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Companies Still Seeking Finance Help

The ongoing demands of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and development of new accounting standards continue to require extra staffers.

June 8, 2007
Related Topics: Staffing and the Law, Ethics, Latest News
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Financial executives expect to continue hiring accounting and finance specialists in the third quarter, albeit at a slower pace than in the second.

Six percent of the more than 1,400 CFOs responding to a survey by recruiter Robert Half International said they plan to add to their staffs in the third quarter, while 3 percent said they expect to make cuts. In the second quarter, 7 percent said they had expected to make hires and 2 percent had anticipated staff reductions.

“Companies have become more strategic in their hiring efforts,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half, in a news release.

The most often cited reason for adding staff was rising workloads, with 42 percent pointing to it as the main driver. Business growth was the second most cited reason at 32 percent.

The ongoing demands of compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and development of new accounting standards continue to require extra staffers, Kathy Downs, the Robert Half finance and accounting division director in Orlando, Florida, said in an interview. Additionally, advances in technology are creating demand.

“As we keep pace with technology, there are more and more ways to analyze and dissect information, so companies want accountants that are savvy at being able to extrapolate that information from mainframes,” she said.

Geographically, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas forecast the biggest gains in hiring, with 10 percent of CFOs in each state expecting to add staff. Robert Half cited a generally tight labor market in the mountain states and demand from the manufacturing, oil and gas industries as the reason for the high level of hiring.

By industry, construction had the greatest demand for finance and accounting help, as 9 percent of the CFOs in that industry had hiring plans. Manufacturing and retail and wholesale also indicated strong demand.

Read more about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Click here to comment on this story.

Filed by Matthew Quinn of Financial Week, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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