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How the pandemic is changing the work and skills of financial managers

How the pandemic is changing the work and skills of financial managers

In the context of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, financial managers play a key role in supporting businesses. But not all specialists are able to help companies in the midst of an economic downturn. According to a survey by the UK Department for Education in the first year of the pandemic, 53% of finance professionals have gaps in technical, managerial and complex analytical skills. And the majority of employers noted that the lack of qualified specialists affected the productivity of their business (66%).

The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to business and is placing new demands on the finance function. So what has changed in the work of financial professionals, and what areas should they focus on?

  • Obtaining and providing financial support. In order for businesses to survive, it is necessary to consider the financial consequences of the pandemic for customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, and at the same time, consider the possibility of providing financial support to employees and customers.

  • Automation. Companies are going through a series of digital changes caused by the development of artificial intelligence and process automation. CFOs should work with the CIO to decide where best to invest to achieve strategic goals.

  • Allocation of resources. During a pandemic, markets are changing, sales models are adapting, so companies will have to re-allocate resources, and CFOs will have to find ways to do more with less.

Finance professionals face a range of challenges and must develop new skills to succeed in this unpredictable time.

  • Assessment and planning. During a crisis, it is important to think clearly under pressure, to be able to systematically assess current circumstances and plan flexible action scenarios that will take into account risks, financial consequences and possible urgent solutions.

  • Operational stability and flexibility. Financial services must be able to flexibly respond to the effects of the pandemic and find innovative ways of working to ensure business continuity in the next few steps.

  • Data analytics. Financial services are meant to help company executives analyze internal and external information to quickly respond to changes in government, business, and economic policies. Finance is an important source of operational data, but currently only 42% of companies use advanced data analytics in their financial function.

  • Work with new technologies. Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more common in financial departments, so it is likely that you will have to work with it much sooner than you think.

Currently, most sectors of the economy are in a phase of adaptation, but it is likely that financial professionals will play a crucial role in the survival and prosperity of companies. Our ACPM team will continue to develop new programs to help financial managers stay on top of their game in these new conditions.

"The time has come when financial specialists can demonstrate leadership in protecting the economy in conditions of limited resources, - commented the head of ACPM, Richard Eric Lawrence Oliphant. — Financial managers must become resourceful, adaptive and innovative, and we will make efforts to help them in this. The transition to online highlighted not only weaknesses in management, but also opportunities for growth. Everything around is changing, so additional professional training should also take into account new challenges. It should, first of all, develop the skills with which financial specialists will be able to provide an adequate response to changes and help businesses survive in difficult times. ACPM will work on this."


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