Business decisions sometimes require an analysis of not only the financial conditions of an organisation, but an analysis of the wider economic conditions along with sector and industry recommendations.
The recommendation may, for instance, involve deciding whether to buy or sell a company’s stock based on its overall current and predicted strength.
This is the type of work financial analysts do and they require a good understanding of finance and the wider economic environment to do so.
Entry and progression
Financial analysts can be found across practice, the corporate public sector and financial services. Candidates may enter junior or supervised roles in financial analysis as a graduate. Candidates may also move into financial analysis roles after gaining experience working within finance.
A good understanding of accountancy is needed for financial analysis and this is provided through ACCA. Students working within financial analysis would find the options papers Advanced Performance Management (P5) and Advanced Taxation (P6) 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 audit and finance. 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 financial analysts.