After the 2008 severe economic recession, the role of finance professionals within organisations has been in the spotlight. Companies need more finance leaders with core financial skills to manage risk, cash flow and cost control.
However, that is the story of 4 years ago. By now, more challenges have arisen: unstable economic conditions in the Eurozone and the threat of an economic slowdown in China, the world’s second largest economy, may have put organisations in a new difficult period. In that environment, financial fundamentals are not enough. They may be top priorities for finance professionals and consume a significant proportion of their time and attention, but successful professionals must work more closely with management boards to provide decision support and advice. The report “New skill, existing talents – The new mandate for finance professionals in supporting long-term business success” shows that a company is better equipped to reach its goal when finance professionals take on a more influential role in management decisions.
In order to be successful in this new role, finance professionals need to develop new knowledge and skills to apply to both financial and non-financial areas. This means besides the basic financial skills that finance professionals are trained for, they need to understand other business areas such as sales, marketing, R&D, human resources and operations to provide useful advice and support business managers. Business managers interviewed for the report also stated that it wasn’t enough for accountants just to offer better quality and more timely information; they expected insight and practical advice.
In short, if a finance professional or an accountant wants to contribute to the development of company and reach the highest career destination, they should expand their capabilities and skills. Read the full report “New skill, existing talents – The new mandate for finance professionals in supporting long-term business success” to discover what finance professionals around the world think and what they need to prepare to take on a broader role within the company.