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'Qualified by experience' is not enough for a Finance leadership career

By Andy Burrows

When people ask me about careers in Finance, one of the questions that comes up regularly is whether you have to be a qualified accountant to get a good Finance role.

So, I thought I’d share the advice I normally give.

Of course, these are my own personal opinions based on over 25 years in the Finance and Accounting profession, having been on both sides of the recruitment equation many times.

I’d love to hear your own perspective, so please comment wherever there is opportunity.

Every country is different

And I’d better start with a caveat up front.

I’m based in the UK, and therefore my experience is mainly drawn from the UK, where there are three main accounting professional bodies – the ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA. The most common route into Finance and Accounting here starts with passing exams set by one of those three bodies. When you pass them all, you are ‘qualified’ and you are allowed to use letters after your name...

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How to get into a strategic role in Finance

accountant career cfo finance Jun 12, 2020

By Andy Burrows

When I ran our Finance Career Growth Masterclass a little while ago, I asked people to send me their Finance career questions. I then did my best to answer those from my experience.

And there were some great questions, and some common themes came out.

So, I thought it would be good to share those with you, along with my thoughts in answering them. So, this is the first in a little series looking at various career questions relating to Finance.

The first one I want to talk about is how to get into a more strategic role in Finance.

But first, I just want to quickly make a brief point.

My answers to the questions are my own personal opinions based on more than 25 years of experience in the Finance and Accounting profession, in many different roles, in businesses of varying size, complexity, sector and geographical diversity.

You may think I’m wrong. You may even think my advice is way off. If so, I want to hear your perspective. Wherever I refer to this article in...

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What’s driving the trajectory of the CFO role?

ai cfo epm finance rpa technology Jan 31, 2019

By Andy Burrows

Let’s talk about how and why the role of the CFO has changed over the last 30 years, and why that puts Finance in a critical position within the business.

You know, ever since I qualified as an accountant in 1995, I’ve noticed magazine articles, courses, seminars, books, all talking about the changing role of the CFO (or Finance Director as we used to call it).

And I’ve always been a bit cynical. I didn’t really know what it was all about until I sat and thought about it recently.

You see, I think there’s a misunderstanding in the media, even in the financial press, about what is driving any changes in role, if there are any.

The media portrays the CFO’s role changing because of Finance technology. In the past it was all about EPM (Enterprise Performance Management), BI (Business Insight) and ERP. Nowadays it’s all about RPA (Robotic Process Automation), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Blockchain, apparently – you...

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