Change agent? Me?

By Ana Barco

Change - the word that fills some with positive energy to get things moving and improving and fills others with dread.

But change is here and here to stay. Organisations need to navigate the maze of economic downturns, unstable political climate, increased competition, technology advancements, currency fluctuations, regulatory change. The list is endless and can be daunting. However it is the finance function and the management accountant that can really play an important part in setting the right course through the maze and continually review and change course to ensure the sustainability of their organisation. In this manner ensuring the longevity and advancement of their own career path.

Indeed we see that finance professionals are often seen as change agents, and we have seen a transformation of the services finance provides the organisation -how these are delivered and the skills and qualities management accounts require to ensure their effective delivery and to remain fit for purpose.

Our report, ‘From Ledgers to leadership; a journey through the finance function’ aims to help management accountants better understand the changing demands on finance from the organisation. It shows how the architecture and structure is changing and what impact it has on the roles within. It also focuses on the effective management of this change and journey with robust research on the development needs and key skills that are in demand to remain relevant and to reach those leadership roles within finance and in the wider business.

So what’s the future for the management accountant? Partnering, collaboration, commerciality, performance, value creation, efficiency, ethics, influence are all in play. Again the list is endless and again, can be daunting. For those that have been filled with dread, fear not. The organisation continues to need a full mix of finance services and whilst the focus and investment may be changing in some areas the full finance skills mix is very much in demand.

Management accountants are best placed to contribute and add value to their organisation, but that said there is little room for complacency in this ‘change’ climate. But don’t take my word for it, Jerry Bird Finance Director from Accenture and a CGMA hits the nail on the head in the accompanying interview (on the right  hand side of the report page).

“If you want to be a forward thinking, value creating finance director contributing right at the heart of the business then this report will hopefully prompt and stimulate you to think ‘Yes I can do that!’ ”