Both SAP FICO and a Financial Analyst course have their own unique applications - both require an individual to be an expert in the domain, and both can land very lucrative jobs. SAP FICO is a little more technical and to become a financial analyst one requires to be continuously updated in skills. One must take a lot of care and should consider all options before deciding for a course.
Let us look in detail.
SAP FICO - FI (financial accounting) and CO (controlling) is a module that is used for reporting both internally and externally. Its main purpose is to record all financial transactions that are posted by an entity and maintain and produce accurate financial statements at the end of the trade period.
SAP is made up of sub-modules which are often used - accounts receivables, payables, asset accounting, general ledger accounting, and bank accounting. These sub-modules are interlinked, and they integrate in real time. A trial balance will always be balanced as all the submodules are connected and thus they can be extracted at any time.
Integration between SAP FI modules:
General ledger accounting - A set of all general ledger accounts in SAP that is used by a company or a group of companies is referred to as a chart of accounts, and these are used for the final preparation of the financial statements. Most transactions are reconciled with the general ledgers in real time as most transactions are recorded in submodules. Transactions done in direct general ledger accounting includes journal vouchers. These are posted to correct or adjust transactions.
Accounts receivables - it is a submodule that records all transactions with customers and manages their accounts. Separate customer accounts are maintained, and once transactions reflect in customer accounts, reconciliation accounts in the general ledger are updated in real-time figures. These transactions include invoice posting, down payments, invoice payment and executing customer reports.
Accounts payables - is a sub-module that records all vendor transactions and manages vendor accounts. Separate accounts are maintained for all vendors, and when transactions reflect in customer accounts, reconciliation accounts in the general ledger are updated with real-time figures. Transactions include invoice and credit memo posting, down payments and invoice payments, automatic payment program and executing vendor reports.
Asset accounting - it manages all transactions that are related to assets, for an entity. Once transactions are posted in asset accounts, reconciliation accounts are updated in real time. Transactions in asset accounting include asset acquisition and retirement, asset sale and transfer, asset revaluation and asset depreciation.
Bank accounting - it records all transactions with the banks. It is done to collect all transactions recorded by the bank on their statements and comparing them to transactions in the system.
Since all the SAP FI sub-modules are consolidated and transactions are updated in real time, accurate financial statements can be extracted at any time from the system.
To become a financial analyst you acquire a financial analyst certification one has to leverage accounting and compliance backgrounds and has to explore financial data, predict results and drive policy improvements. The position of a financial is accountable for reviewing investment proposals, investigating internal financial and operational issues, staying ahead on the conditions of the industry conditions and activities of different competitors.
Principal Accountabilities covered in a Financial Analyst Test
- To investigate operational and financial results and make suggestions for improvements
- Conduct and discuss cost-benefit analyses
- Reviewing capital budgeting proposals and recommend to management
- Create and forecast future business conditions in multiple scenarios
- Review and suggest different investments that are based on risk and return analysis
- Stay ahead of industry developments
- Create financial models with electronic spreadsheets
- Make powerpoint presentations for senior management with summaries of the results of analyses
- Analyze past and current financial data and performance and preparing reports based on that
- Evaluate current capital expenditures as well as depreciation and exploring investment opportunities
- Evaluating profits plans and providing with financial models and forecasting
- Recognizing trends in financial performance and offering suggestions for improvement