Which skills do you need in your finance team to make sure your company is ready for the future? These are the 10 most important skills we´ve identified. 

The ongoing digitization in the finance industry has a big impact on the skills employers should look for in potential new team members. As the more operational tasks in finance are being automated, or moved to global shared service centers, the demand for more specialised, technical and analytical candidates is growing. 

Speaking to employers and professionals every day, our expert consultants have identified the most important skills and competencies that will be crucial for businesses in the finance sector throughout.  

 1. Intercompany transactions  

In addition to the core skills needed to run an effective finance function, professionals with knowledge and experience in managing intercompany transactions, including those involving joint ventures, are highly prised. Ensuring that there is a central team with standardised global policies will be key to support any new regulatory processes that arise in 2019.  

2. Language skills 

Finance functions are becoming more international, finance professionals are required to work across cultures. Ideally, they should have experience abroad, and be able to speak at least one foreign language – usually English. 

3. Technical accounting  

The skills of talented technical accountants will become increasingly sought after. Performing a key role in any finance department, these types of professionals are responsible for many of the day-to-day tasks within the accounting function and are fundamental to the successful running of an organisation. They will be key in navigating new regulations, business processes, and unprecedented challenges.  

4. M&A experience  

Looking forward, it is predicted that the number of cross-border M&As will rise over the next few years. Professionals with in-depth strategic planning knowledge, as well as an analytical mind, and attention to detail are key here.   

5. Finance regulations knowhow  

Keeping up-to-date with the finance regulation changes that are on the horizon, safeguards against financial instability and economic losses for your company. As new rules are brought in and updates are made to existing regulations in order to effectively govern the ever-evolving financial sector of today, it is key to stay on top of the changes.   

6. Risk & Compliance management 

As several scandals with financial companies have shown, is it key to identify potential risks in advance, and to analyse them in order to take precautionary steps to reduce the risk. compliance officers need to understand where the risks of non-compliance for your business truly reside. Some are more prevalent than others, and those become the compliance risks your program should address first and most aggressively. 

7. Audit project management  

Audits remain a fundamental aspect of a successful finance department. As new regulations are brought in and penalties for failing to adhere to correct policies and procedures increase, internal audits play a crucial role to help minimise risk and ensure compliance. As this process requires a great deal of attention to detail and organisation, it is highly beneficial for firms to employ someone to manage an audit in its entirety. Professionals who are competent in managing these audits are key in determining whether a business has met the agreed goals and objectives.  

8. Specialist finance knowledge (Tax, Treasury etc.)  

The core finance functions that make up the finance department are fundamental to any business. This is why specialist knowledge and experience within the core areas are vital. As an employer you need skilled professionals who can bring a deeper level of understanding and insight into their finance team.   

9. Financial controlling 

As lead accountant the financial controller oversees all accounting activities. He or she needs to have both keen attention to detail and the bigger picture in mind. They're tasked with ensuring accuracy but also improving efficiency - two goals that are not always easy to combine in one role. 

10. Commerciality  

A comprehensive understanding of the business and knowledge of competitors is essential. This deeper level of insight is important for actuarial, retail banking, and insurance roles as it enables professionals to more accurately price and run a commercial project, one that covers costs and yields a positive return. Professionals who possess a high level of commercial awareness should be able to identify the reasons why a company is performing well or not.   

As leading recruiters with a global network, we have an extensive database of top talented professionals to take your business to the next level, helping you to stay ahead of the competition.  

For a confidential discussion on how we can help you get the best talent with the right skills, get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today. 

Are you looking for talented candidates in the finance industry? Contact our expert consultants here. 

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