Businesses rely on sound financial data analysis. The role of a financial business analyst is to generate reports summarizing financial data for use by executives, managers and other stakeholders when making business decisions. This occupation’s required combination of business and financial skills and knowledge can be obtained through a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in accounting.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial analyst jobs will grow much faster than the average for all occupations in coming years. Employment of financial business analysts should rise as a result of the need for accurate interpretations of financial data in an increasingly diverse and complex global business environment.
Typical job duties for financial business analysts include evaluating financial reports such as income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets and determining how a company’s finances will impact business operations. They may also facilitate decision-making by finance and operations personnel or investors by presenting data analysis and interpretation in clear, compelling ways.
Financial business analysts are often required to make recommendations for action by synthesizing financial information and trends. They may predict future business activity to assist product developers or sales teams. Some financial business analysts create tools or systems, including databases and spreadsheets, to improve financial data analysis and reporting.
Other responsibilities of financial business analysts include keeping financial data secure by controlling its access. They may also be required to document activity and procedures for future reference.
While many financial business analysts work for corporations, others work for investment firms or the media and report on the banking and finance industry as a whole. They help others understand how new laws, regulations and developments will impact businesses in the finance and banking sector.
Financial business analysts typically work in an office setting. Some may be required to travel to satellite offices or locations. A fast-paced work environment is normal in this field, and at times, analysts may work more than the standard 40 hours per week.
National salary data on PayScale.com indicate that business analysts in finance and banking earned an average annual income between $46,619 and $75,712 as of September 2010. Recent bachelor’s graduates typically start out toward the lower end of the range, while the top salaries generally go to financial business analysts with more experience or advanced education.
Entry-level financial business analyst jobs require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or business administration. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with some relevant work experience, which can be obtained through summer jobs or internship programs while pursuing a degree.
A financial business analyst career can begin with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in accounting. Coursework typically includes intermediate accounting, essential business skills, accounting information systems and applied decision methods for business.
Employers can be confident that graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in accounting are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to further your education.
Individuals who have excellent communication and documentation skills and who are detail-oriented, analytical thinkers can go far in a financial business analyst career. If you have an interest in statistics, data valuation and business, and are good with computers and software programs, a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in accounting can prepare you to become a highly successful financial business analyst.