In the not too distant past, the professional in the financial market was typically thought of as the person with quick logic and a gift for working with numbers. Except the accountants that graduated in accounting sciences, the rest came from a range of other majors, or even without any degree at all. It’s quite interesting to observe the inexistence of a finance school.
Everything changed significantly in the financial market, making an impact on executives that work in the sector. The globalization of the economy contributed in a big way to the improvement and refinement of the preparation of these professionals. Specialization courses in finance, post-graduate degrees, and MBAs all brought new intellectual and academic demands for finance professionals. A diverse array of courses became available in Brazil for those who couldn’t afford the premium programs offered in the U.S. and Europe. Accountants and treasurers that were once successful in the corporate financial domain no longer stand out in these positions any more. They either went through the necessary professional development and academic advancement, or they were simply substituted. In current management models, there are clearly accounting professionals who have passed through formal accounting education, even in the dignified position of the technical manager responsible for financial statements and reporting, but these are professionals with a more systematic and comprehensive education on the business side of the company, mainly geared toward international legislation and practices. The fact is, however, that the financial sector was invaded by a different type of professional, with a background in business administration, economy, engineering, law, as well as professionals with a diverse array of post-graduate specialization. This includes master’s degrees and PhDs in finance, controllership, financial planning and budgeting, tax planning, and foreign currency exchange, amongst others, depending on the segment, the company’s size, and the level of sophistication of the business.