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Make 2020 the year that you take charge of your professional development

Finance roles are changing. Technologies like advanced analytics, process robotics, blockchain, and cognitive computing are constantly getting faster, more efficient and more productive. These new technology advancements can be intimidating so might wonder “what’s going to happen to me and my future in finance?” Now is the time to embrace new technology so that you can move away from routine tasks and develop a more strategic and value creating role.

We’ve picked out three fields to master for the finance function of the future.

1. Cybersecurity 

Cybersecurity might seem like a technical matter that’s best left to your IT department, but cyber risks have dire consequences for companies. For example, according to the WEF Cybersecurity Guide for Leaders published in October 2019, cybersecurity risks could potentially cost up to USD90 trillion in net economic impact by 2030. The kind of potential financial impact means that as a CGMA, you have a vital role to play in making sure that leaders understand the financial implications of poor cybersecurity systems and the benefits of investing in professional cyber threat software and good risk management.

Read more: Are you ready for global risk?

How can you help?

  • Make sound strategic decisions related to investments in cybersecurity.
  • Build the investment case for investing in the right software.
  • Explain the value of a cybersecurity risk management programme to decision-makers.

Upskill now!

2. Blockchain

A blockchain is a distributed ledger that digitally records the full history of a transaction. It stores this information in ‘blocks’ of data that are linked — or ‘chained’ — together. At its simplest, a blockchain is a database — one that’s shared or distributed among participants so that all can confirm, maintain and see the same record of events in close to real time. So it’s not difficult to imagine the benefits it brings to the accounting and bookkeeping. It provides visibility and transparency, ease of reconciliation, security and shared authority. 

Read more: What kind of solutions can blockchain provide to our continent?

Mastering blockchain will help you to understand:

  • Why regulators around the world are so interested in blockchain.
  • How blockchain is changing finance.

Get started.

3. People skills

As the workplace changes, we’ll find ourselves partnering with robots and artificial intelligence, which will make our human skills like problem-solving, leadership, emotional intelligence and navigating workplace dynamics even more valuable. Technical accounting skills will continue to be invaluable but skills like critical thinking and analysis, leadership and social influence, EQ and complex problem-solving will become just as important by 2022, according to the WEF

Read more: To beat the bot you need to be more human

In addition, the shape of the finance function, and those within it, are evolving to better enable ‘partnering for value to influence and shape how the organisation creates and preserves value’. The concept of business partnering is an opportunity for finance to add greater value to the business.

Organisations that implement a clear business partnering strategy enable their finance teams to:

  • Make decisions faster.
  • Combine financial and nonfinancial data to inform sound decision-making.
  • Share knowledge and collaborate with internal stakeholders.
  • Use new technology like automation, blockchain and robotics to release the full potential of the finance function.

Develop your human skills.

Don’t get left behind

Professionals across all industries are recognising the need to embrace a mindset of ‘lifelong learning’ to cope with increasingly complex business landscapes.

All CIMA members and CGMA designation holders are required to undertake CPD and keep a record of their development activities. To help you, we recommend the Digital Mindset Pack, covering relevant future-focused topics.