Hire the top 3% of freelance financial analysts.

Toptal hand-matches top companies with freelance financial analysts and consultants. Hire a freelance financial analyst from Toptal to solve your critical finance challenges and support rapid and scalable business growth.

We've been blown away by the level of talent we've been able to hire through Toptal.

Brad Rozran, Optimizely

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Our Exclusive Network of Financial Analysts

Zachary Elfman

Financial Analyst

An American resident of Spain, Zachary continued in London (after completing his master's at the LSE), first as an analyst for a PE fund before switching to... a global value hedge fund. He's an expert in modeling, fundamental analysis, and valuation. As a freelancer, he's completed the sale of a small business, advised on early-stage funding rounds, and acted as interim CFO for upstart companies. When he is not freelancing, he enjoys making wine. 

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Ian McComiskie

Financial Analyst

Ian is a financial consultant who primarily focuses on helping startups and small and medium-sized enterprises with source funding, write business plans, bu...ild out robust financial models, market research, and valuation analysis. He's worked with many international companies across the US, Latin America, Europe, and Australia. Ian enjoys working as a freelancer as it offers the freedom to choose his projects and also travel in South America. 

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Nathan Krishnan S

Financial Analyst

During his two-decade career in Asia and the US, Nathan has consulted in strategy, valuations, corporate finance, financial planning and analysis, forecasti...ng, and investments across six continents—ranging in value from $10 million to $1 billion. While a senior manager at Ernst & Young, he led engagements in valuations and modeling and recently left to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors while working on challenging projects at Toptal. 

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Himanshu Sarin

Financial Analyst

Himanshu currently leads all corporate finance activities of a solar power developer (Grasshopper Solar). Previously, as a financial advisor, he helped infr...astructure companies raise over $7 billion in debt and equity financing. As a freelancer, he assists clients across a wide range of markets, geographies and company maturities in building financial projections, planning, budgeting, and fundraising. 

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Ernestina Benedetto

Financial Analyst

Ernestina has 7+ years of experience in in-house M&A and advisory roles across 3 continents (Latin America, Asia, and Europe). In her positions, she has wor...ked alongside C-level executives to execute M&A transactions, greenfield development, and other strategic projects. Ernestina holds an MBA with honors from INSEAD, and she enjoys the flexibility of freelancing while helping clients with their financial and strategic projects. 

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Puneet Gandhi

Financial Analyst

Puneet is a strategic financial adviser with a decade of experience in investment banking (Goldman Sachs & UBS), equity research (an equity hedge fund, $1 b...illion AUM), and corporate finance (The Times Group). He's helped his clients raise more than $5 billion in capital across three M&A and 11 capital markets transactions. As a freelancer, he enjoys solving business, strategic, and financial challenges for a wide variety of clients. 

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Hassan Eltorie

Financial Analyst

Hassan is an equity research analyst—providing strategy assessment and valuation to large-cap energy companies, hedge funds, and private equity firms. He st...arted freelancing to apply his knowledge in valuation, M&A, competitive intelligence and corporate strategy to new clients. Organically, he built M&A (deals up to $1 billion) and corporate strategy capabilities at Reliant Energy. He is cited in business publications and has appeared on NPR. 

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Pablo A. Macias

Financial Analyst

A Harvard graduate, Pablo has developed financial models that resulted in the launch of four new digital and software business lines at Flex. He's also crea...ted M&A models for acquisitions in multiple industries: spanning financial services, industrials, and tech. Originally from Spain, Pablo moved to Silicon Valley to help develop growth strategies through M&A and new ventures, and he joined Toptal to help clients with their growth initiatives. 

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Hire Financial Analysts Seamlessly with Toptal

1
Talk to One of Our Industry Experts
A Toptal director of finance will work you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
2
Work With Hand-Selected Talent
Within days, we'll introduce you to the right financial analyst for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
3
The Right Fit, Guaranteed
Work with your new financial analyst for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.

FAQs

  • How are Toptal financial analysts different?

    At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our financial analysts to ensure we only supply experts of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, we accept fewer than 3%. You'll work with finance experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expertly-matched talent from our network, hand-selected to fit your business needs.

  • What is the no-risk trial period for financial analysts?

    We make sure that each engagement between you and your financial analyst begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial.

  • How fast can I hire financial analysts through Toptal?

    Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start your no-risk trial with a financial analyst within 48 hours of signing up. Most of our engagements start within 2 weeks of discussing your project with us.

Tap Into World-Class Talent

  • Trusted Experts Only

    Trusted Experts Only

    All of our talent are seasoned experts who ramp up quickly, readily contribute as core team members, and work with you to minimize onboarding time.

  • The Right Fit

    The Right Fit

    We have a knack for matching you with the right fit. Start working with your new hire on a no-risk trial period, paying only if satisfied.

  • Scale as Needed

    Scale as Needed

    Hire in under 2 weeks and scale your team up or down as needed, no strings attached.

  • Seamless Hiring

    Seamless Hiring

    We handle all aspects of billing, payments, and NDA’s. Let us take care of the overhead while you focus on building great products.

  • Flexible Engagements

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    Choose the engagement type that suits your needs — hourly, part-time, or full-time — with the ability to change anytime.

  • Expert Talent Matching

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    Focus on your project and enjoy support from your dedicated account executive and expert talent matcher.

Guide to Hiring a great Financial Analyst

No longer are financial analysts siloed off on their own, simply reviewing statements. These days, whether a company is seeking fireproof financials or trying to understand an adverse market trend, financial analysis experts are now placed front and center. Matching financial needs to the right expert can be daunting but this guide lays out the best skills to look for.

Read Hiring Guide

How to Hire a Great Financial Analyst

“Trust-me companies are companies whose financial results gallop ahead of their businesses, companies with seemingly perfect control over their quarterly sales and profits.”
—Alex Berenson, New York Times.

Although used as a cautionary tale, the above quote points to how tricky gaining such control over financials truly is. Finding the right financial analyst can be a major step in that direction.

That can be a tricky proposition as financial analysis has become increasingly refined. The number-crunchers of the past are now becoming data scientists. Applying the scientific method to finance, they test out different hypotheses, whittle down the data, and reach conclusions for any questions a CEO needs answered.

The skillsets outlined below provide a strong way to test whether a financial analysis candidate can truly offer you that added value.

Company Strategists

The days of a financial department being siloed are progressively being consigned to the scrap heap of business history.

Companies that do not view their finance hires as integral to future strategy operate at a real disadvantage. This is reflected in the way financial analysts are often company historians, understanding vertical and horizontal trends on financial statements as well as the evolution of different departments.

Such a breadth of vision can be tested in the right candidate with a well-chosen case study.

Q: The client is a multinational firm operating in 25 countries. As payroll costs continue to rise, they are considering pursuing a location strategy by shifting workforce to cheaper areas. However, sacrificing staff efficiency for cost savings is not an option. How would you assess that enough talent is available in the cheaper regions and how much the firm would ultimately save?

Any conclusion here requires a thorough understanding of the company’s trajectory and future objectives.

These issues will require a financial analyst to move across different departments, interviewing managers and department heads. This is the only way the full measure of their recommendations can be understood.

For this particular case, candidates will need to see specific financials and ask very targeted questions, including but not limited to:

  • Which markets that the company operates in offer the most cost-efficient options?
  • Which critical department areas are ring-fenced and cannot be moved?
  • What metrics need to be matched in the alternative markets, besides lower salaries, to consider a move (access to technology, productivity, language skills, cost of training, installation costs, etc.)?
  • How would integration be facilitated if one department, such as IT or accounting, works across a number of countries?
  • Once the departments to be moved are identified, what relevant higher education institutions exist locally to provide a stream of candidates?

Trackers of Influence

Companies don’t operate in a vacuum.

As much as companies may desire a state of isolation from outside influences, great financial analysts understand how external factors affect companies

Real experts will anticipate how changes in the economy or industry will affect relevant businesses.

They realize that political legislation, geopolitical risk, and competitor responses not only have a material impact on businesses but also change how they are perceived by analysts, shareholders, and the general public.

Q: The client is a large mutual fund company. Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) has delivered its final fiduciary rule. If implemented, the fiduciary rule will likely expedite trends already afoot in the industry. As the industry is moving away from brokerage and toward advisory, what does it mean for our company and the industry in general?

Strong financial analysts will recognize that this ruling is a potential game changer that would disrupt the investment management industry. However, no such assumptions are valid until fully verified within the company. As such, the analyst will ask critical questions to other departments to assess the likely scale of this change before creating models.

In an interview setting, the right candidate will rattle off questions that need input from teams across the company, such as:

  • How many and which accounts are we expected to lose due to the rule change?
  • Does the firm have a team in place to manage the new requirements going forward?
  • Has the sales team met with key distribution partners to learn about possible changes to the fund-advisor-distributor relationships?
  • Does the operations team expect a change in mix related to advised and orphan accounts?
  • Are our product capabilities aligned with the new business model once the new rule is implemented?
  • What share classes will grow or decline in the new environment?

This example can also be used as a platform to test the financial analyst’s abilities through a longer assignment. aTo test their abilities further, the analyst should also provide models based on various outcome scenarios and share them with management.

Sticklers For 80/20 Rule

Big data is rightfully celebrated but it can easily lead to data overload.

Good financial analysts know that most results in any particular situation are determined by a small number of causes. They will not allow themselves to get bogged down by useless information or waste time analyzing information that provides very little benefit.

They are fully able to hone in on materiality and have an educated feel for when information is relevant and when it isn’t.

The question below covers one such example:

Q: Your client is a subsidiary of a $20B consumer products conglomerate, specializing in baby products. Sales over the last five years have been steadily growing in North America, and they are now looking to expand internationally. How would you assess whether or not international expansion is a good idea? If it is, which countries offer the greatest five-year revenue opportunity?

Good financial analysts will recognize that a market entry case will have critical data scattered across a number of inputs. They will be on a mission to find certain facts and pull the pieces together.

Financial analysis experts will be able to assess the situation and integrate the findings by focusing on the most relevant questions:

  • What is the annual revenue growth target and a minimum sales target?
  • Does the company have sufficient internal resources to handle this launch?
  • Will the parent company provide any support in regards to capital, production, and distribution?
  • What is the price, volume, and usage by targeted country?
  • Are there any country-specific issues, such as advertising, product name, or perception of product?
  • Are there significant barriers to entry that would prevent the company from ensuring good distribution?

Agents of Change

Financial analysts who want to make the greatest impact must look beyond their strict mission statement.

Experts in this field will come up with innovative ways to tackle difficult questions while constantly inserting themselves in business discussions to assert influence. They live by continuous improvement principles and regularly finding ways to improve upon the current processes and KPIs.

This question provides an example of how financial analysis can be used to answer seemingly unconventional questions that are equally crucial to the business’ long-term profitability.

Q: The accounting team has been unable to consistently close their books on time. In turn, this has delayed the company’s financial reporting process. The CEO believes the answer lies in hiring additional accountants in order to speed up the process. How would you identify if growing the team would actually improve this process and ensure the timeliness of reports? Will this improve the process and timeliness of reports?

Strong financial analysts are expected to never appear happy with the status quo. Their answer to this question needs to show an entrepreneurial spirit, namely a mindset that embraces innovation and critical thinking. A financial analyst should never simply agree with the CEO but be an active agent of change, when necessary.

Questions that showcase this spirit include:

  • How were current accounting processes decided upon?
  • Why are they being clung to if they have demonstrably failed?
  • How could the existing accounting staff be retrained/reorganized to maximize the use of current assets?
  • Has the right technology been leveraged to improve productivity?
  • Can certain reports be eliminated or combined with others?
  • Can certain processes be eliminated, allowing for books to be closed sooner without compromising the integrity of the financials?

The above questions are not enough, however. Financial analysts cannot simply find faults in an established department without providing solutions. The right hires would combine the information gleaned above to rapidly sniff out unnecessary processes and present their recommendations:

Some of the solutions proposed could be:

  • Implement strict cutoff days. Accounting delays can cost a company millions. To remedy this, a financial analyst can suggest a firm deadline, after which reports and invoices can no longer be submitted.
  • Automate. Some companies may feel that a cloud-based software solution is as far as automation should go. But a good candidate will demonstrate technological savviness, such as the ability to sync data between your CRM and accounting software (eg: Salesforce + Quickbooks).
  • Lead from the front. Financial analysts should be expected to have a strong background in accounting. This will allow them to design a training program and lead the adaptation period for existing accountants while facilitating the onboarding for new hires.

Naturally, the level of engagement and the scope of this process will vary depending on whether the financial analyst is acting as a full-time team member or an external consultant. However, the way in which an analyst solves problems is a key component in finding an expert.

Solid Track Record

Influential financial analysts will readily embrace and utilize their analytical skills and experience to find a win for their company, no matter how adverse the situation.

In-depth case studies can be useful to test a candidate’s ability across an entire process, from looking at financial statements, identifying a specific problem, understanding management concerns, isolating the cause and delivering an actionable solution.

Q: The client is a multinational firm with various product lines. After twelve quarters of continued growth, last quarter saw profitability take a sharp dip. The CEO needs to know whether this was due to an operational issue or is an ominous sign of future profitability.

For a complex question like this, strong financial analysts will break arguments into smaller parts, conceptualize ideas, and devise conclusions with supporting information. When identifying the main parameters, candidates must leverage their past experience to decide which factors are key to solving the case study.

The right candidate would be expected to apply the following thought process:

  • Identify the main parameters (total revenue, total costs, etc.).
  • Identify factors influencing these parameters (average selling price and volume, fixed and variable costs).
  • Seek to answer the question at the highest level (overarching company strategy, financial history, marketing plans, pricing changes).
  • If unable to do so, narrow down issues by investigating specific product lines or geographic regions to find the root cause.

Let us imagine for this case that the financial analyst concludes that while total margin slightly improved, volume for a high-margin product declined significantly due to a lost customer.

While this is an isolated area, it will lead to an expected continued decline in profitability going forward.

At this point, the candidate’s problem-solving ability again comes into play. The candidate can then detail steps as part of a precise plan of attack:

  • While the root cause of the dip in profits has been identified, a more detailed framework is needed, with the analyst presenting all relevant influencing elements.
  • A qualitative analysis must be recommended to fully understand what led to the issue and how to address it holistically.
  • Specific recommendations need to be made to allow management to understand why the customer was lost, whether it can be regained, what alternative customers could be claimed, what the market perception of the brand is, and more.

For such specific case studies, the industry experience of a financial analyst will shine. While a run-of-the-mill candidate can provide general recommendations, someone versed in the nitty-gritty of the retail or pharmaceutical industries will be able to anticipate problems faced by management without being told.

Find the analyst that answers your needs

Good financial analysts are made, not born. While financial analysis is a broad field, an expert financial analysis only becomes an expert after crafting a rock-solid track record.

Testing a candidate’s experience is vital, yet brings us to another X-factor. Finding the right financial analyst will ultimately depend on a company’s specific needs. It is important to foresee that the crossroads between those needs and a candidate’s relevant experience may be narrow.

If a company is unclear about where a financial analyst can provide crucial added value, the input of any hire may be muddled. Our recommendation: understand fully what a financial analyst can do for you and what profile suits you best before committing to a hire.

This guide should then take you the rest of the way.

Top Financial Analysts are in high demand.

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