JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As finance functions across all industries shift priorities in 2011 from pure cost-cutting to exploring new revenue-driving avenues, those in leadership roles are charged with generating a renewed sense of motivation among their teams. According to a new poll by Accounting Principals, a leading accounting and finance specialty staffing provider, 65 percent of finance and accounting professionals revealed that their organization is emphasizing leadership development this year, with 26 percent reporting an increased commitment to the initiative.
Conducted during a recent Inside Talk webinar with IMA, the association for accountants and financial professionals in business, this latest survey polled more than 850 finance and accounting business leaders including CFOs, controllers, directors of finance and accounting managers.
"Strong leaders are always in demand, but they're especially important to finance and accounting teams this year because impending regulatory changes from the Dodd-Frank Act could significantly impact their day to day operations," said Laurie Chamberlin, senior vice president, Accounting Principals. "A star leader can navigate teams through the uncharted financial reform territory while discovering new ways to drive value within the business."
So what makes a good leader? Survey respondents indicated that strategic thinking (24 percent) and coaching (15 percent) are the two most desirable characteristics of a competent leader. Nearly half (46 percent) also noted that identifying new challenges to motivate their teams is the number one priority of 2011, above activities like fostering collaboration (10 percent) or celebrating team accomplishments (5 percent).
Accounting Principals has the following three tips for accounting and finance teams looking to provide their staff with improved leadership development opportunities:
- Create a development plan – By developing concrete goals that tie back to a growth path and larger business objectives, employees can more effectively make decisions that align with the strategic vision and direction of the company, and junior staff can clearly visualize their path to leadership positions.
- Establish a mentoring program – Senior level finance professionals have a wealth of practical experience on issues like tax policy, risk and compliance. Pairing these seasoned leaders with junior staff is not only a great knowledge sharing opportunity, but also a great way to build a future talent pipeline.
- Institute a 360 degree feedback and performance review – Cultivating effective leadership should involve more than a top down approach. In addition to being reviewed by superiors, constructive feedback from peers and junior team members are critical in nurturing leaders.
"Emerging from a turbulent job market through the recession, those in the finance profession are demanding effective leadership, perhaps more than in any other industry," said Chamberlin. "While employers remain cautious about making new hires, they recognize the need to have people at the helm that can inspire workers to help retain and grow the next generation of talent."
The 2011 Leadership Poll was conducted by Accounting Principals in January 2011 during an Inside Talk webinar attended by IMA members. The survey polled 860 professionals in accounting or finance positions including CFOs, controllers, directors of finance, accounting managers and senior financial analysts, among others.
About Accounting Principals
Accounting Principals is a leader in the recruitment and placement of accounting and finance professionals, offering a complete range of workforce solutions in accounting, finance, mortgage and banking. Our nationwide branch network consists of experienced professionals that average five years of real-world accounting experience plus more than five years of finance and accounting recruitment experience. In addition to providing clients with a combination of temporary staffing, temp-to-hire and direct placement services, Accounting Principles also helps clients overcome their challenges through an in-depth understanding of their business needs. For more information, please visit www.accountingprincipals.com.
IMA® is the association dedicated to empowering accountants and financial professionals in business to become "trusted business advisors" by playing an active role in their organizations' business success. With a network of more than 60,000 professionals worldwide, IMA provides a dynamic forum for professionals to advance their careers through Certified Management Accountant (CMA®) certification, professional education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical and professional standards. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.
SOURCE Accounting Principals