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Difference between Business Analyst and Financial Analyst | Business Analyst vs Financial Analyst

Business Analyst vs Financial Analyst, like the name suggests, are both analytical roles that analyze data to help a business operate. Though both of them sound as if they are very similar, the fact is that they perform different tasks to help an organization run smoothly.

Business Analysts concentrate on all aspects of running a business, whereas Financial Analysts focus on business finances. Here you can learn more about both the analytical professions and understand how they contribute to a business.

The profession of a Business Analyst and a Financial Analyst differs in the following ways –

1.  Education Qualification

Qualification of a Financial Analyst must be at least a bachelor’s degree in economics, statistics, and finance. Whereas, to become a Business Analyst, a candidate must be qualified in management, accounting, financial, and information technology degrees. Although a bachelor’s degree is almost a given requirement, a master’s degree is becoming more of a necessity every year for aspiring Business Analysts.

2. Skills Required

Financial Analyst needs to be comfortable in dealing with numbers. They should have strong knowledge of data input and recording, financial statement analysis, planning and estimation, statistics, valuation, etc. While Business Analysts should not struggle with numbers, their application is more on the areas of planning, strategizing, and execution and also solve problems that result due to qualitative data.

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3. Expected Salary

As per the recent update in the Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance 2017, the average salary range of a Financial Analyst in big companies ranges from US$ 53,000 to US$ 66,000. Along with that, they are also compensated with bonuses and commissions, which can increase the salary by up to US$ 50,000. Whereas, an entry-level Business Analyst generally earns about US$ 54,750 to US$ 69,000, including bonuses.

4. Job Outlook

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Financial Analysts is expected to grow at 6% in the 2018-28 period, in range with the average growth rate for other occupations. Though they don’t estimate the growth rate for Business Analysts accurately, this profession falls under the broader category of Management Analysts, for which the outlook is expected to grow at 14% in the same period.

5. Which one to pick?

For those who are good in statistics and love working with numbers, should choose a Financial Analyst career. On the contrary, one who is skilled at delegating tasks and making projects run efficiently should go for the Business Analyst profession.

Job responsibilities of a Business Analyst

  • Designing and execution of project plans
  • Monitoring and improving daily business activities
  • Discovering new and smart ways to help the business expand and sustain
  • Meetings with team and clients to fulfill business requirements
  • Frequently updating the management about reviews and developments

Job responsibilities of a Financial Analyst

  • Conducting primary and secondary research to asses market conditions
  • Attending meetings with clients and management
  • Performing due diligence which involves evaluating data and forecasting performance
  • Determining the value of the business, they are analyzing
  • Generating financial reports, presentation, and dashboards

Business Analysts recommend changes and improvements based on how the business is run daily and work in several domains wherever business insights are essential regardless of the field or the industry. Financial Analysts focus entirely on a business’ finances and find ways to improve the financial health of a company both in terms of its performance and position.

Business Analyst vs Financial Analyst These analysts work with analyzing current finances and potential investment opportunities, though typically it is a smaller aspect of a business analyst’s job. Click here to learn more about the Financial Analyst job description.