Big 4 Audit to Data Science Financial Analyst?

WSPCPA

New Member
Hey Everyone,

I've worked in accounting for the past 3 years as a CPA in audit and I'm wanting to know a little more about data science. I've been applying for finance jobs such as Snr. Financial analyst & FP&A analyst, as my long term goal is to assist with the corporate strategy through financial analysis, looking at positions like VP Finance long term. What has drawn me to these finance roles is that I've really enjoyed doing "analytics" as part of our audit procedures, where we do ratio analysis, financial statement analysis, and fluctuation analysis and get a great insight as to the business operations and the financial drivers of the changes. Additionally, taking the entire journal entries from the prior year (sometimes millions of rows) and forecasting the current year revenue/expenses based on expected seasonality was another complex and interesting project. In these finance roles, I've seen a few of these types of roles requesting experience with Tableau or another data science/data modeling package. I actually have some experience programming and really enjoy learning it, I actually started learning Ruby in hopes of developing a web application. This got me looking a little deeper into this area, and I found this role which seems to be a blend of programming/data science and corporate strategy:

Global Planning Analyst job in Raleigh, North Carolina - at Red Hat

So as a someone new to this topic, I have some questions about this field of data science:

I'm not sure how many of these types of jobs are available, but do many of data science roles typically develop into corporate strategic roles? Are the data scientists viewed almost as the procurement group, extracting the data and putting it into useful format, and then passing it off, or do they do their own analysis and suggest strategic changes based on their findings?

Would it be likely that to be successful in this field I would need to do a masters? I would really prefer to self study but I understand this may not be viewed as credible.

Would my background in finance/accounting be viewed as valuable experience?

Has anyone seen examples of someone coming from an accounting or finance (not IB/HF but like fp&A) be successful in this field?

Any candid advice would be helpful!
 
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