Have you ever been in one of those meetings where everyone is inspired and energised until the numbers person speaks? Rightly or wrongly, not everyone gets excited by balance sheets and financial projections. In fact, creatives and production personnel may possibly glaze over as soon as the statistics and analytics take centre stage.
This is no longer acceptable, of course. Increasingly, companies rely on their financial and accounting teams to help them formulate business strategy and growth. Being good with figures is now insufficient in isolation.
Technology has automated many of the compliance and accounting processes, and Big Data has equipped financial directors with greater forensic and predictive modelling capabilities. This all adds up to more opportunities for financial executives to earn their seat at the decision-making tables, offering new levels of confidence, clarity, and business acumen.
For this to work smoothly and seamlessly, you also need a financial team around you that can contribute effectively to both daily interaction and crucial meetings as needed. So, what makes a good, forward-facing financial team member?
1. The ability to blend in well
You could be excused for thinking that appearance matters less than substance. However, the way your financial team dresses could be significant. There is a tendency for financial executives to feel that sharp suits and crisp shirts or blouses impart a relevant air of authority and trust.
However, if you have a room full of casually dressed creatives, or production personnel in work wear, you could be seen as somewhat removed and superior.
Blending in with customs and practices at your firm – including the official or unwritten dress code – can help place financial staff better within teams. They are more approachable and integrated in the daily running of the company, possibly bringing with it a greater willingness to listen and discuss important topics with them.
2. A passion for collaborative working
Leading on from the point above, another attribute you need for effective and integrated financial personnel is for your team to have both good interpersonal skills and a willingness to work across all the departments, in order to fully grasp the bigger picture.
Having your finger on the pulse of the company’s financial health and being able to discuss important monetary matters is as much about soft skills as hard-nosed business sense, these days. Your financial personnel need to be confident and comfortable working in collaboration with a wide cross section of your workforce, and need to be able to listen and learn from them, as well as passing along important data.
3. Strong communication skills
The most effective financial personnel are able to support and inspire their colleagues, using the financial insights and analytical prowess that comes as standard these days. This does not require them to simply upload regular reports and charts on the company intranet or present data efficiently in meetings.
It requires them to be able to explain and interpret financial information in a way that is meaningful. This could involve amending both the delivery and content to specific target audiences and levels of understanding – if the finance man or woman leaves you bamboozled and feeling inadequate, you are unlikely to leave the briefing meeting inspired and revitalised.
4. A commitment to improvement
The most valuable financial team members these days are also the ones who never stand still. As they analyse, collaborate, and communicate, they are also looking for continuous improvement. How can this business operate more effectively and efficiently? How can financial control and measurement be even more intuitive and thorough?
The best people to have in your financial team will be the ones setting priorities, establishing deadlines, and planning the best ways to achieve those goals.
Recruiting the best finance staff means hiring someone who is well rounded, with the qualities mentioned above. At BTG Recruitment we specialise in accountancy and finance recruitment. We work solely with employers like you who are looking to secure high-calibre candidates for interim, fixed or long-term roles. To see how we could help your company’s finance team attract bright, effective individuals, get in touch on 0115 960 7000 or 0161 214 3840 now.
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