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15th Nov, 2023

Alan Myers
Alan Myers
Job Title
Senior Regional Director

Remember when transactional finance roles had clear boundaries? People rarely strayed from their job description unless unexpected circumstance or planned professional development granted the opportunity to progress up the ladder.  

Then came the pandemic, and roles began to shape-shift as job cuts and furloughed employees left retained staff obliged to take on more responsibility. Siloed roles like purchase ledger and sales ledger morphed into that of finance assistant and accounts assistant – overseeing not just budgeting, reporting and reconciling accounts but new technical systems and processes.  

This shift has both streamlined traditional tasks and created new opportunities for growth and innovation within the sector. With automation now taking over the tasks of traditional finance roles, such as data entry and invoice processing, professionals are freed up to explore new ways of working. Many will have the potential to look at strategy, devising how to interpret data, verify and troubleshoot using new technology. 

New opportunities in junior accountancy and finance roles 

Through digital transformation, even the most junior finance professionals can use the tools to uncover valuable information into customer behaviour, market trends, and financial performance. Data analysis skills are sought after – and the more confident teams are in using relevant analytics tech, the more effective their processes and decision will become.  

While security has always been uppermost for transactional teams, tech has helped immeasurably. Workers are now required to possess a deep understanding of cyber security, privacy regulations, and anti-fraud technologies in line with the rise in online transactions and electronic payments to safeguard the organisation and its clients from potential threats. 

Teams are also increasingly working with fintech experts to integrate solutions such as blockchain, AI, and machine learning into financial operations. These collaborations have further streamlined processes and opened doors to new revenue streams and business models. 

As tech oriented as financial processes have become – a world away from the paperwork and filing systems of yesteryear – there’s still a need for polished customer service. If this was lacking previously, professionals are now expected to demonstrate a range of soft skills such as strong communication skills and a customer-centric mindset. Whether it’s resolving payment issues, addressing billing inquiries, or providing personalised financial advice, transactional finance professionals play a crucial role in enhancing the overall customer experience. Digital tools, such as chatbots, enable real-time interactions, allowing for prompt responses to customer needs. 

Gather employee feedback on digital tools

Many teams were thrown in at the deep end during the pandemic era, given unfamiliar tools they had to learn at speed in order to help their organisations stay afloat. While this intense period led to growth of skillsets and productivity, employers should now be investigating staff satisfaction in their changed roles. Are they completely on board with digitalisation processes? Would additional training or refresher courses instil confidence and reduce skills gaps? Are there any negatives to using the technology – is it working well for the business or could refinements be made to increase efficiency? Acting on employee feedback is essential. Above all, ensure new employees fully understand the tech by investing in training programmes rather than relying on existing personnel to teach them.  

Accountancy and finance roles have rarely been synonymous with excitement – better known for pigeon-holed routine and clear-cut duties. Tech adoption now makes it one of the most stimulating careers for those who enjoy continuous learning, mindful that the skills in demand today will evolve, making it essential to stay up to date with technologies and industry trends.  

Digital transformation is not just about the technology, but about transforming those who use it. By investing in the development of unsung transactional finance roles, employers are futureproofing their business: showing staff their opinion counts, that they value their ability to adapt and are committed to professional development. 

Could your accountancy and finance team benefit from a new tech-savvy member of staff? Or are you looking to develop your career in the sector? Contact one of our specialist consultants today