In the financial services sector, nearly 50% of employees in the industry do not have a bachelor’s degree. There is a great demand for people who have the right credentials and experience because so many other professionals in this field want to learn from them.
Finance Communication and Analysis
Communication is at the heart of any good financial position. You’ll use your skills to explain company performance and show how your individual actions impact the entire organization.
Understanding metrics like revenue, expenses, costs, budgets, and ROI will help you better explain these concepts to others. To build this skill set, take classes in business or finance or read online financial articles.
Communicating and analyzing financial data is one of the most lucrative skills you can learn.
Finance communication and analysis involves synthesizing information, assessing information to find trends and patterns, and drawing conclusions from those conclusions.
Not only does this skill make you a valuable asset in the workplace, but it will also help you out in your personal life as well. For example, if you're trying to figure out what type of mortgage to get for your new home, understanding what's happening with the housing market will help you make an informed decision.
Budgeting and Financial Planning
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the financial impact you are making when you make decisions about your money. Whether it be budgeting or financial planning, these skills will help you develop good spending habits and reduce the stress that comes with financial uncertainty.
If you're looking to create a budget, try following these five steps:
1) Determine your income and expenses
2) List your fixed and discretionary expenses
3) Adjust your discretionary expenses for expected changes in your life (e.g., marriage, divorce, new child)
4) Create a timeline for saving and investing
5) Create an action plan for reducing debt and building savings
Capital Expenditures and Forecasting
As a business, you have to make decisions about where your company is going. You do this by analyzing the future and determining what projects will yield the best investment for your company. This process is called forecasting, and it's an important financial skill to master.
When it comes to determining your goals, you need to know how much money you can spend on those goals. You need to know if those goals are financially viable and how they'll impact the rest of the organization.
To understand this concept better, we're going to use an example of capital expenditures and forecasting at a fictional ice cream stand called Frosty Melts:
Frosty Melts has decided that their goal is to open up their second location in two years. The first step is understanding whether or not this project is financially viable; the next step is figuring out how much money they'll need for this goal. To determine where they should invest (in either equipment or labor), Frosty Melts would create a forecast of all of their costs over the next 24 months and compare it with projected revenue from opening a second location.
Accounting and Reporting
Accounting and reporting skills are essential to any organization. To communicate the overall health of an organization, track how individual actions impact success, and set meaningful metrics for performance, accounting and reporting is crucial.
It’s important to understand that finance involves more than just numbers. There’s a human element as well. Finance professionals need to be able to provide accurate analysis and information in a way that resonates with others.
Actionable tip: Build your financial skills by reading books on financial management or taking classes at your local college or university.
Accounting and reporting are the essential activities that ensure financial decisions are supported by accurate, timely, and reliable data. A solid understanding of accounting is critical for any business leader looking to make informed decisions.
The benefits of having strong accounting skills include increased confidence in your financial decision-making, better knowledge of how to manage expenses, enhanced understanding of the company’s financial position, and more credibility with investors.
#1 Build your financial knowledge by reading books on the subject matter. Read one book per month. This will help you sharpen your skills without taking up too much time or money. Reading books is also a great way to keep up on new developments in the field.
#2 Find an online course that will teach you about finance or take an in-person class through your local community college or university. Start with the basics like understanding profit margins and how to read a profit and loss statement so you can start building your foundation early on. When you're feeling confident with these topics, move onto more advanced topics like capital budgeting and credit risk assessment so you'll be prepared for any opportunity that comes your way.
Compensation and Benefits
There are many benefits to developing your financial skills, but the most obvious is that you will get a higher salary.
Most people think that the only way to get a raise is by asking their boss. But, getting a promotion or pay raise doesn't just depend on how hard you work. It also depends on how much value you add to your employer's company.
If you don't know your worth and what skills employers want in candidates, it can be hard to ask for more money. Financial skills can help because they allow you to assess the value of your contributions and determine if it's worth asking for a raise or exploring other opportunities.
For example, if you realized that there are 15 other people outside of your department who could do your job, then maybe it’s time to start looking for another opportunity where you're more valued and compensated accordingly.
The importance of being trustworthy
As a financial professional, you’ll be spending a lot of time helping individuals and small businesses plan, budget, save, and manage their finances. Having integrity and reliability will always be important in this line of work. As with any business, it’s essential that you keep your word to your customers.
Taking care of your customers’ money is equally important. So, if you take money from them, you better make sure that you do so safely and securely. You may also have to invest money in purchasing new equipment or the hiring of new employees and, if your budget permits, you may need to hire a consultant or third-party company. All of these actions require someone who is trustworthy.
Demonstrating your ability to perform under pressure
- Keeping track of and executing all necessary tasks accurately and efficiently
- Making decisions with clear outcomes
- A strong work ethic
- Requirements for Accountants and Auditors:
- Qualifications for Accountants and Auditors:
- Financial knowledge, accounting, and auditing principles
- Financial acumen and analytical skills
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
Benefits of Becoming a Financial Professional:
Interesting careers in finance exist, regardless of the choice of a major. You can work in operations, marketing, technology, business development, and accounting. Pay varies depending on position and experience, but expect to be paid well and work within a global environment.
Although it may sound a bit dramatic, money is truly the lifeblood of our society, and professionals who work in the finance sector contribute to our community in many important ways.