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Top Financial Careers to Aspire for

November 18 2015 - There are some absolutely brilliant, interesting and rewarding jobs in the finance sector including financial planning, corporate finance, insurance, investment banking, and real estate. The article provides adequate information for you to decide if you are right for a career in finance. You may now narrow down available options within the financial sector.

Reputed financial recruiters have identified some of the most sought-after and difficult positions, and these include tax managers, controllers (hedge fund controllers and the like), valuation analysts and senior-level and fund accountants. Each role is distinctly different from the other, and demands a very specific skill-set.


Job Description: A controller is single-handedly responsible for the formulation and management of financial plans like debt finance, cash advance, budget management and project funds allocation. Controllers choose accounting methods, ensure GAAP standards are maintained and in general set the financial rules which the entire firm must obey. Banks, governments and large corporations and conglomerates hire controllers to manage teams of professionals, and ensure that they turn in quality work within set deadlines.

Educational Qualifications: At the very least, you must possess a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, with a specialization in either accounting or finance. Another requisite is that the applicant must be a Certified Public Accountant or CPA.

Job Experience: The Controller is a vital position in the bedrock of any firm. As such, firms tend to be very picky with their candidates. It is expected that an applicant possesses anywhere between five to ten years of experience, having held senior-level accounting or finance positions. To be a hedge fund controller, you need at least eight to ten years of experience with large funds, and must possess a certain amount of exposure in the world of distressed debt.

Business Valuation Analysts

Job Description: Business Valuation Analysts are employed for determining the value of any business enterprise or even the ownership’s interest (in case the business is sold or bought). The analyst should possess a thorough understanding of taxes, accounting, finance and economics.

Educational Qualifications: Business Valuation Analysts should possess a CPA for becoming certified. The candidate should have a robust mathematical background.

Job Experience: An adequate corporate experience of around 5 to 7 years minimum is required to apply for the post of a Business Valuation Analyst.

Fund and Senior-Level Accountants

Job Description: Accountants are barnstormers and number crunchers. They analyze trends and costs in the market and compare them with the present statistics of the firm through financial reports, so as to keep a keen eye on all of the liabilities, assets, debts, taxes, profits and losses of the firm. Accountants keep the firm from hemorrhaging money, and also are extremely important in contingencies as their reports are vital in handling situations.

Educational Qualifications: Two to five years of experience and a CPA are expected by most managers in firms, but recent reports have indicated that these criteria greatly vary from firm to firm due to lack of prospective candidates to fulfill these requisites.

Job Experience: The most competitive and sought-out positions include fund accountant managers, accountant managers and senior accountant positions for private equity funds and hedge funds. The better the job, the higher are the expectations from prospective candidates. Three to five years of experience at premier investment banks and hedge funds usually land the best jobs in accounting.

Tax Managers

Job Description: As the name suggests, a Tax Manager’s primary role is to oversee and control tax planning and reporting. This ranges from checking if the firm is adherent to all tax laws imposed by local, state, federal and international bodies, to ensuring that accurate tax returns are completed and submitted periodically so as to reduce the tax obligations of the corporation.

Educational Qualifications: Here, too, you will have to possess a CPA designation, and an MBA with a concentration in taxation or accounting.

Job Experience: The majority of recruiters will only consider applicants with five years of experience in the field, but the senior positions in the best firms will always be reserved for candidates with a minimum of seven years of public and corporate experience. Adaptability is a must, and it is as important as specialization, as a tax manager will be introduced to a diverse range of situations in any firm. It would hence be empowering and enriching if you have worked in different contexts and environments before, albeit in a similar capacity.

Author: Marlon Roberts is an accountant at a private finance consultancy firm. He has also created a blog which he regularly updates with informative and helpful articles about all sorts of financial topics, ranging from tax payments, surveys and penalties to probable sources of a cash advance for lawsuits and other transactions.

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