Financial analysts help organisations to make informed financial decisions by analysing a company’s financial performance, and making recommendations to management teams, based on their findings
They collect financial data, organise it, analyse it and turn it into reports and forecasts that can be interpreted by senior staff.
This detailed guide includes a full financial analyst job description and everything you need to know about the role including salaries, opportunities for progression and daily responsibilities.
- Financial analyst job description
- How much do financial analysts earn?
- What does a financial analyst do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs financial analysts?
- Which junior jobs progress to financial analyst roles?
Financial analyst job description
Financial analyst |The Fresh Juice Company
About The Fresh Juice Company
We are pioneers in the fresh juice and smoothie industry, with shopfronts across the country selling healthy, refreshing drinks. Our award-winning drinks are also available in supermarkets so you’re never too far from a Fresh Juice boost!
About the role
We are looking for a financial analyst who can create and maintain financial models that help our business to make informed decisions. You will work closely with our senior management team and provide timely information such as financial reporting, analysis and forecasting.
- Collecting, organising and analysing financial data from a range of internal and external sources
- Creating different financial models including Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), Option Pricing and Three Statement model
- Preparing monthly financial reports to support senior management in making decisions in line with the organisation’s business strategy
- Identifying and analysing market trends and providing updates to senior managers
- Overseeing quarterly forecasting and annual budgeting for the business
- Working closely with department heads and developing regular performance reports to help identify areas for improvement
- Undertaking ad hoc analysis projects, as briefed by senior management
- Working with external auditors in response to audit queries
- Developing tools to support departments with decision making
Location & commitments
- Permanent, full-time role working 37.5 hours per week
- Some travel required
- Located in our central London offices
- Solid analytical and modelling skills
- Strong commercial acumen and business awareness
- Comfortable dealing with and influencing senior business stakeholders
- Ability to analyse and present data to produce meaningful information
- Bachelor’s degree in Finance/Accounting
- Advanced MS Excel and PowerPoint skills
- ACA/CIMA/ACCA (or equivalent) qualified
Contact us to apply
If you think you are a good match for this role, please send your CV and cover letter to our HR Manager Rachel Bentley at firstname.lastname@example.org
How much do financial analysts earn?
Financial analysts are in high demand, so they can usually command good salaries, with an average of £47,500.
Financial analyst salaries in the UK
- Low: £37,500
- Average: £47,500
- High: £57,500
Financial analyst salaries will vary depending on;
- The type of employer – e.g. is the role for one of the top investment banking firms or in a retail organisation?
- Qualifications – financial analysts with accounting qualifications, such as ACA, ACCA or CIMA can command higher salaries than those without
- General salary factors – such as level of candidate experience and location
For example, an ACA-qualified financial analyst working for a London investment bank can expect to earn a higher salary than a less experienced financial analyst working at a regional retailer.
What does a financial analyst do?
Breaking down the job description jargon, here are the typical tasks and responsibilities that financial analysts will carry out in an average work week;
- Collecting financial data – Compiling data from across the organisation as well as external sources
- Organising data – Cleaning and sorting data in preparation for analysis
- Analysing results – Identifying trends and potential efficiencies to improve company performance
- Market analysis – Keeping across trends in the employer’s market and identifying opportunities and risks for the organisation
- Financial modelling – Using mathematical models to estimate and test the performance of an asset or the business as a whole
- Forecasting – Developing tools and models to predict revenue changes and shifts in expenditure
- Advising management – Working with senior management or division heads to provide sound recommendations
- Process improvement – Reviewing existing financial procedures and developing recommendations to improve business operations
- Reporting – Compiling and creating monthly reports for senior management including financial results and performance against key metrics
What do financial analysts need?
Financial analysts need a range of personal and technical skills to deliver their jobs effectively.
Exact requirements will depend on each job, as well as the work setting, but generally speaking here’s what’s needed.
Junior financial analysts are usually employed straight from university with little experience outside of work placements. They may be hired as part of a graduate scheme or another entry-level analyst position.
Intermediate to senior financial analysts will need to demonstrate previous analyst experience working directly with senior management. They will need to have had experience producing reports and presenting findings that have improved company performance.
Financial analyst skills
Some required skills will depend on the specialism and work setting where the role will be carried out, but the following is a list of core skills for financial analysts.
- Collecting and organising financial data – Sourcing, sorting and organising data from a range of internal and external sources
- Data analysis: Reviewing compiled data and turning it into useful insights and recommendations for senior management
- Financial modelling: Creating financial modelling systems to analyse data, make forecasts and identify risks
- Strategic thinking: Developing innovative solutions to improve performance and market share
- Communication skills: Ability to translate complex financial matters and effectively communicate to a wide range of stakeholders and staff
- Attention to detail: Ensuring all financial records and models are accurate
- Market knowledge: Keeping abreast of market trends and using that knowledge to make recommendations
- Software knowledge: Advanced MS Office skills, particularly Excel, as well as financial modelling software
- Reporting and presenting: Submitting timely and accurate reports, and being able to confidently present findings and recommendations to management
Financial analyst qualifications
Most financial analyst roles will require undergraduate degrees as a minimum, with some employers seeking candidates with Master’s degrees as well.
There are also a range of post-graduate qualifications available that can enhance a candidate’s earning potential and put them in a more advantageous position when applying for jobs.
Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees
Financial analysts will be expected to have completed formal university qualifications in an area such as accountancy, finance, economics, mathematics or business administration.
Accountancy and finance qualifications
Post-graduate qualifications include becoming an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA). These qualifications are globally recognised and are usually undertaken while candidates are working.
What is expected of financial analysts?
Typically, financial analysts will be expected to commit the following;
- Full time work – 40+ hours per week
- Some overtime and evening work – Especially during peak times such as end of financial year or when projects are due
- Location – Office based
Financial analyst benefits
Financial analysts usually work for corporate organisations offering good benefits including:
- Car allowance
- Mobile phone allowance
- Performance-based bonuses
- Training and development
Who employs financial analysts?
Financial analysts will often work for banks, stock brokerages, investment firms and insurance companies.
However, many medium to large businesses will also employ financial analysts to support their business planning and improve financial decision making.
Here are some examples of industries where financial analysts are employed:
- Financial services
- Professional services
- Public sector
- Industrial and manufacturing
Which junior jobs progress to financial analyst roles?
Financial analysts are often recruited directly from university without much practical workplace experience, outside of work placements. Junior financial analysts will be provided with on-the-job training but many of their day-to-day tasks will be putting theoretical models and forecasting skills into practice.
Which senior jobs do financial analysts progress to?
Financial analysts will gain exposure to how businesses operate and ways to improve performance and profitability. This puts them in a good position to progress to more senior operational positions within an organisation, such as:
Finance managers are responsible for maintaining the financial health of a business or department. They prepare statements and reports to support long-term financial planning, and supervise a team of finance employees.
Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) manager
FP&A managers develop financial plans in conjunction with senior management to improve the overall profitability and efficiency of an organisation.
Financial analyst job description – conclusion
Financial analysts are highly in demand across the UK, and the role offer a rewarding and interesting career pathway for people interested in finance and mathematics.
There are also ample opportunities for advancement in the banking and finance sector, or into general management positions within other organisations.