The majority of chief financial officers globally believe newly qualified finance professionals must know about financial management to be a desirable hire, a survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has found.

The report, The Complete Finance Professional: Why breadth and depth of finance capability matter in today’s finance function, which surveyed about 500 Chief Financial Officers (CFO)from the UK, Malaysia, Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates also found 94% said a good understanding of professionalism and ethics is a must.

A further 83% said management and leadership skills were important and 68% said stakeholder relationship management was significant.

A full appreciation of financial and management accounting was seen as the most beneficial grounding to help newly qualified finance professionals on the path to being a future leader, at 61%, with 17% if respondents saying a strong strategic focus was also an excellent grounding.

Understanding the links between all areas was considered vital, with 89% saying it would help minimise future financial risks, 88% claiming it would help them deal with financial challenges and 80% saying it would help a recruit take their career in any direction they choose.

Finally, 76% of CFOs answered that finance professionals having complete finance knowledge and skills set of both financial and strategic management accounting really added value to their business.

ACCA chief executive Helen Brand said the "ACCA’s view is that the environment in which finance professionals now work requires them to bring a broader range of finance skills to the table."

"The need for finance staff to have a broad range of skills and expertise throughout the finance value chain is of prime importance to CFOs – and is therefore of equal importance to individuals looking to plan their careers and maximise their employability," Brand added.

"Traditional career routes within the finance function are changing – we are seeing new types of finance roles emerging for example in shared services or global business service operations"


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Association of Chartered Certified Accountants