A finance associate applies accounting acumen, business expertise or regulatory compliance knowledge to advise a firm's senior managers on financial accounting and reporting principles and policies. She also may work in a corporation's investment or treasury department. Alternatively, she could recommend asset selection options to portfolio managers or corporate traders.
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A finance associate may perform a variety of tasks, depending on the company's size and industry as well as job requirements. A finance associate may work in a corporate accounting department and ensure that the firm's financial statements are accurate. She also may work as a financial auditor and ensure that corporate controls are functional. A corporate finance associate may help an organisation raise cash on securities exchanges.
Education and Training
A finance associate typically holds a four-year college degree in accounting or auditing. A liberal arts major also may enter the field, provided she receives practical training before performing her duties. Some employers, such as investment banks and insurance companies, may require a finance associate to have a master's of business administration (MBA) degree in finance or investment analysis.
A finance associate's compensation levels depend on his seniority and length of service as well as his academic training and professional credentials. Other factors, such as the company's size, location and industry, also may affect remuneration amounts. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, median annual wages for senior financial associates were £64,564 in 2008, excluding bonuses and stock options, with the middle 50 per cent of the occupation earning from £46,819 to £87,795. A finance associate who works in a corporation's financial accounting and reporting department may earn less. The same research indicates that median annual wages of financial accounting associates were £38,629 in 2008, excluding bonuses and stock options, with the bottom 10 per cent of the profession earning less than £23,868 and the top 10 per cent earning more than £66,547.
A finance associate can be promoted faster by seeking an advanced degree, such as a master's in finance, or a professional certification such as the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. A finance associate who is a top performer may be promoted to a senior role, such as finance manager, financial accounting supervisor or senior finance associate, within three to five years.
A finance associate's work schedule depends on the company's size and industry. Business conditions and the position requirements also may affect work shifts. For example, a financial accounting associate may have a standard 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. work shift, whereas an investment banking associate may work late nights or on weekends to help a firm complete a merger transaction.
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