Survey: Nearly Half of CFOs Cite Challenges in Finding Skilled Financial 
TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The outlook for positions such as financial 
analysts and senior accountants is increasingly bright, and talent shortages 
are leading to higher salaries for in-demand specialties, new research from 
Robert Half International shows. Forty-five per cent of chief financial 
officers (CFOs) interviewed for a Robert Half survey said it is at least 
somewhat challenging to find skilled financial professionals today. 
The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest 
specialised staffing firm. It was conducted by an independent research firm 
and is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random 
sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees. 
CFOs were asked, "How challenging is it for your company to find skilled 
financial professionals today?" Their responses: 
Very challenging .....................       13% 
Somewhat challenging ...........             32% 
Not challenging ..........................   24% 
Don't know/no answer ................        31% 


"Many organisations are seeking financial staff with specialised skills who 
can manage fundamental accounting needs, set up their companies for expansion 
and ensure they are in compliance with regulatory requirements," said Gena 
Griffin, district president of Robert HalfCanada. "However, firms currently 
may be facing challenges when trying to hire these highly skilled 
professionals. As the unemployment rate for accounting and finance positions 
continues to remain below the national average, candidate shortages in certain 
specialties persist."

Following are key accounting and finance positions experiencing particularly 
strong demand, according to the 2013 Salary Guide from Robert Half:
    --  Financial analysts: Companies are looking for analysts --
        especially those who have designations (such as the CA, CGA,
        CMA) or possess a master's degree in business administration.
        In January 2013, the unemployment rate for financial analysts
        was 3.4 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
    --  Senior accountants: Companies are looking for accountants to
        maintain the general ledger, compile financial reports, and
        oversee accounts receivable and payable. In addition to
        functional expertise, firms seek candidates with excellent
        communication and problem-solving abilities.
    --  Internal auditors: These professionals help evaluate the
        effectiveness of financial and information systems, internal
        controls, and management and operational practices. Demand
        remains strong for these specialists; the unemployment rate for
        accountants and auditors was 3.4 per cent in January 2013.
    --  IT auditors: Professionals in this fast-growing specialisation
        understand the relationship between IT audit procedures,
        business process controls and risks. Salaries for IT auditor
        positions at all levels are expected to see above-average
        increases in 2013.
    --  Compliance officers: Given the evolving regulatory environment,
        companies are seeking specialists to oversee compliance
        initiatives and report their findings to management. The
        profession will see a 3 per cent salary increase in 2013,
        according to the Salary Guide.
    --  Controllers: Controllers are needed to plan, direct and
        coordinate activities such as compiling financial statements,
        working with external auditors and overseeing regulatory
        reporting. According to the Salary Guide, starting salaries for
        controllers at companies with $50 million to $100 million in
        sales are expected to rise 3.1 per cent.

"To find top talent in such a competitive landscape, companies are encouraged 
to perform targeted searches that include reaching out to their contacts for 
referrals, networking with industry associations and working with a 
specialised financial recruiter," Griffin added. "Organisations can also start 
by developing from within -- ensuring you let your current staff know that 
certain opportunities are available to them, and providing the relevant 
training and development needed to excel. This is also an effective way to 
transition existing staff into these in-demand positions."

About the Survey
The study was developed by Robert Half. It was conducted by an independent 
research firm and is based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CFOs 
from a random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees. For the 
study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all 
segments are represented, the sample was stratified by industry and number of 
employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportion of 
employees within each industry.

About Robert Half International
Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is the world's first and largest 
specialised staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 
350 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its 
divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at Follow 
Robert Half on Twitter at, and gain insights on the 
latest financial hiring and salary trends at

Contact: Nadia Santoli (416) 350-2330

SOURCE: Robert Half Canada

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CO: Robert Half Canada
ST: Ontario

-0- Feb/12/2013 13:00 GMT

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