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Nov 2012

One finance: Building tomorrow’s talent strategy

This report discusses the need for a unified, ‘one finance’, approach to talent management in light of increasing capabilities and skills requirements as finance operating models and finance structures change.

Finance has an increasing remit which in turn is demanding a finance talent pool with an equally diversifying skill set.  Much has been published recently on the increasing efforts to develop finance professionals with higher management and business acumen skills.

These management accountants are often deployed as business partners directly supporting the wider business, applying professional objectivity to help improve decision making and performance management in the long term interests of stakeholders.

There is, however, strong agreement on the need to retain an understanding of the end-to-end finance processes to effectively manage and be able to challenge the numbers.  However, many organisations are finding it difficult to provide staff with experience in the transactional areas of finance, especially where activities are delivered by shared services and outsourced centres.

Firms need to consider the full finance function, and whole finance talent population, when planning their talent development strategy.

The paper uncovers that some organisations have a disconnected talent management approach, restricting development and mobility opportunities across some areas of the finance function.

By having a ‘one finance’ approach firms can ensure that they have a larger and more effective talent pipeline of professionals. In this way firms can optimise the ROI on human capital development, whilst also better preparing finance’s ability to fulfil its broadening remit.

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“Finance has come to the fore, and not just because of the rigour we bring, but also for the value of the information and analysis that we provide to the business. Fundamentally in a fast moving volatile market businesses need quality information instantly and people with the ability to interpret it. The CEO demands concise financial information with the options and risks clearly identified because in tough times a business cannot make material mistakes and survive.

Paul Venables Group Finance Director, Hays

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