A corporate finance analyst, or associate, uses business acumen and investment knowledge to review a firm's financial statements and recommend investment strategies to senior leadership. A corporate finance associate also reviews a company's liquidity (cash) levels and aids a company in selling shares of bonds and equity on securities exchanges.
A corporate financial analyst evaluates a firm's operating data, compares current versus historical information and provides investment selection strategies to senior management. He also may detect liquidity trends by appraising a company's "working capital" ratio. This ratio measures a corporation's short-term cash availability and equals current assets minus current liabilities. A corporate finance associate also partners with investment bankers to help a firm raise cash on securities exchanges.
Education and Training
Jobs in the corporate finance field typically require a business or finance background and a bachelor's degree at a minimum. A corporate finance analyst who has supervisory responsibilities or works for a large, multinational company may hold a master's of business administration (MBA) in finance or investment analysis. A corporate finance professional with prior public accounting experience may have a certified public accountant (CPA) license.
A corporate finance analyst who holds an advanced degree, such as a master's or doctorate, in economics or investment analysis earns more than a colleague with a bachelor's degree. The company's size, industry and location also affect compensation levels. A corporate finance analyst's pay package may include wages as well as cash or stock bonuses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that median annual wages for corporate financial analysts were $73,150 in 2008, excluding cash and stock bonuses, with the lowest 10 percent of the occupation earning less than $43,440 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $141,070. The same research shows that median annual wages for corporate financial managers were $99,330 in 2008, excluding cash and stock bonuses, with the middle 50 percent of the profession earning from $72,030 to $135,070.
A corporate finance associate's chances of promotion depend on staffing needs and economic trends. However, she can improve her career growth opportunities by seeking a master's degree in investment analysis or a chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification. A corporate finance analyst who performs adequately may be promoted to a senior role, such as corporate finance manager, senior investment strategist or financial accounting supervisor, after three to five years.
A corporate finance analyst works a standard 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. shift. If business conditions require a longer presence at the office, he may work late nights or early mornings. He also may telecommute and perform his tasks remotely from home on weekends. A senior corporate finance analyst travels periodically to meet domestic or international clients.
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