Accountants association ACCA urges employers to nurture finance leadership talent

Organisations need to do more to harness the leadership potential of finance professionals or risk failing them, research by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has warned.

A survey of nearly 3,500 ACCA members found that finance leaders across the world are now expected to demonstrate higher levels of accountability and control than ever before, together with delivering financial value.

But the findings revealed that nearly 70% of respondents said there was an element of luck in their career progression and development and that getting on was more about being in the right place at the right time.

Tony Osude, head of learning and development at the ACCA, said: “For an empirically trained profession, accountants are usually sceptical of concepts such as luck in the world of business.

“This particular finding suggests that being identified for and being enrolled into leadership development programmes is less systematic than might have been thought.”

The report also claimed that generic leadership programmes alone are unsuitable for finance leadership training, which needs its own methodology and content complemented by generic programmes.

“Organisations must see finance leadership development as a specialist stream. Training and development should be constructed accordingly, or run alongside general leadership programmes,” Osude said.

“Employers must have good succession plans in place. And given the importance of the finance role, now and in the future, this is an investment organisations cannot leave to chance, luck or simple good fortune.”

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