Financial Analyst day to day responsibilities

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Maria in Montreal, Quebec

72 months ago

My roots are from being a Cost Accountant and have moved on to a FA. What I am greatly involved in is costing all procedures for a non profit organization. Since these procedures have not been looked at for over 22 yrs, I am extremely busy-I hope it doesn't wind down as you say. You need one cost accountant/analyst in every company..it is so DIFFICULT to find a job....boredom may be better than no job-I've been there. Costing is very interesting-you may want to try it.

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

Good point, Maria. What kind of data quality have you encountered as a Cost Accountant?

The number of Financial Analyst-type job postings in the Denver area has dropped off in recent weeks, but that may just be a seasonal thing. Recruiters have the bulk of openings, it seems. 'Tis a shame - I'd rather not work for a firm that is willing to outsource so critical a part of its business as employee selection... but that's another rant that belongs on a different forum.

In any case, I'd risk no job over boredom. Boredom results in a much higher stress level for me than having an actual high-stress job.

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Maria in Montreal, Quebec

72 months ago

data quality...what do you mean?
I hate recruiters..try to deal with the company directly-it would be better for you. Most recruiters don't even understand the job title.
Stress comes in many different forms..you know what's best for you

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

72 months ago

Data Quality...all too often the data upon we analysts are expected to report is wrong or incomplete. Makes the job somewhere between tough and pointless when data about volume and cost are so mis-coded as to be useless.

I've just excused myself from a project controls job where I couldn't get within $6million of the (probably) actual costs on a $50million+ project because the larger "system" made it impossible to actually get the data behind the costs...a real mess.

Was your experience as a Cost Accountant different? Did you generally have good data on which to base your analyses, allocations, etc.? What accounting package were you using?

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PGD in American Canyon, California

72 months ago

I am seeking a career change/redirection from commercial banking. In my previous banking positions, I have needed a good background in finance, accounting and good analytical skills. However, with centralization, my role is now more sales driven and business development filled with quotas.

I want to transition to a FA role where I can use my analytical skills. Regarding the field of Financial Analysis, I would welcome feedback on the following issues:

1. What skills should a FA have in their toolbox? Programming,
business intelligence, SQL/SAS, database mgmt.?

2. Will FA's become obsolete, replaced by in-house
accountants or outside tech analysts with data query,
mining and management skills?

3. Does anyone know what the market is for FA's in San
Francisco?

I know this is alot, but I seem to be spinning my wheels particularly with respect to recruiters and agencies. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!!

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

59 months ago

Wow. I'd like to understand the criteria for "actual value to society." Who gets to determine this?

You're spot on (I think) in that many FA's do nothing. I certainly got paid OK for laregely doing nothing, but I quit (a number of times) because I couldn't stand sitting around (in A/C, sometimes with a great view of the Front Range) doing nothing.

The object of your angst, if I may make a suggestion, should be the managers who are incapable of designing an office environment that doesn't need FA's to sort out the mess that others create through lack of training or skill, and the managers who hire FA's simply because they feel the need to have x FTE's under them to feel significant.

Do a little more research into how the world works - people don't sponateously commune together to build roads and to maintain electrical grids, etc. Somebody plans the work, creates a budget in order to track cost and production against performance, and (because the work is "beneath" the engineers/operators and too complex for straight accountants, firms hire FA's to handle the analysis that lets management know if the work being done is within cost and productivity spec, and may eb the only channel by which a manager has any real clue about how well his business is operating.

Those who are overworked and underpaid, IMHO, should step up to the plate and quit. It's a real blast, I can assure you.

FWIW, "financial analyst," as used in this forum, identifies one involved in a form of managerial accounting. You may be thinking of one of the slicksters on TV who give the blah blah blah about the stock market. Those folks don't deserve the recognition of bing the object of an online rant.

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Rycher in Montreal, Quebec

59 months ago

SFA wrote "Somebody plans the work, creates a budget in order to track cost and production against performance, and (because the work is "beneath" the engineers/operators and too complex for straight accountants, firms hire FA's to handle the analysis that lets management know if the work being done is within cost and productivity"

"Sombody plans the work" and "creates a budget"
Ok how does a financial analyst "plan the work" of upgrading a sewer system? maintaining a power grid? maximize food crop growth? How do they "plan the work" when they have no formal training in these activities? How hard could it be to create a budget? How can the financial analyst prepare a budget when he does not know how to select the appropriate materials, dimiensions and technical processes that are necessary???

Of what use is he ACTUALLY to the planning process?

One doesn't need to go to "business school" for 4 years so that one can make a budget and ensure that one remains within the budget constraints throughout a project. That can be learned in one afternoon seminar.

SFA wrote "firms hire FA's to handle the analysis that lets management know if the work being done is within cost and productivity"

Think about it- who will know better if the work is being done within cost and productivity?
The people who ACTUALLY DO THE WORK and KNOW HOW TO DO IT, or some "management-type" who doesn't know how to do the work who just thinks about money? This just sounds like some unnecessary middleman job. Money money money. Useless if there's nobody with actual skills to do actual work.

Managing a budget can be done by the actual workers with a just a few seminars of training. A 4 year degree is not required to ultimately do a few calculations on microsoft excel.

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

59 months ago

Whoa, things must be stressful up in Quebec!

Read my last...I didn't say that an FA plans the work. Managers should plan the business, not out-source that to an FA. The problem (see below) is that managers (the parties held accountable for the outcome of an endeavour) can't stand creating and managing the nitty-gritty, and do their utmost to offload it to someone else, consequences be damned.

"How hard would it be to create a budget?" Try it yourself for a complex $200million project or a large operating unit and see how it goes.

Hey, don't whinge to me about what it does or doesn't take to be hired as an FA. Tell the managers of the world out there to lower their hiring standards and then see what happens. You are somehwat correct in a roundabout way, however. Less than 20% of my daily life as an FA drew upon what I learned in the course of getting a masters in accounting.

"...know better if the work is being done within cost and productivity"..."Managing a budget can be done by the actual workers"

-- You are completely off the mark here, IMHO. Actual workers almost universally hate being "made to be an accountant." Try to get an engineer, inspector, district director, or floor supervisor, or craftsman to plan and to keep records in a format that allows for efficient comaprison of actual vs. plan and you'll begin to understand. Trying to get a professional construction inspector to record real data in a real format can be incredibly difficult.

Money, money, money. So, you're an ABBA fan? Awesome. Seriously, what was the company formed to do for its shareholders, break a good sweat? A good FA working in a non-dysfunctional environment will explicitly link the work, activity, material consumption (operations) with the financial impacts, both historically and prospectively. That is the pay-off of having FA's around, and yes, having them is a complete waste of time and money if the data is garbage etc., etc.

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Financial Analyst in New York, New York

59 months ago

FA...hmmm what a wide huge spectrum of jobs within that two worded title.
FA is basically Analyzing Finance, when you think about it, it 's a pretty simple task, but yeah, the Corporate world, they like giving things weird intimidating names , I mean basically everyone who does not really have a specific task in the institution (Financial or industrial) will be entitled the famous 'Financial Analyst' in other word 'useless', why ? If you are part of treasury , then yeah you are useful, you have a goal, same for budgeting , forecasting growth and cost analysis, same for risk, front and valuation. But yu are not really part of these, then 1) you are not really getting the FA pay, 2) you are not doing the interesting result driven FA tasks, and 3) you just enhirited the title by default.

Corps use the title very loosely, and people following this career path my get tricked and caught in an net, when they find out they wasted years of useless FA experience , because it was not F Analysis, and now you try to get a decent job in a respectable firm, you find that the required set of skills is as if someone was posting for a completely different jobs!!!! They are not the ones who are wrong, you are just a victim of some company calling everyone from the cook to the Concierge FA, coz they donno what they need !!!

Believe it or not, where you really doing Financial Analysis, you would not have a second of relapse, there is more work than a lifetime can handle.

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

59 months ago

Well said, Financial Analyst, especially, "...coz they donno what they need !!!
". Sad but true.

I push like hell for real (and believable) job descriptions...guess that's why I'm still unemployed! ;-)

Financial Analysts are not (are not supposed to be):
- "supervisors (without authority) of under-skilled accounting staff"
- "intermediaries between different levels of operations who are unable to communicate with each other"
- "contract adminstrators"
- "negotiators"

and, above (IMHO)
- accountants.

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Hyredgun in San Jose, California

59 months ago

I had a chance to read all the comments here. I was an FA for a few years in the bay area. I learned a lot, worked with some cool orgs. They weren't perfect, but pretty talented ppl...very competitive. The one thing I took away is that you have to be proactive when there's downtime (or anytime). That's hard to do if know one has taught you. But if you had lots of downtime, I wouldn't be surprised if you got canned within a year (nothing personal).

Do we need FAs (someone asked)...of course. If you had to ask, then you probably never were a real FA, or worked with one...sorry to say. There's tons of compliance that need to be done aside from any accounting or even budgeting: SOX, SOP 97-2, PO approvals, Accruals, I can go on. Nobody on the ground can do those things and stay on budget, make there own reports (accurate ones) and make goal...at least no one wants to.

I do something else now; it was time to move on.

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

59 months ago

Good points, Hyredgun. Despite the content of any job description, an FA is the person who does what "...no one wants to."

Never been canned...I quit when I run out of things to do. There's never been a firm that can keep me busy ;-)

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cincyFA in Cincinnati, Ohio

59 months ago

~7 years of FA experience - all of my jobs were nothing but boring long days ... sometimes , during a certain period of the month I was kinda busy .. Got laid off on June 1 this year. Had some phone calls and face-to face interviews, nothing so far, rude employers, bad manners etc. It is really hard and draining my selfesteem. but I guess WE ALL SHOULD NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. It the economy , NOT US .

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

59 months ago

cincyFA - yep, rude employers, bad manners were the norm before things went south. Trying to figure out just what the employer wants is the hardest part, I find.

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TashaFA in Chicago, Illinois

57 months ago

Being an FA is eternally boring. I've been doing this on and off since 2001 and I hate the long borning days, but I like the money. I've been unemployed on an off since March 2008 and it hasn't been easy getting back into corporate america.

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Mark in Sugar Land, Texas

56 months ago

wow this is strange because every where i read says that the average work week for FA is at least 80hr during the first couple years. I'm in my junior year of college and was playing to major in accounting & pursue a career as FA because of the lucrative salaries but been having second thoughts by the FA's average work week which i read is very different from what you all describe. maybe thats just a big firms on wall-street.

How much were you guys making? Average Bonus?

I'm also worried about landing a FA job because i'm not attending an ivy league school. Thats why i'm majoring in accounting, i figure it will provide me with additional jobs option in case i can't get a FA position.

any thoughts?

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Deb in Cudahy, Wisconsin

56 months ago

Gentleman Jack in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Hi. I hope someone can help me out. In short: I was in Accounting about 5 years, then switched to Financial Analysis, hoping it would be a step up from what I was doing. I have to admit that the Acct. career kept me busy on a daily basis (which I love...I'm one of those that needs to keep busy).
However, the Financial Analyst positions sadly have not lived up to my expectations. My first job as a FA was for a huge insurance company...and I literally had nothing to do all day, every day. I was battling boredom and fatigue (from doing nothing), and management didn't seem to really care how to utilize me. I was only busy around forecast time (around 3 business days per month). For the rest of the month, I was on my own. To no one's surprise, I was let go about a year later.

The company I'm at now, same thing. Not really busy on a daily basis, except for the month-end close. Again, I'm fighting boredom and fatigue. I keep telling my mgr that I would like more responsibilites,tasks, and I'm being fed a company line ('...things will pick up'...you will be busy). Maybe it's the slow season, but I really don't want to have a repeat of my first experience. I don't think it will look good on a resume leaving an employer I've been with for about 6 months.

What I would like to know is: is the typical day of someone in Financial Analysis? Or is it the type of industry that could be the problem? Is anyone else in my predicament?

Thank you for any feedback you can provide. I would really appreciate it.

Best regards to all of you in job search.

Gent. Jack


Try getting a position in manufacturing - you will have plenty to do!!!

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

56 months ago

Hi Deb -

What you describe, unfortunately, very closely mirrors my experience as an FA. I don't reall know why, other than to guess that it's simply the nature of the the job. Managers really can't judge workload needs very well, IMHO, but hey can't give up having a certain number of people reporting to them, either.

Having quite similarly boring jobs in the past and then looked for work, I would suggest that you hang in there until you land your next job.

Good luck

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

56 months ago

Sorry, Deb, I meant to reply to Gent. Jack's comment...no coffee yet...

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

I have an interview for a Sr. Analyst position, but I have only been working as a FA for only a yr now!! They were asking me questions over the phone about modelling, but i dont have much experience with that!! What should I say during my face-to-face interview??

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

56 months ago

Find out as much as you can so that you can talk the talk, and ensure them that you are 100% keen and capable of becoming a terrific modeler.

Congrats and good luck!

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

okay!! we have a modelling module on our accounting system, but we dont really use it!! i was going to say: our Budget Model provides a management tool that enables us to enter known financial info into a simple preprogrammed spreadsheet. Once info is entered into the model, the budget is automatically calculated that can be exported into the accounting software and monthly variance reports can be used to improve financial management of the organization.
Is this too generic??

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

I know most companies use Budget Wizards and they are not hard to work with at all, but we use Biznet here, so we dont have to use the Budget Wizard!!

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

56 months ago

A little inside info sure would be helpful for you, wouldn't it?

It sounds a little generic to me, as they may be looking for someone to undertand the business from scratch and replicate the main cost and profit drivers in a custom Excel spreadsheet.

I'd suggest working LinkedIn to find a name in a similar (or past) position at the firm who'd be willing to guide you a bit. There's some risk here, especially if others don't know that the firm is hiring...tread carefully.

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

55 months ago

That's a good idea. I will do that!!

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Tatiana in Toronto, Ontario

55 months ago

I worked as a FA in corporation (100 divisions, 10 Business Unit) as part of a Treasure division. It was my first job after graduation. I really love it!!!. I analyzed Statement from all divisions that belong to Tele Business Unit and I also analyzed Total corporate sale and cost analysis comparing with similar previous period. I was very busy. I also look at loan application, evaluated financial leverage, and liquidity, and solvency, variances of sale budget to evaluate if the amount could be approved. Although it was a junior position I really like it. I didn’t do any J/E or cheq deposit or accounting task. Now in Canada I was looking for a similar job position for years…more than 4 years but nothing. Last year, I decided to go for my CMA designation to get in the field. I recently got a job as junior FA and what they doing is basic J/E and cheq deposit. I feel totally disappointed. They analyze only expenses but comparing Aug to sept but total amount. Not any analysis Aug 09/08 from previous year Am I totally wrong. I need a certification for doing J/E? I need help….

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

55 months ago

Congrats on having a job, but sorry to hear that your FA role excludes any actual (useful/interesting) analysis.

Employers' tendency to equivocate "Financial Analyst" with "do-er of whatever we need done" is one of the big problems for FA's out there. I guess that there is a perceived stigma on "accounting" to the extent that people (wrongfully) think of it as just JE work, so employers try to dress it up by calling the position an Analyst of some type.

Hang in there and catch the next better train out of there.

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Sole FA in Quezon City, Philippines

54 months ago

Hi everyone! It's really nice to know that there's a forum for all Financial Analyst all over the world. Well, I've been a FA in our company for less than a year. But, I may say, I have a lot of meaningful experiences so far. As far as I understand our job, FA jobs are defined based on what every company needs to have. Luckily in my case, it's not my job to do J/E or any accounting works. I just used the accounting data and FS for my analysis. Some of my tasks are: to do a 5-year business plan, evaluate/assess the credit worthiness of a prospective customer, do some internal audit or compliance audit and FS Analysis of our competitors. What I like with my job is that during the first half of the month, I'm so busy. While, during the other half of the month, I'm not quite busy but this is the time my boss give me some special tasks to be perform (ad hoc reports). I'm happy with my job right now hehe.

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oceanblue in Falls Church, Virginia

53 months ago

Hi, I just graduated with my MBA in finance and I am looking for a FA poition. Could you please someone tell me what kind of questions they are going to ask in interview? I am new to this field and I need some feed back.

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Geo in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

49 months ago

In my opinion, any FA should be fully utilized for a number of projects and roles. In my past FA roles I have been involved in:
special projects
software implementations
cost accounting & CVP
strategic planning
annual operating plans
sales analysis
capital expenditures
data quality testing
general finanical planning
pricing analysis
creation of reports for management - Dashboards, EIS, etc.

A good FA can definitely get highly involved it the business and work along top management. Sure it has its mundane parts such as variance analysis, but whenever you can add value to the organization, or even better, to your professional life, than I think it's well worth the subtle aggravations. Just try to be as assertive as possible in organization so you can get more involved in management or special projects.

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kia in Toronto, Ontario

47 months ago

I have taken my MBA and now preparing for CFA level 1 exam. But becasue of my background which is not in finance (it is in healthcare)I have not been to find any job in finance. I can work with excel very well and now learning financial modeling. When I look at job requirements they all ask for SQL and VBA. As financial analysts do you really use SQL and VBA at work and how difficult are they to learn ( I know this is a dumb question). do you have any advice on other skills that I should learn to be able to find a job as a FA?

Thank you for your answers

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

47 months ago

I've used SQL heavily, albeit indirectly, through using MS Access in basically all of my jobs in the past 8-9 years. I've used VBA occasionally, mostly to automate execution of processes in Access. FA's are commonly tasked with doing analysis that can not be handled by a firm's existing systems, so it will be to your advantage to be able to get things done without being constrained by those existing systems.
It's great that you have solid Excel skills, but complex modeling and analysis is often better done in Access for reasons of speed, reliability, and control.
The basics of Access/SQL and VBA are not very hard to learn, they just take a bit of time. You might mess around with macros in Excel and then look at the code generated by the macro to get some initial VBA insight.
Good luck!!

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kia in Toronto, Ontario

47 months ago

Thank you so much SFA for your response

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George B in Windsor, Connecticut

43 months ago

Hi guys,

I have been working as a FA for 3 years now in CT and I have so much work to do most times, it gets quite stressful. I find a lot of FA in my local area often share the same experiences.

I do mostly budgeting & forecasting, but also spend tons of time explaining money related issues to non-Finance people.

However, I currently hate where I live and want to move out to Chicago, how is the current market out there now? I'm finding it very difficult to get any sort of responses to positions I apply to!

Thanks guys!

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Buck Teeth in Arlington Heights, Illinois

42 months ago

Chicago isn't so great anymore. There have been many banks that have closed down and lots of FA's are in the area looking for work.

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george in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

I'd have to say I completely disagree with you. A good FA, accountant, or controller certainly sits in a air-conditioned office or cubicle for most of their day, but many venture out to have discussions with lead operations personnel. FA's and related do plenty to ensure that "resources" or real money and commodities are being used properly and within corporate financial policies and within the GAAP framework. Of note, this includes: providing corporate valuations for M&A's, SEC & Corporate commentary that is reported out to the public shareholders and executive management, ensuring that "internal controls" and standard operating procedures are followed, assisting top-level management with project "go" or "no-go" decisions. Also, a good FA can take data from various corporate systems and turn it in to beneficial information for senior management decision-making.

Last time I checked teachers work 10 months in an air-conditioned facility while getting "good" salaries and excellent benefits and pension. Construction workers often misuse "resources" to get a job that does not make economic sense to perform. And don't even get me started on other union, trades-men that work for 1x to 3x pay rates to perform their jobs at substandard quality levels.

By the way, an average FA makes a pretty low wage in comparison to most other occupations. Add in a daily average work week of 10 to 14 hour days with little downtime and the wage is further diluted. Also, most FA's possess graduate degrees, strong work ethic, and perform their jobs because they enjoy the "challenge" and not the wage or work hours.

Please understand a profession, before you knock it down....

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Bobby in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

42 months ago

I am currently a college student majoring in both Mathematics and Economics. I'm considering just Majoring in Economics and having a minor in Mathematics. How much will this affect my chances of finding a Financial Analyst position? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Bobby -
A higher focus on Econ vs. Math should not impair your chances of finding a Financial Analyst job. Keep in mind, however, that much of the work of a corporate FA is mathematically very simple work. In many cases, one will find that success depends less on math skills and more on how well you understand imperfect accounting systems, local terminology, data manipulation (in Excel especially, bu Access helps), and of course, Accounting . An FA should get through Intermediate Accounting and Cost/Managerial accounting at least. Hope this helps a bit, best of luck!

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Tina in Toronto in Ajax, Ontario

41 months ago

SFA, maybe u cant land a job because of your "I dont want to do this, it's beneath me,..." attitude. I'm a senior FA but i do whatever my director ask me to and i do it with a smile. Be it some accounting,, help with cash application, credit analysis, A/R, hiring, training new people, outsourcing, cover for her when she's not in, travel for her when she cant because of her baby,... I'm her right hand woman and my job is to make her look good and that's why I'm getting paid big money and big bonuses :-))

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

Hi Tina - Sounds like you've found a great gig that suits your skills and interests. Nicely done - hang onto it with both hands!

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Questcraft24 in Manila, Philippines

41 months ago

Wow, that's nice Tina! I can relate at times, especially the "do whatever your boss ask you to do" and of course, big bonus. Haha. I enjoyed being a FA but I'm thinking to go back in internal auditing. I miss the audit actions haha.

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Brian in Las Vegas, Nevada

40 months ago

hi questcraft24,
I'm a student at UNLV working towards a bachellor's degree in finance. I want to move to the Philippines for a bit and work there for a couple of years since we have a house in Quezon City. I was wondering since I am a U.S. citizen, are there jobs out there for me as a FA and how much is an average salary? is it comparable to U.S. FA salary?

Also to everyone on this forum,

This is a very informative resource for me, thank you.

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Questcraft24 in Manila, Philippines

40 months ago

Brian in Las Vegas, Nevada said: hi questcraft24,
I'm a student at UNLV working towards a bachellor's degree in finance. I want to move to the Philippines for a bit and work there for a couple of years since we have a house in Quezon City. I was wondering since I am a U.S. citizen, are there jobs out there for me as a FA and how much is an average salary? is it comparable to U.S. FA salary?

Also to everyone on this forum,

This is a very informative resource for me, thank you.

Oh, hi there Brian! Yes there are FA jobs here in Philippines, but not so many. I think the ratio of FA employee to the number of employees in a company is 1:300 (at least in my case). Also, usually only those multinational companies have this kind of job. About the salary, I think it depends on the company your working with. At least I could say - " just fair enough".

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Questcraft24 in Manila, Philippines

40 months ago

Oh, hi there Brian! Yes there are FA jobs here in Philippines, but not so many. I think the ratio of FA employee to the number of employees in a company is 1:300 (at least in my case). Also, usually only those multinational companies have this kind of job. About the salary, I think it depends on the company your working with. At least I could say - " just fair enough".

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Brian in Las Vegas, Nevada

40 months ago

Thank You Questcraft24! I guess pay should be fair enough because the living expenses over there is so inexpensive compared to the U.S. given that if FA wage in PI is the same avg. as in the U.S., savings could go up to as much as 70% of salary.

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Erin Hartmann in Wake Forest, North Carolina

40 months ago

Philip Anderson in Englewood, Colorado said: So from what it looks like, my hopes of taking on a exciting job as a financial analyst is slowing dwindling. My job hunt has slowed down, because I'm not sure what type of finance based positions are out there. Any advice on what job titles to look out for?

Philip -
My career advisor recommended googling "Occupational Outlook" It is a government database with job titles with descriptions and job outlook for each.

Good luck!

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Bobby in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

39 months ago

What are the main differences between an Financial Analyst, Budget Analyst and a Risk Analyst? I feel that most businesses are looking for finance/accounting majors for any of these careers. Will Math/Economics work? Are there big salary differences between these occupations and are there certain types of companies to look for when it comes to internships that look good on a resume?

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SFA in Denver, Colorado

39 months ago

Part of your challenge is the fact that employers massively abuse these terms, especially "financial analyst." An FA may work strictly with budget vs. variance analysis (and is therefore really a budget analyst), may be a mis-named accountant (if required to make journal entries or to reconcile/correct others' je's), and may get involved with analyzing aspects of risk. A risk analyst may work with commodities or other trades, helping to asses the financial risks of various forms of investment or position taking, or may entail figuring out what amount of insurance is required for different parts of the company. Budget analyst jobs I've seen listed tend to be in government firms, an area outside of my experience.

I'd guess that a math/econ grad would be bored as a budget analyst, but would be a good fit for a risk analyst in the trading room of an oil company or trading firm. Certain fa jobs might be great fun for you, others would be a total drag. Do your best to extract a solid and complete job description and ask lots of questions about the daily work and how your set of math/econ skills will be of value in the job.

Good luck!

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Bobby in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

39 months ago

SFA in Denver, Colorado said: Part of your challenge is the fact that employers massively abuse these terms, especially "financial analyst." An FA may work strictly with budget vs. variance analysis (and is therefore really a budget analyst), may be a mis-named accountant (if required to make journal entries or to reconcile/correct others' je's), and may get involved with analyzing aspects of risk. A risk analyst may work with commodities or other trades, helping to asses the financial risks of various forms of investment or position taking, or may entail figuring out what amount of insurance is required for different parts of the company. Budget analyst jobs I've seen listed tend to be in government firms, an area outside of my experience.

I'd guess that a math/econ grad would be bored as a budget analyst, but would be a good fit for a risk analyst in the trading room of an oil company or trading firm. Certain fa jobs might be great fun for you, others would be a total drag. Do your best to extract a solid and complete job description and ask lots of questions about the daily work and how your set of math/econ skills will be of value in the job.

Good luck!

Thank you very much for the response!

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vaibhavi in Enfield, Connecticut

38 months ago

Hello everyone. its great to know people still like FA jobs. I have recently applied for Jr. Financial Analyst position at Robert Half International. I have interview this friday. And not sure what Qs to prepare for. They said I will have to take assessments before heading to interview. Only if the test results comes good than I can go for the interview. weired. Anyways I'm a recent college grad B.S. in finance. and this is my 1st time applying for FA position. I don't know much about FA position or anything in detail. If possible can someone explain it to me.

Thank you in advance.

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