Businesses of all sizes often find themselves in need of financial assistance, whether that’s a chief financial officer (CFO), a seasonal bookkeeper… or a corporate financial analyst. But what, exactly, does such an analyst do? That’s a question we’ve been getting more and more here at Paro.

In this article, we will demystify the many roles of corporate financial analysts, including their distinct job responsibilities and day-to-day duties. We will also discuss why companies choose to hire or contract such an analyst. Finally, we’ll touch on why many companies contract with freelance analysts instead of recruiting and retaining full-time help.

What are the different types of financial analysts?

Financial analysts, according to the Department of Labor Statistics (DLS), “provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.”

There are many different types of financial analysts, including insurance underwriters, budget analysts and financial advisers. Insurance underwriters determine whether to offer insurance to applicants, and under what conditions. They often review applications, evaluate risks and recommend coverage amounts and premium costs. Budget analysts help all types of companies make sense of their finances, keep an eye on spending and prepare reports.

Some financial analysts work for buyers (those investing money), while other analysts work for sellers.

What does a corporate financial analyst do?

A corporate financial analyst has a particularly important job to do. These analysts are asked to help their employers analyze data to help others make major business decisions. They are often asked to track financial trends for their own organization and for a certain marketplace in general.

Corporate analysts are also asked to make recommendations about business performance, sometimes on the spot and sometimes in important business meetings. These analysts, when prompted, will call upon past, present and projected business data of the company and its competitors to back up their suggestions.

Sometimes, these analysts are also asked to look closely at a business’s performance trends, offering suggestions on how to make the company more profitable.

Why would my company need a corporate financial analyst?

Most companies turn to a financial analyst when they require assistance preparing to make decisions that will affect their bottom line. Your company may need help developing a budget, presenting data to a board, or evaluating whether now is the right time for expansion.

For example, if you own a local medical spa and are considering adding a new location, you might hire a corporate financial analyst to help you understand relevant market trends and help you prepare data to present to investors. A good analyst can help you understand business data and make recommendations that you can feel good about.

A corporate financial analyst can also help you create an accurate financial model, which includes a profit and loss statement, a cash flow statement, a dedicated employee tab and a dedicated assumptions tab. This financial model will help you understand your business in a way that your bank account cannot.

Do I need a full-time or freelance analyst?

Many businesses—even big ones!—have found they do not truly need a full-time analyst. There are many reasons why a company might decide against a full-time hire.

Usually, companies hire freelance analysts not only because there is not enough year-round, daily work, but also because they have found outstanding freelance talent available. In the past, great talent required commitment and lots of resources to recruit and retain. But as the gig economy has altered the work landscape, more and more brilliant financial experts have chosen to work for themselves, offering their services to companies that do not need full-time help.

If your company needs the help of a financial analyst, but cannot commit to bringing on a full-time hire, a freelance analyst is a fantastic solution that will allow you to gain insight and control over your company’s financials without wasting resources.

At Paro, we offer outsourced, freelance financial analysis services. If you’re trying to get a loan, get funding from a venture capitalist firm, or simply ensure your business is competitive, then working with a freelance Paro analyst could be right for you.

Remember that the benefits of working with a talented corporate analyst—even if it’s only for a few hours a week—are sizable. Corporate financial analysts will prepare your business for growth and change by helping you understand your business’s finances and the financial trends of your company’s industry and the economy at large.

At Paro, we’ll match you with an analyst who understands your business and can help your company flourish.