What Is a Corporate Finance Analyst?
Corporate finance analysts assess a company's current financial status, as well as forecast what that company's finances will look like in the future. They give senior management regular financial and operations reports, typically on monthly and quarterly bases, and assist with budgeting, planning and financial reporting at the departmental and individual project levels.
Corporate finance analysts also explore and analyze potential investments for their companies and present their findings to corporate executives. Additionally, they're charged with ensuring the accuracy of accounting transactions and pinpointing areas where a company can improve financially based on analysis of projected versus actual results.
|Educational Requirements||Minimum of a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field; some employers prefer candidates with a graduate degree|
|Job Skills||Analytical skills, attention to detail, ability to multitask, oral and written communication skills, ability to maintain confidentiality|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$$62,172|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||11% (for financial analysts)|
Source: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Corporate finance analysts need at least a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field, like accounting or business. Students in these programs usually complete core business classes, like business law, managerial communication, organizational behavior, operations management and introductory marketing. Major-specific courses might focus on auditing, managerial finance, financial accounting and investments.
A master's degree in finance or accounting, or a Master of Business Administration, could give candidates for corporate finance analyst positions a leg up on the competition. Additionally, some employers prefer candidates who are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Certification requirements vary by state, but generally include at least 150 semester hours of coursework (this is about 30 semester hours beyond a typical bachelor's degree program) and passage of the Uniform CPA Exam.
Corporate finance analysts must have strong analytical skills and be detail-oriented to ensure that the financial data and projections they're presenting are accurate. Also, because they have their hands in many pots - from preparing financial reports and forecasts to budgeting and analyzing investment options - corporate finance analysts must be able to effectively multitask.
Corporate finance analysts need excellent oral and written communication skills, since they present financial data to various corporate employees, ranging from operations managers to finance directors. Additionally, since they work with private financial information, corporate finance analysts must be able to keep data confidential when need be.
Career Outlook and Salary
Between 2016 and 2026, financial analysts in general could expect to see 11% job growth, based on projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was higher than the average job growth for all occupations in the U.S.
As of May 2018, corporate finance analysts earned a median annual salary of $62,172, according to the job website Payscale.com.
Those interested in working in corporate financial analysis also might want to learn about these careers that are available to graduates with a finance degree: