From Accountant to Business Partner

Companies, startups, SMEs are evolving today in a more uncertain economic environment. They all face new financial opportunities and financial risks consequently. Therefore both business creation and business retirement have increased over the past 10 years, according to INSEE. In this hyper-competitive environment, where survival depends largely on financial independence the ability to invest and grow faster than its competitor, the financial department becomes the new decision-making center of the executive committee.


In this context, accountants and financial jobs are evolving. Their goal is not only to report anymore. They are expected to make a qualitative and oriented judgment.

Accountants are known to be highly technically skilled: forecasting, budgeting, cost controlling, analyzing business, data crunching, etc ...). Now this is not enough anymore to fulfill the financial department goals. Companies no longer hesitate to request qualitative and commercial skills from their accountants and financial managers. Indeed, during job interviews, much importance is now given to communication, human qualities and the ability to grab attention from their directors and salesperson. They are the new the protectors of the financial independence and resources of the companies. They anticipate both internal and external risks. These are critical skills to success.

That said, they are no longer sufficient either. Financial governance can be seen through a 3-level pyramid of skills.


  1. Strategic competences and commercial skills

  2. Soft skills, human interaction

  3. Technical skills : knowledge



Indeed, the former isolation of financial departments is replaced by a new entrepreneurial energy, aiming to embody the role of a COO. Financial governance now not only support the CEO but also drive commercial and strategic decisions.

Similar to the IT department, which entered the executive committee since the early 2000s, it appeared necessary that accountants and financial managers enter the decision making process. They have now become real business partners for CEO and founders.

Maxime Gaye

Finance Consulting - MGAYE Consulting


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