Paths to the Top - Best Practice Leadership Development for Finance Professionals

ACCA’s survey finds that global organisations need to do more to harness the leadership potential of finance professionals or risk failing them.


It also reaffirms that finance leaders are expected to demonstrate higher levels of accountability and control than ever before, together with delivering financial value.


‘Finance leaders need to be a sort of “CEO plus”,’ says Tony Osude, head of learning and development at ACCA. ‘They have to exhibit similar values as the CEO while ensuring the internal and external credibility and sustainability of the business.”


Key findings include:

  • 96% of respondents believe the finance leader is responsible for ensuring regulatory requirements are upheld, while 93% believe the role is about delivering financial value.
  • Pressure and expectations are high – 90% of respondents linked having a successful finance leader as critical for organisational success.
  • Finance leaders are also expected, like the CEO, to shape business strategy (92%) and develop people (92%)
  • Respondents said that external stakeholders are driving expectations of the finance leader – identifying these key stakeholders as shareholders (82%), market analysts (57%), and clients at (47%)
  • Immediate and pressing challenges for the finance leader are sustainability management and building an ethical culture, while the top three challenges for now, and in five years, are to deliver financial value, uphold regulatory requirements, and shape business strategy
  • To deal with these challenges, respondents identified four vital attributes and skills being necessary to cope – strategic business insight (97%), regulatory knowledge (91%), change management (85%), and technical expertise (75%).

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