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New skills needed for global finance workers?


The world of modern finance has been in flux in recent years, with new operating models set up and a drive towards sustainable business growth meaning that accountancy professionals need to reconsider how they approach their role.

Helen Brand, chief executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), recently introduced a report by noting that many traditional career paths for finance workers have been disrupted, with many firms rethinking their approach.

"The advent of finance shared services, outsourcing and more recently global business services, has fundamentally changed the traditional talent equation," she added.

ACCA's study, entitled 'Talent and Capability in Global Talent Functions', noted that a broad skill-set is now necessary for people who wish to make themselves valuable to their organisations.

However, it also suggested that accountants and other people working in the finance sector of companies have got an unprecedented opportunity in front of them to take up the wheel at their businesses.

"Increasingly a higher value is placed on the development of skills in areas such as analytical capability in response to growing data management challenges and the need to drive financial insight," the report claimed.

On the bright side, more organisations appear to be linking up career paths and offering on-job training, allowing finance workers to improve their skill levels and potentially move into a wider variety of areas.

Specific interventions, such as the creation of finance roles that bridge operations, are helping drive this connectivity - according to ACCA, this is especially important as outsourcing and increased use of web services change how traditional finance roles are perceived.

Economist Andrew Hill, writing in the Financial Times, recently offered further succour to accountants and finance workers when suggesting that the criticism of the banking sector seen in the media recently is unlikely to prevent younger graduates from moving into the industry as it attempts to revive its reputation.

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