If you want to be an individual that pumps out reports all days, ensures numbers are accurate and fill people’s emails with KPI information, then be a Financial Analyst with a company using a narrow view finance approach.
In turn, if you want to add value as a finance person and truly partner with the business, then use the same information and understand what it means to the business.
As information technology advances the need to have a narrow view finance approach will become non-existent as new systems and artificial intelligence will generate the reports. It will be able to highlight information that doesn’t align or said differently, “highlight garbage in and garbage out”.
What businesses truly want are the Financial Analysts that work in the business. They want people who come in and understand the market that they are playing in. How does the business make money? What the KPI’s are saying about the business and what is the underlying drivers from within the KPI’s.
They want to hear ideas on what can be done to improve the KPI’s and the financial results. Nobody is expecting the Financial Analyst to have all the answers but to have thoughts and ideas to suggest. The Financial Analyst should want and have a seat at the table for all meetings involving the leaders of the business. This allows them to understand what the business leaders are currently thinking and can provide thoughts regarding financial impact of ideas.
Your degree has enabled you to understand finance and accounting in the broadest sense, now you need to take those skills and become a value add finance partner to the business.