What is a Financial Analyst?

Published by Thomas Herold in Accounting, Corporate Finance

'Financial Analyst' is explained in detail and with examples in the Corporate Finance edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.

A Financial Analyst refers to a salaried individual who handles analysis, financial planning, and projection for both corporations and smaller companies. These accounting field experts create future forecasts for expenditures and revenues in order to come up with projected costs and capital budgeting for company projects. Those analysts who are senior level have the opportunity to work with executives in the corporate team and Chief Financial Officers to help determine across the company investments, policies, and future strategies.

These Financial Analysts draw on strong backgrounds in compliance and accounting in order to evaluate historical financial information, to forecast results for the future, and to push policy and process improvements. Their daily responsibilities include many different elements. They must analyze past and current financial performances and information. They have to evaluate depreciation and current capital expenditures. They must also consider various opportunities for investments of the company. These professionals do a great deal of projections and report preparing using their analyses. They work to find trends in the financial performance of the firm and offer suggestions for improving them. The analysts also evaluate and establish profit plans. Finally, they deliver financial projections and models for the finance team and executives to review.

There are a number of other positions which are related to this important job in a corporation or company. Some of these include financial analysis manager, senior financial analyst, investment analyst, and financial reporting manager. It means there are always opportunities for advancement in such a career path.

In today’s increasingly technologically interconnected world, it should not come as a surprise that technology plays a major part in the careers of today’s financial analysts. The ones who will be most successful in this field will gain as much exposure to these systems, tools, and platforms which service the field as they possibly can. Among the most typical technological requirements of these positions nowadays is having a complete grasp of the ERP enterprise resource planning systems. Second most in importance proves to be a command of both big data systems and data analytical systems. This is increasingly the case because firms more often rely on data-driven decisions now instead of the old school intuition-driven ones.

This job has a bright outlook for the future, according to the authority in the careers and employment industry— the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact this organization states that the career outlook is tremendously positive for this position. The field will increase by approximately 16 percent during the years from 2012 to 20122.This makes it a more rapidly growing job opportunity than the average of every other career path in the U.S. The reasoning behind it is that corporations have put the recession and global financial crisis in the perspective of the past and so are putting on more financial analysts who they feel will help them to increase both their overall corporate growth and profits for the coming years.

The bureau similarly finds that these positions remain among the most heavily demanded jobs in either finance or accounting. This is the case not only for senior level positions, but also even entry level financial analysts. The respected industry publication U.S. News and World Report recently listed these jobs as among the top 100 Best Jobs, at number 63 in the United States. For the category of Best Business Jobs, they award it the number 13 best position in the nation.

This helps to explain why in the year 2014, financial analysts who possessed even from no to two years of experience earned average salaries amounting to $49,459 with an average range of from $39,252 to $60,352. The variance and range depends heavily on the industry, size of firm, location, and other factors of the employer. Senior financial analysts who possess over four years of experience can count on earning an impressive average $74,265 salary each year.

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The term 'Financial Analyst' is included in the Corporate Finance edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.