What Does a Financial Reporting Analyst Do?

D. Nelson

Financial reporting analysts are usually responsible for gathering and analyzing financial data for an organization. In most cases, these professionals consult financial executives on how best to plan for the future. They might also prepare financial statements that are used in external auditing processes. While this kind of professional might work as an in-house professional in a finance or accounting department, a financial reporting analyst might also work for a financial consulting firm. In these cases, the analyst often is contracted by an organization that needs assistance preparing documents for external or internal audits.

A financial reporting analyst must be proficient in computer programs that create charts, graphs and spreadsheets.
A financial reporting analyst must be proficient in computer programs that create charts, graphs and spreadsheets.

Professionals in these roles almost always have undergraduate degrees in fields such as finance or accounting. In more competitive job markets, they have master's degrees in these fields. It also is common to find analysts who have professional certification, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification in the United States.

Financial report analysts often have an educational background in financial accounting.
Financial report analysts often have an educational background in financial accounting.

A financial reporting analyst commonly uses software to gather information and generate reports. He or she might compose spreadsheets or graphs that illustrate data regarding revenue, accounts receivable, and other aspects that reflect the overall profitability of an organization. It is common for a reporting analyst to present this information to managers and executives, who use an analyst's understanding of data to develop strategies for growth.

When a financial reporting analyst performs external reporting, it usually is for tax purposes. Regulatory agencies supported by government might request audits, in which case the analysts are responsible for gathering requested statements. They also prepare financial intelligence for individuals such as shareholders and investors who have interest in an organization's performance.

A financial reporting analyst often is a high level professional. He or she is responsible for seeing the big picture, as opposed to department or branch accountants who oversee financial matters related specifically to their areas. It is common for a reporting analyst to meet with department and branch accountants to discuss the needs of their areas. Likewise, an analyst might present them with budgets and instructions for spending.

In some cases, these analysts look at greater issues, such as market behaviors and business environments. These analysts can act as consultants at the executive level. They might encourage company decision makers to start making certain products depending on market trends. It might also be the job of an analyst to predict demand and profit margins in new markets. Executives commonly hire analysts from outside their organizations for this kind of service so they can receive objective analysis.

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Discussion Comments


It sounds like this position combines two jobs together. In some organizations, there are people who analyze financial information and then there are people who report them and advise about them.

I can see how a financial reporting analyst can be very useful to a small company that doesn't have the finances to keep a financial analyst or advisor on the payroll year-round. Hiring the services of a financial reporting analyst is more efficient and cost-effective.


@donasmrs-- The article has touched on this. It can be either way. Usually, when it comes to audits, financial reporting analysts are hired on an on-need basis because the company will only need an audit once a year or periodically.

But, there may also be cases where a company has a permanent financial reporting analyst. Especially if the analyst is collecting data and giving advice to both company managers and external shareholders on financial decisions

So it depends on the situation and the needs of the company.


So financial reporting analysts aren't permanent employees? Are they hired only on an on-need basis for audits and projects?

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