As companies are focusing towards growth, the role of finance professional also continues to evolve. If you are in the financial field and want to advance in your current role and organization, or if you are looking for a new job, here are the top must-have skills for the same.
The roles in finance industry keep on changing constantly and so do the eligibility requirements for candidates to fulfill them. Most financial services organizations look for candidates who have an eye-for-detail and excellent communication skills while banking and investment organizations seek individuals with strong financial products knowledge. Organizations are pushing for extra growth, which is driving new levels of activity and increasing revenues. As the management demands better performance from the financial department, recruiters make it sure that they stay an edge ahead of the competition. Here is a rundown of the top financial skills that are in demand in the global finance market right now:
Operational Risk Management: As the name suggests, operational risks are risks that a company or firm is open to while starting operations in a specific industry or field. These are calculated after discounting for the financing and systematic risk. Operational risks take into consideration human factor and arise when business operations fail due to human error. Post the financial crisis, businesses are looking for ways to increase their operating margins and reduce any losses. While credit and market risks have been taken care of by professionals, it is operational risk management that now beckons attention.
Quantitative Analysis: With the growing complexities of financial securities, there is a rising demand for professionals who have a clear understanding of complex mathematical model that price these securities and are also able to generate profits while reducing risks. Also known as quantitative analyst or quants, these professionals design and implement complex mathematical models that allow financial firms to price and trade securities. Primarily required at investment banks and hedge funds, finance professionals with quant skills are also in high demand by commercial banks, insurance companies and information providers.
What actually drives the demand of quantitative analysis skill in the industry is the increasing complexity of both liquid and illiquid securities. Candidates with these skills earn the best compensation in the industry. Often there are companies that are willing to pay as much as $250,000 or more, with bonuses $500,000. The highest paid positions are with hedge funds and other trading firms.
Auditing: Financial auditing is an accounting process to examine a business’ financial transactions and statements. The motive is to present an accurate account of company’s financial business transactions. The financial auditors make sure that the company trades financially fairly and also that the public and shareholders get a fair and accurate picture of the accounts. Being an in-demand skill, one must pursue auditing seriously through certifications like CFSA or Certified Financial Services Auditor. This certification helps candidates to find advancement in sectors like banking, insurance, holding and investment, security and commodity amongst others. Holders of such certification can expect to find VP finance jobs and similar high level financial positions.
Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis: The process of establishing a budget based on information about expenses and income is called financial planning. Other important parts of the same include executing budget, tracking progress and documenting results. The results of financial planning are used for assessing profitability, solvency, liquidity and stability for organizations. Every commercial organization requires finance talent who has the ability to identify opportunities and mitigate risks. All the buzz words like budgeting, financial modeling, forecasting is a part of corporate financial planning and analysis. A candidate who wants expertise in these should have a breadth of knowledge of all these terms. One can pursue certifications like CCFPA or Certified Corporate FP&A for advancing his or her career in this field.
IT/Finance Hybrid Skills: No matter which organization you work or the part of the world where you are seeking employment, you have to be proficient with computer hardware and software to be able to pick up the latest technological applications related to your job. An accountant with ERP solution experience such as SAP or Oracle and advanced Excel who understands how the finance system generates information is highly desirable. Candidates who have qualifications in both IT and finance can find employment opportunities in project management, system accounting, financial management and reporting.
Any candidate who is interested in developing a career in finance must try and gain experience in these areas for increasing their eligibility for maximum number of career opportunities in the market.
Contributor: Saurabh Tyagi
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