyzing and contrasting performance and result with plans and forecasts
- Provide analysis for trends and forecasts and recommend actions for optimization
- Increase productivity by developing automated reporting and forecasting tools
- Maintain a strong financial analysis foundation creating forecasts and models
- Maintain an up to date technical knowledge of financial instruments, market conditions and trends.
- proficiency with the use of Microsoft Excel
- Perform market research, data mining, business intelligence, and valuation comps
- Report on financial performance and prepare for regular leadership reviews
- Guide the cost analysis process by establishing and enforcing policies and procedures
- Analyzing current and past financial data
Qualification for a Financial Analyst
Financial analysts must possess a variety of soft skills and industry knowledge to effectively execute their tasks.
The field of a financial analyst is not one without its own requirements as no one would entrust their company’s financial destiny into the hands of an amateur or a quack in the worst case scenario.
Competence still makes anyone stand out in any field regardless of who is competing with you, and on that note there are basic skill sets and qualifications which you must meet if you are to be considered qualified to handle the financial forecasting and programming of any company.
So if you are considering a career path in financial analysis her are a few standards you must meet.
- A BA, BS, or B.Com degree is required (Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting or Economics).
- A minimum of 2 to 4 years of working experience in the business finance or other relevant experiences which includes working with investment banking sector.
- Passing scores on the three CFA Institute exams
- Attain licensing and certifications
- Good business judgement and decision making capability
10 Skills Financial Analysts Need To Master
Financial analyst must be equipped with both soft and hard skills. This combination is necessary for an efficient service delivery, and a complete possession of these skills stand as a distinguishing factor between professionals in the field.
Proficiency in the use of these skills can differ among professionals depending on their ability to properly hone these skills and deliver them without blemish.
The following soft and hard skills must are highly considered when employing a financial analyst:
MS Excel skills
This is the most sort after skill in financial analysts when they stand before an employer and cannot be exempted from the financial analyst job description.
Besides a full understanding and technical know-how to navigate financial software programs, a financial analyst must be well grounded in the knowledge and operation of MS Excel.
Hence, however you can, make sure you are well equipped and proficient in the use of MS Excel.
At the top of these skills is the Accounting skills possessed by the financial analyst. This encompasses the general knowledge which a financial analyst is expected to possess to be able to work in the financial sector effectively.
General accounting knowledge such as standards and techniques, accounting principles, budget calculation. Cash flow management, bank statement reconciliation, cost analysis and reduction, and basic knowledge of accounting programs and the mathematical formulas involved in these calculations.
Effective communication is a vital skill that must not be found wanting in a financial analyst as this skill has the capacity to influence interpersonal relationships, interpretation of ideas and the communication of intentions.
This skill can come in handy when trying to land a job or sell a financial idea to an investor on behalf of the company.
Problem Solving Skill
The capacity to solve problems is the first major consideration of every employer, your skill set and qualification are of no use if they cannot be pointed at a problem like a loaded gun and cause an effect that births profits and benefits to the employer.
Analysts are expected to come up with creative solutions for bedeviling financial problems faced by companies and cannot be found devoid of solutions at any point in their career, though it may take time to come up with solutions, but in the end be back with some.
The world is ever evolving towards an age of full total artificial intelligence takeover where every problem can be plugged into a software and solutions emerge as the end product.
There are several software which are used to make financial analysis less tedious and fast, and the knowledge and technical know-how on the navigation of these software are a big plus.
As a financial analyst the mastering of software programs such as Hyperion, SAP, SQL, QuickBooks and other software programs are very necessary.
The ability to plan, prioritize, forecast, recognize and rank financial problems are all qualities that must be found in a financial analyst.
The above mentioned are the bedrock skills that makes a financial analyst important to any company.
These skills make the work of a financial analyst effective and result oriented when partnered with other skills.
This is a soft skill that is highly beneficial to the financial adviser. The ability to keep tabs and track financial records as well as current processes of a business are required to effectively deliver on the job.
It entails being able to organize information, records numbers and the financial data of an organization effectively.
Critical thinking skills
For a financial analyst, going outside the box should not be a strange trait. It has proven to be useful over the years for many financial analysts as they have been able to go beyond scratching the surface to tap resources from the deep.
Critical thinking can be related to problem solving.
Critical thinking can be employed when looking for the best investment for a company’s resources, deciding whether to sell an asset or acquire a new one in addition to the existing.
Critical thinking precedes big decisions, and a financial analyst should be able to think through financial questions and make crucial decisions.
Leadership and management
Organizations may need financial analysts to head teams of financial experts or departments within a company and in such situations leadership skills must be top notch and effective.
Getting the job done is one thing, but the ability to make others get the job done is a different ball game.
The financial analyst must possess effective team communication, professional mentoring, professional collaboration and general management skills to be able to fill the shoes of an effective leader.
Financial literacy skill
Financial literacy is the ability to decode financial situations, and it is very vital for a financial analyst to possess this skill.
Knowledge of things like the current trends in the financial market, interest rates and general financial events can help a help a financial analyst perform better.
Not all financial analysts work with financial institutions or help their employers make investments. For example, a company may hire a financial analyst to measure the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns relative to cost.
The services of a financial analyst are needed in basically every professional field all around the world. Every company that desires to make smart financial decisions will always consider and employ the services of a financial analyst to get the job done, hence, the demand for financial analysts are seemingly endless and cuts across every field.
They can be employed in financial planning institutions, investment advisory firms, insurance companies, government regulatory firms etc.
Although, studies have shown that there has been a high demand for financial analysts in the following fields:
- The medical field
- Industrial fields
Salary Overview for financial analysts
According to a reliable estimate by Glassdoor, the Glassdoor Total Pay Estimate Model states that a financial analyst earns:
- A base payment of $65,228/yr.
- An Additional pay of $26,448/yr.
- And a Total pay of $91,679/yr.
Total pay trajectory for Financial Analyst
- $91,676 /yr.
- $101,279 /yr.
- $99,372 /yr.
The field of financial analysts is one that is highly dominated by males. A 2020 studies conducted showed that the field is made up 61% males and 39% females which shows a seemingly low degree of female participation and interest in the profession.
However, this is not surprising seeing that the same trends have played out in fields such as IT and software development, aviation/piloting, engineering, and manufacturing among many others.
It is not quite certain what the deterring factor is for females, it has in recent times been attributed to the financial analyst job description, which many believe to be quite tasking and the mere fact that it was always a male dominated profession from the onset.
Hence, there is a need for more women to invade the field seeing that the profession is not gender specific.
Now, I believe we have been able to fully walk you through a financial analyst job description and we hope you find this very helpful.
For those intending to take up a career as a financial analyst we are sure that the financial analyst job description is no longer alien to you.
You can take advantage of the possibilities in the field and make yourself a relevant financial analyst.