Essay on Careers in Finance
Number of words: 1052
This paper explores the career options in the field of finance and makes a recommendation on the better option between to careers that are the center of its focus. The finance field offers a variety of career opportunities to persons with finance education background. The opportunities vary depending on the person’s specialization and skills. Financial analysts and accountants are among the many career opportunities in finance that a person can pursue. The recommended option, in this case, is accounting.
Careers in Finance
Finance education familiarizes learners with the dynamics of assets and liabilities over time under different conditions of uncertainties and risks. Financial field offers numerous job opportunities to persons who have the appropriate education. This research paper highlights and discusses two major career opportunities (financial analyst and accountant) in the finance field and recommends the better option based on their features.
Financial analysts also known as investments analysts offer guidance to individuals and businesses in making investment-related decisions. They mainly focus on the factors affecting a given industry, the physical location of the business, and the types of product suitable for a particular business entity (“Financial Analysts,” 2018). Financial analysts make an assessment of bonds and stocks in the market at any given time and under different conditions. Their main duties include examining financial positions of business entities, studying the economic and business trends, and preparing written financial reports. Financial analysts are further grouped into portfolio managers, rating analysts, risk analysts, and fund managers depending on their specialized skills.
There are various ways through which companies benefit from the services of financial analysts. Companies mostly depend on the ideas and directions of financial analysts to ensure their sustainability in the business industry. Company managers consult financial analysts for guidance on the best mix of products, and to evaluate the ability of the company to settle their debts (“Financial Analysts,” 2018). Additionally, their services help the company in determining the effects of the major decisions that it makes, for example, what would happen if they adopt a dissimilar stocks policy.
On top of an economics or finance degree, one requires other essential qualities to become a successful financial analyst. A financial analyst should have proper analytical skills to be able to look at a financial situation accurately, understand how it works, and come up with the most appropriate response. Communication skills help the analyst to explain his or her financial recommendations to the client in a clear language (“Financial Analysts,” 2018). Additionally, a person requires excellent computer and mathematical skills to be able to use software packages to analyze data and make forecasts.
Accountants are practitioners of accountancy which involves the measurement, disclosure, and assurance of financial information in an organization (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018). Accountants ensure that the financial information is simple, clear, accurate, and timely. It is their responsibility to calculate the amount of tax due and ensure that it is paid on time. Their major duties include assessing financial operations, inspecting books of accounts and account systems, and suggesting appropriate ways to reduce cost. They have the ability to provide certification for an institution’s financial statements and may bear responsibility for professional wrongdoing (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018).
Accountants play a critical role in companies. They are the prime advisors of the company in matters relating to financial crimes. Such crimes may include bankruptcy, contract disputes, embezzlement, and securities fraud (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018). In such incidences, accountants conduct forensic accounting to uncover the financial information that the bookkeepers may have hidden. Companies rely on management accountants to handle budgeting and performance evaluation. Moreover, accountants help companies to efficiently plan on the cost of doing business through the selection of the most appropriate financial investments that may include such as bonds, stock, and real estates (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018).
Most accounting positions call for an accounting degree or any other degree that bears some close relation to it (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018). However, certain skills are essential for a person to become a successful accountant. A competent accountant should have strong organizational skills. These skills help the accountants who work with a wide range of financial-related tasks for different clients. Having good organization skills enables accountants to relate well with these clients. A successful accountant should be detail oriented. He or she should be able to pay close attention to minute details when recording and classifying financial information.
Comparing the two career options discussed above, I would recommend the accounting option due to its attractive features over the financial analyst position. The salaries and remunerations of accountants are quite attractive. By 2016, the annual wage of an accountant was 68, 150 dollars (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018). The work schedule of an accountant is relatively fair. Only one in Five accountants works more than forty hours per week except towards year end and other scenarios that involve dealing with the cumulative figures for a year’s records (“Accountants and Auditors,” 2018).
As highlighted above, financial analysts and accountants are among the careers that a person with an education in a financial field may want to pursue. As for the financial analysts, they provide investment guidance to entities. A successful financial analyst should be able to communicate well and have excellent analytical skills. In addition, he or she should have computer knowledge and commendable mathematical skills. Accountants measure, disclose financial information and give an assurance to potential investors and stakeholders. They are the main advisors of the company on matters relating to the books of accounts. For a person to become a competent accountant, he or she should be detail oriented and possess strong organizational skills. Due to its adorable features, one may argue that accounting career is more appealing than the financial analyst position.
Accountants and Auditors. (2018). Bls.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-3
Financial Analysts. (2018). Bls.gov. Retrieved March 2, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm