Healthcare Costs, Managing Spending, and Motivating Staff Head List of Challenges

MENLO PARK, CA, June 16, 2011  -- There's no shortage of pressures facing today's top finance professionals, according to a new Robert Half report, CFO Concerns: What Are the Top Challenges Facing Today's Financial Executives? The report highlights a number of issues impacting the role, namely managing healthcare insurance expenses, controlling spending and maintaining staff morale.

The report was developed by Robert Half and is based on a survey conducted by an independent research firm. The survey includes responses from 1,400 chief financial officers (CFOs) from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

Key areas of concern include the following:

  • Regulatory issues: When asked about their chief concerns in the regulatory arena, 62 percent of CFOs pointed to recently passed healthcare reforms. Seven percent of respondents cited the possible conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and 3 percent mentioned the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
  • Healthcare costs: Thirty-four percent of CFOs said their companies are responding to rising healthcare insurance costs by increasing employees' contributions to their premiums; 28 percent noted their companies are assuming the higher costs, and 20 percent said they are reducing healthcare benefits.
  • Staff retention: Twenty-nine percent of CFOs said subsidized training and education are the perks they offer or plan to offer in 2011 to retain employees. Flexible work hours/telecommuting and mentoring programs followed, each cited by 24 percent of respondents.

"Although many concerns of financial executives are not new issues, they are compounded by today's economic and regulatory uncertainty," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Leaders continue to be tested in multiple ways – they are managing issues for which there are no right answers or proven outcomes, while at the same time trying to motivate top performers. In this changing environment, building strong internal and external networks can help executives develop best practices and remain informed of new trends."

Download CFO Concerns: What Are the Top Challenges Facing Today's Financial Executives? at

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. The company has more than 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Robert Half Management Resources at for workplace news.

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