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The Essential CFO: A Corporate Finance Playbook by Bruce Nolop

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Chapter Twenty-Four

Developing Financial Talent

CFOs UNIVERSALLY BELIEVE THAT developing financial talent is one of their highest priorities and confirm that they are spending more time than ever in hiring, retaining, and training the finance professionals in their organizations. However, it is a priority that can be especially challenging in the current environment

First, the focus on reducing headcount has led to financial organizations that are more risk averse to transfer people to unfamiliar areas or to expand their responsibilities too quickly. It is simply less risky to keep good people safely ensconced in their comfort zones.

Second, the greater specialization that comes with finance transformation can make it harder to develop well-rounded finance professionals. Unless proactive steps are initiated, high-potential people may spend the preponderance of their careers in a particular functional track, such as controllership, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), audit, or treasury functions.

Third, there are fewer entry-level positions due to the automation of routine activities; the greater use of outsourcing; and the heightened emphasis on analytical skills, which usually require a higher threshold of prior business experience.

Fourth, given the competitive marketplace for talent among a mobile work force, finance professionals may be reluctant to accept a lateral transfer to a new area, preferring to accept an offer from another company in their current area of expertise—usually ...

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