Survey: Tech Knowledge Gains in Importance for Top Finance Executives

MENLO PARK, CA -- Finance and technology go hand-in-hand in companies today, a new survey confirms. Half (50 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed recently said other than knowledge of accounting and finance, information technology experience is most useful in their careers. This is nearly double the response when this question was asked five years ago. Operations experience also ranked high, with 45 percent of the response.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States.

CFOs were asked, “In your opinion, other than knowledge of accounting and finance, which of the following types of experience are most beneficial for CFOs to possess?” Their responses:*

    2008   2003
Information technology      50%   28%
Operations   45%   46%
Legal   37%   26%
Sales and marketing   26%   24%
Other/don’t know   2%   6%
None   1%   0%


* More than one response allowed

“Today’s CFOs need expertise in many areas other than accounting and finance, but particularly in technology,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Companies increasingly expect their CFOs to provide insight into the value of new systems, evaluate the outcome of potential upgrades and make recommendations on technology-related investments.”

McDonald also commented on the value of operations experience: “Finance chiefs are directly involved in all aspects of strategy and operations, providing direction on pricing, cost cutting and the restructuring of business units.”

About the Survey
The national study was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. 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 geographic region and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number’s of employees within each region.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources has more than 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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