A financial analyst evaluates possible investments, develops forecasts, and analyzes financial data. Financial analysts work to help determine how stable and profitable various businesses, stocks, and/or bonds are. Financial analysts may give advice directly to the management of the company they work for, to external clients of the business they work for, or both. Frequently, financial analysts will give recommendations to others about whether to buy, sell or hold an investment.
Financial analysts are usually asked to provide financial analysis support to various areas of the company. For example, they may be asked to work with others to cut costs. Financial analysts may be asked to provide advice on whether or not a certain capital expenditure or business venture is profitable. Financial analysts are often asked to rate the sales and production performance of other individuals or groups. Generally, financial analysts are called upon to work with colleagues to ensure that certain monetary goals are met.
In addition to providing advice, financial analysts are usually asked to create financial forecasts, reports, or models. Financial analysts generally must prepare detailed annual financial budget and monthly financial forecasts. Instructing colleagues who aren’t experts on financial matters is a task financial analysts often perform. Similarly, assisting colleagues with the preparation of weekly, monthly and quarterly financial analysis schedules of actual vs. budget variances is something many financial analysts do. Most of the time, a financial analyst coordinates and controls financial documentation.
In order to perform the above duties, financial analysts must study, comprehend, and understand business strategy, economics, and finance-related news. Most financial analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to finance, statistics and/or business, and many have a master’s degree. Financial analysts generally work in offices. Financial companies frequently have financial analysts. At least some companies in most other fields also use financial analysts, either by employing them directly or by purchasing the services of a financial firm that employs financial analysts.
Financial Analyst Tasks
- Assist with preparation of weekly, monthly and quarterly financial analysis schedules of actual vs. budget variances.
- Prepare detailed annual financial budget and monthly financial forecasts.
- Provide financial analysis support to various areas of the company.