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What skills do you need to get ahead in banking and finance?

Resource From Kaplan UK


You need more than good grades and the right qualifications to do well in banking and finance - but what banking and finance skills do you need, and how do you get them?

What are finance skills?

Finance skills are the hard and soft skills used by people working in the finance industry, including accountants, financial analysts, chief financial officers, underwriters, and finance managers, to name a few.

Each profession has its own individual skill requirements, but there are still several skills that you need, regardless of position or experience level.

Examples of the financial/business skills you need

Financial planning - you need to be able to plan short and long term financial goals for organisations, with detailed plans for financial stability.

Budgeting - being able to handle large sums of money, and allocate them appropriately across areas of an organisation is an essential skill. Making sure that no area is under, or over, funded is a delicate balance.

Risk analysis - spotting the areas that are likely to cause issues is essential to any organisation. You’ll need to be able to analyse financial documents and identify any risk factors.

Cash flow management - you’ll need to be able to keep track of the amount of cash an organisation has at any time. And part of this is being able to project how much money will be available in the future, and spot any potential slow-down in cash flow coming up.

Examples of the extra skills you need

Analytical thinking - you need to be able to look at numbers and identify patterns, trends, and discrepancies.

Verbal communication - the ability to communicate the patterns and trends to stakeholders internally and externally is essential.

Persuasiveness - you may need to persuade colleagues and superiors that your budgeting ideas are going to benefit business. You should be able to do this with factual evidence to support your claims.

Problem solving - it’s guaranteed that you’ll come up against an obstacle that you’ll need to solve. You’ll need to be able to prove that you can come up with the best solution - and use your persuasiveness and communication skills to explain why your solution is the right one.

Decision making - You’ll need to be able to make educated business decisions to help the organisation financially. So whether it’s budget cuts, downsizing, or suspect investment choices, you’ll need to be decisive, and make the right decision.

Eye for detail - being detail-oriented is a must in finance. You need to be able to see anomalies in numbers, spot if funds aren’t going where they should, and analyse any discrepancies.

Teamwork - it’s likely that you’ll be working with others, and you need to be able to operate smoothly and efficiently within a group. You’ll need to be able to compromise, discuss, influence, negotiate, and advise your team.

Time management - a lot of banking and finance relies on tight deadlines. You need to be able to prioritise your workload, balance projects, and make sure that you’re always aware of what deadlines need to be met next.

Want to get ahead in banking and financial services?

Now you know what skills you need, how about a qualification to prove you have what you need to succeed?

We have a wide range of banking and financial services qualifications to choose from, including CAIA, CFA® Program, CISI, FRM, and IMC. Or check out our banking and financial services section for more information.

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