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The Open Workforce Presents New Challenges (and Opportunities) for Finance Professionals

Open workforce mini infographic2Almost overnight, organizations have found themselves managing an entirely new paradigm: the open workforce. Driven by globalization, technological advances and a constantly fluctuating market, businesses must now look for expertise from new sources to work with their in-house teams. This new talent includes a complex mix of local and international freelancers, contractors, consultants and businesses partners.

New CGMA research shows that in more than a quarter of all organizations globally, at least 50 percent of talent is external. While the open workforce trend started in the US and Canada, it is expected to become the norm for more than a third of organizations worldwide within the next five years.

The good news is that this new workforce is more mobile, collaborative, agile and open. It allows companies to augment their capabilities or scale-down their operations with unprecedented speed, spurring new ideas while also creating substantial cost savings.

But there’s a downside as well. Open workforce talent generally does not feel loyalty to a particular organization. This could lead to new risks, including theft of intellectual property, information leaks, fraud or corruption.

Since the open workforce is here to stay, companies must find ways to deal with these risks. But how? Performance management is key to keeping abreast of the cost and quality of external talent, supporting effective decision making and mitigating risk to the organization.

This atmosphere is rife with opportunity for CGMA designation holders. CGMAs have the ability to understand the open workforce business model and provide the essential information and analysis to guide critical business decision making. They also have the leadership skills to respond to these changes, protect corporate assets, manage performance and promote operational efficiency. That’s because they come armed with two tools necessary to accomplish these tasks: The Global Management Accounting Principles and the CGMA Competency Framework.

  • Developed by CIMA and the AICPA, the Global Management Accounting Principles support organizations in benchmarking and improving their management accounting systems. The Principles help the public and private sectors make better decisions, respond appropriately to the risks they face and protect the value they generate.
  • The CGMA Competency Framework is a tool designed to help management accountants and their employers assess the technical, business, people and leadership skills needed for both current and desired roles. The framework represents the latest thinking of employers in the market and was developed with a global perspective. By adopting the framework, management accountants will be equipped to drive sustainable business success and be more valuable to employers in the market.

There is no doubt the open workforce invites new challenges for global businesses. But, it also provides exciting new opportunities for finance professionals with the leadership qualities to navigate these uncertain waters. Acquiring the CGMA designation is the logical first step. AICPA members who meet certain experience requirements can obtain the designation after passing the CGMA exam, which tests the broad range of skills and competencies that employers require of management accountants. Learn more about the CGMA exam at CGMA.org.

Chrissy Jones, MBA, Manager- International Communications and Management Accounting



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