Do you possess strong analytical skills and have a deep interest in finance, math, accounting, business, and statistics? If yes, a career as a financial analyst could be perfect for you.
Financial analysts analyse financial data from various sources and use their findings to make informed business decisions. They identify companies' most lucrative investment opportunities to help them succeed.
To become a financial analyst in Australia, you must complete an undergraduate degree in finance, economics, statistics, business administration, or accounting. Earning relevant master's qualifications, CFA, and CPA certifications improves career prospects.
In this blog, you will learn the financial analyst's role, opportunities, qualifications, courses, degrees, what they do, salary and the steps to becoming a financial analyst in Australia.
1. Who Is A Financial Analyst?
Financial Analysts are professionals who have expertise in financial planning and investment management. They use data and analysis to plan, estimate and evaluate possible financial risks for a company.
Financial analysts evaluate the performance of investment instruments such as stocks, government bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and franchises. They offer professional advice to individuals and businesses to help them make investment decisions.
They work in technology, insurance, banking, recruitment, mining, education, and health.
2. Financial Analyst Job Description
The workload of financial analysts varies based on their position and the industry they work in. A typical financial analyst description includes the following activities:
Study marketplace trends, microeconomic factors, and demographics
Understand how a company has invested its capital and how safe and feasible that financial outlay will be in the future
Understand how existing investments impact the company and how those investments and future monetary interactions will affect its short- and long-term growth.
Interpret financial data and use their findings to help businesses form smart investments
Research multiple data sets and economic variables, such as the company's growth potential and the unemployment rate, to predict about purchase and sale of the company's shares
Analyse the company's current and historical financial data and performance to prepare reports
Working with analytics software and databases to analyse financial data and identify business trends and opportunities, including evaluating performance.
Present reports to the senior management to assess potential business outcomes, perform trend analysis, perform cost/benefit analysis, and forecast future economic conditions.
Evaluate the financial state of the company, broader financial markets, and economic and business trends to suggest ways to enhance the financial growth of a company
Advise companies on the issuance of bonds, splitting shares, etc., to cover capital enhancements
Provide analysis to protect a company's wealth during economic downturns
Forecast future expenses and revenue to determine budgets and identify areas for improvement
Meet with company officials to obtain better insight into the management and prospects of the company
Implement automated prediction and reporting tools and work with the accounting teams to prepare accurate financial reports.
3. What Skills Do You Need To Be A Financial Analyst?
Financial analysts require various skills based on the industry in which they work and the specific job responsibilities.
The specific skills of a financial analyst include the following:
In-depth understanding of financial markets, business accountancy, and economics
Working knowledge of various financial analysis tools and software applications that includes spreadsheets, analytics software, and large databases to examine financial data, identify trends, create portfolios, make estimates, and prepare reports, financial documents, statistics, and business plans.
Financial planning skills
Strategic reporting skills
Able to perform financial analysis of financial models
Able to analyse a vast range of complex financial data
Knowledge of ERP software like SAP
Good understanding of national and international accounting standards, financial laws, and regulations
Good Organisational skills
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Like staying up-to-date on the latest financial news and developments
A keen eye for detail
Initiative taking abilities
Able to make quick decisions
Able to work independently or as part of a team
Effective Negotiation skills
An aptitude for Research to establish facts and draw conclusions
4. Qualifications To Become A Financial Analyst In Australia
17 years or above
Complete your year 12 Education
Complete an undergraduate degree in corporate finance, economics, business administration, accounting, or statistics. A few recommended degree options are a Bachelor of Accounting, a Bachelor of Economics, or a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Though optional, a Master of Financial Analysis, Chartered Accountant, or Certified Practising Accountant qualifications may give you a competitive edge.
Prior experience in corporate finance, budgeting, auditing, financial analysis, or financial planning in a company's consulting firm or finance department is beneficial.
5. Steps To Become A Financial Analyst In Australia
Are you interested in becoming a financial analyst? Here are the steps that will help you pursue this role:
Step 1: Complete A University Qualification
Most financial analyst roles require earning at least an undergraduate-level qualification in finance, statistics, economics, accounting, business administration, or other areas with an analytical or mathematical element, such as math, physics, and engineering.
Though a post-graduate qualification like a Master of Business Administration isn't necessary for entry-level roles, it can give you a competitive advantage. It can help when pursuing a managerial position later in your career.
Step 2: Get Certified
Certifications are a great way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. CFA is the most common credential that financial analysts pursue to improve their chances of career progression.
Earning this credential from the CFA Institute makes you more appealing to prospective employers.
Step 3: Get Work Experience
The intense competition in the financial services industry makes it hard for an aspiring financial analyst to land a role. Employers do consider related work experience when recruiting potential financial analysts.
Gaining relevant work experience through internships helps develop industry knowledge and skills to get a job quickly. Consider completing an internship during your university studies or after graduation, where you can work alongside an experienced financial analyst.
Step 4: Apply For Entry-Level Financial Analyst Roles
After completing your degree and relevant certifications, including gaining some experience, you can start applying for junior financial analyst positions. Be prepared for highly technical questions during the interview.
Go through the past interview questions that the employer has asked for this position. Several educational websites provide a repository of interview preparation questions to help job seekers prepare.
Along with brushing up on technical knowledge, showcase your knowledge of micro and macroeconomics and awareness of the latest financial trends to impress the employer and succeed in the interview.
6. Financial Analyst Course In Australia
Aspiring finance analysts in Australia must complete an undergraduate degree or courses in areas of Business Management, Accounting, Finance, or Economics.
Some of the recommended financial analyst courses that can help you get started in this profession are as below:
Bachelor of Accounting – Western Sydney UniversityBachelor of Economics – The University of Sydney
Bachelor of Business Administration – Curtin University
Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping – TAFE NSW
Bachelor of Applied Business (Management) – Torrens University
Graduate Certificate in Blockchain Enabled Business – RMIT University
Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics – UNSW
Graduate Certificate in Economics for Business – Victoria University Online
Accounting and Bookkeeping Pathway Program- Open Colleges Online Course
Graduate Certificate in Financial Technology – UNSW Online
Graduate Diploma in Financial Technology – UNSW Online
Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance - UNSW Online (TAFE)
Master of Applied Finance- Macquarie University
Master of Financial Technology – UNSW Online
7. How To Enrol For A CFA Program?
CFA is a prestigious qualification and one of the highest recognition among investment management professionals. This globally recognised qualification equips you with advanced financial knowledge, expertise, and real-world skills to prosper in the investing industry.
Students develop a strong base in advanced investment analysis and portfolio management skills to become job-ready for today's complex and emerging investment market.
Moreover, earning a CFA qualification opens the door to various career opportunities in asset and wealth management, commercial banking, consulting, and investment banking.
Do you want to progress your financial analyst career and become a CFA in Australia? Read on to learn the eligibility requirements and criteria to apply for a CFA Scholarship in Australia.
CFA Program Enrolment Requirements
To become a CFA candidate, students must meet all of the below qualifications to register for the Level I exam:
1.) Meet one of the below requirements:
You hold a Bachelor's Degree from a college/university
You are a Final Year student
You have 4,000 hours of Professional Work Experience or have undergone paid article ships or internships.
2.) Have a valid and current International Travel Passport
3.) Take an English exam to assess your proficiency in reading comprehension and framing answers to complex financial cases
4.) Fulfil the Professional Conduct Admission Criteria
5.) Live in a Participating Country (countries where the CFA Institute works)
6.) Provide 2-3 professional references
The CFA Institute is the prime body reviewing all the applications received for the program.
Apply For Scholarships
The CFA Institute offers Access Scholarship Programs to make CFA Programs affordable to students. The criteria to grant scholarships include a combination of factors, such as:
Financial needs of the candidate
The professional or academic accomplishments of the candidate
Obstacles overcome by the candidate
Personal characteristics that make them a strong candidate for an access scholarship
Contributions made to the local community
The interest of the candidate in pursuing the CFA charter
8. What Is CPA?
A CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) is a nationally recognised financial analyst certification in the financial industry. CPA Australia offers this qualification as the largest accounting body in the world.
CPA equips students with advanced knowledge and skills in investment analysis and financial concepts. Earning this certification shows the high professional competency of students to employers.
Being a CPA, you get a globally renowned status and access to many professional networks and industry experts. Are you interested in taking a CPA program?
Click here to learn about the application procedure.
9. What Are The Work Conditions Of Financial Analysts In Australia?
Financial analysts usually work in corporate offices. They may need to work overtime, sometimes on weekends and evenings, which may exceed 40 hours a week.
10. How Much Does A Financial Analyst Earn In Australia?
On average, a financial analyst's salary is AU$76,548 per year or equivalent to AU$29.49 per hour. Experience and work location are the two significant factors that determine their salary.
Entry-level financial analyst salary in Australia (<1-year experience) earn AU$64,701
Junior financial analyst salary in Australia (1 to 4 years of experience) earns AU$71,865
Mid-career Financial Analysts with (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$86,508
Experienced Financial Analysts with (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$94,702
Let's Look at How Much Financial Analysts Get Paid In Different Cities In Australia:
Parramatta NSW: $109,643 per year
Perth WA: $107,134 per year
Canberra ACT: $106,312 per year
Sydney NSW: $103,102 per year
Brisbane QLD: $102,051 per year
North Sydney NSW: $100,086 per year
Melbourne VIC: $99,736 per year
11. What Is A Financial Analyst Career Path In Australia?
Financial analysts generally begin their careers as junior financial analysts, working under an experienced colleague's supervision.
As they gain experience, they take on higher responsibilities and eventually advance to the following financial analyst jobs:
Senior financial analyst
After gaining experience, some financial analysts specialise in specific sectors such as:
Mergers and Acquisitions analysts
Securities analysts in the commodities, sovereign bonds, technology, and emerging markets sectors.
12. Where Does A Financial Analyst Work In Australia?
Financial analysts can choose to work as buy-side analysts or sell-side analysts:
When working as a buy-side analysts, they work for insurance companies or hedge funds to develop investment strategies for them.
Sell-side analysts offer financial advice to sales agents who sell bonds, stocks, and other investments.
Financial Analysts Work In The Following Settings:
Local and regional banks
Financial planning institutions
Portfolio management providers
Investment advisory firms
Government regulatory firms
Real estate investment brokerages
In the finance department of companies
The profession also allows them to work independently as self-employed financial consultants, earning them excellent financial rewards.
13. What Are The Job Prospects Of Financial Analysts In Australia?
When considering the continuous growth of financial products globally, businesses need the services of financial analysts more than ever before. The fast growth of financial and business markets has also resulted in the growing demand for financial analysts with up-to-date knowledge and relevant expertise.
The robust demand and strong employment growth make "financial analyst" among the most promising professions in the finance sector in Australia. The number of financial analyst jobs in Australia will likely grow year by year.
This will help companies analyse new financial products from the tech and big data firms and find new investment opportunities from evolving markets.
14. How To Become A Financial Analyst With No Experience?
You don't necessarily need work experience to get an entry role as a Financial Analyst. This is because many employers offer supervised on-the-job training to new hires.
The training helps them develop industry experience in finance to prepare to work in the role.
A career as a financial analyst is a highly specialised position with huge responsibilities. It is a high-demand and lucrative career that pays a high salary, even for entry-level roles.
The finance sector also offers talented individuals genuine opportunities for specialisations and career advancements. If you want to pursue this career, taking up a relevant bachelor's degree is the perfect way to get started on the path to your dream job.
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