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Engineering News

Monday, 08 July 2019

Financial acumen crucial for engineering success

Financial acumen crucial for engineering success

Engineers with strong financial acumen are highly valued by employers, understanding the impact of their decisions on the broader organisation.

Throughout an engineer’s career, technical expertise forms the backbone of success and the foundation upon which their ability to deliver positive outcomes is built.

However, as they progress into more senior positions, the importance of complementing these abilities with a strong sense of commercial and financial acumen grows.

Engineers with commercial and financial acumen have the ability to appreciate how financial issues affect specific projects but also understand the impact of their decisions on the broader organisation.

An understanding of basic financial terminology enables engineers to add greater value during discussions with senior managers and financial personnel. They also gain the confidence of their managers in their ability to make decisions which are consistent with the organisation’s strategic objectives.

Geoff Rip has more than two decades of experience in teaching financial skills and facilitates on this topic for Engineering Education Australia. Rip believes that the importance of financial acumen for engineers cannot be understated.

Drawing upon a conversation with one senior manager from a large construction firm, Rip said organisations are looking to embed in engineers a strong understanding of critical matters which are important to shareholders and senior management from a financial perspective.

The manager told Rip of his need for engineers to understand how he is thinking and what is important to him from a financial perspective.

“They need to be able to put themselves in my shoes and understand how their decision-making influences the financial metrics of the organisation as a whole.”

By attending one of Rip's courses, engineers will be able to define and use financial terminology, interpret balance sheets and income statements, appreciate strategic financial goals and priorities, and better evaluate financial issues and performance.

For individual engineers, Rip says the benefits are substantial. Firstly, they will they gain confidence in their ability to add value in discussions about important financial matters. Secondly, their own prospects for career advancement and promotion will be greatly improved. This is because many senior managers look favourably upon those who not only deliver positive outcomes from a technical standpoint but who can reflect key strategic organisational imperatives in their daily decision making.

From a businesses perspective, Rip said, they will benefit as their staff can make decisions which reflect the strategic financial interests of the organisation.

Geoff Rip facilitates Engineering Education Australia's Financial Acumen for Engineers two-day workshop. Visit the website to find out more.