From spreadsheet to C-suite

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Tom Herbert takes a look at some of the key skills required to make the journey from accountant to finance director.

Responsible for leading a key business function and often the chief executive's key adviser, the FD role is often seen as the ultimate finance position.

However, with the FD role shifting to adapt to new technologies and ways of working, the roadmap to becoming a FD can seem more than a little opaque. Every company has its own way of working, and even the most dedicated finance professionals sometimes struggle to climb the ladder.

Andy Wilkes, tutor on CIMA’s dedicated ‘management accountant to FD’ programme, told AccountingWEB that on top of their core accounting skills, accountants now need a span of commercial skills, from business understanding to strategic thinking and soft or people skills from influencing to leadership.

“It’s what CIMA call the T-shaped accountant. The modern FD needs a range of skills: You need to know your international accounting standards, but you also have to have a whole range of other skills as well.”

To examine some of the key skills required to successfully make that journey, AccountingWEB spoke to Wilkes and a number of prominent FDs, CEOs and accountants to find out what they felt propelled finance professionals from spreadsheet to C-suite.

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Make their business your business

According to AccountingWEB contributor and member FD on the edge, finance director is a special role...

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Tom Herbert
Business Editor
AccountingWEB
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25th Mar 2016 13:09

Fair enough advice one and all, but you've got to remember that pretty much every business large or small does things differently and you've got to adapt

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