Talent and capability in global finance functions

This report uses detailed case studies to present insights from leading organisations on the challenges, solutions and opportunities for talent management in today’s global finance function.


In today’s environment there are a number of standout challenges shaping the remit of the finance function and in particular the talent imperative. As a result of the drive for sustainable business growth the finance function must finely balance its responsibilities between controllership and insight. 

This duality of the CFO role is calling into play a myriad of different skills, experiences and capabilities that organisations must develop in their future finance leaders. As a result, the traditional career pathways through the finance organisation are becoming less clear. Further, there are broader technological, demographic and geographic trends affecting the talent issue.

Nonetheless, it is perhaps the shift to new finance operating models over the last decade that complicates the talent issue most. The advent of finance shared services, outsourcing and, more recently, global business services, has fundamentally changed the traditional talent equation.

From service delivery operations to the retained finance function, the traditional career paths for finance professionals have been disrupted. Businesses need to rethink their approach to developing finance and management capabilities across the new global finance organisation.

As the global body for professional accountants with almost 600,000 students and members, ACCA is at the forefront of supporting organisations to develop the appropriate skills to transform their finance functions.

This report outlines the factors shaping the talent agenda in finance functions today and provides a perspective from CFOs on some of the key issues. It also shares insights from leading global organisations on the challenges they see and the solutions being adopted in developing talent.