When considering your recruitment strategy for the next 12 months, it is important to understand which competencies and attributes are most sought-after in the ever-evolving world of finance and accounting. With the economic climate set to remain uncertain for the time being, finance and accounting departments will need to continue to embrace and adapt to new working practices that arise from the changing market.
Finance and accounting teams have developed and evolved to support organisations on a more granular level, providing real-time data and better insights for business decision making. Added responsibilities and new tasks include risk management, complex problem solving, more regular forecasting and financial modelling. The move to remote working has also increased the role technology plays in finance and accounting functions, as the pandemic has significantly accelerated the pace of digital transformation.
Amongst all this change one thing remains constant; the remit of finance and accounting will expand and grow to meet the changing demands of increasingly sophisticated technologies and adapt to economic fluctuations. This means finance and accounting professionals need to be open to learning new skills, and hiring managers need to know when new skills are required to support their current team.
When considering your talent acquisition strategy, there are four newly-emerged skills that are a must-have for every finance and accounting professional if they wish to have a solid foundation for success in the current economic climate.
4 skills required for finance and accounting jobs
Finance professionals must have excellent analytical skills as they are indispensable to the role. They need to be able to understand large volumes of data and have the ability to analyse detailed reports, relevant data points and pricing information.
Interpersonal and communication skills
When working with clients, excellent communication skills are essential as you’ll need to condense fairly complex transactions, investment decisions and data into information that they can understand and respond to.
The digitalisation of the finance function has been accelerated and it’s important for finance and accounting professionals to not only stay up to date with current technology, but also adapt to new systems, processes and platforms. IT skills and competencies should be prioritised by finance leaders to address skills gaps within their business, as the need for finance and accounting professionals to be confident adapting to a wide range of cloud-based software, collaborative technology and even real-time data has become more important than ever.
Finance professionals should have both strategic and critical thinking skills to solve complex problems, leverage new technologies and manage ever-changing risks.
Strategic interview questions to ask candidates to draw out skills
To identify the best finance and accounting professionals when hiring new talent, you’ll need ask the right questions to assess their skills and behavioural intelligence. Although the top four essential skills should be prioritised, it is also good to bear in mind a candidate’s ability to embrace innovation, face challenges head-on and be comfortable prioritising their workload and adhering to tight deadlines. To assess whether or not a finance and accounting professional will be a good fit for your business, we’ve listed some strategic interview question examples to help out below.
What do you consider the top four skills of a successful accountant?
How would you present complex data to someone who’s not a financial professional?
What accounting software are you most familiar with?
What do you think of recent changes to the finance function brought on by the pandemic?
What attributes make you a productive remote worker?
Describe a time when you’ve made a mistake and how you handled it
How do you maintain accuracy and quality control in your work?
At Edward Mann, we would be happy to offer bespoke support to help you find the essential skills required during your finance and accounting recruitment efforts. With our database and deep networks, we are also able to source high-calibre candidates to suit the specific needs of your business goals to make sure you don’t miss out in the future.