Survey: CFOs Cite Greater Focus On Profitability In Last Five Years

MENLO PARK, CA -- Finance executives have shifted their attention from corporate governance initiatives to the bottom line, a new survey suggests. One in four (25 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said the most significant change in their roles over the past five years is a greater focus on increasing profitability. One in five (20 percent) respondents indicated they are now interacting with colleagues in other departments more frequently.

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 which one of the following areas has the role of CFO changed most significantly over the last five years?” Their responses:

Greater focus on increasing profitability   25%
Increased interaction with other departments   20%
Expanded leadership or management role   17%
More strategic planning   15%
Increased focus on corporate governance initiatives     12%
None/don’t know   10%
Other/refused       1%

“Given today’s transitioning economy, CFOs are reprioritizing initiatives to drive profits and reduce expenses,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Companies are looking to expand growth areas and minimize inefficiencies.”

McDonald also noted that financial executives are working more closely with decision-makers throughout all levels of the company. “The accounting and finance functions play a prominent role in business; the CFO is in a unique position to guide strategic planning and risk management decisions affecting diverse and wide-ranging areas of the business.”

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 employee size. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of employee size within each region.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources has more than 140 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at



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