A new IMA? (Institute of Management Accountants) report, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Finance Function, outlines how the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging organizations worldwide. The 21-page report surveyed 1,481 accounting and financial professionals in five countries ? China, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States ? and provides a snapshot into three main areas of focus:

  • The impact of the pandemic on organizations, staffing, and compensation
  • The way the pandemic changed the skills needed in finance and the ability for workers to upskill accordingly
  • The changing priorities of the finance function around the world

The survey found that the pandemic has predictably lessened compensation and employment. Most of the survey respondents have had a reduction in their compensation this year, whether in salary, bonus, or both, yet the impact of the pandemic on compensation varied significantly by country. Further, approximately half of the companies surveyed have let a portion of their staff go. The hardest hit companies were those in the tourism, travel, and hospitality industry, and those with more than $10 billion in revenue.

There was significant concern among survey respondents as to whether their current skills will be relevant in the post-COVID-19 era. As a result, there has been an uptick in professionals working to gain new skills: 75% of the accounting and finance professionals surveyed are enhancing their job skills, including cost management, decision support, and performance management.?

?The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present businesses with unprecedented challenges and poses new demands on the finance function,? said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA vice president of research and policy. ?Finance professionals are interested in upskilling now more than ever to support their companies during the pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 era.?

The report shows that the majority of the professionals surveyed are emphasizing business essentials, prioritizing risk management and cash forecasting, and working on improving their job skills. The field of finance is transforming faster than ever, and finance and accounting professionals must work to strengthen their skills to maintain and advance their careers during these challenging times.

Read the full report?on the IMA website.