Advanced credentials – The most in-demand certification remains the certified public accountant (CPA). In addition, a master's degree in business administration (MBA) is often a prerequisite for senior finance roles. Other valued accreditations include the certified internal auditor (CIA), certified information systems auditor (CISA) and certified management accountant (CMA).
Technology skills – With finance and information technology increasingly intertwined, employers value professionals who are adept at using technology to compile data and who can use research to develop business strategies.
Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Access remains in high demand, and businesses seek professionals who are well-versed with enterprise resource planning systems. Companies also will need financial professionals with expertise in cloud computing, as more firms use this technology to house their data.
Soft skills – Employers are focused on finding candidates with strong communication abilities and other nontechnical skills. Companies are starting to think about succession planning again and want to add people who can grow into leadership roles.
Versatility – The ability to manage multiple responsibilities is a prerequisite for many accounting and finance roles as companies try to derive maximum value from every new hire.