2023 Finance Priority #4: Look for talent beyond finance & accounting


- 3 min read

2023 Finance Priority #5: Look for talent beyond finance & accounting

What are the top priorities for CFOs and finance leaders in 2023? Find out in this blog series! Each week, we’ll explore a new topic that’ll help you tackle the year head-on.

My fourth 2023 finance priority blog discussed the need for your finance organization to move toward a new operating model that allows staff to adjust their work quickly and dynamically through smarter ways of working. But organizing how work gets done isn’t the only necessary change. The range of skills within your team also has a huge impact on its ability to strategically guide the enterprise.

Traditional finance teams are made up of professionals that come from an accounting background, centered around activities such as consolidating numbers, checking data accuracy, and generating management reports. This expertise is still invaluable, but to become a strategic business partner, the function needs to evolve to include a larger skillset.

According to research by the International FP&A Board, if FP&A teams are to achieve a best-in-class approach that drives corporate success, they must look beyond finance to create a multifunctional team, led by a talented people manager, that incorporates five key skills:

  • Analyst – These individuals can perform in-depth analyses to uncover insights from vast volumes of data – way beyond the realms of Excel. They can refine their searches and identify relationships and patterns as they go.
  • Data Architect – These people understand business drivers and data architecture, build driver-based models, and implement flexible analytical solutions. They are the bridge between IT and finance.
  • Data Scientist – These specialists use scientific, mathematical, statistical and machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to extract, cleanse, organize, combine, analyze, and present data to help their organization in decision-making. They are the bridge between data science and finance.
  • Storyteller – These professionals have the ability to succinctly present analyses to key stakeholders in a way that captures their attention and enables them to make rapid decisions. They know what to leave in and what to leave out to maximize efficient decision-making.
  • Influencer – These people have the ability to influence senior members of the organization. They play a vital role in strategic business partnering, helping to ensure the FP&A story meets the needs of the business.

Despite economic tailwinds and a tight financial labor market, you need to invest in targeted upskilling or even selective hiring to bring these new roles into your FP&A organization. With your team increasingly being expected to take on a more strategic role, providing valuable guidance to the wider business requires more than pure accounting skills. You need individuals that can interpret and match organization-wide performance insights with the corporate agenda, helping to steer the company on the road to profitability and growth. Taking this step up will allow you to position finance as a nimble, trusted business partner that can work hand-in-hand with other functions to drive success.

Some of these skills may already be present in your team. You may also find them in other departments of your organization, in colleagues looking to make a move into finance. Ultimately, whether resourced internally or externally, your team needs each of these skills to carry it forward in an ever-disruptive market.

Bring it all together with our 2023 finance priorities eBook

So there we have it – the last of our finance priorities for 2023. To help you keep them front of mind, we’ve wrapped all five together into a handy eBook that you can easily review and share with your colleagues. Click here to download your copy now!

You can also check out the other blogs in this series here:

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Don't miss our eBook: Five key CFO priorities for 2023

We've pulled together the top priorities for CFOs this year in a handy eBook. Check it out!