Menlo Park, Calif. -- Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) surveyed for the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index anticipate a net 4 percent increase in the hiring of accounting and finance professionals during the third quarter, down two points from the second-quarter forecast but up four points from hiring projections made this time last year. Among CFOs expecting to add staff, 59 percent cited business growth as the primary reason, an increase of 13 points from the second-quarter 2004 survey.
Seven percent of financial executives said they anticipate adding employees over the next three months and 3 percent expect reductions in personnel. Eighty-eight percent of those polled foresee no change in staff levels.
The national poll includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International Inc. Robert Half International has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.
"The year-over-year increase in hiring optimism underscores recent positive economic trends that have raised business confidence levels," says Max Messmer, Chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc. "Still, many companies remain conservative and are waiting for signs of sustainable growth before increasing their human resources budgets significantly."
"Initiatives related to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance are fueling demand for accounting and internal audit professionals on a full-time and consulting basis,” says Messmer. “This trend is likely to continue as organizations seek to ensure the accuracy of their financial reporting and strengthen their internal controls."