The paper outlines two financial career options suitable for individual with a finance education. The paper provides reasons explaining the value of the selected positions, essential skills necessary for success, and recommendation of the best career option including most attractive features of the position.
Financial analysts guide companies in making best investment decisions. These financial experts assess bonds, stocks, bonds, securities and other investments. They also benefit companies by coping with bond valuation, options pricing, and risk management.
Financial analysts hold strong analytical skills to find most profitable investments; decision-making skills to provide most feasible recommendations for company’s buying, holding or selling securities; and math skills to estimate the value of financial securities. In addition, these financial experts are detail oriented to review perspective investment options for a company. Overall, they process up-to-date economic and business trends and gather investment to propose best portfolio options to a company. There is also a great deal of study in the profession necessitating financial analysts analyze corporate financial statements, commodity prices, tax rates, sales and expenses to identify a company’s value based on its future revenues.
Typically, financial analysts are buy-side analysts or sell-side analysts. The first category designates investment strategies for companies (institutional investors) ready to invest. In turn, sell-side analysts render financial services as sales agents selling bonds, stocks, securities, and other investments.
Acquisition efforts by financial analysts much increase company’s value by monitoring corporate activities. This way, these experts reduce agency costs for their companies, as well as increase their shareholder value (Boochun, Sun, & Yang, 2014).
Professional accountants are often the only staff members who hold professional training and qualifications in accounting. Accountant in business are competent professionals who cope with corporate financials. Based on their knowledge of corporate environment, they take financial decisions to solve complex corporate issues. Companies much benefit from the services provided by these professionals while they much contribute to implementation of corporate strategy, help companies save on expenses, mitigate risks and advance corporate top line. Professional accountants often represent the interests of shareholders and company owners. Accountants usually govern companies by accounting company’s performance to stakeholders and approving annual budgets. Usually, they are chief financial officers coping with the matters of company’s financial health. They drive strategic direction of a company by analyzing financial information. Professional accountants are internal auditors of a company assuring management about the effectiveness of governance, corporate risk management and internal control processes. Overall, companies expect accountants to achieve positive financial outcomes. For this purpose, accountants should compromise risk with accounting rules and financial reporting of a company. Thus, these professionals usually face serious pressures while accounting for inventories or opting for most suitable accounting methods to benefit a company.
Corporate value of professional accountants is higher than that of financial analysts. This is mainly because accountants process financial data concerning overall organizational performance, whereas financial analysts help companies to select best investment options. This means that organization’s financial conditions considerably worsen whenever an accountant risks and fails. In case of financial analyst, a company may lose part of its earnings it is ready to invest, though will still keep afloat.
Accountants are key corporate professionals helping companies to generate value and develop. They are ultimately responsible for financial reporting and are accountable before shareholders and public for providing trustworthy financial information (IFAC, 2013).
This difference between both professions indicates that a company may possibly survive without financial analyst, though it would surely fail without the expertise of professional accountant.
- Boochun, J., Sun, K., & Yang, Y (2014), Do Financial Analysts Add Value by Facilitating More Effective Monitoring of Firms’ Activities? Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance 29: 238-259.
- IFAC (2013), Roles and Importance of Professional Accountants in Business, Retrieved September 7, 2015 from https://www.ifac.org/news-events/2013-10/roles-and-importance-professional-accountants-business