By Janita Kapoor
The global pandemic has compelled businesses across industries to adapt and transform their business models. As companies emerge from a period of reduced activity and strive to meet the requirements of a recovering economy, chief financial officers (CFOs) are anticipating a distinct skill set from future accountants. The upcoming generation of accounting and finance professionals must possess agility, adaptability, and proficiency in utilizing cutting-edge technology and software. It will be essential for them to engage in effective communication across the organization and deliver precise forecasts derived from comprehensive analytics.
Here are the top 4 skills to help you succeed in a post-crisis economy.
Enhancing collaboration across departments – In the accounting profession, there is an increasing integration of technology that enables accountants to engage virtually with colleagues, department heads, vendors, and other associates. Accountants play a crucial role by leveraging their expertise and knowledge to guide and improve financial performance. They act as checkpoints to validate all financial decisions throughout the organization, contributing to cost-efficiency and enhancing overall business operations.
Anticipating and meeting changing demands – As automation handles routine operational tasks, finance professionals can proactively anticipate and address swiftly emerging business challenges. Accounting and finance professionals are now expected to possess advanced problem-solving skills, adaptive thinking abilities, and even the capacity to forecast future scenarios. This evolving landscape calls for professionals who can navigate complex problems and provide innovative solutions to drive business success.
AI and automation: Accounting firm executives must possess knowledge and a curious mindset regarding the latest technologies and their potential applications. This understanding is crucial for leading teams, providing clients with valuable advice, and sustaining a competitive edge. By leveraging these technologies, executives can save time, enhance accuracy, and stay ahead in the ever-evolving accounting landscape.
Analytical thinking and consulting expertise: As accountants increasingly take on the role of strategic business advisors, the ability to analyze data, identify significant patterns and trends, and provide valuable insights becomes a crucial skill. The recent crisis has demonstrated the importance of reliable advice from accountants in helping clients navigate challenges and survive. Consequently, there will be a higher demand for accountants who can offer strategic insights and possess strong consulting skills.
While some of these skills may already be familiar, and others may initially appear challenging, they present exciting opportunities for professional growth and have the potential to greatly enhance one’s ability to deliver value and cultivate strong client relationships.