Developing Analytical Skills for a Successful Career in Finance

There are many skills boasted by adept financial analysts. These include anything from having strong interpersonal and communication skills, to a sound knowledge of and ability to leverage state-of-the-art financial and accounting software.

It is essential for financial analysts to hone a combination of skills that are unique to their industry, shared by everyone from chartered accountants to mortgage recruiters. This article identifies the skills required, and outlines how you can incorporate them into your professional life.

What Do Financial Skills Include?

There are many roles within the world of finance, including analysts, accountants, financial managers, underwriters, and even chief financial officers. For all of these professions, it is imperative to acknowledge that each has its own unique skill set requirements. However, there are also general skills that are prerequisites, highly sought after by hiring managers as part of comprehensive talent acquisition initiatives.

Below is a list of several important financial skills that are expected of professionals in that industry.

Financial Planning

This industry-specific skill refers to the financial planning knowledge that one possesses, especially regarding a company. Planning acumen lends itself to the impression that you are capable of developing comprehensive and cohesive blueprints with a mind to ensure financial stability.


Most positions in the workplace require the ability to persuade others effectively, whether coworkers or managers, to try and implement budgeting strategies and financial strategies. If your ideas prove beneficial to the company once implemented, they will have a significant impact on your performance appraisal process and in turn, your position within the organization.

However, if you do not possess the persuasive acumen to implement strategies, there is no way for you to realize your full success. The only way to ensure your ideas are approved and implemented is by selling them effectively using strong, data-driven evidence in favor of your outlook.

Verbal Communication

Finance departments are usually powered by whole teams, meaning that chances are, you’d be collaborating with a team to identify risk and reward factors, create budgeting plans, and record financial data. This creates a need for open and clear end-to-end communication channels. There is no room for misinformation and miscommunication in any official department, least of all financial.

Analytical Thinking

This is the process of evaluating data to recognize consistencies, patterns, deficits, discrepancies, or surpluses that may occur in a company’s financial state. It is a skill that suggests to an employer that you have the ability to view and analyze complex number patterns. The skills required for efficient analytical thinking include solid inference and observation skills.

Problem Solving

Solving problems and managing potential financial crises is a task often designated to financial roles within the company. This primarily includes finding ways to pay off liabilities in a manner that exhausts the least amount of assets available. By including problem-solving as a profitable skill in your portfolio, you are implying that you possess the experience and expertise required to deal with tough financial decision making.

Paying Attention to Detail

Having keen observation and attention to detail is a very valuable skill for finance workers – theirs is a field that leaves very little margin for human error. Companies are primarily money-making mechanisms, so finance departments bear the highest direct burden when it comes to maintaining solvency. A financial analyst should be able to identify shortcomings in data, statistics, and calculations, and rectify them before they negatively impact a company’s finances.

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management involves monitoring and projecting a company’s available cash at present and in the future. It is a valuable skill for individuals working in accounting, credit analysis, and loan companies.


Managerial financial positions demand quick sound and educated decision-making skills. This includes making tough decisions regarding downsizing, upsizing, closing branches, budget cutting, choosing between centralized and decentralized recruitment, and other investment choices that can prove risky or unpredictable at the time of implementation.


Budgeting is one of the main financial skills from which every individual in the financial industry would benefit. This involves one’s ability to effectively and efficiently manage and allocate large sums of capital to the right departments.

Risk Analysis and Management

Aptitude for risk management is determined by reasonable analysis of financial data and documents. Risk management involves earnest review of financial records to identify potential financial risks. This expertise is valuable for individuals in executive finance or risk management roles.

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