A Guide To Different Areas Of Finance (With Careers)

Updated 22 August 2023

Financing is the technique of raising funds for expenditures through investing, borrowing, lending, budgeting and forecasting. The finance department of a company manages these activities. If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, you can benefit from learning about primary areas of business finance and the various career opportunities they provide. In this article, we list the primary areas of finance and the roles you can apply for in each of them.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Career Opportunities In Different Areas Of Finance

The primary areas of finance include risk management, investment and financial markets and corporate finance. People working in these areas coordinate and collaborate to help a company expand its market share, improve its business operations, fulfil its short-and-long-term goals, enhance its creditworthiness and improve its profitability. Here is a list of primary areas of business finance and related career opportunities:

Risk management

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and mitigating potential threats to an organisation's capital and earnings. This involves identifying various risks, evaluating their impact, classifying their severity, devising procedures to mitigate them and monitoring and reviewing them periodically. It also includes determining who is responsible for managing risks within an organisation and ensuring they have the resources and authority to perform their duties. People working in risk management require sharing detailed reports with key stakeholders, including the board of directors, management and regulators periodically. Here are three career opportunities in risk management:

1. Compliance Manager

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National average salary: ₹4,22,738 per year

Primary duties: A compliance manager, also known as a compliance officer, ensures that an organisation adheres to legal and regulatory standards. They develop and implement policies and procedures, monitor compliance with laws and regulations, identify potential areas of compliance vulnerability and risk, conduct internal audits and provide guidance to an organisation on compliance-related issues. They coordinate with external auditors to develop internal control systems for an organisation. Compliance managers prepare detailed compliance monitoring, risk assessment, incident and regulatory change reports and present them to the upper management periodically.

Related How To Write A Compliance Manager Resume (With Example)

2. Auditor

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National average salary: ₹5,75,072 per year

Primary duties: An auditor conducts independent examinations of financial records and operations to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. They analyse financial statements and transactions to ensure accuracy, reliability and completeness. They perform a periodic review of a company's internal systems to identify areas that make a company susceptible to fraud and suggest ways to improve them. Auditors identify potential areas of risk and develop strategies to mitigate them. They also provide recommendations for strengthening internal controls, compliance with laws and regulations and the overall financial performance of a company.

Related: What Does An Internal Auditor Do? (Skills And Duties)

3. Risk Analyst

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National average salary: ₹9,59,778 per year

Primary duties: A risk analyst is responsible for identifying, assessing and managing potential risks that can impact an organisation. They analyse historical data and use statistical models to evaluate and quantify risks and classify them based on severity. They develop and implement risk management strategies to minimise potential losses. Risk analysts also monitor and report on the effectiveness of these strategies and make recommendations to improve them. They stay informed of industry developments, policies and procedures and regulatory changes and modify risk management practices within a company when required.

Related: How To Become A Risk Analyst (Skills And Qualifications)

Investments and financial markets

Investments and financial markets refer to buying and selling financial assets, such as stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies, to generate a return on investment. Its key components include asset allocation, portfolio management, financial analysis and risk management. Here are three career opportunities in financial services and capital markets:

1. Investment Consultant

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National average salary: ₹2,79,462 per year

Primary duties: An investment consultant provides expert advice on investing and managing assets. They research and evaluate investment options and create customised investment plans for clients based on their financial goals and risk tolerance. They also monitor and adjust investments based on marketing conditions and clients' evolving financial goals. Investment consultants communicate with clients to address their concerns and advise on financial planning and wealth management.

Related: Guide To Career Opportunities In Commerce (With Salaries)

2. Trader

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National average salary: ₹3,18,436 per year

Primary duties: A trader is responsible for buying and selling financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies, to generate profits for a firm or clients. They monitor market trends and conditions, such as economic indicators, news and events and other market data, to make informed decisions. They also manage risk by setting stop-losses and using different risk management strategies, such as diversification, to minimise potential losses. Traders also maintain accurate records of all trades and transactions and report them to the compliance department or senior management for review and analysis.

Related: How To Become A Trader In 7 Steps With Salary And Skills

3. Investment Banker

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National average salary: ₹4,65,426 per year

Primary duties: An investment banker advises the management or client on various financial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and debt and equity financing. They identify potential buyers or sellers for a particular transaction. They work with financial analysts to assess the financial performance of companies and industries, which helps identify growth opportunities and evaluate potential risks associated with investing in them. They also assist companies in capital restructuring by advising on various options, such as issuing new debt or equity, buying back shares or divesting certain assets.

Related: What Is An Investment Banker? Definition And Career Advice

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance is the area of finance that focuses on the operations and financial decisions of a corporation. This includes evaluating investment opportunities, determining ways to raise capital and deciding how to distribute profits to shareholders. The primary focus areas in corporate finance include financial forecasting, investment analysis, capital structure management and risk management. People working in corporate finance use techniques such as financial analysis, modelling and strategic planning to increase stakeholder value. Here are three career opportunities in corporate finance:

1. Treasurer

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National average salary: ₹1,73,121 per year

Primary duties: A treasurer manages an organisation's financial resources and oversees its financial operations. They develop and implement strategies for cash management, investments and debt management. They also work closely with other departments to develop budgets and financial plans. They also prepare financial reports that the senior management uses to assess a company's financial position. Treasurers evaluate financial policies and procedures to identify areas of improvement. They are also responsible for ensuring compliance with financial regulations and accounting standards.

Related: What Does A Treasurer Do? (With Skills And Responsibilities)

2. Finance Manager

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National average salary: ₹7,52,476 per year

Primary duties: A finance manager is responsible for the financial health of an organisation. They create financial reports, monitor and interpret financial data and develop long-term financial plans for an organisation. They monitor and manage an organisation's cash flow to ensure it has the funds to execute its daily operations. Finance managers review financial data to identify areas of cost savings and work with other departments to implement cost-saving measures. They also coordinate with external parties, such as banks, investors and auditors to secure financing for the organisation by obtaining loans, issuing bonds or raising capital through other means.

Related: How To Write A Finance Manager Resume Objective (Examples)

3. Financial Controller

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National average salary: ₹11,23,695 per year

Primary duties: A financial controller prepares financial reports and ensures compliance with government regulations and accounting standards. They focus on implementing processes to help streamline accounting functions and operations. They take part in the budgeting and financial forecasting activities within an organisation. Financial controllers also coordinate with upper management to provide financial advice that aids in informed decision-making. They also develop financial strategies to maximise an organisation's market value and minimise costs.

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