What does a Principal Financial Analyst do?
Financial analysts are responsible for tracking a company's financial performance against a plan, analyzing business performance and market conditions to create forecasts, and helping senior management make tactical and strategic decisions by providing periodic reports. However, not all financial analysts work with financial institutions or help their employers make investments. For example, a company may hire a financial analyst to measure the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns relative to cost.
Most financial analyst roles require a degree in accounting, economics, statistics, or business administration. Though not required, a CPA or an MBA may be preferred. A financial analyst should be very good with numbers and solving problems, and should be familiar with the workings of the economy, tax laws, and money markets.
- Provide analytical, forecasting, reporting, and project support to senior management
- Produce monthly reports, which include key metrics, financial results, and variance reporting
- Spearhead the annual and quarterly budgeting and forecasting processes
- Identify opportunities for performance improvement across the organization
- Maintain knowledge and keep abreast of new investment regulations or policies
- Develop models that help with decision-making
- Bachelor's degree in Finance, Accounting, or related field; CPA or CMA a plus.
- 2-4 years of relevant experience in corporate finance, financial planning & analysis, investment banking, or other related fields.
- Strong working knowledge of Excel and financial modeling
- Excellent analytical, decision-making, and problem solving skills
- Attention to accuracy and detail required
How much does a Principal Financial Analyst make?
Principal Financial Analyst Career Path
Learn how to become a Principal Financial Analyst, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Principal Financial Analyst Insights
“This is totally unfair and unethical when in any establishment or regulated organisation everyone should act with honesty and integrity.”
“The salary is great and well above what one needs to live comfortably in Houston.”
“Really enjoyed working with them and the pay was good for living cost in St. Louis”
“Boutique firm so small teams which can be either really good or no so great depending on the individual”
“my department was interesting and we had cool opportunities to attend conferences/meetings etc (remote)”
“+Amazon is a great place to network with other professionals inside and outside of your career field”
“My managers are great to work with and I have loved this job so far!”
“Every person I met was nice and wanted to help in any way that they could.”
Principal Financial Analyst Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of financial analysts
Financial analysts spend a typical day working with clients and recommending when these clients should buy or sell certain investments. To keep everyone notified, financial analysts write up reports to explain these recommendations. They also stay up-to-date on business news and economic trends.
Financial analytics can be a very rewarding career field for the right person. One of the best parts about the job is working with a supportive team. This position may require meeting with clients outside of the office or collaborating with other team members, so it is important to take that into consideration when deciding if you would like to become a financial analyst.
Financial analysts do get paid well. The average annual base salary for a financial analyst in the United States is $117,045. However, that number can vary based on location and years of experience, with highly experienced professionals making up to $230,686 annually.
A difficult aspect of working as a financial analyst involves the number of long hours logged during the week and weekend. According to U.S. News and World Report, one in three financial analysts work between 50 to 70 hours per week.