Talentedge work on a huge amount of commercial and client finance roles across the media and marketing services. These range from entry level roles for nearly or newly qualified accountants to Director level positions. 70% of the commercial roles we worked on in 2018 were new positions. Commercial and client finance teams are some of the fastest growing in finance and their influence on the wider business is being strengthened as the demand for data/business insight increases.
Over the last few years we have seen clients widen the skills sets and experience they are looking for. Previously, media or marketing services experience was absolutely essential and it’s still important for some roles, but no longer the case at entry or mid-level.
Key skills & experience
- Analytical experience: The ability to review large sets of data and extract meaning from it is key to many commercial finance roles, particularly at entry and mid-levels. If you don’t have previous industry experience then you need to demonstrate fantastic analytical skills to have a better chance of getting a commercial position. Many accountants from practice or who are currently in regional reporting roles have this experience.
- Business Intelligence: We are seeing an increased demand for candidates who have good technical skills such as business modelling and basic data analytics. Knowledge of BI tools such as Power BI and Tableau are becoming increasingly sought after, as is the ability to create dashboards in Excel using VBA and Macros.
- Contract Negotiation: Good experience of reviewing contracts, interpreting them to account teams and being able to negotiate directly with a client are some of the most valued skills and now essential for most senior level positions.
- Communication: The majority of commercial roles are business facing even if they are not necessarily client facing, so really strong communications and presentation skills are key to a successful career in commercial finance.
- Industry knowledge: This is still something that’s in demand, and previous industry experience will provide this. Candidates new to the industry can increase their chances of getting a role by doing some research and being able to demonstrate an awareness of the main commercial drivers.
Building a career in commercial finance is about developing relevant technical skills as well as developing a knowledge of the industry.
Some of our candidates choose to gain industry experience through taking less commercially focused analysis roles in areas such as regional reporting and then transferring over to a commercial team after a year or so.
We have also seen candidates develop the necessary analytical & communication skills to move into media and marketing services by spending 18 months – 2 years in a newly qualified commercial or FP&A role in another fast-paced sector, such as retail, e-commerce or tech.
Many mid-senior level accountants start building their commercial experience whilst in core accounting positions such as management accountant, finance manager or controller – ensuring they get involved with areas such as client profitability, margin analysis and revenue reporting.
Finally, there are candidates bypassing the traditional accountancy route altogether and building up fantastic data analytics and insight skills combined with strong systems knowledge that are now just as valued on commercial teams.
If you would like to find out more about developing your career in commercial/client finance or would like to find out more about the opportunities we are currently working on please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3879 9700 .