Top 7 In-Demand Skills for Finance Professionals

23 April, 2023
Bill Sarda, Digital Transformation

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8.57 mins

Table of Content

Key Takeaways
7 Top Skills for Finance Professionals
Next Steps: Upskill to Become a Finance Leader
FAQs on Top Skills for Finance:

Key Takeaways

  • To succeed in finance, professionals need a range of skills, including data analytics, digital proficiency, communication, business acumen, and budgeting, among all.
  • Technical skills in finance, such as financial modeling and data analysis, are increasingly important in the digital age.
  • Professionals must continuously upskill through courses, new roles, reviewing financial reports, and staying updated with the latest trends in finance and business.


The world of finance is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve requires a commitment to ongoing learning and skill development. As we look ahead to 2023 and beyond, finance professionals will need to possess a range of key competencies to succeed in a rapidly changing landscape.

The pandemic has underscored the importance of adaptability and resilience, and the ability to learn new skills quickly has become essential for career growth and business success. In this article, we’ll explore the top 7 finance skills in demand that finance and accounting professionals should focus on developing to stay ahead of the game.

By mastering these competencies, finance professionals can increase productivity, optimize resource utilization, and deliver high-quality outputs that drive business outcomes. So, whether you’re just starting out in finance or you’re a seasoned professional, read on to discover the skills you’ll need to thrive in the years to come.

7 Top Skills for Finance Professionals

To succeed in today's rapidly evolving landscape, finance professionals need to possess a diverse range of finance and accounting skills. From data analytics to leadership abilities, here are the 7 top finance skills that finance professionals should focus on developing to stay ahead of the curve:

Top Skills for Finance Professionals
  • Data Analytics:

    The finance function deals quite a lot with numbers and other forms of structured and unstructured data. Finance managers and analysts should be able to analyze the data to draw accurate and insightful conclusions from them. The finance department has for long provided stakeholders with historical data to report business’ performance. But today, you are also expected to be able to forecast revenue outcomes, costs, and cash flow. Knowledge of predictive analytics and being comfortable collaborating with data scientists is important for finance professionals to stay ahead of the curve. Accounting and finance executives need to be strong problem-solvers and decision-makers. You should be able to understand how to turn big data into concise, decision-driving insights, and be able to effectively collaborate with the IT team or analytics professionals for this.

  • Digital Proficiency:

    Finance departments worldwide are undergoing rapid digital transformation. You’ll no longer see stacks of paper records or big-bound books on accountants’ tables. Sleek tablets and laptops, voice assistants, and touch screens dot finance executives’ offices today. Today, most F&A professionals work using AR software, reporting tools, forecasting models, RPA bots, artificial intelligence (AI) apps, and other digital technologies. In the digital age, technical skills in finance have become increasingly important for finance professionals. Technology has changed the nature of finance job roles. Finance staff must now stay updated on the dynamics in the digital front to be able to innovate and contribute to value-added tasks.

  • Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Skills:

    The CFO and his team are no longer a team that works from behind the scenes. They are actively involved in meeting investors, communicating with analysts, stakeholders, and building the company brand and image. Effective communication, thus, becomes essential for finance professionals. Since the finance team today needs to collaborate with multiple other teams, explaining complex financial concepts in simple terms through both oral and written means becomes important. You should also be able to interact with industry analysts and take questions about the company’s performance and goals from a wide set of audience with ease.

  • Business Acumen:

    Business acumen refers to one’s capacity to comprehend business challenges and find new solutions to them. Strategic contributions to the business need more than simply a grasp of statistics or data points. Good finance and business acumen skills will help you to build relationships with other business units and to learn better about their challenges. It helps you become strategic advisors and business partners to them.

  • Budgeting and Forecasting:

    Some of the key functions of the finance team are preparing budgets, tracking expenditure, and predicting future cash flows and costs. Finance experts should know to prepare reliable budgets with modern tools and techniques such as zero-based budgeting and value proposition budgeting. Accurate financial modeling and forecasting using advanced statistical functions such as variance analysis help track projected and actual finance metrics, thus improving organizational performance. Financial forecasting models help depict an asset’s or portfolio’s financial performance over time and can be used to predict and evaluate the company’s value and performance. Most companies expect you to be adept in financial modeling, especially if you are applying for senior-level positions.
  • Accounting and Cash Flow Management:

    Cash flow management is used by businesses to manage their finances and focus on growth by tracking the ins and outs of their funds. A company may prevent financial loss and develop a successful long-term strategy with efficient cash flow management. As a result, cash flow management is a non-negotiable ability for any aspiring or experienced finance professional.

  • Leadership and Organizational Skills:

    Today, CFOs stand second-in-line to the CEO and are considered of the same stature. If you aspire to be the head of the finance function, you must have strong leadership and organizational skills. From managing multiple projects to spearheading team activities, finance professionals who set themselves apart from the rest through their exceptional team management, data analytics, and interpersonal skills will find more success. By developing and mastering these skills, finance professionals can stay ahead of the curve and make valuable contributions to their organizations. Keep learning, stay updated, and embrace change to thrive in the dynamic world of finance.

Next Steps: Upskill to Become a Finance Leader

If you’re looking to progress in your finance career and become a leader in the field, upskilling is crucial. Here are some steps you can take to develop your finance skills in 2023:

  • Enroll in courses:

    Consider registering for online or community college courses to learn about basic financial concepts, terms, and the latest trends in the finance sector. This can provide a solid foundation for building more advanced skills and knowledge.

  • Take on new roles:

    To build and master new skills, consider taking on new roles within your team. This can also help you gain new experience and put your knowledge into practice.

  • Review financial reports:

    Reviewing quarterly and annual reports of peer organizations can help you understand how they are performing financially and identify areas for improvement.

  • Stay updated:

    Read books, magazines, and digital content on finance and business topics to stay updated on the latest trends and developments. This can help you stay ahead of the curve and identify new opportunities for growth.

Remember, upskilling is a continuous process, and it’s important to embrace lifelong learning to stay competitive in the finance field. By taking these steps, you can develop your skills for finance jobs and position yourself for success as a finance leader.

4 books that CFOs recommend

FAQs on Top Skills for Finance:

  • What are technical skills in finance?

    Technical skills in finance are abilities related to the use of technology and software in finance, such as financial modeling, data analysis, and programming languages. They are essential for working efficiently and making data-driven decisions in today’s digital age.

  • What is finance’s most important skill?

    In the world of finance, the ability to analyze and interpret financial data accurately is paramount. This skill involves being able to understand complex financial statements, identify trends, and make informed decisions based on data. With the right skill set, finance professionals can help organizations make sound financial decisions and drive long-term success.

  • What traits make finance a good career?

    Traits that make finance a good career include analytical skills, attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, potential for career advancement, high earning potential, continuous learning, and a passion for business and financial matters.

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