LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The “professional skills” of communication, empathy and preparedness to challenge are increasingly as important to accountants as technical skills, according to a new Chartered Global Management Accountant® (CGMA®) report, produced as part of the joint venture between the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
The study, called “Finance business partnering: the conversations that count” found that the insights generated by accountants to help business decisions are as likely to originate from conversations with colleagues as from analysing accounts. Equally, the ability of the accountant to be effective depends as much on his or her networking and communication skills as it does on technical expertise.
Peter Simons, head of future of finance research at CIMA said: “Today’s businesses and public sector bodies are drowning in data, and due to the internet and disruptive technologies they face unprecedented competition. As a result, good decision-making has never been more crucial, and the role of the finance business partner has never been more essential.
“But while accountants need technical expertise, they also need to communicate well enough to gain influence within the business. For this reason, one of the report’s key findings was that modern-day accountants need to view people skills as one of the most important tools of their trade.”
The study was based on 25 interviews and roundtables with senior executives globally. It looked at the skills needed to be a finance business partner - a finance professional positioned to work closely with colleagues across the business to help them improve decision making and business performance.
The report concludes that finance business partners’ work can be divided into four topics - examining how a business generates value; “horizon scanning” and developing the firm’s business model for the long-term; analysing the inputs needed for the business to perform; and selecting the most appropriate data to be used by management.
Peter Simons said: “We all know that decisions can be subject to bias. Finance business partnering improves decision making by ensuring that management’s choices are informed by the most relevant information, have been analysed in advance, and that the long-term stewardship of the organisation has been considered.
“This can mean the difference between an organisation that thrives and one that falls by the wayside.”
Notes to Editors
1. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants, with over 227,000 members and students operating in 179 countries, working at the heart of business. CIMA members and students work in industry, commerce, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its qualification, professional experience requirements and continuing professional development to ensure it remains the employers’ choice when recruiting financially-trained business leaders.
Professionalism and ethics are at the core of CIMA’s activities with every member and student bound by robust standards so that integrity, expertise and vision are brought together.
CIMA has formed a joint venture with the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. CGMA is the global quality standard that further elevates the profession of management accounting. The designation recognises the most talented and committed management accountants with the discipline and skill to drive strong business performance.
CIMA is proud to be the first professional accounting body to offer a truly global product in the fast-moving area of Islamic Finance. CIMA also offers a Global Business Services qualification, in conjunction with The Hackett Group, the first and only global professional qualification in the shared services and outsourcing arena.
For more information about CIMA, please visit www.cimaglobal.com
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