When businesses need to develop and maintain formal financial and accounting policies, they may rely on financial procedures analysts. The business and accounting knowledge utilized in this profession can be gained through a formal education program, such as a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in accounting.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment of financial analysts nationwide will grow by 12% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations during the same period. Job growth should result from the increasingly complex needs of businesses regarding financial regulation, the expanding availability of financial services and products, and the evolution of accounting procedures and policies.
In a competitive job market, employment prospects are typically stronger for candidates with advanced degrees, industry credentials and professional experience.
A financial procedures analyst’s responsibilities can include reviewing, evaluating and documenting an organization’s financial policies and procedures. Professionals in this role may also make recommendations for expenditures, determine risk, and ensure purchases and projects are undertaken according to established standards. They write and develop policy and procedure manuals for public entities, private businesses and financial institutions.
Financial procedures analysts are often required to manage and revise procedures to meet changing business needs. They may analyze recommendations from others, determine the potential impact of those recommendations and propose final action. Working with other management and staff, financial procedures analysts obtain approval on new policies and procedures, and ensure that the changes are communicated and applied throughout the organization.
According to the 2016 Salary Guide by global staffing firm Robert Half, entry-level financial analysts at midsize companies have an annual salary range of $48,250 to $59,000. For professionals at the managerial level with large companies, the range is $99,500 to $136,500.
Nationwide, financial analysts had an average annual wage of $95,320 as of May 2015, the BLS reports.
Although recent graduates of a bachelor’s degree program will generally have an income at the lower end of the salary range, they can improve their marketability and earning potential by becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or attaining an advanced degree, such as an MBA with a specialization in accounting and finance.
Salary ranges and employment opportunities are determined by numerous factors, including a candidate’s educational qualifications and work history, local market conditions, and industry type and size.
Many financial procedures analyst positions may require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, although some employers will seek applicants with a master’s degree in accounting and finance. Many graduates choose to take the CPA exam to advance their careers. Previous experience is also attractive to many employers.
Graduates of an accounting education program should be able to:
The business world is becoming more complex, and employers are seeking to hire qualified analysts to ensure they are following industry best practices and complying with all applicable rules and regulations when it comes to finance and accounting.
These professionals are typically self-starters, with strong math, critical-thinking, and verbal and written communication skills. Excellent organizational and interpersonal abilities are also attributes of financial procedures analysts.