Jacob Greenman, CMA, plant controller for Hormel Foods, shares how accountants can develop skills by volunteering for new and diverse experiences within the organization, and urges companies to offer those experiences through opportunities like job rotation programs.


We can't afford business
as usual in accounting.

To restore and grow business, everyone from the top down is expected to contribute more, but significantly more action is needed to arm management accountants with the critical skills needed to maximize value to organizations. It’s a crisis of competency. But together we can overcome this challenge and seize its opportunities.

50% of finance executives can't find
staff with the right skills.

Talent. An organization’s most valuable asset. But what happens when there isn’t enough talent with the right skills to fulfill existing (or future) needs? More than 50% of finance executives can’t find qualified staff; it’s a critical talent/demand imbalance, and it’s playing out in accounting and finance departments around the world. Experienced professionals are leaving the field and younger proxies just don’t yet have what it takes to fill the void. We can’t let it get worse before it gets better.

Bottom-Line Impact

The numbers aren’t adding up.

Despite sluggish unemployment rates, open positions in finance and accounting departments remain unfilled. The finance function is now a cornerstone of business strategy, yet neither experienced practitioners nor recent graduates have the skills needed to help inform decision making. This competency gap is, in fact, a crisis. It isn't just influencing how businesses are run today; it’s affecting growth and performance well into the future. Urgent change is needed to boost the bottom line and contribute to a vibrant global economy.

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Employers and Professionals

For Employers & Professionals

Accounting and finance departments globally are reaching a tipping point. The demands on these departments are numerous: slash costs, instill financial discipline within the business, and partner with operations to deliver value for the organization – all while keeping pace with a rapidly evolving regulatory environment and its heightened emphasis on managing risk. But the right talent to meet these demands is scarce. The profession is changing. New competencies are needed. You play a vital part in developing them.

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For Students

Stay focused; study hard; get good grades; and lucrative employment offers will follow. Not exactly. The accounting and finance profession is complex and what you learn in school may not be enough for the long term.

Jobs, particularly in management accounting, are open for the right candidates. But you need the right skill set to land the interview – and the cubicle (the corner office comes later). Don’t let the accounting competency crisis keep you from a better career. Educate yourself about the problem and be part of the solution.

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Academics and Teachers

For Academics

Turbulence has become a constant. The business environment and the accounting and finance profession are continually changing and evolving, which in turn has raised the stakes and expectations for academics. Undergraduate accounting and finance programs are challenged to stay current and do not always provide students with the skills they need to thrive in the long term. We, the accounting and finance community, can’t sit idly by witness to this persisting issue. With your help, we can ensure today’s accounting graduates have the competencies that are critical to become tomorrow’s business leaders.

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