Financial Executives' Roles in Canada Continue to Expand
Financial leaders continue breaking the mold and expanding their influence throughout their organizations. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, finance executives in Canada most frequently reported their roles have grown over the past three years to include more human resources (37 per cent) and information technology (36 per cent) efforts.
Financial leaders were asked, "In which one of the following areas outside of traditional accounting and finance responsibilities, if any, has your role expanded most over the past three years?" Their responses:
"With business demands, budgets and revenue sources evolving, firms increasingly look to their financial leaders for strategic analysis and comprehensive guidance," said David King, president of Robert Half Management Resources. "Company-wide initiatives ranging from benefits programs, compliance and recruitment to IT investment, systems implementation and cybersecurity rely on the expertise of financial executives to measure the fiscal impact of shifting industry trends and identify opportunities for growth across all areas of the organization."
Five skills today's financial executives need:
1. Leadership: Developing and retaining a talented team are top priorities for accounting and finance managers. Executives must excel in guiding their team, including managing and motivating a multigenerational workforce.
2. Collaboration: As their roles expand into nontraditional areas, financial executives can only succeed if they work well with colleagues in other departments.
3. Communication: Financial leaders must be comfortable sharing information with diverse audiences, from entry-level staff to the CEO and board of directors. Strong communication skills stopped being a nice-to-have long ago.
4. Technological aptitude: Executives don't need to know all the tricks of new tools, but they should have an innate curiosity about them and a short learning curve.
5. Change management: Change is scary, particularly when it comes to work. Leaders need to be able to share news, good and bad, and what it means for their teams.