Be it a big business enterprise or a new start-up, the need for a proper financial management system is undying. As every company worries about bankruptcy, financial management is the business function that protects them from the adversity of insolvency. Management gurus define financial management as “an activity closely related to planning, development, control, and administration of any funds used in business.”
Financial analysts in an organization carry out financial management processes. They are a vital part of an organization and help in analyzing different financial data and drawing findings that can be used to make complex business decisions. Breaking into the finance industry is harder than it was a few decades ago. However, proper preparation can help you make a place for yourself in the ever-evolving and dynamic industry.
Read below to know the prerequisites to be fulfilled to pursue a career in finance management.
How To Become a Financial Analyst?
The demand for a financial analysts is increasing with each passing day. It is believed that there will be more than half a million financial analyst jobs in the next decade. If you are someone aspiring to get into financial management, then take up a financial analyst’s job as it is enriching and rewarding at the same time.
In the succeeding part of the article, we will discuss the financial analyst job description, financial analyst skills, roles and responsibilities of financial risk manager.
Financial Analyst Job Description
Financial analysts analyze the market condition and suggest different methods to increase a business enterprise’s assets. They also follow different trends to minimize the business risk besides performing an array of duties. Here are some duties performed by a financial analyst:
- Analyzing the market and performing financial forecasting
- Creating a financial model based on the data collected from various sources
- Maintaining the balance sheet statement of the company to gauge the financial performance of the business enterprise
- Perform variance analysis and other processes to gain complete knowledge about the organization’s financial position
- Follow new trends and incorporate them into the business enterprise’s systems and processes
Now, let’s move to understand the skills required to be a financial analyst.
Financial Analyst Skills
- Prolific knowledge about different financial tools.
- Good communication skills and excellent excel and presentation skills.
- Basic knowledge about financial modelling and different financial statements.
- Well-versed with business valuation processes.
- Problem-solving skills.
Financial analysts have a specific and distinct role in a business organization. Let us walk you through the different responsibilities of a financial analyst, which vary from organization to organization.
Financial Analyst Roles and Responsibilities
- Gather information from primary and secondary sources about stock prices, market share of the competitors, etc.
- Organize complex financial data on Microsoft Excel or other accounting software.
- Analyze financial reports and draw a conclusion to increase profit and solve different business problems.
- Make financial forecasts through methods like regression analysis, year-over-year growth rates, etc.
- Analyze the financial data collected from different sources and convert them into infographics that are easy to comprehend. And present it to stakeholders, high-level managers, etc.
Honing financial analyst skills or being qualified doesn’t help you be a financial analyst. Meanwhile, clearing the interview round does. So, here are some common financial analyst interview questions that recruiters frequently ask. Preparing answers to them beforehand can significantly increase your chances of getting a prestigious job.
Top Financial Analyst Interview Questions
Q. What would you do when you notice inconsistencies in a company’s finances?
The main aim of a financial analyst is to ensure that the company’s finances are well-managed and generate maximum returns. Therefore, this question is an archetypical finance analyst interview question often asked by entry-level candidates. Recruiters want to test your skills if you can perform excellently in high-pressure situations or not. So, while answering this question, ensure your answers are ethical and highlight your strength as a financial analyst.
Q. How are cash flow and free cash flow different?
Cash flow and free cash flow are two important concepts in the financial statements prepared by financial analysts. Therefore, an aspiring financial analyst should be competent to answer this interview question. It is a frequently asked interview question that interviewers ask to understand the technical skills possessed by aspiring financial analysts. To answer this question, you should be well-versed in different financial concepts.
Q. What is the difference between a ledger and a journal?
All business transactions are first recorded in a journal. Only a few financial transactions are recorded in the ledger. Recruiters often ask the difference between these accounting books to entry-level financial analyst candidates to test their knowledge and skills. While answering this question, be articulate and try to explain different components of ledger and journal.
Q. How would you evaluate our company’s stock?
Financial analysts regularly analyze the market condition for investment purposes, among other things. Therefore, an aspiring financial analyst can easily answer this interview question. The recruiter is trying to understand aspiring technical skills with this financial analyst interview question. Therefore, talk about line charts, different functions of tracking daily movements of stocks, explain the process of using line charts, and more.
Q. What is financial modelling?
Financial modelling is a process that gives information about a business firm’s liquidity status. A financial analyst undertakes the process to understand the financial condition of the company. It is one of the important financial systems, and financial modelling-related questions are frequently asked in financial analyst interviews. These questions help the recruiters understand your technical capabilities and knowledge about different financial tools.
Q. What is quarterly forecasting?
Quarterly forecasting is summarized as predicting a business enterprise’s future expenses and revenue. Financial analysts refer to income statements to make quarterly forecast reports. Since it is a common function performed by financial analysts, recruiters frequently ask this interview question to judge the technical capabilities of a candidate.
Q. What is cost accounting?
Cost accounting is a financial tool that helps businesses ascertain costs incurred in a given period. Therefore, the interviewer often asks technical questions related to cost accounting, shares, stocks, etc. They ask these questions to test the basic understanding of the aspiring candidates on the technical topics.
Q. How many financial statements does a financial analyst prepare?
A financial analyst majorly prepares four financial statements: balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and shareholders’ equity statements. Financial analysts with prior knowledge about these statements can answer different questions asked by the interviewer. So, before attending the interview, brush up on your knowledge of these financial statements.
Q. How will you gauge the company’s liquidity?
Measuring an organization’s liquidity helps in predicting the company’s ability to pay its current debt with its current assets. Cash flow statements are used to gauge a company’s liquidity. The interviewer asks this question to test the technical capabilities of an aspiring candidate.
Q. What are the points to consider while deciding on capital investment?
Cash flow budgets, market forecasts, fiscal incentives, competitor strategy, and others are some of the points to consider while making a capital investment. Business enterprises make capital investments to increase their current assets. As a financial analyst, you are supposed to make investments that benefit the company. Therefore, you should be well-versed with prerequisites to consider before a capital investment.
By now you must have understood that if you want to impress the interviewer and clear the financial analyst interview, it is essential for you to possess the right skills besides theoretical knowledge. Therefore, it is highly recommended to undertake a financial management course before applying for the job role. These courses offer a deep insight into different technical concepts of financial management and equip you with the skills that will help you crack the interview round in one go. Emeritus India has partnered with renowned Indian and international institutes to offer top-notch financial management courses online. So, enrol yourself in one of these online professional courses to skyrocket your career.