The Post-Covid Priorities to Revamp the Finance Functions

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The Post-Covid Priorities to Revamp the Finance Functions

IMA reports about the necessity of employers in upskilling and reskilling financers today.

Earlier this year, IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) published a new survey report highlighting the title ‘The Pandemic’s Impact on Businesses and the Finance Function’. The key agenda of the report was to evaluate the loss that hit the different sectors of the market, how the financiers have struggled in preparing reports, how the career prospects have changed, and new opportunities that are going to breathe in a reformed sector. In separate sections, it gave an in-depth insight into how the pandemic impacted the companies in revenues and staffing levels, what finance functions are priorities, and the areas finance professionals have decided to upskill, and issues related to reskilling.

The report was drafted based on a collective survey of 1,481 accounting and financial professionals in five countries – China, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the U.S. Due to the Covid situation many professionals faced a reduction in their compensation, both salary and bonus and faced employability issues. This raised significant concern among the respondents about whether their skills are relevant for the post-pandemic era and made them work harder to have new skills to scale up at the professional level. In the survey, about 75% of the accounting and finance professionals are found to enhance their job skills, including cost management, decision support, and performance management.

Now, what is the current focus in finance in which professionals can step up and outweigh the post-COVID challenge? Below are the functions that are listed priority wise- 

  • Risk Management (highest; 44% more spending)
  • Cash Forecasting
  • Variance Reporting 
  • Statutory Reporting 
  • Management Reporting 
  • KPI Reporting 

Undermining the functions like business partnering and decision support,  the report asks to concentrate more on cash management and risk management while continuing mandatory functions such as statutory reporting.

The field of finance is transforming faster than ever, and as FP&A professionals working towards strengthening their skills to maintain and advance their careers, employers should also take up the responsibility to back them financi ally to appraise an all-around organizational growth. In the survey, 72% of respondents believed companies should support them financially. This time skilling the workforce was found consistent across all the countries. Among them, 49% of employers possess a ready scheme to support upskilling/reskilling employees and it varies geographically, from as high as  57% in China, 55% in the U.S., 39% in the UAE, and as low as 45% in Saudi Arabia.

On behalf of the above statement, aid Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA, VP Research & Policy said,  “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present businesses with unprecedented challenges and poses new demands on the finance function. Finance professionals are interested in upskilling now more than ever to support their companies during the pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 era.”

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