FINANCE SPECIALISTS –CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND SCOPE
A Financial Specialist in a broader sense is a person who gives services on finance related matters or sells directly or otherwise finance related products. His job entails meeting customers and understanding their needs (for services & products). His customers are mainly, (but not restricted to) people seeking expertise in the finance domain He uses his knowledge in this domain to perform cost analysis, prepare budget reports, evaluate accounting trends , advise on potential mergers and acquisitions and on other strategic decisions.
Qualifications: This position requires in depth knowledge in core Finance, viz: Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Financial Management & Budgeting. This knowledge is acquired through a Bachelors/ Master’s degree in Commerce / Finance and/ or Master’s degree in Business Administration with specialization in Finance and working skills in Statistics, Economics and Accounting. Some specialisations in areas like Risk, Taxation, Actuarial Sciences could be add on’s. For entry level, a graduate in commerce or marketing with training courses in economics, marketing, mathematics & finance are desired. If insurance & financial products are to be sold, then special licences and training may be required in Securities & Insurance with certifications from Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDA) and The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Obviously, the person selected for this position should have an analytical mindset, excellent communication skills and orientation towards customer service & satisfaction, the person should possess working knowledge of micro & macroeconomics, the stock market, economic policy of the government & basic tax laws that govern investments.
Some specific job profiles as Finance specialist are listed below:
Finance Analysts /Advisory: They will be involved in the process of evaluating businesses, projects, formalizing budgets and helping finance related entities assess their worth. They will analyse the financial strengths of the entities, based on the financial statements and consequential ratios. They build financial models in support of their decisions, and identify the trends and the paths these entities should tread.
Skill sets: Analytical skills, Strategic mindset, and ease with use of technology.
Risk Analysts: These are involved in the process of identifying risks, mainly financial, in the portfolio of the entities. With the introduction of the Basel Norms and the alignment of banking business to risk, these risk analysts are in much demand in Banks and financial institutions. They make recommendations for mitigating and managing risks through diversification, hedging etc.
Skill sets: Analytical skills, Strategic mindset, Ease with use of technology and Statistical Modelling skills necessary for risk profiling.
Insurance Analyst: They will review the policies and claims with a view to identifying fraudulent claims. They could also work on the other side of the spectrum, advising customers on selection of the insurance products and filing of claims. They will identify the potential risks faced by their clients and recommend products to reduce or eliminate the risks.
Skill sets: Analytical skills, Ease with use of technology, specialization in actuarial sciences, IRDA certification.
Business Analyst: They function as domain experts in the finance products and functions They act as connect between the end users and the development teams in preparing the functional specifications from user specifications and contribute to the functional improvements in the applications.
Skill sets: Good technical skills and experience to databases and query languages Strategic mindset, in addition to indepth knowledge in the finance domain.
Chartered Accountant: Chartered Accountants give advice on financial matters, they do everything a financial analyst do. However they are the only professionals who can certify the financial statements of the entities. The profile may involve tasks such as financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, business recovery as Insolvency Resolution Professionals.
Skill sets: They acquire these skills by undergoing a rigorous training program & clearing an examination conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Cost Accountants: As Cost Accountants, they will perform cost accounting functions, mainly in the area of product inventory. They monitor the cost of labour and inventory against staffing and production policies.
Skill sets: They need to clear an examination conducted by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India which trains them on the necessary skillsets.
Actuaries: These work in the insurance industry and primarily deal with risk. They provide statistical probability of a future event and advise how the financial impact of adverse events can be reduced. They take up product pricing financial modelling, valuations, carry out peer reviews, design social security schemes.
Skill sets: Application of math, statistical knowledge, skill in risk assessment and evaluation of financial products such as insurance and investments, through modelling.
Investment Bankers: They work as a part of a financial institution and are primarily concerned with raising capital for corporations, governments or other entities. They help their clients raise money in capital markets by issuing debts or selling equity in the companies. Other job duties include assisting with mergers and acquisitions and private equity/ venture capital funding.
Skill sets: Analytical skills, Strategic mindset, Ease with use of technology) , excellent communication skills.
All these aforesaid job profiles require the specialist to
- Meet potential/current customers and assess their financial goals.
- Based on their financial goals offer products or services, which could be; investment services, insurance, certificates of deposits, or other financial instruments.
- The marketing part of the job requires the person to scout & meet potential customers.
- At the office, the job entails creating presentations, researching and analyzing business trends, developing corrective financial plans, and preparing budget reports, cost reports, and financial statements in accordance with industry guidelines, certifying reports (in the case of Chartered Accountants and Cost Accountants)