More than eight in 10 CFOs want their accountants to have strategic-thinking abilities. 30 % of those interviewed feel they are mandatory. Yet nearly half (46 percent) of executives said their organization does not provide related professional development opportunities.
CFOs were asked, “How important are strategic-thinking skills for accounting and finance professionals?” Their responses: “Mandatory” (30%), “Nice to have” (56%), and “Not necessary” (14%).
CFOs also were asked, “Does your company provide professional development opportunities to help accounting and finance professionals build their strategic-thinking skills?” Fifty-four percent said “Yes,” while 46% said “No.”
“Businesses want financial professionals who can formulate and execute new ideas, but firms could be doing more to help their teams develop these abilities,” said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “These are not easy skills to train on, but managers should identify ways, such as giving employees project-management responsibilities and stretch assignments, to support staff members’ growth.”
Hird added whether or not their employers offer it, individuals, particularly those in or aspiring to the senior ranks, must take it upon themselves to build their skills. “Professionals who can craft and communicate effective strategies are in high demand and ahead of the pack for career opportunities. To advance, they need to strengthen their business acumen and learn new problem-solving approaches.”