Pros and Cons of Becoming a Revenue Analyst
A revenue analyst is a type of accountant that is responsible for the management, organization and analysis of a company's finances. Below are some of the pros and cons of becoming a revenue analyst.
|Pros of Becoming a Revenue Analyst|
|Revenue analysts may work in nearly any industry*|
|Revenue analysts make a median annual salary of around $44,000**|
|Workers may advance to senior analyst or accountant positions*|
|Field certification options can help one secure a position*|
|Some schools offer combined bachelor's and master's degree programs that prepare students to take accountant licensure exams*|
|Cons of Becoming a Revenue Analyst|
|Many positions require previous experience in accounting or bookkeeping*|
|Most states require CPA licensure candidates to have completed 150 hours of post-secondary coursework*|
|Some positions require a master's degree in finance or accounting in addition to experience in the field*|
|Revenue analysts must be extremely detail-oriented*|
Sources: *The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com.
Essential Career Information
Job Duties and Responsibilities
A revenue analyst is responsible for the management, reporting and accounting of a company's revenue. This includes conducting cost analyses, generating bills, analyzing vendor invoices, managing contracts and reconciling accounts. They may also check revenue summary reports for errors, help auditors complete annual and quarterly audits and make revenue projections to use in creating budgets.
Salary and Career Outlook
According to Salary.com, entry-level revenue analysts earn a median annual salary of around $44,000 per year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earning potential can increase with experience and after becoming either a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) (www.bls.gov). Most employers prefer CPA certification. The BLS expects job opportunities in accounting to grow at an average pace between 2012 and 2022. The global economy drives the need for revenue analysts and accountants who are able to successfully manage large accounts and comply with both federal and local laws.
What Are the Requirements?
A bachelor's degree in a business field, such as economics, finance or accounting, is generally required to work as a revenue analyst. These degree programs prepare you for a career as a revenue analyst by teaching administrative, economic and financial skills. In a bachelor's degree accounting program, you can expect to take classes in topics such as cost management, business law, spreadsheets, databases, marketing, auditing and financial management.
However, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree. Individuals looking for a government position may consider earning a degree in public administration, policy or accounting. Master's degree programs in public accounting or similar concentrations will prepare you for the CPA exam. Some courses you might take in a public accounting master's degree program include global finance, fraud examination, marketing, business entity taxation and mergers and acquisitions. Generally, most jobs require work experience in the company's industry or sector, broad knowledge of accounting, budgeting, finance and excellent computer skills.
What do Employers Look for?
In addition to strong computer skills, an attention to detail and critical-thinking capabilities, most employers look to hire revenue analysts who have 1-5 years of accounting experience. Additionally, employers seek candidates able to manipulate and interpret large amounts of data. Knowledge of accounting software is usually also required. These job postings for revenue analysts found in May 2012 provide additional requirements for the career:
- A healthcare company in Ohio sought a revenue analyst able to communicate accounting variances found in reports.
- A medical supply company in Massachusetts looked for a revenue analyst with at least 5 years of experience and who was able to conduct financial analyses for various company programs and promotions.
- An accounting firm in Dallas sought a candidate experienced with advanced Microsoft Access and Excel functions, including pivot tables, SQL (structured query language) and v-lookups.
- In Missouri, a moving and storage company looked for a revenue analyst able to provide customer service and generate client bills.
How to Stand Out in the Field
If you are looking to gain an advantage in securing a position as a revenue analyst, but do not have relevant experience in the field of accounting, you might consider beginning your career as a bookkeeper. Many bookkeeping positions require a high school degree or equivalent. Because bookkeeping positions include several similar job duties as those performed by a revenue analyst, including preparing financial reports, maintaining Excel spreadsheets, data entry and balancing accounts, you will gain some relevant experience to begin your career. This experience may make you more attractive to employers, possibly leading to your not needing to earn a degree to work in the field.
In addition to earning a bachelor's or master's degree, many employers prefer candidates who are certified, usually as accountants. For CPA licensure by the Board of Accountancy, most states require 150 course credit hours of study beyond a bachelor's degree curriculum and passing an exam (www.bls.gov). CPAs must complete continuing education to maintain their license.
Alternative Career Choices
If working as a revenue analyst does not sound right for you, but you still want to work in the field of accounting, you might consider a career as a financial analyst. These analysts review investments, manage investment accounts and advise a company's executives about stocks, bonds and other investments. Typically, a bachelor's degree is required to work as a financial analyst. The BLS expects positions in the field to rise at a faster-than-average pace. In 2010, according to the BLS, these professionals earned an average salary of around $74,000.
Personal Financial Adviser
Another similar career you might consider is that of personal financial advising. These advisers are hired by individuals to provide them with advice about investments, retirement accounts, taxes and insurance decisions. Most positions require at least a bachelor's degree in finance or a related field. According to the BLS, this career is expected to rise at a faster-than-average pace between 2010 and 2020. In 2011, according to the BLS, financial analysts earned an average of around $91,000 per year.