The fact that accountants are increasingly becoming valued as trusted business advisors is old news. However, it is worth acknowledging that organisations genuinely are perceiving accountants in this light. With many back-office functions becoming automated, finance business partnering now plays a big part in the role of being an accountant, where they are required to use their financial analysis skills to facilitate change by working closely with different departments. So accountants need to have the capability to provide measured and targeted strategic insights across every department of a business.
To be successful in this changing role as trusted business advisors, accountants need to be encouraged to broaden their skills and ensure they are qualified in more than "just the numbers" so that they are fully equipped with a range of business and people skills.
The most recent annual Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO tracker, showed that MBA graduates are leading more of Britain's top businesses than any other qualification: 25% of FTSE 100 CEOs, which is the highest number since 2016. Interestingly, chartered accountants were not far behind, making up 20% of FTSE 100 CEOs which us up on figures across the previous two years.
So, the accountancy qualification is clearly highly regarded at a very senior level, and as an accountant, to make the best of your career, you need to take this qualification a step further and ensure, in an ongoing way, that you are broadening your skills outside of the traditional accountancy landscape.
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