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Careers in Accounting as a Financial Analyst

A career in Accounting as a Financial Analyst can be a very lucrative career for individuals who have got a good sense of numbers, advanced skills in analyzing & interpreting data and superior Microsoft Excel skills. A Bachelor's degree in Finance, Accounting or Economics is a must and companies generally require at least 2 years of experience for introductory level financial analysis jobs. The incumbent must have a strong sense of numbers because it is the numbers that can make or break the company, if financial records are accurate, then managers can make better decisions in how to operate the company. Financial analysis includes portion of credit analysis, risk analysis, operations analysis, P&L analysis of companys' stores, performance & variance analysis as well as other types of analysis (see below).

Responsibilities of a Financial Analyst

  • Evaluate trends, risks & opportunities in a company's operations & general market conditions and make recommendations for improvement.
  • Develop financial forecasts, sales & financial budgets, payments & comissions analysis.
  • Develop standardized reporting and streamline processes
  • Calculate financial variance analysis every month either by business unit, product category, revenue stream, etc and provide a breakdown of revenues generated & expenses incurred.
  • Work with marketing, real estate, merchandising, credit risk, finance departments to gather relevant data and develop financial models for analysis.
  • Assist in developing existing reporting and forecasting processes to streamline processes and provide high quality financial information to managers.
  • Set benchmark financial targets & conduct performance analysis during set periods of the year.
  • Assist in preparation of business reviews and ad-hoc analysis.
  • Work with Marketing department to ensure profits are maximized & company risk is minimized and marketing budget is being used efficiently.
  • Establish, maintain & provide financial analysis & details on Store Profit/Loss (P&L) reports as they match to store planning & forecasting.
  • Develop and perform micro level financial analysis and reporting, ranging from daily, monthly, quarterly and annual reporting.
  • Develop, review & improve reviews of annual operations budget & perform variance analysis on operational budgets.

Median Salary by Years of Experience

Years of Experience
Salary Scale
Less than 1 year $40,126 - $54,702
1 - 4 years $43,223 - $58,632
5 - 9 years $48,968 - $67,440
10 - 19 years $51,992 - $73,986
20 years or more
$49,273 - $73,681
* Data courtesy of PayScale

Education Requirements for Financial Analysis Positions

  • Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree in Finance/Accounting/Economics.
  • Candidates should preferably be enrolled in an accounting designation program such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Account (CA) or Certified General Accountant (CGA), etc.
  • Candidates should have strong financial modeling experience & education.
  • Analytical & detail oriented.
  • Hands-on experience with SAP, Hyperion, and Powerpoint; advanced Microsoft Excel skills
  • Strong knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), budgeting, cost accounting & analysis.

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