RISING INSURANCE, HEALTHCARE COSTS AMONG TOP BUSINESS CONCERNS FOR CFOs, SURVEY SHOWS; Cash Flow Management, Staff Recruitment Also Cited
MENLO PARK, CA -- Employee healthcare expenses top the list of worries for financial executives today, a new survey shows. Nearly half (49 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled recently cited the rising cost of insurance and healthcare as one of their three most pressing concerns. When asked how they are addressing it, more than half (53 percent) of respondents said they are cutting spending in other areas of the company.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world’s premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
CFOs were asked, “Which of the following are your three biggest concerns as CFO?” Their responses*:
|Rising cost of insurance and healthcare||49%|
|Cash flow management and debt/equity financing||34%|
|Staff recruitment, training and retention||23%|
|Establishing and maintaining internal controls over operations||22%|
|Managing financial statement preparation and auditor relations||20%|
|Creating and maintaining a strong technology infrastructure||11%|
|Mergers and acquisitions||7%|
CFOs also were asked, "Which of the following strategies is your company using to adapt to the rising cost of insurance and healthcare?” Their responses*:
|Reducing costs in other areas of the company||53%|
|Increasing employee payments or co-payments||46%|
|Increasing costs to customers for company’s products/services||34%|
|Reducing employee benefits offered||24%|
|Outsourcing business functions||19%|
|Relocating staff or company operations to a lower-cost state||9%|
|*Multiple answers were allowed.|
“The list of business concerns among CFOs continues to grow as their roles become more complex,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Financial executives must manage the bottom line amid rising expenses, regularly monitor the business’s cash flow and ensure they have adequate staff to support multiple accounting projects.”
McDonald noted that insurance and healthcare costs are chief among executives’ concerns but that recruitment and retention also are priorities. “Finding and retaining a skilled workforce is key in any business environment, but today’s job market for accounting professionals is particularly competitive,” he said.
Robert Half Management Resources has more than 100 offices throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com.
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