5 Essential Skills You Need to Excel in the Finance Function of Tomorrow

14 February 2019


5 Essential Skills You Need to Excel in the Finance Function of Tomorrow

“There has never a better time to embrace technology and upskill your finance team to be better equipped for the finance function of the future“ Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner, EY Ireland

At yesterday’s EY Future of Finance event in the RDS, anyone who was lucky to be there was treated to some exceptional speakers, insights, and predictions for what the future finance function will look like.

Mr. O’Keeffe is absolutely correct, now is the time to transform your own skill set and begin preparing for the radical transformation that is already well underway. If you think it’s too late to start learning new skills? It’s not - of the couple of hundred people in attendance, 56% of the crowd said they do not have a program in place to upskill existing team members. And only 60% of the crowd felt they had the right leaders in place to lead this digital & technological transformation.

So where’s the opportunity here? Well, in my personal opinion, I think that both the 56% and 60% are an inaccurate representation of what’s really happening in the market. A lot more companies have no current plan in place to upskill their staff and similarly, I believe that a lot more than 40% of finance functions are currently led by senior finance professionals who are ill-equipped to lead the finance function of the future.

Our advice is to start your own skills development program now and get ahead of the crowd. By doing so, you’ll already be more knowledgeable than most and you’ll have the core skill set to ensure your future success and progression.

The Future CFO will have an infusion of the following skills:

  • Exceptional accounting knowledge

  • Data science - the ability to consume and deliver key analytics will be essential for The Future CFO. 

  • A technology whizz - how equipped are you to begin working with highly intelligent and advance technology, do you understand their functionality and capabilities? 

  • A senior commercial strategist - finance is already more involved in the commercial decisions than before, the finance leaders of tomorrow will be navigating the  commercial teams forward with data driven insights 

  • High levels of emotional intelligence - EQ is becoming a bigger requirement for accountants, the ability to develop relationships and rapport quickly will allow the future finance professional excel in their career

If you're ready to jump into the finance function of tomorrow then check out some of the relevant mini courses on offer through the ACCA or Chartered Accountants of Ireland.

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