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What does a Corporate Analyst do?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A corporate analyst is a financial expert who evaluates a company's profits, net sales, and expenses. He or she advises executives on how to improve production and efficiency from a monetary standpoint. The analyst considers the past and present financial records of a company as well as market trends and the success of competitors to come up with better strategies. Corporate analysts are usually employed by specific businesses, though some professionals work for consulting firms that provide contract services to companies that need help establishing or changing financial policies.

A company depends on a knowledgeable corporate analyst to assess the success of advertising, production, and sales strategies. The analyst researches, calculates, and organizes statistics regarding profit margins and expenses, and identifies areas where a company can make improvements. He or she goes further to come up with practical ways to cut costs or increase profits by instituting new policies and procedures. The corporate analyst performs ongoing assessments and accounting duties to ensure that new policies are indeed effective.

Some corporate analysts work as industry consultants. Instead of working full-time for a company, the analyst is contracted by businesses within a particular industry to provide expert evaluations and advice. While a consultant performs many of the same duties as other analysts, he or she is able to provide objective assessments while knowing that his or her job is not in jeopardy if a mistake is made or the company ultimately goes out of business. A consultant must still provide consistent, reliable services to obtain other contracting jobs in the future.

An individual must obtain at least a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or business administration to be considered for most corporate analyst jobs. Many large corporations and specialized industries require applicants to hold master's degrees or higher in financial management specialties. Some professionals begin their careers in entry-level accounting positions, moving up through the ranks within a company to become analysts, while others enter internship programs to gain experience under experienced analysts.

An experienced, successful corporate analyst usually enjoys many opportunities for advancement. After working for several years, a skilled corporate analyst may be awarded the chance to become an executive or partial owner of a company. An analyst with expert knowledge of broader business principles may have success opening his or her own consulting firm. Finally, some analysts choose to pursue education credentials to become university professors, where they can pass on information to the next generation of business professionals.

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Discussion Comments

By summing — On Jun 29, 2011

@whiteplane-That will vary widely depending on the company and where along the ladder you are. Obviously bigger companies pay more and more senior analysts earn more. But in general it would not be unreasonable to expect that an entry level analyst could make around $40,000 a year. Moving up the ladder the earning potential is huge. And, as the article notes, may corporate analysts are able to use their experience to go on to become executives. As we all know, executives can earn salaries well in excess of 1 million dollars

By whiteplane — On Jun 27, 2011

Can anybody give me an estimate of what a corporate analyst's salary would be?

By backdraft — On Jun 25, 2011

I worked as what you would call a corporate analyst for over 10 years. It was not a huge company, but they still needed someone to constantly scrutinize the books in order to check for inefficiencies and identify areas for possible savings.

The work was hard but interesting. You really have to have a strong mind for numbers in order to be good at it. You also have to understand what kind of strategy the company is trying to implement. My job was usually to save money but not always. There are times when companies make a conscious decision to spend more or to risk the financial health of certain sections of the company.

I eventually moved up the ladder and now serve in an executive capacity at another company. The experience I gained as a corporate analyst has proved invaluable. I have a solid foundation in business strategy that I have been able to apply to every aspect of my company.

By chivebasil — On Jun 24, 2011

It seems like there is an ethical dimension to corporate analysis that is not mentioned in this article. The text above makes it seem like analysts just work with numbers and figures and point to easy areas where costs can be reduced. This does not simply mean that the company will spend less money on paper clips. It might massive layoffs.

We are now in what experts are calling the Great Recession and I'm sure many have heard stories about huge numbers of people losing their jobs at once. These decisions are not made casually. They are the result of careful corporate analysis. But this does not mean that they are correct, just, or even the correct strategy for maintaining the health of a company.

My point is simply that the kinds of decision that corporate analysts make have real consequences. They can effect people jobs, lives and the well being of their family. I'm sure that it takes a certain amount of objective dispassion to be a good corporate analyst but I think it also takes a conscience. Too often people don't think about the real human cost of their decisions.

By jonrss — On Jun 21, 2011

Its interesting the distinction that is made between an in house corporate analyst and a freelance or consulting corp[orate analyst. I can see how both would have advantages.

On the one had, and analyst who works only with one company has access to all of their data, understands the companies history and corporate culture and may have connections within the organization that can lead to more effective analysis. On the other hand, they may be biased or too concerned over the longevity of their own jobs to provide a completely effective analysis.

A consulting analyst does not have to worry about bias or job security. They can be objective and not worry to much about the effects of their conclusions. This, however, could also be a draw back. If they do not have an intimate knowledge of a company or any real stake in its well being this may jeopardize the quality of their analysis.

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