“Whilst studying, get a part-time job that teaches you to deal with a variety of people.”
Aboubakar, Financial Consultant
To define a Financial Consultant, is like trying to define ice cream. Sure you can describe it as frozen cream, but there’s so many different flavours to it! Generally, Financial Consultants help companies and individuals achieve their financial objectives by assessing their financial situation. They offer guidance and expertise in areas such as taxes, assets and investments. All to save a few pennies. Well, a lot of pennies.
Many different industries require Financial Consultants, but usually you’ll find them working within the Financial Services & Banking industries. Being a Financial Consultant also offers the opportunity to make your own consultancy and be a boss like Rick Ross. Either way, they could be doing the following:
- Communicating with clients and identifying financial issues and plans
- Assessing clients’ financial situations by gathering information in regards to business/personal savings, investments and tax planning to name a few
- Create and establish financial strategies to achieve proposed short and long term financial goals
- Monitoring and keeping track of clients’ financial accounts and transactions
- Preparing financial analysis and reports to allow for better decision-making for clients
- Liaising with individuals and organisations such as HMRC on behalf of clients, to ensure financial benefits are optimised
- Updating financial knowledge by attending courses, networking, reading new publications and doing research in financial markets
Key Skills & Characteristics
A Finance Consultant should:
- Have sound financial knowledge and an experienced background
- Have an analytical mind-set with business acumen
- Excellent interpersonal skills being able to explain complex financial information
- Solid negotiation and influencing skills
- Strive for accuracy and have an attention to detail
- Be organised and able to prioritise a heavy workload
Because of its broad title and responsibilities, there’s not really a set route to become a Financial Consultant. However, to advise others on financial matters, you have to know your stuff. So it would be wise to study a degree in Business, Finance, Accounting, Economics or similar. Some graduate schemes in Financial Consulting ask for a Masters degree, which is worth considering.
Most likely you’ll have to gain further qualifications. Qualifications in Association of Accounting Technician (AAT), Association of International Accountants (AIA) and Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) may be beneficial.
As with most professions relevant work experience is vital. So it may be useful starting in an accountancy role for example. This would then give you relevant experience in managing financial accounts, which is necessary when being a Financial Consultant.
In Aboubakar’s journey, he mentions his varied work experience, mainly in Accountancy and Customer Service, really benefited him. In addition, completing his AAT qualification was also important.
Advice From Our Experts
“Whilst studying, get a part-time job that teaches you to deal with a variety of people. You should be willing to work for very little pay or nothing to get the proper experience, as the benefits will come later.”
- Aboubakar, Financial Consultant, on getting vital work experience.
- Opportunity - Brings the opportunity of making your own consultancy
- Financial Stability - It's a lucrative career with excellent financial benefits
- Client Satisfaction - A happy client is a happy Financial Consultant!
- Red Tape - Excessive regulations and formalities
- Constant Learning - To give financial advice often involves having to attend a lot of seminars and courses to update your skills
- Difficult Clients - Can be frustrating dealing with difficult individuals