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Navigating the Shift: From Financial Reporting to Commercial Finance

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6 months ago

by Daniel Chalfont

Navigating the Shift: From Financial Reporting to Commercial Finance

It’s fair to say that during my time here at IN2 Consult working with the Commercial Finance market across London; I have experienced a high number of finance reporting professionals who are keen to make the transition into commercial finance. 

I thought it was only right to give some insight from my side as a recruiter on how to make this transition; highlighting some of the key skills and attributes my clients look for from a potential candidate. 

I am confident the below key areas will help any reporting specialist understand what they can do to navigate this highly competitive market. 

Understanding the Landscape

Financial reporting primarily revolves around generating accurate financial reports; ensuring compliance and providing historical insights into a company's financial performance. On the other hand; Commercial Finance involves partnering with business units, influencing decision-making and contributing directly to the organisation's growth and profitability.

Recognising the Skill Set

The transition requires a careful examination of your skill set. While reporting roles demand meticulous attention to detail; compliance knowledge and proficiency with financial tools commercial finance seeks individuals with strong analytical skills; strategic thinking and the ability to translate financial data into actionable insights.

Bridging the Gap

To bridge the gap between Financial Reporting and Commercial Finance you must upskill in areas crucial to the latter. It’s important to develop proficiency in financial modelling, scenario analysis and business strategy and familiarise yourself with market trends, industry dynamics and the factors that drive the company's success.

Building Relationships

Moving into Commercial Finance places a premium on relationship-building. Unlike reporting which often involves individual tasks, commercial finance requires collaboration with diverse stakeholders. We recommend you strengthen your communication skills and take the time to cultivate relationships with business leaders to understand their challenges and objectives.

Embracing a Strategic Mindset

Shifting from a reporting mindset to a strategic one is pivotal. In Commercial Finance professionals are expected to proactively identify opportunities, assess risks and contribute to long-term business planning. You therefore take on a forward-looking perspective and be prepared to align financial goals with overarching business objectives.

Gaining Hands-On Experience

Transitioning successfully requires hands-on experience. It’s important you find opportunities within your current role or volunteer for cross-functional projects that expose you to commercial aspects of the business. The more you immerse yourself in strategic initiatives the better equipped you'll be to make the leap.

Leveraging Technology

Commercial finance often relies on advanced technologies for data analysis and visualisation. Familiarise yourself with tools such as Power BI, Tableau or advanced Excel functions. Technological proficiency will enhance your ability to provide real-time insights - a hallmark of commercial finance.

Embracing the Learning Curve

Transitioning is a learning curve and embracing it is crucial. You should be prepared for new challenges, learn from experiences and seek mentorship from professionals who have successfully made the shift. Networking with individuals in commercial finance roles can provide valuable insights and guidance.

In conclusion; transitioning from Financial Reporting  to Commercial Finance is a rewarding journey that demands a strategic mindset, relationship-building skills and a commitment to continuous learning. By understanding the nuances of both roles and proactively developing the required skill, you can navigate this shift successfully and contribute meaningfully to your organisation's growth and success.

If you would like to discuss further feel free to reach out and we can discuss in more depth.

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