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ACCA identifies ‘massive’ talent challenges in global finance functions

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COMPANIES are failing to establish career paths that encompass the whole of finance, according to a report from ACCA.

According to the report, retained finance roles still provide the best route to the top of the finance organisation but a failure to support careers in shared services and outsourcing (SSO) roles is resulting in limited career options and little transference of skill sets.

More than 69% of respondents said that SSO jobs are ‘not equal’ in prestige, suggesting that retained finance experience is necessary to progress.

Larry White, a former shared services leader, said: “Retained finance staff are physically closer and more visible to the CFO and senior leadership. They get visibility of their personalities, creativity, and political savvy, as they are able to sit in more frequently on more senior meetings and have opportunities to be part of special assignments.”

The results suggest that career opportunities are being missed and that organisations should rapidly develop transparent career pathways.

Jamie Lyon, ACCA head of corporate sector, commented: “When shared services were initially set up around 15 to 20 years ago the key driver was for efficiency and cost savings. But as these operations have continued to move up the value chain, we have seen a huge pool of talent develop which is of value right across the finance organisation. Equally, time served in shared services can help develop the broader business and management skills needed by todays’ corporate leaders, so it is imperative that this talent is tapped into both in finance and across the wider enterprise”.

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