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CFO's are Vital to Talent Development:
The CFO's role in closing the talent gap!


As companies look to grow, there is an undeniable shortage of top-quality employees. The emergence of Big Data has played a large role in the talent gap, as companies increasingly desire analytics-focused accounting professionals, yet the talent pipeline is slow to respond. There are many reasons for this lack of balance.

One factor hurting employee potential is the reluctance of employers to help their young talent develop career paths. While companies may be concerned that they are investing in employees who might leave for another opportunity, this can hurt finance. Employers who help to guide and develop talent from within could be well ahead of their competitors. Beyond compensation and benefits, employees are looking for companies that want to help them grow their careers.

One clear cut strategy to close the talent gap in accounting and finance is for the CFO to step in as a strategic leader and work with their human resources counterparts to help address the concern. Who better to evaluate finance talent than the CFO?

It is essential that the CFO works with HR to oversee the hiring and training process to ensure the recruitment of top talent. In addition, it is the CFO’s responsibility to nurture and develop the abilities of current staff by implementing employee education, mentoring programs, and performance reviews for finance staff.


Improving the technical skills of your finance team

• Challenge your accounting team to improve and provide them with an incentive to do so.

• Look for competencies that can benefit your company and create a program to improve those skills within your accounting function.

• Use these programs to identify employees who are gaining skills quickly so they advance their current responsibilities.


Challenges with finding the best accounting and finance talent

• Unfortunately, there is often a gap between the employee competencies that organizations need to succeed and those that most accounting and finance professionals possess.

• The challenge of finding and hiring top accounting talent can cause companies to find themselves with increased spending, reduced productivity, and diminished work quality.

• The biggest gaps are found in leadership and strategic thinking. This suggests that short-term hires are available in accounting, but down the road, there may be problems promoting any of those candidates to management positions.


Information Overload – The big data problem

• If Big Data is not analyzed correctly, it very easily becomes an overload of information, rather than useful insight into a business.

• Unfortunately, many accountants don’t have the proper analytics training to deal with the changes in their field that have stemmed from the Big Data revolution.

• To gain an advantage from Big Data, accountants need to become more familiar with statistics and decision science.


Deriving Value from big data

• Many organizations are seeking to hire people suited to help them derive value from their data.

• In order to attract top talent, many organizations will need to alter their culture to prioritize analytics.

• Big Data has the potential to take an organization to the next level but it requires experts to help navigate the information efficiently


Working with HR for Success

• When CFOs take on the role of strategic HR leader, both they and their organizations benefit.

• Working strategically with HR allows a CFO to design the leadership team with the future of the organization in mind.

• CFO's can also help to manage the gap between best and worst performers by scheduling regular feedback and performance reviews. A smaller performance range ensures higher performance overall.


Some firms do not recognize and reward top performers, and they allow low performers to linger. As headcount grows, job duties and responsibilities become muddled, employees lack measurable objectives and firms lose momentum. Many CFO's recognize this problem but don’t take ownership of it. However, failing to manage employee performance has an effect on the company and those who lead it—an effect even more unpleasant than having to tell an employee they are under performing.


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