Corporate Finance Analyst at F100 Tech AMA

Big_Sphinx's picture
Rank: Monkey | 65

Thought I would give back to the community a little and post an AMA!

About me: Financial Analyst at a big name F100 tech company. Graduated in 2015 with a finance degree from a well regarded school. I have worked in my current role for ~2 years, so figured I could field some questions.

Happy to answer almost anything.

Comments (49)

Apr 26, 2017

Day to day responsibilities?

Also, what are the usual backgrounds from the people higher up? Big 4 acct guys or IB?

Apr 26, 2017

Responsibilities vary a lot depending on your role. People, myself included, usually start out of undergrad in FP&A roles where they are responsible for planning cycles, monthly close, and some ad-hoc strategic projects/valuations. A lot of the day to day responsibilities involve meeting and working with business partners about various tasks and projects. As you move up the ladder and rotate around the company, you can have extremely diverse roles. Most of the more senior roles have a strategic focus where you are working with business groups to evaluate strategic initiatives.

Usually people at my company have moved up through the ranks rather than coming from Big4 or banking. We have strong MBA recruiting, so some people will have previous work experience, but Big4 or banking is not super common for finance roles.

Apr 26, 2017

Did you intern there before joining full time?
In your opinion, is it a good position to be in directly out of college?
What is the progression like (title and salary)?

Thanks!

Apr 26, 2017

1) No, I did not.

2) Yeah, I think it is a solid position to be in out of college. You get a fair amount of responsibility and develop soft skills from constantly working on teams with senior individuals. A lot will depend on what business group you are placed in though.

FP&A Analyst: ~$60K base, $5K Bonus, $5000 RSUs (grant over 3 years)
Senior Analyst: $75-$90K base, $7K Bonus, $5000 RSUs (grant over 3 years)
Strategic Analyst: $100-$130, $5K-$20K Bonus, (No idea on RSUs, but they increase by a lot)
Manager $100-$175K base; $20K+ Bonus, (No idea on RSUs, but they increase by a lot)
Senior Manager/Controller ($175K-$400K All in)
Director/VP ($1M-$3M All in)
CFO ($10M +)

The track from FP&A to manager can take about 7 years if you are a solid performer. After that level, it is hard to give a timeline exactly. High performing individuals are promoted every 1.5-2 years on average.

Apr 26, 2017

Thanks for the detailed response! To give some context on salary info, could you tell where you are approximately located? Also, what do you think of the exit opportunities this role will provide you? I ask because I am interning in the FP&A dept of a similar firm as yours (Tech F500) and am picking peoples brains to get a sense of what I should be doing

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Apr 26, 2017

Those comp figures look reasonable up to the Sr Analyst level, I think after that they are a bit inflated.

    • 1
May 5, 2017

I'm interning with a F200 energy company this summer. Did you also intern in a corporate finance role during your undergrad? If so, do you have any recommendations on how to sell yourself to people in senior roles during the internship?

Apr 26, 2017

Hey man sorry, I actually didn't have a corporate finance internship so I cant give great advice. From the interns I have seen in my group, the ones who do the best are humble and willing to absorb as much as possible over the summer. My company has a lot of events, so it is pretty easy to tell who is sociable and would be a good fit.

May 6, 2017

How long does it take to hit the Strategic Analyst level and what does that position entail?

Do you know starting salaries for MBA grads and what groups do they typically come in to.

Apr 26, 2017

If you are a solid performer, you can hit the strategic level after 4ish years. The position is extremely broad depending on what business group you work in. Things like product line management, pricing strategies, competitive analysis, new product strategy, etc are all fair game. These positions will not be directly involved with reporting or budgeting cycles, but some of the work might feed in.

MBA grad salary is really dependent on previous work experience and quality of the school attended. My company has MBAs from both Ivy league and no name regional schools, but generally, the better the school's reputation, the higher the comp. I think from a mid tier school $100K w/ no finance work experience is normal. A higher tier school with more work experience could be pushing $150K+ starting.

Not sure what you mean by which groups they come into. My company is divided into business units, each covering a different segment of the market we serve. The MBAs will be placed in one of these units depending on need.

May 8, 2017

@Big_Sphinx, thanks for doing this.

Does your firm require an MBA for upward mobility?

Apr 26, 2017

From what I have seen, most of the senior level guys have MBAs, but a fair amount received theirs while working. My firm's tuition reimbursement will pay up to $50K for an MBA, with the assumption that you take it while working. It is not required to be paid back if you leave.

With that being said, there are a great deal of people in senior roles without advanced degrees, so both options are definitely there.

May 8, 2017

Not trying to hijack the thread but I am also a corporate finance Analyst at a Tech Company (F200) in the Bay Area available for other data points for anyone interested in the industry.

Apr 26, 2017
<span itemprop=name>CFLateral</span>:

Not trying to hijack the thread but I am also a corporate finance Analyst at a Tech Company (F200) in the Bay Area available for other data points for anyone interested in the industry.

Awesome, love to hear more data points!

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

May 9, 2017

How many hours a week does your team work? Weekends rare or somewhat normal during a busy cycle?

Apr 26, 2017

My business group is pretty chill so lots of people work 9-4 M-TH and 9-2 or 3 on Fridays. There are lots of meetings, so your schedule will be dictated by that and as a result, you might have to come in earlier at times. Everything is pretty flexible, so if you don't have a busy schedule you might work from home and check email intermittently.

Weekend work is extremely rare/non existent. I rarely saw people work past 6, let alone work on the weekends haha

May 9, 2017

Hi! I am interviewing for a fp&a corporate finance position and was wondering what questions you got during most interviews you went on. I have finance and econ background and spent a yr doing buy side equity research. Is there anything I should know specifically?

The description is the following:

Prepare and run reports
Quarterly and monthly financial reports and reconciliations, budget and forecast controls
Analysis of trends of revenue, capex, expenses, key performance indicators, performance fees.
Work on the continued development and automatization of Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Financial Reports and Modeling tools, budget/forecast processes, board meetings and internal presentations

Apr 26, 2017

I got some basic econ questions (supply/demand, etc) and some basic finance questions (DCF, cost of capital, etc). What helped me the most was reading the first few pages of the 10k to understand the business at a high level. This helped me talk intelligently about the company, which is something that I don't think a lot of college hires do.

May 9, 2017

Ok that's sounds great. I think I should be good with the S/D and the DCF, etc. Only issue with the 10k is it's a PE firm, but I got a general understanding of their business at a high level.

Thanks!

May 9, 2017

Did you get any accounting questions, like complex questions? Or if I know the 3 financial statements I should be good?

May 9, 2017

thanks for doing the ama!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

May 9, 2017

Thanks for doing the AMA. I am currently interviewing (hoping to receive offer soon!!!) for a F500 CPG company. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

  1. How is the exposure to other parts of your company and/or to more senior people? Do you usually stay within your team or do you guys generally branch out quite a bit?
  2. Is it unheard of to go straight to senior analyst upon hire from undergrad?
  3. Do you see yourself staying at your company/corp fin in general? What are the future plans?

Thanks again!!

Apr 26, 2017

Sure no problem.

1) Exposure around the company is great. People generally rotate to completely different roles across the company every 1.5-2 years, so you can get quite the breadth of experience. In addition, you can always leave traditional finance roles and work in more operations if that is your style.

2) Yes, at least in my experience I never saw anyone come from undergrad into a senior role. People from good schools would be paid a bit more than those from regional schools, but they would still have the same title. On the flip side, people who lateral in from other companies post undergrad easily come into those senior analyst roles.

3) I enjoyed my time, but wanted to do something different, so I recently accepted an offer for IBD analyst position at a solid bank in NYC think (WF/DB/CS/UBS). Who knows if I will like it, but I wanted to try something a bit different.

May 9, 2017

Thanks for the reply. I just got my offer and I am probably going to accept it (seems like a good place to start your career).
Good luck on the new gig!
+1SB

May 8, 2017

Since @Big_Sphinx does not mind below are my answers to some of the questions that I have seen in here. Feel free to ask any specific ones to me if you like more data points.

Company: F200 Tech Company
Area: Bay Area
Title: Finance/Financial Analyst
Years of Experience: 3
Role: FP&A
Comp: $93k base, 10% bonus not including any sort of performance/company multipliers, Initial RSU grant of $40-$50k vesting over 4 years. (Not sure what refresher RSU grants will look like)
Hours: I typically put in ~55 a week right now because I currently have my role and a couple of projects for my Finance Director running. During our busy time ,which was our financial plan for the next couple of years, the worse week was maybe 65 hours.

    • 1
May 6, 2017

Thanks for sharing. What was starting salary and comp progression year-over-year?

May 8, 2017

No problem, for the first two years I was in an FLDP at a different company so when I moved over I had a big jump. Pay progression was as follows:
Y1: $57k base, $4k bonus (I made more because I was salary non-exempt and was eligible for overtime)
Y2: $65k base, $4.5k bonus
Y3 (Current): $93k base, $9.3k bonus (theoretically can be up to $42k but will likely land closer to $22k), ~$12k in RSUs. So my recurring comp could end up being anywhere in between ~$114k to ~$147k. If I include signing bonus and relo payouts my take home this year could be ~$149k to ~$182k, next year it will drop back to the $114k-$147k range without taking any promotions or YoY merit increases into account.

May 10, 2017

Call BS on a Director/VP making 1-3 million comp

Apr 26, 2017

Not BS at all. This isn't banking where VP is a natural progression. In F500 VPs are pretty damn high up the food chain. I also had access to see what people made in my previous role, and I can assure you 1-3 million is not far fetched (maybe slightly skewed towards the $1M). Keep in mind a large chunk of compensation is stock.

May 10, 2017

For some reason, I really thought only CFO's would be in that comp range (vs VPs). What is the regular career path most of the VPs took to get there? Also, what is usually their educational background?

May 8, 2017

I can confirm that it's not BS for a VP in Finance to make $1-3MM a year. The VP of my group, one step down from CFO, is definitely clearing that.

    • 1
May 10, 2017

Wow! Surprised that more people don't take the corporate finance route over IB. Seems like there is less risk in Corp Finance and greater likelihood of making it to that comp without being burned out

May 10, 2017

How does the organizational structure and age profile of the finance department look like?

For example:
Organizational Structure: CFO (1), VP (3), Director (8), Manager (15), Analysts (45).
Age Profile:
VP: All in their 40s
Director: 2 in 30s, 3 in 40s, 3 in 50s
Manager: 3 in 20s, 7 in 30s, 5 in 40/50s
Analysts: 20 in 20s, 10 in 30s, 10 in 40s, 5 in 50s

May 13, 2017

mine looks more like 1 CFO, 5 VPs 5 Directors 5 Managers (inc Senior) 5 analysts (inc Senior). although obvs this is the main group one. divisional ones are differently structured as well as the more reporting/technical type sub teams which you dont really want to be part of (non HQ and not as interesting work).

Oct 16, 2017

Hi, I just graduated with a bachelor degree in finance but I am having a hard time getting a job into financial analyst. I did not get an internship while in school. Any suggestions would be very appreciated, please.
Thank you!

Oct 16, 2017
Comment
May 8, 2017