Growing numbers of chartered accountants (CA’s) are transitioning to careers as financial and credit analysts in the business banking sector, many of them in rural and regional areas, where their skills and experience make them highly sought after.

Beverley Alcidi, the Team Manager for Analysts with the Commonwealth Bank in the Northern Territory, says that the majority of analysts she manages hold accounting qualifications.

“Experience in financial statements, and therefore financial analysis capability, is the core component of the role,” she says. “It’s the best of both worlds: they need to be able to work through the nuances of financials, tax returns, cash flows, budgets and projections, but they also get to spend a lot of time talking to clients, building relationships and negotiating with a broad range of stakeholders.”

CA’s have the education and knowledge required to understand financials and legislative standards for clients, ranging from cattle stations the size of European countries to large property investment portfolios.

“The diversity of the industries doesn’t stop analysts from being able to specialise in a sector if that’s where their passion lies,” Alcidi says. “They have opportunities to build a long-term career that can see them progress to senior analyst and relationship executive. There’s also the ability to move into leadership, risk, strategy and project work.”

Making the switch

Alcidi has recently hired CA’s from KPMG and small tax firms, and found those who transition well to business banking careers tend to have a strong work ethic, be proficient at managing competing priorities and display good time management.

“Analysts are an integral part of the client experience, working with a team of relationship and agribusiness executives to look after a portfolio of clients,” she says. “Day-to-day work might involve helping clients write credit applications to grow or start their business, and assisting clients with all aspects of their finance.”

Intimately involved with their clients, analysts help them achieve not only success, but help foster strong regional communities.

“The ability to work in fantastic regional locations and not be held back in their careers is something analysts tell us that they love. Growing and developing in the same location as the client base — which spans from start-up, small-medium enterprises, to some of the largest regional corporations — provides a high level of job satisfaction.”

Training and experience

Careers in business banking also offer experience above and beyond the traditional accounting sphere, with training in cyber security, sustainability and ESG all an important part of the job.

“Feedback we’ve received from chartered accountants who have transitioned into financial analyst roles is that they appreciate the robust training and development plans they receive, and feel that they get a great level of coaching and career direction.

“They feel well supported and very comfortable with their decision to pivot their career.”

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This article was originally published in an issue of Acuity Magazine by Chartered Accountants ANZ.