How to Become a Financial Compliance Analyst

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Finance compliance analysts are hired by finance firms to ensure that all relevant rules and regulations are being adhered to. The position of a financial compliance analyst revolves around the financial operations of a business organization. Hence candidates aspiring to embark upon a career in this field need to have a sound knowledge of financial management and a detailed knowledge of the dimensions of internal controls. They also analyze an industry's or a company's financial health.

Financial Compliance Analysts are employed with insurance companies, investment firms and banks. Even media companies employ these analysts. Financial analyst is a general term and many analyst jobs fall under it. Investment banks employ ‘Sell side analysts' for selling investments. Institutional investors employ ‘Buy side analysts' for preparing portfolio strategies for various companies.

Job Profile/Description/Responsibilities

The primary function of a financial compliance analyst is to oversee the processes and procedures being followed in the finance department. These procedures are not simple and it requires in depth knowledge and experience to master them. Financial services companies and insurance companies hence employ the professionals and make use of their expertise. They are supervised either by business managers or by senior compliance officers.

The additional responsibility of financial compliance analysts is to review marketing content, since it is related to the products they deal with. One should advise his clients regarding issues related to policies and regulations of the business which have a scope for improvement.
  • One needs to plan and carry out audits and evaluations and the over all business process analysis
  • Organize yearly and progressing audit plan
  • Recognize the risky locales in order to make out the corresponding areas of improvement
  • Scrutinize staffing necessities and resources to complete the audit plan
  • Analyze and classify audit tools and reserve staff outer to in-house audit
  • Apply audit plan as well to account progress
  • Prepare reports at conclusion of definite audits or project

Academic: To become a financial compliance analyst, you should pursue Bachelor's degree in either one of the following - business accounting, economics or finance. Some companies are particular about a Master's degree in business administration or finance. Candidates can also go for specializations including risk management, bond valuation and pricing cum analysis.

A compliance analyst should possess a business undergraduate degree. It is also advisable to register for the MBA degree. You do not have to give first preference for completing MBA. If you get a job offer, it is better to accept it since MBA can be completed after a few years of experience too. Bear in mind that Master's degree will help you stand out amongst the others.

Skill sets: All jobs nowadays require proficiency in computers. The job of a financial compliance analyst requires using word processors, database related software and spreadsheets. It is very important that analysts gain exposure to all the above-mentioned software to help with the day-to-day activities. In addition to this, analysts may also be asked to deliver presentations. For this, the analysts have to have a sound knowledge of the important features of Power Point, so that they do not face difficulty with the software after they have collected the data and details for the slides.

Training: Generally, you do not need certifications to apply for jobs. However, certifications can boost your credentials and pave way for better salaries. To become a chartered financial analyst, you need to refer to the guidelines specified by the Association of Investment Management and Research'. However, you will need work experience of three years after finishing Bachelor's degree to become eligible for earning the certification. This certification is not easy to get and so the industry prefers candidates who have obtained the certification.

Prior experience: A Financial Compliance analyst should have considerable years experience which can either be in the compliance industry or in a related industry/business.

Employment Outlook

Career Prospects (globally): According to the job outlook of 'Bureau of Labor Statistics', there is a growing need for financial compliance analysts and this trend is likely to continue till the year 2016. Thus, it is prudent to enter this industry now since it is growing. There is good moneymaking possibility too in the field. Compliance analyst jobs will prove to be even more demanding for those who are already in the finance domain.

Salaries: In the US, financial compliance analysts are paid close to $ 58000 annually. During the year 2006, their median wage was above $65,000. A second component of the salary is the bonus that these analysts earn and the actual amount depends on the targets met.

It is a fact that the financial analyst job is not easy to land in and sustain. Nevertheless, it provides enough challenges and rewards simultaneously. Those who are number one crunchers will find it an interesting job. You should be especially good in the following: Mathematics, Economics and Accounts. Analytical skills of a person are both inherent and learned which can be sharpened through constant application of problem solving abilities and skills.
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