Many of you would have heard of the usual reasons to pursue a career in finance or accountancy. These reasons stem from high earning potential, job security, and the fact that it’s a reputable profession. Even during the pandemic, finance remained one of the most sought-after and in-demand professions. That’s because the finance industry withstood the test of time and tackled unprecedented events remarkably.
However, attaining career success in the finance field is no cakewalk. It requires years of work experience, upskilling, training, and improving your academic credentials. Besides, given its competitive nature, it’s challenging for finance professionals to land higher senior roles. Nonetheless, we’re here to help you in this regard. Below, we’ll share all the requirements you need to fulfill and the skills you need to brush up on to land senior finance positions.
Let’s check them out:
How to Secure Senior Finance Positions
Although there are numerous pathways to securing a senior finance position, you must qualify for the below requirements.
Careers in finance are indeed highly-rewarding and lucrative. But at the same time, they’re challenging and nerve-wracking, demanding a plethora of skillset. To begin with, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, accounting, or other related fields. Nonetheless, a higher degree sets the stage for senior finance positions since employers mostly seek individuals with impressive academic credentials.
For this reason, it’s crucial to earn an MBA degree in Applied Finance to boost your chances of securing senior finance positions. Such MBA degrees instill essential financial and accounting skills alongside enhancing students’ knowledge of the latest practices, norms, and rules.
Moreover, you must also have prior experience in the accounting/finance department with problem-solving, managerial, and decision-making expertise.
Strategic Visualization With Leadership Skills
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. report, the employment of senior financial management roles will grow by 19%, much faster than other positions. Finance organizations are constantly on the lookout for professionals who possess strategic visualizations and leadership skills. Strategic visualizations entail the ability to devise and execute sound financial strategies – which is unattainable without leadership acumen.
For this purpose, it’s crucial to cultivate leadership capabilities to boost your chances of securing higher positions. From managing financial operations to executing long-run strategies, overseeing teams and funding projects, finance leaders have several responsibilities on their shoulders. They primarily work towards attaining the company vision and ensuring that other departments align with company financial goals.
Likewise, CFOs must possess the competencies to take the company forward, boost efficiency, and improve employee productivity.
Financial Troubleshooting Skills
The senior finance managers are responsible for keeping an eye on the business’s financial activities and developing long-term financial strategies. However, they’re also responsible for tackling and managing financial risks, whether calculated or not. And that’s why the skill of financial troubleshooting is indispensable to attain higher positions.
Today, the financial markets are volatile with transforming policies, government regulations, and technological shifts. All of these factors can either make or break the financial mechanisms of an organization. For this reason, it’s essential to work on your financial troubleshooting skills. Such skills will enable you to identify market shifts and potential risks and mitigate them quickly. At the senior level, it’s critical to take calculated risks; else you’ll shatter the company’s reputation. Therefore, it’s viable to hone financial troubleshooting skills.
Ability to Measure Business Success
Are the duties of senior finance executives limited to decision-making and policy development? Contrary to what most believe, CFOs constantly measure business success to ensure it satisfies shareholders and investors. However, measuring success is not only about analyzing annual reports.
Businesses that earn more profit margins are considered more successful in the marketplace. Nonetheless, several other factors are integral in determining business success, and senior finance professionals should know how to measure them. For instance, if the company is incurring high overhead costs at the expense of ensuring high profitability, it won’t be able to sustain profits in the long run. Therefore, finance professionals should learn to determine the impact of gross profit margin, net profit margin, working capital, and other ratios on company success.
The routine responsibilities of senior finance professionals such as CFOs don’t revolve around balancing sheets or maintaining ledgers. Instead, they conduct meetings with shareholders and investors, oversee projects, devise long-run strategies, and so forth. Therefore, financial professionals need to sharpen their technological proficiency to carry out such tasks and activities.
Technology has penetrated every sector, field, and organization, and finance is no exception. After the inception of FinTech, many CFOs realized the significance of merging finance with technology. It paved the way for faster service delivery, efficient workflows, and innovative financial products. Given all these reasons, it’s indispensable for finance professionals to work on their technological proficiencies.
Finance professionals enjoy high earning potential alongside lucrative career advancement prospects, whether at the senior level or mid-level. Nonetheless, propelling your career in the finance sector is easier said than done. Finance executives must meet specific academic requirements to qualify for senior positions alongside earning relevant work exposure. They must work on their leadership capabilities to steer organizations during unprecedented times and hone troubleshooting skills. Similarly, the ability to accurately measure business success is another requirement for higher positions. Therefore, if you’re seeking to climb the ladder to higher finance roles, you must improve your academic profile and hone the essential skills. Within no time, you’ll be leading entire organizations to new heights of success.