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S&K Career Consultation Report

Career Outlook: Accountant or Financial Analyst

S&K Career Consultation Report

Career Outlook: Accountant or Financial Analyst

S&K Career Consultation Report

Career Outlook: Accountant or Financial Analyst

Prepared for: Kiyeini Rojas Business Administration Student 7619 Sussex Creek Dr. Darien, IL 60151

Prepared by: Sohaib Mirza Career Consultant 290 Blue Spruce Ln. Glendale Heights, IL 60139

Date: October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013 Sohaib Mirza Career Consultant 290 Blue Spruce Ln. Glendale Heights, IL 60139

Kiyeini Rojas Business Administration Student 7619 Sussex Creek Dr. Darien, IL 60151

Ms. Rojas, I have enclosed in this report my analysis of two potential career choices for you. Your career choices are: Accountant or Financial Analyst. These are great career options for you based on the criteria we discussed and your educational background. In the report, I used 5 major categories to further analyze and compare the two different careers. The major categories that I used were: education requirements, job outlook, salary, work environment, and advancement opportunity. In the report, I have also included a recommendation of what I believe to be the best career opportunity for you. I would like to thank you for choosing S&K Careers, and giving us the opportunity to help you. It is our goal to help you realize your potential by finding the right career for you. I would like to wish you the best of luck in the career that you choose to pursue. Sincerely,

Sohaib Mirza Career Consultant S&K Careers

Table of Contents
List of Figures ................................................................................................................................................ 5 Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... 6 Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 7 Education Requirements............................................................................................................................... 8 Financial Analyst ....................................................................................................................................... 8 Accountant ................................................................................................................................................ 8 Job Outlook ................................................................................................................................................... 9 Financial Analyst ....................................................................................................................................... 9 Accountant ................................................................................................................................................ 9 Salary ........................................................................................................................................................... 11 Financial Analyst ..................................................................................................................................... 11 Accountant .............................................................................................................................................. 12 Work Environment ...................................................................................................................................... 13 Financial Analyst ..................................................................................................................................... 13 Accountant .............................................................................................................................................. 13 Advancement Opportunity ......................................................................................................................... 14 Financial Analyst ..................................................................................................................................... 14 Accountant .............................................................................................................................................. 14 Conclusion and Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 15 References .................................................................................................................................................. 16 Appendix A - financial analyst ..................................................................................................................... 17 Appendix B Accountant............................................................................................................................ 17

List of Figures
Figure 1 (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012) ....................................................................................... 9 Figure 2 Financial Analyst salaries (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012) ............................................ 11

Executive Summary
The report examines accountant and financial analyst careers as two possible career choices. The purpose of this report is to provide the necessary information regarding the major areas of these two careers for anyone who is debating on obtaining a career in one the two fields. Major areas for analysis of accounting and financial analyst careers include: education requirements, job outlook, salary, work environment, and promotion track. The report develops a clear understating on which degrees can be earned in order to achieve a career in any of the two fields. It includes job growth in the next 10 years and analyzes which career will reach a higher growth rate. It also states salaries of advanced positions, lower-level positions as well as average positions for both careers. Additionally, it identifies the normal working conditions and average weekly hours by the two professions. Ultimately, it gives the promotion potential when starting in entry, junior, and seniors levels in both careers. Based on your career goals, recommendations for choosing a career are (1) seek an internship in the related field to gain experience, (2) earn a Bachelors degree in Finance or Accounting, (3) seek a position as a junior financial analyst at a firm, (4) earn a Masters degree in either finance or business administration, and continue to gain experience in order to successfully attain quick advancement as a senior-level executive.

Introduction
In todays economy many businesses are fast-paced and profit driven. In order for an organization to function efficiently, companies need proactive and intelligent people. Some of the most important people within companies tend to be financial analysts and accountants. They take care of the companys finances and steer it towards growth by making important decisions based on economic conditions and providing a course of action when required. The purpose of this report is to provide general information regarding careers in accounting or financial analysis based on your career goals, which as we discussed earlier are the following: Higher compensation Faster career advancement Office environment Higher job growth rate Required education level

In order to reach a definite conclusion and make an unbiased recommendation, we will look at several different aspects of these two careers. They include: necessary education requirements including certificates and licensing, employment growth, compensation levels based on percentiles, work settings and typical places of employment. The report will also include analysis of advancement opportunities in both fields. It will describe entry, junior, and seniorlevel positions and how to obtain them. The information was gathered by doing research on government statistics, public records and then splitting the results into different sections within major areas. The report is structured as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Education Requirements Job Outlook Salary Work Environment Advancement Opportunities

At the end of the report you will be provided with a recommendation for your career choice.

Education Requirements
Financial Analyst
To become a financial analyst, you will need to pursue a bachelors degree. You can major in accounting, finance, business administration, economics, or statistics. To become a senior analyst, you will need to have a masters in business administration or finance. Other financial analyst jobs require you to get a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The license requires a sponsorship from your employer, so you can only get one after you get a job (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012).

Accountant

Although experience in accounting or auditing can help a potential employee get a job, most companies require at least a bachelors degree in accounting. Some companies require applicants to have a masters degree in accounting or business administration (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013). You can choose to become a Certified Public Account (CPA) if you want to gain clients or simply improve your jobs facets. Your states Board of Accountancy licenses CPAs. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013). Most of the states require 30 semester hours of college coursework in addition to a 4-year bachelors degree. Many candidates choose to earn a masters degree in accounting despite the fact that it is not required to earn the CPA license.

Job Outlook
Financial Analyst
Financial analysts are expected to have strong employment growth from 2010 to 2020. These jobs are expected to increase 23%, which is faster than the average for all other occupations. Even with all this job growth, the financial analyst field is highly competitive and can be tough to break into (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012).

Figure 1 (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012)

Accountant

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15.7 percent growth for accountants between 2010 and 2020, which is much faster than the average growth for most other professions. An additional 190,700 accounting and auditing jobs will need to be filled during that time period because of those who retire or transfer to other occupations (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 20122013).

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As the economy grows, the number of business establishments will increase, requiring more accountants and auditors to set up books, prepare taxes, and provide management advice. As these businesses grow, the volume and complexity of information developed by accountants and auditors regarding costs, expenditures, and taxes will increase as well.

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Salary
Financial Analyst
Salary is an important factor when choosing a career. Financial Analysts are paid very well. The average pay of a financial analyst is $74,350, while the average for all other business and financial jobs are only $60,670. Advanced positions such as portfolio manager or fund manager can command up to $141,700. Even lower level positions such as junior analyst can earn up to $44,490, which is still more than the average pay for all occupations (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012).

Top 10% $141,700 Median annual wage $74, 350 Bottom 10% $44,490
Figure 2 Financial Analyst salaries (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012)

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Accountant
In 2010, accountants and auditors reached a median annual wage of $63,500 according to the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The salary range for accountants/auditors began at the lowest 10 percent making just over $39,900 annually, ranging to the upper 10 percent earning over $111,500 per year (Occupation Profile, 2011).

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Work Environment
Financial Analyst
Most financial analysts work in offices, but many also frequently travel. Financial Analyst will typically travel to analyze a companys daily activities, attend conferences with colleagues or meet with potential investors (Granville, 2012). Financial Analysts have long work hours and typically work more than 40 hours a week. Financial Analysts work in: Banks Pension funds Mutual funds Securities firms Insurance companies

(Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012).

Accountant
Most accountants and auditors work in offices. Self-employed accountants may be able to do part of their work at home. Accountants and auditors employed by public accounting firms and government agencies may travel frequently to perform audits at clients places of business, branches of their firm, or government facilities (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013). In 2010, 1/5 of accountants and auditors worked more than 40 hours per week. Tax accountants may work longer hours because of tax season, as well as accountants that need to prepare financial statements for their companies end of fiscal year.

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Advancement Opportunity
Financial Analyst
There is a lot of promotion potential in the financial analyst field. At entry level, you will start off as a junior analyst. If you work hard, then you can be promoted to a senior analyst position within 3 5 years. After becoming a senior analyst, you can advance your career further by becoming a portfolio manager, a partner in an investment bank or even senior management at a retail bank. You also have the option of becoming a financial consultant or investment advisor (Granville, 2012). If you put in the long hours and work hard, there is no limit to your growth potential in this career.

Accountant

Many top executives start their careers with backgrounds in accounting, internal auditing, or finance. Acquiring a CPA license may provide career advancement to any accountant or auditor within the same organization or other organization. Public accountants advance to positions with more responsibilities within 1 or 2 years and to senior positions within a few years.

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Conclusion and Recommendations


The purpose of this report was to provide an in-depth analysis of the proposed career goals. Keeping in mind your career goals and expectations, my recommendation for you is to become a financial analyst. You had expressed a clear interest in higher compensation at a faster rate. While both careers meet about the same work environment, financial analyst has a higher job growth rate. Therefore, acquiring a career as a financial analyst can be accomplished in less time. You had also expressed an interest in obtaining a bachelors degree for you r career. That being the case, earning a bachelors degree meets your goals but you can always reach higher career advancement by obtaining a masters degree in business administration or finance, which also makes your career goals more attainable. While accountant career advancement is associated with earning a CPA license and financial analysts advancement is associated with earning a CFA certification, earning a CPA license requires more sacrifice than earning a CFA certification. Taken all research and analysis into consideration, I am certain that a career as a financial analyst will suit you the best. My recommendation is this: Enroll in a 4-year University Seek an internship in a financial field while attending school Get involved in extra curricular activities Obtain a Bachelors degree in Finance Seek an entry-level position at a prestigious firm Continue education while working for quicker advancement

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References
Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012, August 31). Accountants and Auditors: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved October 21, 2013, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012, March 29). Financial Analysts: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved October 21, 2013, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-andFinancial/Financial-analysts.htm Granville, C. (2012, November 4). Becoming A Financial Analyst. Retrieved October 21, 2013, from http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/06/financialanalyst.asp Occupation Profile (n.d.). Occupation Profile - America's Career InfoNet. Retrieved October 21, 2013, from http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?nodeid=2&optstatus=000110111&next=occ_rep&jobfam=1 3&soccode=132011&stfips=&level=&id=1&ES=Y&EST=accountant

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Appendix A - financial analyst


1 licensing for financial analyst
http://www.finra.org http://www.sifma.org

2 training and certification for financial analyst


http://www.aafm.us http://www.cfainstitute.org

Appendix B Accountant
1 management accounting and the CMA designation
http://www.imanet.org

2 internal auditing and the CIA designation


http://www.theiia.org

3 CPA designations
http://www.aicpa.org/