With the pandemic and lockdowns on the way out, business leaders are ready to move back to reality. However, it might not feel like we’re moving towards business as usual—many leaders are pushing towards a new workplace with new initiatives.

Following our last blogs on the reasons to embrace eLearning throughout the work from home orders, the evolution of the CPA exam and necessary skills to succeed, and the importance of expanding your skillset, we would today like to discuss some of the most important skills needed to grow throughout the decade.

An Understanding of Digital Transformation and the Technologies to Get There

Digital Transformation is going to continue to be a major topic in the coming decade. Defined as the ability to use data and connections between software applications in new ways—with the goal of forming enduring, meaningful relationships with customers and partners, Digital Transformation will directly affect the future of the finance department.

However, understanding the underlying technologies that will get you there is pivotal to your role as a controller. The pandemic has fast tracked a variety of the initiatives companies were looking at, and in order to keep your seat at the table, you will need to understand why these create value.

Building skills to support this rapid transformation and being able to use technologies will put you in a great position. Looking for a good place to start? The free Digital Mindset Pack from AICPA offers members a chance to take a deeper dive into technologies such as robotic process automation and data analytics. 

Presentation and Analytics Skills

Though you may be an expert at analysis, the next era is built on analytics. In this, you will need to understand how different data connects, thinking beyond GAAP to discuss with organizational leaders the impact of a decision on everything from costs to working capital.

But to do this, you have to think even more broadly, because there’s a good chance that executives will need the information in a way they can understand. Presentation skills will be a necessary element of success in your job in the coming years, and will require a better understanding of what matters to your peers.

Reporting tools will make this easier, but these tools only go so far in getting people to think like you.

Communication and Agile Mindset

The final skillset necessary for the long-term success of finance leaders will be the ability to steer company initiatives. In this, you will need to help people think tactically, as an agile mindset will increase organization flexibility and empower leaders.

However, to present this, you will need powerful communication skills and know how to empower leaders with data. As noted by the AICPA, “strong communication and critical-thinking skills — the ability to ask the right questions and to guide good and considered decision-making — are invaluable skills for finance professionals. If the ability to leverage technology and a deep understanding of the business support these skills, you have a powerful combination to lead your business.”

Setting Yourself Up for Success: Join Controllers Council Today!

Are you looking to know what skills are valued by leaders in the coming years? Are you looking for opportunities to develop a broader skillset while connecting with your peers? Look no further than the Controllers Council. As a community and platform focused on accounting best practice resources and information, training, recognition and networking, we are excited to announce a new set of membership options and community features.   

Members—both  individual and corporate—receive access to the national Career Center, training events and resources, a Certified Professional Controller (CPC) program and designation, Committee and Chapter participation and leadership, authorship and panelist opportunities, a complimentary “Controllers Code” best seller book, full community access, and more. Learn more about the benefits below.

Bonus: Tales from the Boardroom

We invite you to watch Saved by the Controller—Tales from the Boardroom.

Featuring Jim Treleaven, a serial CEO who is currently the President/CEO of Via Strategy Group, LLC (VSG), Mr. Treleaven brings a wealth of experience advising CEOs, Boards of Directors, and other C-level executives on growth and turnaround strategies, M&A transactions, and more while personally serving in interim C-Level positions. His long career includes multiple CEO roles at both public and private companies.

To watch this free webcast, Saved by the Controller–Tales from the Board Room, click here.

Meet the SVP Finance – Interview Series – Mike PolahaWebinar Thursday, July 7

This interview in the series will feature Michael Polaha, SVP Finance Solutions and Technology at BlackLine, and former SVP Finance Technology at Fortune 500 Johnson & Johnson, and member of the Controllers Council Advisory Board. Controllers Council Board Executive Director Neil Brown will moderate.