Tomorrow's financial leaders will need a deeper business acumen balanced
with a broader finance and business career. This is the view of nearly
750 CFOs worldwide who were surveyed for a new report, from ACCA
(the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA®
(Institute of Management Accountants), "Future
Pathways to Financial Leadership."
Many of today's CFOs have taken the usual finance stepping-stones toward
the CFO role, but they believe tomorrow's CFOs will need new experiences
to meet the evolving needs of business.
The survey revealed the "classic" career path of current CFOs was
largely domestic in nature, but that is already changing. Twenty-seven
percent of CFOs have spent time in an international role and 25 percent
have worked in an emerging market.
Other highlights include:
The most popular stepping-stone to the CFO role was from financial
Almost 50 percent of those surveyed had six or more finance roles
within their career.
Forty percent of CFOs had taken a role outside the finance function in
their careers and more may need to do so in the future.
Jamie Lyon, ACCA head of corporate sector and author of the
report, said: "We can expect a different premium to be placed on the
capabilities that will really matter for future finance leaders. The
survey suggests you can't get away from the need for retaining baseline
finance skills, but there are so many more capabilities future CFOs will
need to bring to the table, too.
Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA vice president of research, said: "The
finance construct in larger organizations is changing. With shared
services, outsourcing and increasingly global business service models,
traditional career routes through the finance organization are being
"The current crop of finance leaders is adapting to the changing role of
the CFO, which requires a broader, strategic approach to the business,
and they can see that gaining those skills early on in the career
journey will be a major benefit to future CFOs."
Dr. Lawson added: "The whole point of seeking the views of today's
global finance leaders about what the future CFO will need is to equip
tomorrow's leaders for their roles. IMA and ACCA are both strong
advocates of developing the finance career model around the world. The
findings of this study give us insight into what the route to the ideal
future CFO position should look like."
Mr. Lyon said: "If we fast forward 10 or 15 years, we can see some
significant factors shaping the business landscape: faster business
change, rebalancing growth across markets, new finance function models,
the proliferation of information, and the advent of social, mobile and
"These developments will impact how and where business is done and how
the finance function operates. But also, it means the capabilities that
finance leaders need will evolve, too."
A summary of the report is available at http://tinyurl.com/odudb8l.
The full report is available through the ACCA/IMA Financial Leadership &
Performance website at http://tinyurl.com/p2f9jzx.
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global
body for professional accountants with 162,000 members and 426,000
students in 170 countries worldwide. We aim to offer business-relevant,
first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and
ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy,
finance and management.
We work through a network of 89 offices and centers and more than 8,400
Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee
learning and development. www.accaglobal.com
About IMA® (Institute of Management
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial
professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected
associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting
profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA®
(Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education,
networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices.
IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries
and 300 professional and student chapters. IMA provides localized
services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich,
Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about
IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.
Marc Gerrone, 201-474-1502
& Wall Group
Andrew Healy, 212-625-2363