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Difference Between Financial Analyst and Accountant

Financial Analyst analyzes the information available from different sources and historical patterns and based on that predicts the future of the firm. They help management make different business decisions, build strategic planning, etc. An accountant is mostly involved in day to day financial accuracy, correct bookkeeping of financial transactions, and handling of taxes of an entity. They help in the analysis of financial statements, its audit, and the presentation of the results.

Financial Analyst vs Accountant Infographics

Financial-Analyst-vs-Accountant-info

Similarities

Though the roles and responsibilities of a financial analyst and an accountant are different from each other, several similarities are there too between the two roles. Similarities between a financial analyst and an accountant as a profession can be understood from the given points in the below table:

Point of similarities Financial Analyst Accountant
Educational background The minimum required education in financial analyst career is a bachelor’s degree in finance. Same as for a financial analyst profession, the minimum required degree of education for an accountant as a career is a bachelor’s degree in finance.
Dealing with Financial information Financial analyst deals with financial information to forecast or predict the future performance of the company. Accountants also deal with financial information but they do it for the purpose of preparation of financial statements of the company.
Same work environment A financial analyst works in front of the computer examines financial information, uses financial software to gain the understanding and knowledge to perform their role. Similar to financial analysts, the accountant also works in the same work environment and uses similar financial software for bookkeeping and preparation of the financial statements.
Providing accounting information to the users Financial analysts provide accounting information to the management of the company to help them in making various business decisions. Accountants also provide accounting information but to the external stakeholders to help them in taking the investment decisions.

Key Differences

The differences between the two professions i.e. financial analyst career and accountant career can be understood from the below points in the given table:

Point of difference Financial Analyst Accountant
Work responsibility Financial analysts work with macroeconomic as well as microeconomic factors to predict the future performance of the business, thus, in other words, they look at the overall picture or holistic view of the business. Accountants are more concerned with the accuracy of books and financial statements, its preparation, and audit. They also handle tax the returns of the company.
Certification course The dominant but not mandatory certification course for financial analysts is CFA i.e. Chartered financial analysts. The dominant but not mandatory certification course for accountants is CPA i.e. Certified public accountants.
Salaries As per the U.S. Bureau of labour statistics (BLS), financial analysts are better earners than accountants. As per the data provided by the BLS average salaries of accountants are lower than the financial analysts.
Workplace Though both financial analysts and accountants work in similar kinds of work environments financial analysts generally work for big firms. Accountants can work for major accounting firms or independently for several clients at the same time.

Conclusion

Both financial analysts, as well as accountants, perform important work for the organization. An organization would not be able to succeed without the help of any one of them. And both of the professions are an excellent career choice, end of the say it just depends upon the area of the interest of the candidates wanting to adopt any of the careers. Both the professions require data crunching its analysis from various points of view but the expected output if different. Financial analysts examine data to predict future performance while accountants help in maintaining financial accuracy and consistency.

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This has been a guide to Financial Analyst vs. Accountant. Here we discuss the top 4 similarities and differences of financial analyst and accountant along with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following accounting articles –

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