There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding a job in finance, and one of the most common ones is that there is little room for self-realization. However, experts working in the field for many years claim the opposite and say that finance is a dynamic area with many career opportunities.
The demand for finance experts increased during the pandemic
According to Natalija Bogomolnikovienė, director of the finance department at “Baltic Virtual Assistants “, for the past five years, there has been a rise in demand for accounting specialists, and during the pandemic, it got even higher. She explains that a shift in the perception of remote working and the growing need for process optimization influenced the rising demand for finance specialists.
“In the context of a global pandemic, businesses were forced to look for quick solutions that not only would reduce expenses but also help with everyday process optimization. Accordingly, more companies started delegating secondary tasks, which include accounting, to outsourcing companies. Also, due to a growing trust in remote working, the delegation of important tasks to foreign partners no longer raises any issues. The main question that remains is the competencies of the experts “, – says N. Bogomolnikovienė, adding that because of talented specialists, Lithuania is an attractive country for companies looking to re-locate the management of their finances or other activities.
The expert highlights another critical trend related to accounting – an increasing number of companies are outsourcing high finance positions, including CFO and Finance Controller. According to the expert, more than ten years ago, when the first outsourcing centers started operating in Lithuania, no one even talked about the possibility of outsourcing positions of such a high level.
“Digitalization helped expand the scope of financial services, allowing to include more extensive tasks that require very complex solutions. For example, if ten years ago outsourcing centers only performed very basic accounting tasks, today they do complicated financial analyses, control company financial balances, also, overlook how companies are meeting their financial goals “, – says the expert.
A dynamic workplace and career opportunities in finance
There are a lot of stereotypes about finance, and one of the most common ones is that it is a “dry “, monotonous field of work. According to N. Bogomolnikovienė, this is only a myth: “The field of finance has always been very dynamic – you need to keep a close eye on new trends, technological advances and react to changing client needs. Also, knowing that your work directly impacts your clients’ business success gives you extra motivation to learn and improve your skills constantly. “
She adds that the field of finance is also attractive due to the wide variety of career opportunities. Usually, it takes a few years to go up a single position. However, the expert says that you can achieve much more in a short time with the necessary skills and potential.
“In our company, we do not have strict rules as to how much time a person should spend in a particular position. For this reason, we look at each team member individually – we evaluate the person’s progress, skills, willingness to grow and improve as a professional. For example, we had a case where one of our junior accountants, who at that time was only in his third year of studies, was promoted to an accountant even before his trial period was over. Later, he was promoted to senior accountant “, – tells the expert, assuring that the specialist’s salary changes accordingly and can go up by a few times.
N. Bogomolnikovienė adds that the company provides young professionals with all opportunities to get involved with more complex tasks: “If a person is talented and has the skills, we do not give him the technical tasks. On the other hand, it is normal to give basic tasks to young professionals who are just starting in the field. Still, when we see that the person needs new challenges, we provide more complex tasks, where one can help with preparing financial reports, communicates directly with clients, participate in meetings, etc. “
Essential qualities, potential, and leadership
Natalija assures that her finance department is constantly on the outlook for new talents. When new employees are hired, they might get a job offer without knowing which particular project they will be assigned to: “If we see the potential, leadership skills then without much consideration we offer the person a position and only then give them specific tasks.“
When asked about other skills and qualities necessary in this particular field, the expert highlights the importance of genuine interest in finance: “The person has to enjoy what he is doing. Otherwise, it won’t be easy to excel in this area of work. “
According to the expert, it is also necessary to have strong fundamental knowledge about finance and good analytical thinking. N. Bogomolnikovienė also emphasizes the importance of a strong sense of responsibility because the specialists’ work results are directly connected to the clients’ project success.