What is the role of a financial analyst?

Laura Gunby our consultant managing the role

Financial analysts are responsible for a range of tasks that help people and businesses make informed investment decisions. This profession offers both challenges while also being financially rewarding.

At Mark Sattin, we can help you start and progress your financial analyst career by unlocking some of the best opportunities on the market. 

Learn more about financial analysts and: 

  • What a financial analyst does day-to-day?
  • What qualifications do you need to be a financial analyst? 
  • What skills do you need to be a financial analyst? 
  • What is the difference between a financial analyst and an accountant? 

What does a financial analyst do day-to-day?

Financial analysts are central to a company's financial operations, focusing on a spectrum of crucial tasks. Whilst they can specialise in different areas, there are some day-to-day responsibilities that remain consistent across jobs and organisations. 

For example, they meticulously analyse financial statements, construct models to predict future performance, and research market trends and competitor strategies. Collaborating across departments, they also aid in budgeting, forecasting, and investment evaluation, ensuring alignment with organisational objectives. 

Another key aspect of this role is ensuring adherence to financial regulations, accounting standards, and compliance with legal requirements, mitigating potential risks associated with non-compliance.

What qualifications do you need to be a financial analyst? 

To qualify for a financial analyst position, candidates generally require a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a relevant discipline. However, pursuing a master's degree in finance or an MBA can significantly broaden one's prospects and access to a wider range of opportunities.

While not mandatory, obtaining professional accreditation like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can enhance your appeal to prospective employers and position you for more advantageous and financially rewarding roles.



It's important to note that specific qualifications and requirements may vary based on the employer, region, and level of the position you are aiming for. Here at Marks Sattin, we can help you to find the right business and position based on your qualifications and requirements as well as the right accounting and finance subdiscipline. 

What skills do you need to be a financial analyst? 

Securing a great job as a financial analyst isn’t just about the qualifications you hold, but also depends on the unique set of skills you possess. 

Among these qualities, a crucial skill is the proficiency to analyse and decipher financial data effectively. If you can recognise trends and anomalies, you’ll be primed for success in the financial analyst profession. Moreover, familiarity with specialised financial software and analytical tools such as Microsoft Excel greatly enhances one's competency in this field.

In addition to technical expertise, effective communication stands as a fundamental 'soft' skill, setting you apart in this competitive landscape. 

This is because financial analysts often need to communicate complex financial insights and analyses to stakeholders, including executives, investors, or clients. Effective communication ensures that these stakeholders comprehend the information accurately, aiding informed decision-making.

Demonstrated problem-solving abilities and acute attention to detail are also highly valued by prospective employers.

It is important to note that continuing education and staying updated with industry trends and advancements are crucial for a successful career as a financial analyst.

What is the difference between a financial analyst and an accountant? 

Financial analysts and accountants play distinct yet complementary roles within the finance industry: 

Financial Analyst

Primarily focuses on analysing financial data using financial models and forecasting to inform investment decisions. Their role is forward-looking and strategic. Success for them involves maximising opportunities and minimising risks. 

Financial analysts are typically employed by investment firms, consultants, corporations, and financial institutions. 

Accountant 

Primarily focuses on managing financial records, ensuring compliance with tax laws, and preparing financial statements. Their role focuses on past performance and compliance. 

Accountants are typically employed by all types of businesses, accounting firms, NGOs, and government. 

Find your next financial analyst job with Marks Sattin 

Embarking on a career as a financial analyst is stimulating and rewarding, perfectly suited for individuals with a keen eye for analysis and trend detection.

At Mark Sattin, we specialise in guiding candidates towards their ideal role in financial analysis. Explore our dedicated finance career page to discover some of the most enticing finance careers.

 Alternatively, if you are looking for a financial analyst to join your finance and accounting team, please submit a brief and a member of our team will be in touch!

20/09/23
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