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07 April 2020: Coronavirus Update. The situation is fast moving and we are continuing to monitor the global situation and its impact on our members, staff, exam candidates, students and the profession. More information for Members and Students in My CIMA.

New Year’s resolutions for every accounting and finance professional

By Mballa Mendouga, Communications — Manager, Corporation Social Responsibility & Campaigns

As a finance professional, remember that you’re in a constant race to outpace change. Technology developments fuel workplace changes and challenge you to stay on top of every skill set. Whether it’s upskilling, reskilling or tackling entirely new or unexpected competencies, you’re going to need to expand your outlook in 2020. You’ll need to focus on some key measures to remain a trusted advisor in your business. If you’re like most people who annually struggle to set goals, here are three resolutions every accounting and finance professional should make for the coming year:

 

“I will commit to learning.”

I can’t stress this enough. Your relevance largely depends on whether you’re remaining up to speed with new technologies emerging in your field. It also depends on whether you can apply this learning and help your organisation thrive as a result. To maintain a respectable status as an accounting or finance professional, you must remain a student — a perpetual learner. That means seeking out, ingesting and internalising new technologies and ways of doing things. Find ways to infuse learning into your regular workday — whether by consuming third-party content or facilitating workshops at your organisation. You can also commit to participating in a specific number of webinars, conferences and self-study options. Make a habit of exploring resources that provide a framework or curriculum around some of the leading new technologies such as blockchain, cybersecurity, data analytics and more. If you set a goal of tackling one or two of these per quarter and evaluate your knowledge base at the end of the year, it’s highly likely you’ll be an even greater asset to any team by 2021. Since advising is the future of the profession, absorbing knowledge takes top precedence.

“I will start/continue automating dated and tedious practices.”  

It’s important to learn how to increase efficiency within your business. Starting this in 2020 means you may already be late to the party, so it’s essential to mark it off the checklist by the year’s end. It’s time to move away from the tedious and laborious tasks. That’s so 1990s. Say hello to robotic process automation: the code to your future as an advisor. Although automating age-old practices may seem daunting for sizeable organisations, it’s easier than you’d think. More importantly, it will free you up to do even more learning and important tasks. That way, you can get to innovating, planning, strategising and leading organisations that place their financial well-being in your hands.

“I will practice mindful technology use.” 

With the overwhelming rise of new technologies that improve our lives, it’s easy to get attached to the devices that control them. That’s right: Our laptops, mobile phones and other devices can make it hard to separate ourselves from work demands and the connected world. Ultimately, an inability to disconnect can contribute to all types of pressures or stresses in professional and work relationships. It can also affect your health and your work productivity as well. In 2020, vow to engage in mindful technology use: A practice that encourages select and intentional use of your technological devices such that you can take fulfilling work breaks that make you more productive in the long run. Mindful technology use also highlights the importance of learning to be present in every moment, especially shared moments to keep our interpersonal relationships fruitful and healthy.

Don’t let the revolving door of disruption put you at a disadvantage. You can meet the workplace obstacles that change brings about on equal footing if you commit to following through on the three resolutions listed above. Resolve to learn, automate and be mindful of your technology use. Then watch 2020 become the year you get first-hand 20/20 insight into what it means to succeed in the digital age.