Corporations and businesses typically have a responsibility to shareholders and owners to use earned income in a way that builds company wealth. A financial analyst carefully studies marketplace trends, demographics and microeconomic factors to help the company make smart investments. The financial analyst may also provide advice to companies on issuing their own bonds, splitting stock and other areas of concern.
One of the most important roles for a financial analyst is to fully understand how and where a company has invested its resources, as well as how secure and viable that financial outlay will be going forward. An analyst needs to not only understand how current investments affect the company, but also how those investments and future financial interactions will impact short- and long-term growth. The analyst is expected to provide information on the company's current financial position and make recommendations to company decision-makers. For instance, the analyst may inform an executive board about whether expansion may be high risk or help the company decide on issuing bonds to cover capital improvements. The analyst may also provide advice and analysis on protecting a company's wealth in the short term during economic downturns.
A financial analyst typically has at least a bachelor's degree in finance, business or a related field, although additional education is common. Additionally, most employers look for candidates with both practical experience and a proven track record of success within this field.
Financial Analyst Tasks
- Provide financial analysis support to various areas of the company.
- Prepare detailed annual financial budget and monthly financial forecasts.
- Assist with preparation of weekly, monthly and quarterly financial analysis schedules of actual vs. budget variances.