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Financial Analyst Job Description

A complete guide to job descriptions for financial analysts

Financial Analyst Job Description Guide

The financial analyst job description below gives a typical example of all the skills, education and experience required to be hired for the job.  Read this job description closely to see if you have what it takes to have a career as a financial analyst!

To make sure you’re prepared, check out our free financial analyst courses online!


Model made by a Financial Analyst


Financial analyst Job description

  • Perform financial forecasting, reporting, and operational metrics tracking
  • Analyze financial data – and create financial models for decision support
  • Reporting on financial performance and preparation for regular leadership reviews
  • Analyze past results, perform variance analysis; identify trends, and make recommendations for improvements
  • Work closely with the accounting team to ensure accurate financial reporting and decision support
  • Evaluate financial performance by comparing and analyzing actual results with plans and forecasts
  • Guide cost analysis process by establishing and enforcing policies and procedures
  • Provide analysis of trends and forecasts and recommending actions for optimization
  • Recommend actions by analyzing and interpreting data and making comparative analyses; study proposed changes in methods and materials
  • Identifying and driving process improvements, including the creation of standard and ad-hoc reports, tools and Excel dashboards
  • Increases productivity by developing automated reporting/forecasting tools
  • Market research, data mining, business intelligence, and valuation comps
  • Strong financial analysis foundation creating forecasts and models
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel is required; familiarity with data query/data management tools extremely helpful (Access, SQL, Business Objects)

Basic Qualifications

  • 0-3+ years of business finance or other relevant experience
  • High proficiency with financial modeling and techniques
  • Strong fluency with Excel formulas and functions
  • BA, BS or B.Com degree required (Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance/Economics)
  • Strong analytical and data gathering skills
  • Good business acumen

Preferred Qualifications

  • 3-5+ years of business finance or other relevant experience
  • MBAs are preferred
  • Finance, Accounting, Economics or Statistics are preferred fields
  • Proven work experience in a quantitatively-heavy role
  • FMVA or similar designations preferred
  • Strong quantitative and analytical competency
  • Self-starter with excellent interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel

Personality and interpersonal skills

  • Self-starter with the ability to streamline functions and passion to learn and grow
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including written and oral communication skills
  • Comfort dealing with ambiguity and ability to work independently
  • Experience working with and presenting to senior executives
  • Must possess excellent communication and presentation skills, and be comfortable interacting with executive-level management
  • Strong financial modeling experience


Key responsibilities

  • Grow financial performance through analysis of financial results, forecasts, variances, and trends.
  • Create recommendations to be presented to management and executives
  • Develop financial models to support valuation, planning, and forecasting
  • Aid in the capital budgeting and expenditure planning processes
  • Reconcile existing transactions through cross-referencing of incoming and outgoing data
  • Conduct comparables analysis and market research to support internal financial analysis
  • Responsible for maintaining up-to-date technical knowledge on financial instruments, market conditions and trends

To make sure you’re prepared, check out our free financial analyst courses online!


What is financial analysis?

Financial analysts are imperative to financial planning and analysis functions of a business. They are responsible for analyzing financial statements and inspecting and predicting future performance of the company. This may include forecasting future revenues and expenditures, as well as modeling capital structure and budgeting.

Financial analysts are also often responsible for keeping track of a company’s financial plan. Analyzing the company’s performance, alongside changes and market trends, not only helps the analyst create forecasts, but also allows the analyst to calculate variances between those forecasts and actuals. It is the financial analysts’ job to track down and explain the causes of these variances.

Analysts may also often report to management and stakeholders regarding their findings and may contribute to shaping the strategic planning of the company.

To make sure you’re prepared, check out our free financial analyst courses online!


buy side analyst financial analyst model example


Major roles of financial analysts

Let’s go beyond the official Financial Analyst job description and look a what analysts do in plain speak:

  • Financial Analysts play a role in determining a company’s present value and future business abilities. The duties of the financial analyst evolve around analyzing financial information to come up with forecasts for a business and help it make informed and correct decisions.
  • Analysts will often create and maintain various spreadsheets and dashboards to aid in their analysis and insight provision. This helps provide a clear interpretation of trends and data. Some financial analysts are also tasked with creating models to value potential investment opportunities, similarly to the roles of an equity research associate.
  • In-house financial analysts may meet with various project managers to discuss performance. It may be the duty of a financial analyst to interview these managers to ascertain the causes of certain variances of performance.


What are typical credentials for financial analysts?

Most financial analysts will have a bachelor’s or master’s in a business-related field. The most common specialization is in finance, although some analysts recommend starting with an accounting degree, as it provides a stronger foundation for analyzing the workings of the financial statements.

Adding a practical designation, like CFI’s Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification, is becoming an increasingly popular certification for a financial analyst. This financial modeling focused designation teaches how to produce advanced financial analysis using Excel, PowerPoint, and the real tools of a financial analyst. Learn more about the top financial analyst certifications.

This financial analyst job description is inspired by the responsibilities outlined by postings from Goldman Sachs, GE Capital, Fidelity Investments and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

To make sure you’re prepared for an interview, check out CFI’s free financial analyst courses online!


Career map

To see what type of financial analyst you’re best suited for, explore our interactive career map and see if you’ve got everything this financial analyst job description is looking for!


Financial Analyst Job Description (Career Map)


Beyond the financial analyst job description

Hopefully, this guide has given you a clear indication of the job requirements for financial analysts. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst.

To learn more, check out these additional job descriptions below:

FMVA certification program

Advance your career in investment banking, private equity, FP&A, treasury, corporate development and other areas of corporate finance.

Get certified as a financial analyst with CFI’s FMVA Program.