Organisations must change to remain relevant, efficient and competitive.
Business analysts play a critical role in organisational development by:
- identifying whether change is needed
- assessing the impact of change
- communicating the planned change to relevant parties.
Business analysts require:
- financial knowledge to analyse the financial impact of change
- facilitation skills to be part of a team investigating why change is needed
- communication skills to communicate the change effectively
- IT and digital skills and an understanding of IT systems.
Business analysts are sought after positions, providing interesting and influential work with the opportunity for financial professionals to move onto senior roles.
Entry and progression
Business analysts work across:
- public sector
- financial services
- shared service organisations.
Entry to business analyst roles can be at school leaver or graduate level.
Project managers can also move into business analysis.
ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including business analysts.
A good understanding of accountancy is needed for business analysis. For those who work in business analysis, or aspire to be a business analyst, the most relevant exam options are:
Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your business analyst career.
Performance objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:
High level competencies required by business analysts include:
Governance, Risk and Control
A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.
B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.
C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.
D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.
E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.
Stakeholder Relationship Management
A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.
C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.
D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.
E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.
Strategy, Technology and Innovation
A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.
B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop plans and objectives.
C. Evaluate, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.
D. Adopts and applies innovative methods and technologies to implement strategy and manages change.
Sustainable Management Accounting
A. Applies development and performance management in the wider business and technological environment in the context of strategic planning and implementation.
B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.
C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.
D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.
Ethics and Professionalism
A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.
B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.
C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.
D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.
E. Communicates effectively and influences others.
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Careers in finance
Read real-life case studies of ACCA members and students to learn more about their careers and the industries, sectors and roles they work in.