Many jobs fall within the scope of corporate finance, but the responsibilities, level of experience required, and salaries of each job vary, sometimes significantly. This often makes it difficult to know which corporate finance jobs are best. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in corporate finance, here are the top ten jobs and what you need to know about each of them.
Jobs in Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)
A financial planner for an individual creates a holistic plan to help the individual with everything from budgeting to making financial projections. Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) are quite similar, but instead of an individual’s finances, it’s the finances of the company that must be handled. Within FP&A there are three main career options, each with different responsibilities and compensation; analyst, manager, and director.
An FP&A analyst works with cash flow management, budgeting, forecasting, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and financial planning. While this type of analysis requires many of the same skills found in accounting, the underlying goal of the two is different. An accountant’s main responsibility is recordkeeping, while an FP&A analyst is reviewing all financial activities of the company to evaluate if the decisions support long-term goals. The typical compensation for an analyst at a larger corporation is between $60,000 and $70,000.
Those who excel at FP&A and have excellent managerial skills may move up to a role as an FP&A manager. The main responsibility at this level is to manage the FP&A team in conjunction with other teams at the company, including operations, accounting, and corporate development. The typical compensation for an FP&A manager is about $100,000.
The highest position on the FP&A team is the FP&A director. While this position also typically requires excellent management skills, the job is less about oversight of individuals and more about using the information the team provides to help senior management make major financial decisions. The pay varies widely depending on the company, but directors are typically compensated quite highly, with salaries reaching well into the six figures.
The treasury team is in charge of financing and evaluating the potential risks of financial decisions. The exact career path for someone working in the treasury department will depend upon the company, but in general, there are four main treasury jobs, all with unique roles, responsibilities, and compensation; analyst, manager, director, treasurer.
An analyst position serves as an entry point for a treasury career. The decisions those higher up in the company make are often based on the research and analysis initiated by those in analyst positions. A treasury analyst can expect to make between $50,000 and $80,000 a year.
While on a day to day basis analysts work more with numbers, managers focus more on oversight. A manager role may also require more decision making regarding the management of the company’s cash and financial risks. Treasury managers usually make between $80,000 and $120,000.
Those who do well in treasury analyst and manager roles may eventually move up to become directors. Directors have a significant amount of responsibility and must feel comfortable making many decisions that could impact the company. The high level of experience and responsibility is reflected in the lucrative compensation, which ranges from $120,000 to $300,000.
A role as treasurer requires a unique combination of skills. A treasurer must be detail-oriented and excellent at handling quantitative data, but must also have outstanding communication skills, the ability to lead and inspire others, and the capacity to balance big picture risk and reward. The compensation for a position at this level depends on the company but typically exceeds that of a director.
The corporate development team is responsible for every aspect of the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process, including finding potential companies and working through the negotiation process. Corporate development jobs come with a lot of responsibility since the decisions the team makes have the potential to change the future of the company. According to Glassdoor, the average annual compensation for a job in corporate development is $76,526.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
The CFO is in charge of all the financial affairs of a company. The position, therefore, requires an extensive amount of experience. The CFO position is where the information and expertise of each position in corporate finance converge. CFOs are typically compensated quite well, but the exact amount varies heavily from company to company and ranges anywhere from $120,056 to $481,741.
Investor Relations (IR)
Investor relations jobs involve handling the company’s relationship with investors and decisions that impact investors. IR may not always be considered a corporate finance job, but the role of the IR team in key financial decisions, such as the company’s dividend policy, makes it worth including. IR roles require proficiency in financial modeling and superb communication skills. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an investor relations position is $62,693.
Is Corporate Finance Right for You?
Careers in corporate finance differ from many other areas of finance. While an understanding of the basic accounting and finance principles is key, moving forward in a corporate finance career also requires skilled communication and the ability to work well with others. Though not for everyone, those who have these skills may enjoy working in corporate finance.
About The New York Institute of Finance
The New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) is a global leader in professional training for financial services and related industries. NYIF courses cover everything from investment banking, asset pricing, insurance and market structure to financial modeling, treasury operations, and accounting. The New York Institute of Finance has a faculty of industry leaders and offers a range of program delivery options, including self-study, online courses, and in-person classes. Founded by the New York Stock Exchange in 1922, NYIF has trained over 250,000 professionals online and in-class, in over 120 countries.
See all of NYIF’s training and qualifications here.