Accountants Worry If They Have the Skills for a Post-COVID World

Corporate accountants say the global pandemic has caused them to shift work priorities and forgo pay or bonuses – sometimes both – as they wonder how relevant their existing skills will be in a post-COVID world.

These are among the findings of a five country survey of finance professionals conducted by the Institute of Management Accounting (IMA). The organization set out to learn how the pandemic has affected the business finance function, surveying 1,481 management accounting professionals who were almost evenly divided among China, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States.

The report — The Impact of Covid-19 on the Finance Function — found differences across the globe in staff cuts and pay reductions, but similarities in where the finance function has shifted its focus.

By large margins respondents reported reductions in their organization’s revenue, with those working at companies with more than $10 billion reporting the deepest decline. Tourism and hospitality was the most seriously impacted, while the percentage of those in accounting who said revenue was down somewhat or considerably was the smallest.

While accountants in all countries and all industries reported staffing cuts and pay reductions, US companies were the least likely to have laid off workers or cut the pay of their finance professionals.

On the other hand, the survey found a great deal of consistency across industries regarding the shifting priorities of the finance department.

The largest increase in emphasis was in risk management with 44% of finance professionals reporting spending more or much more time in this area. This was followed closely by those who say they are spending more time in cash forecasting/management.

The biggest decrease was in the time finance previously spent on business partnering and decision support.

Accountants upskilling - blog.jpg

More personally, a quarter of finance professionals expressed concern about the relevance of their skills in a post-COVID world — 12% believe their skills will not be relevant, and another 10% are unsure.

US finance professionals were in the minority here. Just over 5% were unsure or believe their skills will not be relevant. US professionals were also the least likely among those in the other countries to express an interest in upskilling and were also the least likely to have improved their job skills during the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting business with a challenge not seen in recent times,” writes the report’s author, Dr. Raef Lawson, professor-in-residence and vice president of research and policy at IMA. “The impact has been global, affecting every country and organizations of all sizes.”

Soon, he says, the business environment will change again, so “companies need to consider how they will compete in the ‘new normal.’

“One thing is clear,” he concludes, “The field of finance is changing faster than ever, and finance professionals must work to enhance their skills in order to maintain and advance their careers.”

Photo by Carlos Muza

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lauren Scutero
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lauren Scutero

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews

Benefits of Working Hybrid
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Benefits of Working Hybrid

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List
Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero

How to Ask for a Raise
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Ask for a Raise

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille

How to Answer Salary Expectations
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Answer Salary Expectations

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lauren Scutero

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lauren Scutero

Lauren has about 18 years of pharmaceutical recruiting experience, with no end in sight.
Read More
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Anthony has been with Green Key for over eight years and has played an integral role in the success of...
Read More
Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

This coming weekend may call for hearty food, crazy sales, and some quality down time to unwind. But while you're...
Read More