Financial analysts must have the ability to effectively communicate across all levels of the organization since they can be highly visible and interact daily with executive management, project team leaders, sales managers and financial professionals. A thorough knowledge of general accounting procedures, reporting and expense analysis, and journal posting is required.
A bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or finance is required; a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) is preferred. A professional certification such as a certified public accountant (CPA) is a plus.
Excellent computer skills are required, particularly Microsoft Excel and other financial software expertise.
Typical duties of a financial analyst
- Preparing profit and loss models, balance sheets and other management reports, using Microsoft Excel to forecast financial outcomes
- Maintaining confidential financial information
- Performing budgeting variance and forecasting analysis for various levels of management