One of the potential career paths for someone with an education in accounting is financial analyst. Financial analysts help individual and business clients with investment decisions. The minimum educational requirement for a career as a financial analyst is usually a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, or a related field. The medium pay for a financial analyst was $81,760 as of May 2016. The job opportunities for financial analysts are expected to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024 which is faster than the average of all occupations. Most financial analysts work full time and in an office setting (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Someone with an education in accounting may also seek career opportunities in internal auditing. Internal auditors help organizations assess and improve internal control systems (AICPA). The minimum educational requirement for a career as an accountant and auditor is usually a bachelor’s degree in Accounting or a related field. The medium pay for a financial analyst was $68,150 as of May 2016. The job opportunities for accountants and auditors are expected to grow by 11 percent from 2014 to 2024 which is faster than the average of all occupations. Most accountants and auditors work full time though it is not uncommon for them to work overtime in a busy season such as at the end of the budget year or during a tax season (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Successful financial analysts possess many technical and soft skills that enable them to do their jobs well. First of all, they should have strong analytical skills because they have to evaluate different kind of information to identify attractive investment candidates. Financial analysts also benefit from strong communication skills because they interact with a diverse range of stakeholders including clients and companies that may be candidates for investment.
Financial analysts should also have strong computer skills because they utilize different types of software to analyze financial data, create forecasts, and construct investment portfolios. Financial analysts should also be decisive because it is an important aspect of their job to make investment recommendations such as buy, hold, or sell an investment security. One cannot overstate the importance of financial analysts being detail-oriented.
Attention to details is important because even minor issues may have material impact on the performance of the investment portfolio. Financial analysts may also benefit from strong math skills that come in handy when determining the value of investment securities. Another valuable skill that may benefit financial analysts is investigative skills. Financial analysts sometimes seek obscure information in order to make sure they are making sound investment decisions (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The primary manner in which the financial analysts could add value to the organization is by helping them make sound investment decisions and maximize the returns for individual and corporate investors. One cannot overstate the importance of skilled financial analysts to the organizations because the organizations’ profitability is often directly tied to the performance of the investment portfolios under management. The primary manner in which the internal auditors could add value to the organization is by helping the organization to further enhance internal control systems to detect and prevent fraudulent activities in a timely fashion.
The career paths for those with an education in accounting include financial analyst and internal auditor. The financial analysts help clients with investment decisions while auditors help companies assess and improve their internal control systems. The job opportunities for both financial analysts and auditors are expected to grow faster than the average of all occupations between 2014 and 2024. In addition to technical skills, accounting professionals such as financial analysts benefit from soft skills such as communication skills, attention to details, and investigative skills.
- AICPA. (n.d.). Positions in Business and Industry Accounting . Retrieved September 1, 2017, from http://www.aicpa.org/career/careerpaths/corporateaccounting/Pages/default.aspx
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Accountants and Auditors. Retrieved September 1, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Financial Analysts. Retrieved September 1, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-1
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). How to Become a Financial Analyst. Retrieved September 1, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-4