KEY FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SKILLS
The priority aptitudes sought by chief financial officers when recruiting include the following appear to be:
- Industry-specific experience
- Familiarity with computer software and information technology
- A professional designation or a higher education degree
Personality remains key during the hiring process, however, according to Nathalie Francisci, president of Venatus Conseil, a recruiting firm specializing in finance and accounting jobs. A candidate’s character often makes the difference, more than industry knowledge or computer skills.
Key specialties include internal auditing and general accounting at the head of the line. Financial analysts, management controllers and tax accountants are also very much in demand in Canada. Finally, increased activity in purchasing generates a greater need for accounts receivable and payable specialists.
Today, a good accounting or financial professional must not only have good technical skills, but he or she must also have an open, sociable personality. “With the expanding scope of accounting and finance jobs, recruiters are increasingly looking for flexible, adaptable professionals with good business and communication skills,” says Nathalie Francisci. “Even accounting specialists have to sell themselves, because no company wants people who can’t communicate.”
Paolo Maillette, author of the French book CV Expert (publisher Septembre Editeur, 2005), lists 12 qualities generally sought in candidates applying for management and business jobs:
- Ease in leading and supervising employees
- Ability to implement strategies
- Good planning skills
- Good sense of initiative
- Enterprising personality
- Persuasion skills
- Excellent decision-making abilities
PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATIONS
Professional finance and accounting certifications are particularly valued by employers. Certification from a recognized professional association is often required in the job offer.
Types of certification include CPA (Comptables Professionnels Agréés du Québec) – which groups Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Management Account (CMA), Certified General Accountant (CGA) since April 2012 -, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Payroll Management Certificate Program (PMCP), Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and Fellow Credit Institute (FCI).