Top 12 Crucial Finance Skills That Employers Value in 2021

Companies in the finance sector are always on the lookout for skilled professionals. In fact, India is facing a shortage of skilled professionals. Even though we have the largest percentage of the working population in the world, we don’t have enough skilled workers to meet the industry demands.

What does this mean?

It means that even though there are enough employment opportunities, there’s not enough talent to fill those vacancies. In such a scenario, developing the right skills can help you land promising job roles with established and reputed companies. 

Presently, the Indian finance industry is booming, giving birth to new and exciting career opportunities. If you are a finance aspirant, this is the perfect article for you. In this post, we’ll highlight some of the most valuable and important finance skills. By adding these skills to your arsenal, you can increase your chances of bagging a high-paying role in the finance industry. 

Top Financial Skills

1. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is a crucial skill for finance professionals. It refers to looking at and understanding a situation to interpret it and deriving an intelligent and thoughtful response. As a finance professional, you’d have to solve all kinds of problems from technical to interpersonal. When analytical thinking and problem-solving are your forte, you can devise smart solutions quickly which would greatly benefit the company, making you its valuable asset. 

Some of the areas where analytical thinking plays a key role include financial analysis, risk analysis, risk management, strategic financial planning, and data analysis. 

2. Accounting Skills 

Accounting skills refer to the techniques and abilities that allow you to track, record, and manage financial transactions efficiently and effectively. Many recruiters expect you to have accounting skills as they are crucial for performing financial analysis, financial reporting, data management, financial modeling, and plenty of other related tasks.

A fundamental understanding of accounting skills can certainly help you in getting a good job as a finance professional. After learning these finance skills you can focus on bagging some of the lucrative roles in the industry such as Chartered Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, etc. 

Checkout: MBA Finance Salary in India

3. Business Intelligence 

Finance professionals play a vital role in helping businesses make smart decisions. To make smart and better-informed decisions, they must know how to predict future inventory, sales, and related information. This is why companies prefer professionals who are proficient in leveraging enterprise resource planning software (ERP). ERP tools like Oracle or SAP are excellent for managing inventory, planning future purchases, allocating labor hours, etc. 

Also, you must know how to use business analytics software like Tableau. Knowledge of data visualization tools allows you to convey data-based insights much effectively to your colleagues, non-technical staff, and senior management. 

4. Financial Modeling

Financial modeling is the process of representing a real financial situation through abstract methods. In financial modeling, you design a mathematical model that represents an asset’s or portfolio’s financial performance in a specific period. 

Financial models help you estimate the valuation of a business or compare multiple businesses. You might use them for strategic planning such as for calculating the cost of a new project, deciding on a budget, or testing a particular scenario. If you’re applying for senior-level roles, companies almost always will expect you to be proficient in financial modeling. 

5. Financial Reporting

Financial reporting is the process of disclosing financial results and pertaining information to the stakeholders and upper management. Like the accounting skills we discussed previously, financial reporting is another necessary skill if you want to get ahead in the finance industry.

In financial reporting, you’d be focusing on creating financial statements, balance sheets, and income sheets, through which you can show the financial position of your company to the concerning party. 

Some students confuse financial accounting with reporting but they are quite different. Accounting focuses only on recording the transactions of a business while reporting focuses on organizing those records to get an idea of the business’s financial health. 

Also Read: Future Scope of MBA in Finance

6. Cash Flow Management

According to a study, 82% of businesses fail because of poor cash flow management. Cash flow management is the process of analyzing, monitoring, and optimizing the cash receipts a business gets after deducting the cash expenses. Businesses use cash flow management to manage their finances and focus on growth as it tracks the ins and outs of a business’s funds. With proper cash flow management, a business can avoid financial loss and make profitable and sustainable strategies. 

Thus, cash flow management is a non-negotiable skill for any finance aspirant or professional. 

7. Mathematics

While it may sound obvious, having strong calculative skills would certainly benefit you as a finance professional. From data management to financial analysis, there are tons of areas where you can use your knowledge of mathematics. 

Some of the areas that require a strong grasp of mathematics are financial analysis, predictive analysis, data management, and accounting. It is a fundamental skill necessary for all financial roles. If you have good calculative skills and understand most mathematical concepts, it’ll be much easier for you to develop strong analytical skills.

8. Financial Management

Financial management refers to organizing, planning, directing, and controlling financial activities to procure and utilize an organization’s funds. It focuses on applying general management concepts to a company’s financial resources. 

If you want to get ahead in the finance sector, then you should have this skill. Financial management is crucial for multiple roles such as investment banker, portfolio manager, financial advisor, etc. This skill helps you in making better financial and investment decisions. 

9. Data Management 

Data management is the process of gathering, storing, managing, and maintaining an organization’s data. Proper data management is necessary to help the business in performing data analysis and use the data to guide its decisions.

While as a finance professional you might not have to work extensively on data management solutions, having this skill will make your job a whole lot easier. You wouldn’t face problems in using the data or accessing the same for performing financial analysis or predictive analysis. 

Financial data management allows a company to consolidate its relevant data to comply with laws and regulations. This is another reason why it’s a sought-after skill. 

Additional Skills Required for Finance

While the skills we discussed earlier are a must to pursue a career in the finance sector, these additional skills will help you look attractive in the eyes of the recruiters when they read your resume: 

10. Communication

Being able to communicate properly is vital in the finance sector. You’d be working with many people and you’d have to convey technical details to a non-technical audience multiple times. Without strong communication skills, it would become very challenging for you to share insights and collaborate with other team members or departments. 

11. Management Experience

While freshers do not need management experience, this skill is mandatory for anyone aspiring to take on managerial roles in a company. You should be able to supervise and manage teams, solve both internal and external problems, and display leadership skills as and when the situation demands. 

12. Business Acumen

Business acumen denotes one’s proficiency and ability to interpret a business problem and devise innovative solutions for the same. In the finance sector, you’d need strong business acumen and commercial awareness to improve the financial performance of a company. It is essential to stay updated with the latest market and customer trends to stay ahead in the competition. 

How to Develop the Right Skills for Finance Roles?

By now, it’s clear that to land a job in the finance sector, you must possess both general and niche skills. The most efficient way to develop all of these skills is through taking a finance course. With our MBA in Digital Finance and Banking course, you’d get to study directly from industry experts and receive 360-degree career support. The course covers many technical skills including financial management, artificial intelligence in business, digital fraud and risk analytics, and data visualization in finance.

Apart from the course’s curriculum, you’ll get the added benefit of networking with fellow professionals, getting one-on-one feedback from your mentors, and career counseling for doubt resolution. 

Equipped with industry-knowledge and skills, you can easily pursue prominent roles in banking, insurance, fintech, financial services, and startups.

Developing a new skill can be quite challenging. However, once you begin your journey and choose the right milestones, you will gain new skills and experience as you progress. The key is to identify your career goals and then figure out how you can accomplish them. If you know what you want, nothing can stop you from growing into a competent professional. 

We hope this helps!

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