ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Overview

Organisations and businesses often require change to remain relevant, efficient and/or competitive.

Business analysts play a critical role in change. They identify whether the change is needed, assess the impact of the change, and communicate the changes to relevant parties. 

A good understanding of finance is needed for business analysts to analyse the financial impact of a change to an organisation.

Good facilitation and communication skills are also needed to help investigate with people why a change is needed, what the impact of the change will be and to communicate the change effectively.

The role will often require good IT skills and an understanding of IT systems. 

Entry and progression

Business analysts can be found across mainly across the corporate, public, financial services and shared services sectors.

Candidates may enter at junior or supervised roles in business analysis as a graduate or school leaver. Candidates may also move into business analysis roles after gaining experience working within project management. 

A good understanding of accountancy is needed for business analysis and this is provided through the ACCA exams. Students working within business analysis or aspiring to enter this area would find the options exams advanced performance management (P5) and advanced financial management (P4) most relevant to their roles. 

It is not just about exams. Getting the right experience helps trainees gain the competencies needed to enter and move up through their career in business analysis. Areas such as monitoring and controlling budgets (PO14); evaluating potential business/investment opportunities and the required finance options (PO15); and managing cash using active cash management and treasury systems (PO16) would all provide great experience and relate to the performance objectives (PO) which need to be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER).

Career progression in this role can be supported by developing and demonstrating professional behaviours. Take a look at the behavioural competencies in the Competency Framework to reflect on the type of behaviours which are useful for business analysts. 

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