26 Jul

Qualifications outweigh experience for finance professionals

Just 6% of CFOs believe that industry experience is more important than qualifications when recruiting finance professionals according to research from Robert Walters, totaljobs and Jobsite. Professionals are widely in agreement, with just 11% of accountants believing that industry experience will be the key factor in developing their career.

The research also revealed distinctions in how much value employers place on various qualifications. ACA/ICAS was considered valuable by the largest number of employers (53%) followed by ACCA (50%) and CIMA (41%).

By contrast, just 12% of employers felt that AAT qualifications were valuable, with professionals in agreement.

Habiba Khatoon, Associate Director, Robert Walters Birmingham, comments:

For finance professionals, formal professional qualifications have a huge impact on their ability to progress within their career and which roles are available to them.

While industry experience can still be valued by employers, formal qualifications will be essential for candidates when putting themselves forwards for a role.

Among professional qualifications, it is also clear that ACA and ICAS are held in highest regard by employers, but this is not to say that possessing certifications from other professional bodies will inhibit the ability of candidates to secure desirable roles, particularly in light of ongoing skills shortages within the sector.


Management level finance professionals are expected to be the most sought after, with 54% of employers anticipating skills shortages at this level. This contrasts with 38% who are expecting skills shortages at junior or executive level. Just 8% of employers expect to face a shortage of candidates to fill director or senior management roles.

Habiba Khatoon continues:

Skills shortages remain acute at mid management level as a long-term consequence of reduced graduate level hiring during the recession. This has created a bottleneck at management level, with a lack of finance professionals possessing the skills and experience to take on business partnering roles.

In addition to difficulties sourcing candidates with sufficient experience, many employers have also struggled to find candidates who can demonstrate soft skills in areas such as communication and the ability to manage the expectations of internal stakeholders, both of which are essential for more strategic roles

To request a full copy of the research please submit your information via the following link: www.robertwalters.co.uk/solvingtheskillsshortage

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