Beyond Numbers: Building a High-Performance Finance Team in the Digital Era

May 30, 2024
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Key Takeaways

  • Organizations must prioritize the development of digital skills in finance teams.
  • Ongoing education and professional development opportunities will help teams adapt to technological advancements.
  • Outsourcing specialized expertise can help organizations focus on building digital expertise in areas of core competencies.

The modern finance team encounters numerous challenges, from rapidly evolving technology to changing client expectations and a constantly shifting regulatory environment. In an increasingly complex finance and accounting landscape, teams must be responsive and adaptable to go beyond the numbers and embrace the future of the accounting function.

Understanding hiring trends and prioritizing digital skills training is crucial to fostering sustainable optimizations that will set finance teams up for long-lasting success.

Navigating the Talent Crunch

While the accounting industry has numerous obstacles to overcome, the number of professionals entering and staying in the accounting field is declining.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) reports a significant decrease in CPA candidates with a looming wave of retirements, as 75% of CPAs are expected to leave the workforce within the next 15 years.

Given these challenges, organizations increasingly require additional resources to sustain growth and remain competitive. This calls for a strategic approach to talent acquisition and management that emphasizes innovation and prioritizes the development of digital skills.

What are some specific strategies for navigating the talent crunch and addressing the decline in accounting professionals entering and staying in the field?

To navigate the talent crunch and the decline in accounting professionals, consider these strategies:

  • Highlight the diverse and strategic roles in accounting to attract new entrants
  • Partner with educational institutions and provide ongoing training to equip professionals with the necessary digital skills
  • Implement flexible working arrangements to retain and attract talent
  • Use technology to make work more engaging and reduce mundane tasks with automation
  • Ensure your compensation packages are attractive and include valued benefits
  • Build a culture that values diversity, innovation, and continuous improvement
  • Provide training in critical thinking, communication, leadership, and technology solutions
  • Work with industry bodies to make the profession more accessible and appealing

A recent study from McKinsey found a sharp increase over the past five years in finance job requirements related to driving business impact and leadership skills. This can largely be attributed to the growing use of automation and AI in the finance function. With efficiency-boosting technology, finance professionals need skills that can translate financial performance into better business performance and communicate that effectively across the organization.

Embracing Digital Skills Training: Investing in the Future

The importance of digital skills training cannot be overstated. To remain competitive, today's finance professionals must be proficient in various technology areas. While outsourcing can provide immediate support and expertise, you must also focus on building internal capabilities for long-term success.

This means investing in digital skills training to equip your finance team with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Gartner reports that by 2026, a lack of digital skills in senior finance leaders will drive half of unwanted staff turnover.

By providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities, you can empower your teams to adapt to technological advancements and drive innovation within the organization.

What specific digital skills are essential for finance professionals to thrive in today's landscape?

To thrive in today's landscape, your finance professionals need to master various digital skills. These skills not only help them adapt to the evolving nature of the finance sector but also enable them to leverage technology to streamline processes, enhance accuracy, and deliver insightful analysis.

A survey from the Institute of Financial Operations and Leadership shows 50% of respondents feel their finance team is not adapting quickly enough to the changing technological landscape.

Here are some specific digital skills that are essential:

  • Data analytics and management
  • Financial modeling
  • Blockchain knowledge
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cloud computing
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems proficiency
  • Digital communication tools
  • Regulatory and compliance software

By developing these digital skills, your finance professionals can significantly enhance their ability to contribute to the organization, making them invaluable assets in the digital era.

Navigating the Evolving Finance Landscape

As the finance industry evolves, organizations must adapt proactively to meet changing demands. Optimizing your finance team through strategic hiring practices and digital skills training is crucial for sustainable growth and success.

Embracing outsourcing to access specialized expertise and investing in internal capabilities through digital skills training can help you position your organization for sustainable growth and long-term success in a competitive marketplace.

How can organizations effectively balance outsourcing with internal digital skills training for sustainable growth?

To balance outsourcing with internal digital skills training for sustainable growth, organizations should focus on their core competencies and invest in developing these areas internally. This means identifying key functions that are critical to their unique value proposition and enhancing the digital skills related to these functions through continuous learning and professional development programs.

Creating a culture of continuous learning is crucial. This can be achieved by offering access to online learning platforms, encouraging certifications in relevant digital fields, and organizing workshops with external experts. Such initiatives help keep the team up to date with the latest digital tools and best practices.

For specialized tasks or when expertise is lacking in-house, outsourcing can be a strategic move. It allows access to specialized skills without the long-term commitment, enabling your organization to stay flexible and responsive to technological advancements. Additionally, fostering a collaborative environment where external professionals work alongside your internal team can facilitate knowledge transfer and hands-on learning, further enhancing internal capabilities.

Empower Your Team, Elevate Your Success

By collaborating with an experienced firm, you can confidently navigate the complexities of growth and innovation. At Eide Bailly, we recognize the significance of providing digital skills training to empower your finance team to succeed.

We leverage our expertise and resources to assist you in developing internal talent and provide additional support as needed, ensuring your organization survives and thrives in an ever-changing environment.

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