Financial Analyst Job Description

Financial analysts are professionals that give guidance and advice to individuals or companies trying to examine financial statements.

Financial Analyst Job Description

  • 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 maintain up-to-date technical knowledge on financial instruments, market conditions and trends

Relevant skills, knowledge and experience:

  • MBAs are preferred, although Bachelor’s are accepted as well.
  • Finance, Accounting, Economics or Statistics are preferred fields.
  • Proven work experience in a quantitatively-heavy role.
  • CFA, CMA, CPA or like designations preferred.
  • Strong quantitative and analytical compentency
  • Self-starter with excellent interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills
  • Computer proficiency is a must; advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel and VBA

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.

Major roles of financial analysts:

  • 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 creation 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 in analyzing the workings of a financial statement.

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is the gold standard certification for financial analyst. This three-level designation is one of the hardest business designations to achieve in Canada, alongside the CPA designation. However, attaining this designation will allow the analyst to be more desirable to firms, and will most likely present the analyst with more potential for upward growth and promotions.

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

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