Many people looking to start a career in Finance will ask what skills are needed to work in financial jobs. Naturally, there is a wide range of skills required for a financial career, but we will focus on Microsoft Office skills for finance careers. Financial professionals should consider a wide range of Microsoft Office skills, in order to ensure that they are able to deliver their jobs efficiently. The main programs to consider include Excel, PowerPoint, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Teams, Visio and potentially Microsoft Access.

Excel for Finance Jobs

The most fundamental skill for Finance is Excel. Naturally, data exported from ERP systems like SAP, Oracle, and Sage, are often exported ped in CSV files, which will be worked on and manipulated in Excel. Working with big data is typical for finance jobs. This means that there is a lot of data manipulation in Excel. Additionally, the financial reconciliation of ledger data and the justification of financial journals are bound to lead to working with data in Excel.

Many organisations use Excel in order to present management information or create financial reports. Excel is a core skill for any finance professional. Therefore, Excel for Finance Courses are a must for any financial professional who lacks advanced Excel skills. However, management accounts are increasingly presented in a more user-friendly and visual format. This means that you may need PowerPoint skills to deliver this part of the role.

Microsoft Office Skills for Financial Careers

PowerPoint is a fundamental skill for finance professionals. It is used for the presentation of data to management, investors and other stakeholders.  The interaction between Excel and PowerPoint is important for communication for finance. Therefore, PowerPoint is one of the most important skills and should not be missed.

The presentation of management summaries and information is very common in lots of financial jobs. Jobs in Banking, FP&A, Financial Control, Management Information, Investor Relations and other areas within finance.  Therefore, Power BI is a relatively new program and a very significant addition to a finance person’s skillset. Power BI enables you to quickly create real-time summaries and management presentations in a format that suits your management. Consequently, Power BI is becoming a common skill that is needed for  finance jobs.

Virtual Working Tools

In the post-COVID environment, people are often working remotely. This means that the use of Office 365, Teams and SharePoint are incredibly important. Office 365 is the cloud version of Microsoft Office and you will need to adapt to use Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and all of the main programs that you have been using for years.

SharePoint enables companies to share documents and have a central online filing system. This faciliates collaboration with your colleagues when you work remotely. SharePoint is increasingly the preferred method of filing and sharing your information. A finance person could have responsibility for looking after site within SharePoint. The administration of records is an important responsibility in finance.

Teams is invariably used by finance teams, in order to communicate internally. Teams is used to manage and attend virtual meetings. It is one of the best ways of communicating in the modern business world. If you do not use Teams , you may use Zoom, WebEx or a similar program. However, the principles of how the different systems work in relation to virtual communication is relatively similar.

Other Microsoft Programs

Another system which sometimes is used by finance professionals is Microsoft Visio. This is because Visio can create flowcharts, diagrams,  process charts and cna be used extensivley in finance, especially to illustarte business processes.

Finally, Microsoft Access is not used as much as in the past. However, Microsoft Access is often go to for many developers to build financial systems. A working knowledge of how Microsoft access works can potentially be useful.

Naturally, the systems used are not limited to Microsoft Office. You should also be thinking about ERP and EPM systems. Common brand names for ERPs include Oracle, SAP, Sage, Workday and there are many more. Naturally, this will be one of the most important areas to gain skills. This is often referred to as the computerised accounting skillset for finance person.