Any major organisation or business needs an expert to examine their financial data and make suggestions to improve their financial health. Different types of analysts specialise in handling different business needs. Since these analysts play a significant role in the decision-making process of an organisation, there is an increasing demand for such professionals in the financial services industry. Here is everything you need to know about being a Financial Analyst.
Who is a Financial Analyst?
Financial Analysts are professionals responsible for gathering financial data and making suggestions to their employers. These analysts collect data from accounting reports, financial reports and market statistics for the company and study them to understand the current economic and business trends. Most of these organisations rely on such professionals to point out strengths and weaknesses in their financial framework. They further suggest ways to make improvements in the investment portfolio. A Financial Analyst in a typical setting is responsible for making presentations, building excel models, and making monetary forecasts for the company.
What are the Required Qualifications?
In order to be hired as an entry-level Financial Analyst, you are required to at least have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in economics, finance, or statistics. However, most companies these days prefer hiring someone with a master’s degree since these professionals have more exposure to the field.
You can also enrol for a CFA programme to enhance your resume and be eligible for senior positions in some organisations. In addition to these qualifications, it is considered an added advantage when a candidate has completed their MBA or hold a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Other possible exams that can help you in your career are the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 7 – General Securities Representative Qualification Exam, and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam.
What Skills do you need to be a Financial Analyst?
Although the academic qualifications will make you eligible for being a Financial Analyst, you need to develop certain skills to be good at your job. Some helpful skills that employers look for when hiring Financial Analysts are as follows.
Accounting is one of the most important tasks of a Financial Analyst’s everyday job responsibilities. A successful Financial Analyst must be able to interpret financial data from reports, balance sheets, and income statements, quickly and accurately. This includes developing your basic accounting skills, mathematical ability and your understanding of the general standards and accounting principles of your country.
Excel is a very important tool that is used by Financial Analysts regularly. It is used for creating financial models, statements and other financial spreadsheets. It is necessary to know all the basic shortcuts and formulae that are used in Excel to reduce your working time and improve efficiency.
When we say finance, we specifically mean corporate finance. The primary job of a Financial Analyst in any company is to help the management make financial decisions. To do this confidently, an analyst must be a strategic thinker and planner with extensive knowledge in capital structuring and investments. They should also be able to help make budgeting decisions for the company and stay actively involved in the company’s long-term and short-term financial plans. Financial modelling and planning are crucial parts of an analyst’s everyday job.
Aside from these major financial skills, a Financial Analyst must also develop certain soft skills to be good at their job. They should be able to communicate their observations and financial decisions clearly and concisely to their team members or employers to get the desired outcome. For this purpose, they should work on improving their written and verbal presentations as well.
- Attention to detail
As a Financial Analyst, you will be looking at numbers all day, every day. Analysts need to be vigilant about the data they analyse to be able to find small changes and discrepancies. A person with a good eye for detail can be better at finding such nuances in financial reports and is likely to be more valued by their employer.
What kind of Financial Analyst Should You Be?
Financial Analysts can be of different types based on what they specialise in. Some of them are as follows.
- Investment Banking Analyst
These professionals are responsible for assessing the needs of the company and looking for potential investment opportunities. They are also supposed to look over any existing investments a company may have in their portfolio and determine if they are performing well or need to be replaced.
- Risk Analyst
Every business venture has certain risks that they need to be wary of. A Risk Analyst reviews financial plans and provides advice on how a company can limit their risks and increase its profits. They are required to research the financial market and advice the company on their decisions.
- Budget Analyst
Every organisation needs to have a concrete budget in place in order to function smoothly. A budget analyst is responsible for monitoring the finances of the company and making sure they are adhering to their financial limitations. A Budget Analyst is also required to collect and analyse data and come up with possible solutions or improvements for the existing financial system of any company.
- Equity Research Analyst
An Equity Research Analyst is an elemental part of any securities firm, such as wealth management firms, pension funds, or banks. They oversee the investment portfolio of their client and also produce conclusive reports to make certain recommendations.
- Treasury Analyst
A Treasury Analyst typically works in bigger companies and government agencies. They create reports for the finances of the organisation and manage their investment income, liability and future expenses.
Which course can be done to become a Financial Analyst?
An individual who is interested in becoming a Financial Analyst can give the CPA Examination after graduation. Although it isn’t necessary, a degree in accounting, finance, or statistics is ideal to have.
What is the average salary/income?
An entry-level Financial Analyst can expect a base salary of anywhere from INR 2 lpa to INR 5 lpa. The salary can go as high as INR 12 lpa for exceptionally qualified professionals.
What companies in India hire Financial Analysts?
Top accounting firms and companies like Deloitte, EY, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan tend to hire a lot of Financial Analysts.
The Chartered Financial Analyst is a globally recognised qualification in the field of finance and investment. If you have recently completed your graduation or are appearing for your final semester, you may be eligible to become a CFA. Interested? We highly recommend checking out our Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. To advance your portfolio and build professional skills, try Zell Education’s interactive courses that offer flexible training timings. Get in touch at +91 7208885600 or email us at email@example.com.