Most people often consider finance an isolated business function that only involves crunching the numbers and keeping tabs on cash flows for reporting andcompliance. However, the truth is the exterior view of finance is markedly different from the actual everyday operations.
Long gone are those days when finance employees would sit at the far corner cubicles and plug away at the general ledger accounts.Instead, the finance world has evolved substantially in the past few years with the rise of globalization and digitization. As a result, the changing demands of this field require professionals to stay abreast of the latest trends and acquire modern skills.
Modern finance skills go way beyond traditional accounting management and bookkeeping skills. For a career in finance, individuals should possess astute analytical and razor-sharp industry-related skills.
While each career pathway in finance requires diverse skills, some general skills are necessary irrespective of experience or position. However, the question arises, how can freshly-minted graduates step foot in the finance world and remain sure-footed throughout their career journey? Honing the following skills will help:
Building a promising career in finance without sound knowledge of accounting rules and regulations is next to impossible. Thus, students must have a firm grasp of financial statements and possess the ability to predict the future financial needs of an organization.
Now that you understand the significance of accounting skills, you may wonder about the best way to acquire them. Although a bachelor’s degree can undoubtedly carve out a lucrative career in the finance field, becoming a CPA (Certified Professional Accountant) can broaden your knowledge spectrum.
While acing the CPA exam isn’t an easy feat, you can sign up for a CPA review course to increase the likelihood of passing the exam. You might be confused between Wiley vs Becker, the two of the best prep providers. However, comparing various features such as levels of support, quality, value, and technology can help you decide the prep provider that best aligns with your learning goals.
Organizations ingrain a significant amount of trust in professionals with their most essential commodity and rely on them to spend money where they can generate massive returns. Therefore, professionals must have a multi-disciplinary business understanding and stellar forecasting skills.
Forecasting is inherently forward-looking. The skill allows professionals to determine the current value of assets by studying how values may change in the years to come. As a finance professional, you may need to come up with decisions that will prove beneficial for the organization over the long haul. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how to make the most of the available qualitative and quantitative data to predict financial consequences.
You can also contemplate a project’s potential drawbacks and benefits with strong forecasting skills by considering various metrics such as taxes and depreciation.And once you have figured out the present value of the project, you can match it with the organization’s initial investment and ascertain whether it’s worthwhile.
Sure, being skilled at forecasting requires both science and art. However, don’t let the art of regression analysis give you false hope, be sure to consider future unknowns, too.
Effective communication undeniably plays an integral role in managing various aspects of the business. However, in a field where almost everything revolves around numbers, this skill becomes even more indispensable. Even a slight miscommunication can spell severe repercussions and tarnish an organization’s reputation in the market.
In a corporate environment, you might need to establish solid relationships and work collaboratively to attain the organization’s financial objectives. Also, there might be times when you will have to work with various teams to identify risks and prepare a budgeting plan.
Therefore, you should possess the ability to condense financial information, terminologies, and acronyms in simple terms. And communicate in a clear-cut and concise manner to ensure no one remains misguided. That way, you can develop trust and build a healthy rapport with people.
Besides, different clients prefer different means of communication; some may wish to communicate via emails or phone calls, while others might opt for traditional face-to-face meetings. So, you should feel comfortable speaking across all mediums.
The advancement of accounting programs and tools has compelled finance and accounting professionals to invest significant time in financial and data analysis. That way, these professionals can assist organizations in the strategic decision-making and budgeting process.
Today, the job descriptions of various finance positions are no longer just about running the numbers. Instead, organizations are in quest of professionals that can propose viable solutions to clientele rather than hiring people who merely recapitulate their limited knowledge.
Therefore, it makes sense for every finance professional to approach problems creatively and figure out innovative solutions in this ever-evolving field. Finance students, more than ever, must have generalized problem-solving skills and cutting-edge analytical thinking capabilities.
Analytical thinking means studying a situation laterally, interpreting it, and formulating a contemplative and strategic solution. It’s primarily a method of closely examining an entity in detail, identifying patterns and discrepancies, and deducing relevant results based on test cases.Students who wish to build a successful finance career must have the ability to showcase analytical thinking skills with KPI-driven results and provide thoughtful solutions.
Technology has unarguably become part and parcel of everyday business operations. It has revamped the entire financial services industry.Not just for professionals but also for the clientele who can now access financial statementsand other crucial documents via software.
Much of the organizational data has migrated to cloud applications making it easy for every individual to access it anytime and anywhere. This increased inclination towards automation and digitization has increased the demand for finance students with the best IT skills. As a result, individuals who can showcase adeptness in accounts payable, SAP software, and predictive analytics will find themselves most sought-after.
Thus, fresh finance graduates must have a strong understanding of the software to leverage new financial systems and help clients navigate, too. Also, candidates must keep themselves rigorously up-to-date with emerging technologies to set their careers on the right track to success.
The finance world has been evolving at a breakneck pace, specifically with the advancement of software and tools leveraged for business intelligence, data management, and other critical business activities.
This dynamic landscape of uncertain elements and constant fluctuations gives professionals all the more reasons to equip themselves with financial adeptness to navigate volatile circumstances. From building financial reporting skills to nurturing the ability to think beyond the box, diversifying the skillset is pivotal to keep up with the pace of this field.
By imbibing the skills discussed above and gaining an intuitive knowledge of finance, students can better understand the industry and establish a promising career in this exciting business arena.