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1Jan

TIPS FOR ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE PROFESSIONALS IN 2020

By Lance Rubin | Leadership, Financial Modelling | 1 Jan 2020 |

FUTURE OF ACCOUNTING & FINANCE

Imagine for a moment a briefcase carrying accountant telling the audience, "I'll be back...to check your tax."

The reality is many accountants won't be coming back (my live voting polls around the world show many are in fact selecting to change careers due to the uncertainty and challenges that currently exists).

Whilst others who evolve and adopt technology to work smarter, faster and more accurately will continue to dominate the pack.

I'm not special or different to anyone else really (despite having lots of concurrent roles in multiple organisations), I've just learnt to leverage technology for myself and my team.

Our recent decade has been full of changes in accounting and finance, but here are tips for accountants and finance professionals who want to not only survive but thrive in future decades to come.

TIP 1 - LEARN POWERBI AND AUTOMATION

Learn how to use PowerBI to automate your reporting (yes 70-page board packs too).

My guess is less than 5% of the accountants actually use it (based on my recent public training) despite it being free with Office365.

The time efficiency gains are big and can go into exploring the rest of my tips below.

Don't fear time saved, you going to need it to re-skill and stay relevant.

PowerBI is going to dominate the BI space, like #Excel dominates most of the business processing tools today.

If you want FREE data, FREE model and FREE .pbix file with visualisations to get you started download it here.

Competition to win US$250 closes today.

TIP 2 - EXCEL (IS STILL NOT DEAD BY A LONG WAY) SKILLS ARE STILL IN NEED

Reduce the error thorns in spreadsheets using technology to increase accuracy and decrease time wasted hunting those errors.

Maybe replace it with PowerBI, see above, which works extremely well with Excel (data dumps) if you dont have an API.

Despite all the calls for the death and end to Excel over the last decade, it ain't going anywhere, so lets just accept it.

In fact, it's becoming more advanced along with add-in technologies and other enhancements like XLookup and Dynamic Arrays.

So many people still dont even know about PowerQuery which eliminates the need for copy and paste or tables to structured data formats.

Error detection in Excel has advanced to another level as well that will increase accuracy of spreadsheets.

Learn to use Excel better along with these add-in tools to reduce errors and save more time.

A LOT of systems still dump data into CSV files (Comma-separated values) compatible with all versions of Excel.

Thinking Excel is completely dead is just insanity.

Excel is still the Swiss army knife of business tools and the best financial modelling software on the planet used by all investment banks for corporate & project finance as well as M&A.

TIP 3 - LEARN FINANCIAL MODELLING IN EXCEL

Steps 1 & 2 are critical enablers for the rest as you need more time to develop problem solving and financial modelling skills.

Learn how to build a robust 3-way financial model in Excel.

If you don't know what a 3-way model is or ever built one, you are already in trouble and way behind those in demand.

First use no add-ins, and then start to boost your time and skills with build and visualisation technologies that enable two way interactive decision making, no coding required. No Python or fancy scripting.

First learn how to build a 3-way model vs learning ANY form of coding language is my tip.

TIP 4 - UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE THE ART OF STORYTELLING AND INFLUENCING

Increasingly BI and modelling tools will require us to explain complex concepts visually and convincingly despite the uncertainty it often delivers.

Non finance professionals understand visuals often better than a table of numbers, but we still need to be able to communicate the results.

Our human to human relationships become critical and the way we distill complex business information succinctly is vital.

This comes with practice and certainly not in lines of writing code.

TIP 5 - PUSH BOUNDARIES AND DO A MEETUP

No, this doesn’t mean attending one, but presenting at one, on stage.

It's the best way I became a lot less nervous with public speaking and overcome my own anxieties with talking in public (yes I had lots).

Find a topic you are passionate about, research and learn more about it and present it.

If you want help making this a reality reach out and I can give you some more tips.

TIP 6 - LEARN TO LISTEN

We have a history of making bad decisions for this reason.

The more we understand our stakeholder or clients and their problems, the better we can innovate and add value.

The value we can potentially add lies at the intersection of the (real) problem and solution. Listen and you’ll work it out together with those that need it solved.

By solving it you are adding that "value", that everyone talks about but few are able to articulate clearly what it means.

Begin with the right foot forward with a growth mindset and a hunger for knowledge by listening to the problem.

Have a great start to 2020 and if you want to know more read below.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

I encourage you to take a peek at my past articles on financial modelling which is the foundation of business decision making, planning and forecasting.

We will continue to discuss this topic and you can click to follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn or subscribe to our short but sweet newsletter from our website.

If you want to find out more about Financial Modelling be sure to download the Financial Modelling Knowledge App

Be sure to check out our pods and video page.

Here are also some past blogs that might be of interest.

Forecasting skills doesn’t guarantee good modelling skills

How Technology Will Change FP&A Forever

Why so many unemployed accountants are already struggling..and how I can help?

Father battles cancer, son battles career extinction

Why being a 1-man/women VCFO business is a really bad idea?

Excel is dead!

Financial Modeling Innovation: Predictive analytics vs Financial Modeling

Financial Modeling: Diamonds in the rough

Why Monte Carlo will change the way you make financial decisions and think about scenarios?

Driver Based Planning & Forecasting in the context of FP&A

Inside the mind of a spreadsheeter vs a financial modeler

Virtual CFO the Good, Bad and the Ugly

Part 3 of Finance Innovation — The Airbnb of spreadsheets — first major wave of spreadsheet innovation

Do You Model Off against the Masters of Financial Modelling?

NEED HELP searching for the best advisory tool in the market?

Part 2 of Finance Innovation — Data Analytics / Big Data is not Financial Modeling

Consulting, Advisory, Finance and the art of influencing is about to change forever.

Your Financial Model can save lives !

Why financial modelling skills will be a big career door opener for emerging accounting and finance talent.

The Demand for Financial Modeling Skills Reaches new Heights

Lance Rubin is the Founder of Model Citizn, partner of theOutperformer, approved training provider to the Financial Modeling Institute and Group CFO for SequelCFO.

Lance has more than 20 years of combined experience working in model audit, investment banking, corporate finance, finance business partner and Fintech CFO.

Organisations he has worked with include PwC, KPMG, National Australia Bank, Investec Bank and Banjo small business lender.

We have a YouTube channel dedicates to the Future of Financial Modelling and also provide access to Models via Eloquens with thousands of viewers and downloads.

If you want to find more information on financial modelling and content visit the Model Citizn website.

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