A financial analysis certificate can be earned as part of a master’s degree program in financial analysis or as a professional enhancement to a bachelor’s degree in financial analysis. Those seeking a financial analysis certification have the option of taking online courses or enrolling in a traditional financial university program. University programs typically take nine months to complete, while certificate programs can take longer or shorter.
Earning a financial analysis certificate frequently comes with prerequisites. A bachelor’s degree in finance or an accounting-related subject is required for many programs. Before beginning a certificate program, a candidate usually needs one to three years of work experience in finance. Some programs will offer a basic certification in financial analysis, while others will offer advanced certifications in which the candidate will specialize in a specific area of financial analysis. Most financial analysis certification programs are overseen two main bodies. For university programs, the CFA Institute oversees and recommends standards, while for many online programs, the American Academy of Financial Management does the same. While university programs are frequently standardized, the required coursework for online certificate programs can vary greatly.
Coursework in managerial accounting and finance, securities analysis, and mergers and acquisitions are often included in a financial analysis certificate program. Candidates will occasionally be required to learn computer programming languages in order to solve financial problems. The certificate candidate will also learn how to use spreadsheets to forecast earnings, cash flow, and savings so that this information can be used potential investors. Students are frequently required to learn to analyze investment profitability, liquidity structures, and capital structure to debt ratios. Earning a certificate frequently necessitates a working knowledge of the federal tax code as it relates to financial analysis. A student’s credits earned in a financial analysis certification program may be applied toward a master’s degree in finance at some universities.
A financial analysis certificate shows prospective employers and clients that the holder has advanced knowledge of global financial markets, as well as corporate finance and investment knowledge. Certification is frequently required for advancement in a person’s career, such as to the position of team leader or financial analyst manager within an institution. A financial analysis certificate can help a person get a job in a finance department of a corporation or investment firm, or give a financial consulting firm more credibility.