Can you be a finance leader without leaving the desk?
Posting date:21 May 2019
We regularly talk about the evolution of the accountant. How crunching numbers is a thing of the past and now encompassing leadership qualities, social skills and the ability to partner with the business is the most-desired skill-set.
But, while we talk about the changing role of the accountant how much have organisations’ requirements of them changed?
I had a conversation with an HR Director yesterday who was new to a finance function and curious of the typical personality traits belonging to a finance professional. I discussed the transition-like period we find ourselves in where finance people are expected to be socialites, leaders and walking calculators all at the same time and it’s creating a somewhat divide between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ accountants.
It made me realise that when I started working in the finance space four years ago, accountants had a traditionally administrative responsibility to the business and any added charisma was a bonus. Now however, it seems like this is an absolute requirement for most accountants.
They are no longer operating a back-office function but rather they need to be the go-to people in a business, expected to forge relationships with leaders beyond the finance function and be a point of contact for leaders.
Without possessing these leadership and social skills, accountants are less likely to secure a role and it seems to have become more of an unwritten rule across the industry.
We have recently produced a white paper that identifies the benefits of career diversity for finance professionals which you can download via the link below and in the meantime, it would be great to hear your thoughts on the evolution of the accountant.
Can you be a successful finance professional without leaving the desk?
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