How Are Finance and Accounting Professionals Guiding Their Organizations Through Uncertainty?

These days, companies need to navigate an increasingly complex economic environment, finance professionals need a broad array of skills – many beyond finance itself. These professionals need to to enable their companies to operate effectively and continue to grow.

Here are a few Skills That Professionals Need to Develop

1. Technology expertise

These days, everyone needs some expertise in information technology. But the extensive merging of finance and information technology raises the bar substantially for finance professionals and the need to be knowledgeable about IT. First, finance and accounting processes themselves are being automated, so finance professionals need to know how to use the software.

Beyond that, they are being called upon to acquire advanced Excel skills, and also to acquire knowledge of enterprise resource planning, big data analytics, advanced modeling techniques, SQL, business intelligence software, Microsoft Visual Basic, Hyperion, and Quickbooks.

2. Communication

Communication skills have always been important to finance professionals, who routinely need to make presentations to various audiences, some of whom are not as adept at finance. And communication skills have become increasingly important as more people are working remotely.

3. Adaptability

The pace of change is constantly accelerating, and that is just as true in accounting and finance. Technology continues to advance. Artificial intelligence, for example, is now infiltrating many different areas of business. So, adaptability is essential, especially in the financial sector.

4. Creativity

Finance professionals need to be innovative when applying increasingly complex financial instruments to analyze complex financial processes, procedures and data. They may be asked to provide new ideas on how to raise capital, invest company assets, conduct audits, cut expenses, improve ways of complying with government regulations, and many other financial issues.

5. Specialization in a particular area

Finance and accounting have become so complex that many professionals are specializing in more focused areas within finance, in addition to their overall expertise. These areas include compliance with regulatory guidelines, detecting money laundering, revenue recognition, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and the Dodd-Frank Act, particularly rules that relate to capital adequacy and consumer protection.

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