‘Finance professionals need new skills in modern business’

businessAn optimum blend of skills, experience and intelligence is now needed by professional accountants to navigate modern businesses that are challenge by the faltering global economy to survival path, a global research project from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), has said.

Besides, with the evolving business trends, the roles of finance professionals have become weightier, as they emerge strategic advisers to their respective organisations, which call for capacity development.

The Country Head, ACCA Nigeria, Toyin Ademola, while unveiling the report titled “Professional Accountants– the Future”, said that continuous skills’ acquisition has become imperative, given that finance professionals’ role has been revolutionised over the past decade, to becoming leaders and trusted counsellors in both the public and private sectors.

“With this metamorphosis comes a requirement for a whole new set of skills. On top of technical excellence, professional accountants now require creativity, emotional intelligence and the vision to lead,” she said.

With input and insight from over 2000 business and finance professionals around the world, she noted that the report is the most in-depth analysis of the profession and where it is headed– ever conducted.

“We discovered a brave new world of more regulation, greater globalisation, ever increasing risk, and of course, massive technological advancement. The accountancy profession has to be ahead of the curve on all fronts – trained to the highest of professional standards, looking beyond the numbers and with a global mind set.”

Meanwhile, to define what the 2016 finance professional must look like, ACCA has developed a set of seven professional quotients– a mix of technical knowledge, skills and abilities formed with interpersonal behaviours and qualities.

These are technical and ethical competencies; intelligence; creative intelligence; digital quotient; emotional intelligence; vision; and experience.

According to her, current and aspiring accountants must come out as blend of all these attributes, which make the perfect finance professional, ready for the global business challenges they will face.

“These ‘magnificent seven’ strengths show the way ahead. They are the means by which accountants use their technical knowledge, skills and abilities blended with the interpersonal behaviours and qualities to put them to use.

“Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The key is to recognise where you excel and where you need to work to build your competency through the continuous professional development which professional accountants already know so well,” she added.

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