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Necessary Skills For A Successful Career In Finance

A career in finance offers a wide range of potential paths. From payroll and bookkeeping to major corporate investment strategies, the world of capital, expenditure and fiscal procedure is a varied one. However, there are some essential skills that anyone looking to forge a working life in finance would do well to master, and which will give an excellent skill base whichever route in the field they choose.

It may sound a little disingenuous, but the first skill anyone must master is a sound understanding of financial terminology and processes. Building on mathematical skills learnt at school, college courses in finance and business will introduce the financial tools utilized in areas such as taxes, estate planning, investments, international finance, and the legal ramifications in each area. Given that areas of the finance industry often intersect, a thorough grounding in a wide range of financial disciplines is a great start to your career.

Because finance relies on a clear understanding of figures and analysis how numerical values are related, a good eye for detail and the ability to focus on small elements are necessary skills. A single slip in a set of data may have severe ramifications. You must also be organized in your work so that you have information to hand and your workflow can be understood when exported to clients or colleagues.

Finance is often a specialized sort of field, one in which particular knowledge is accrued to make the employee a valuable asset. As such, communication skills are required so that you can easily assimilate information and present it to those who may not have the same level of technical understanding. This is particularly essential for those who choose to work in consumer finance, advising members of the public on pensions or investments, for example. Even those working within financial institutions will often need to communicate relevant information to other departments and individuals within the firm or to provide comprehensive details of their analytical framework and processes, so the ability to present clearly, comprehensively and concisely really helps. Individuals working in finance who wish to set up their own business or go freelance will need good communication skills to help network and forge industry links.

Project management is another vital skill to develop for a career in finance. You are likely to need to integrate with other departments, to work to deadlines and to collaborate with colleagues.

These days, the vast majority of financial work is done on computers. From simple accounting practices to international futures trading, computers and their software are the tools of the industry. Mastery of Excel will allow you to present data sheets and reports, while accounting programs vary between businesses, but may include programmes such as AME, GAAP, Intact and Quicken. With more and more of the financial industries processes migrating to external servers, a knowledge of Cloud computing and SaaS may also be useful.

Once you are in the finance industry, you may enhance your career prospects by specializing in a particular area, developing your skills so that you offer a unique service. Among the areas that are seen as today’s growth sectors are business valuations, mergers and acquisitions, benefits administration and tax planning.

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May 4, 2012 um 11:00 am
Miscellaneous Finance
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