Source: Forbes | November 27, 2018
Author: Steve Dunne
As technology redefines how work is done, finance leaders are having to rethink what constitutes finance talent. The successful finance workers of the future will need skills that are not commonplace in the function today. What are the emerging roles and skill sets of the future finance function?
Our global “Finance Redefined: Workday Global Finance Leader Survey,”—which gauged the views of over 670 CFOs and senior finance leaders around the world—points to data analytics as the key driver of talent needs. According to the survey, data science is the most important emerging role for the future finance function across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, with statisticians and data security professionals reported as second and third. Respondents reported roboticists (that is, people responsible for automation within finance) as the least important emerging role:
- Data scientists
- Data security professionals
- IT delivery specialists
- Behavioral scientists
- Systems specialists
Data Analysis Needed
Technologies—both established and emerging—are transforming the finance function. Cloud computing can reduce costs, improve productivity, and increase efficiency. Artificial intelligence and blockchain can provide real-time data analytics, make predictions, and help streamline processes such as reconciliations.
“Companies are looking to use data in different ways and create new business models,” says Naved Qureshi, associate partner, finance transformation at IBM. “Finance needs to transition into a much more digital and rapid service to support the business.”
But having the right technologies isn’t enough. Finance leaders also need the right talent to be able to use them effectively to serve the business.
As finance shifts more into a business partnership role, the need for data analysis skills will grow, and prompt the creation of new roles within the function. According to the Accenture report, “Meet the Finance 2020 Workforce,” while traditional finance roles will evolve, newer roles will become more important, such as data scientists, scenario planners, market makers, and social/behavioral scientists. An EY study, “Is the future of finance new technology or new people?,” also highlighted critical skills for the future finance team, with 57 percent of respondents saying that building skills in predictive and prescriptive analytics was critical for the future, while 55 percent noted the importance of improving digital technology skills in areas such as mobility, cloud, and SaaS.