Stopping the Finance & Accounting Brain Drain

By John Gentry

John Gentry
“Some of our clients needed additional finance and accounting support, so they reached out to us to see if we could help.” – John Gentry, president of the Finance and Payment Services group for Xerox

It’s called the brain drain: Each and every month, one quarter of a million U.S. Baby Boomers turn 65, the traditional age for retirement.  Along with their family photos and paperweights, these veterans of the time clock are packing up and carting off a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience.

You’re not alone in your concern.

Finance executives are finding that new recruits generally lack the background to step into a job and hit the ground running.

Among a few causes for the gap:

Divergent Training

New recruits typically bring an accounting background with them, such as the ability to balance budgets and understand tax policy. However, finance officers operate at a more macro level than accountants. They need to be able to analyze big data and make connections between insight and business opportunities.

Soft-Skill Shortage

Beyond a knack for numbers, a good finance professional needs a healthy dose of psychological insight. In order to develop solutions and manage risk, the finance executive must understand behavior and thought processes that influence market behavior. The role also calls for the ability to communicate vision clearly up and down the corporate ladder.

Missing Mentors

Gaining entry-level experience in a small firm is a plus, but at the Fortune 500 level, corporate hierarchy provides greater opportunity to learn from seasoned role models — especially from senior-level employees who demonstrate leadership skills that CFOs covet.

A Novel Approach

Of course, few recruits have all the skills needed to step seamlessly into any profession, finance included. In many cases, nurturing a promising new hire through training is an accepted approach, albeit with the investment of time and expense that goes with it.

Xerox® Finance as a Service offers a full scope of finance staff and specialists who can provide cost-effective support when and where you need it.

In the meantime, Xerox has come up with a novel approach to narrow the talent gap. Xerox Finance as a Service offers vetted and trained finance and accounting (F&A) specialists who can hit the ground running.

These F&A specialists can work short term or long. They’re available at more than 90 Xerox centers around the world and support more than 30 languages. Alternatively, skills can be accessed remotely if desired.

The idea actually came from some of the operations leaders at Xerox. Some of their clients needed additional finance and accounting support, so they reached out to us to see if we could help.

Xerox also offers the option of retraining or rebadging a client’s existing employees to keep them up to speed on the latest best practices of the profession. In all cases, the client maintains direct oversight of staffing and day-to-day activities.

While the F&A brain drain grows larger, coincidentally, so too does the demand for outsourced talent in every corner of the globe. Xerox Finance as a Service is in the sweet spot to cover both issues.

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