AcademicsFinance beyond the numbers

In my classroom, outside of crunching numbers I focus on financial trends, personal financial management and soft skills in the industry.

Financial Trends

Regarding the new trends in the financial world, it has become fundamental for anyone that is directly or indirectly involved in the corporate and financial sectors to understand the challenges brought by FinTech.

The growing development of FinTech entails several opportunities such as cashless payments, crowdfunding platforms, robo-advisers, disruptive technologies (such as Blockchain and Ethereum), artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptocurrencies, all enabling faster and cheaper financial transactions. However, it also brought new threats and risks such as the lack of regulation, lack of transparency, phishing schemes, social engineering scams, hacking attacks, data theft, …

Also, in a changing world like ours, sustainability has become a key word for the corporate and financial sectors. The adoption of sustainable business models by companies encourages them to progressively move away from investment decisions only based on profitability and other financial metrics, to investment decisions that create long term value for all their stakeholders. Therefore, companies that follow a Sustainable Finance approach need to integrate the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors into their business or investment decisions.

Activities such as sustainable funds, “green” bonds, “blue” bonds, social bonds, impact investing, microfinance, active ownership, usually fall under the Sustainable Finance scope and they are becoming increasingly popular.

 

Finance and Technologie FinTech, Hospitality Management

 

Personal Finance Management

Another challenge for accounting and finance teachers is related to teaching financial literacy as a life skill. Financial literacy can be defined as a combination of knowledge, behavior, attitude, skills, and awareness in order to make responsible financial decisions and to achieve individual financial wellbeing.

Individuals need to make personal financial decisions at all stages of their lives: from children deciding how to spend their pocket money to teenagers going to the world of work, from young adults purchasing their first home to older adults managing their retirement savings.

The concern for being financially literate cannot be left to individuals themselves or simply rely on public authorities to do it. Not only parents can start talking with their children about how to deal with money since their childhood, but also teachers should promote financial education programs at school in order to enhance their students’ awareness about financial literacy.

 

Finance and Technologie FinTech, Hospitality Management

 

Soft Skills

Finally, a very important issue is related to the need of soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills. Here, at Hotel Institute Montreux, our students acquire the competitive advantage of learning the knowledge and skills related to hospitality, enabling them to communicate in a more effective way with the users of financial information.

Even living in a changing world like we live today, characterized by the fast development and spread of new technologies, human resources are still one of the most important resources in the hospitality industry. It is my deep belief that, as a professor at HIM, I have an important duty to facilitate the technical knowledge about accounting and finance to HIM’s students but also to contribute to make them reliable and trustable future hospitality managers. Maybe this is the main reason why I still have not been replaced by a “teaching machine” at HIM!


Ilídio Silva finance and acocunting Hotel Institute Montreu

Ilídio Silva, Professor of Finance and Accounting at Hotel Institute Montreux

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