Top finance skills

Top finance skills

In today’s complex, nonlinear, and constantly changing business environment, it’s no longer possible for finance and accounting professionals to rely on existing skillsets. The rules of engagement have changed.

How can finance teams not just support but help develop strategy? How can automation be adopted and scaled to increase speed and success? What does the groundswell of interest in ESG mean to accountants? How can the finance function facilitate collaboration and good data governance? To be part of positive change and growth in organisations, what are the essential skills for the coming years?

In this series, we interview CFOs, finance directors, and other leaders from around the world to find out what skills are at the top of their minds. They said foundational finance skills will always be relevant, but other important competencies include machine learning, data analytics, Power BI, managing a remote team, empathy and listening skills, and connecting the dots. Published twice weekly, these interviews will give you a sense of what skills to develop for the future.

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Pharma CFO zeros in on managing risk and dealing with uncertainty
2 June 2021
To influence tomorrow’s business decisions, finance talent must have a broad set of skills to manage risk and deal with uncertainty, Darren Snellgrove, the CFO of J&J’s pharma research-and-development unit, suggests.

Unilever Poland finance director: Fluid skillsets are key in 2021
7 June 2021
Finance professionals need to adapt their skillsets to the market quickly, according to Unilever Poland AS finance director Magdalena Wereda-Kolasińska, FCMA, CGMA.

See the strategic big picture while managing complexity
9 June 2021
Finance executive James Miln, ACMA, CGMA, shares the key skills that finance professionals need and the importance of conveying information on complex topics.

CFO's advice: Learn auditing, young finance professional
14 June 2021
Even in this era of rapid technological change, foundational accounting skills are still among the most important career advantages for finance professionals, according to Glen Elias, CPA, CGMA, CFO of Precision Pipeline.

Data focus pushes finance professionals to continuously learn
16 June 2021
Rajiv Chinniah, Australia and New Zealand CFO of the parent company of brands like Adidas, Burberry, and Gucci, speaks on using data to predict sales and stresses continuous learning.

Business partnering skills: ‘You need to understand your counterpart’
21 June 2021
Sergey Mamonin, ACMA, CGMA, the CFO for PepsiCo’s CIS business, says finance leaders need to develop professional resilience and business partnering skills and ‘see the big picture’.

Banking finance leader: A skills balance is key in 2021
23 June 2021
Sameer Joneja, the head of finance operations and transformation program for a pan-African bank, considers perseverance, vulnerability, and tech savvy as essential to success.

Holding company CFO: Communication is still top skill for 2021
28 June 2021
Telling the story of the numbers is becoming a critical skillset for finance professionals, according to Paul Gyles, FCMA, CGMA, the CFO with Shamal, an investment holding company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

How automation is driving Indian finance teams to upskill
30 June 2021
Automation is forcing finance professionals in Indian shared-service centres to change their mindset and skills. Rohit Kharbanda, FCMA, CGMA, a senior director at InterContinental Hotels Group, sees that as an opportunity.

Telecoms finance leader: Storytelling is not just for salespeople
5 July 2021
Jesmin Ehsan, ACMA, CGMA, at Ericsson Telecommunications says finance professionals need to learn the art of storytelling to make numbers come alive.

UK CFO: ‘The best way of collaborating is listening’
7 July 2021
Matt Miller, the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory CFO, says uncertainty requires scenario planning, collaboration, risk management, and listening skills.

Investment CFO: Empathy is one of the greatest untaught qualities
12 July 2021
Matthew Hurn, OBE, FCMA, CGMA, says finance leaders can ‘actively model’ themselves on others to develop empathy.

‘You have to take a decision’ — Sri Lanka conglomerate group CFO
14 July 2021
Decision-making skills are critical, and you can’t just ‘wait for things to happen’, says Aitken Spence CFO Nilanthi Sivapragasam.