@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, William Schmarzo, Yeshim Deniz

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CFOs Swap Fire-fighting for Growth

- CFOs Spending More Time on Strategic Initiatives to Drive Growth

LONDON, November 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- CFOs are spending more time focusing on business strategy, rather than addressing business challenges, a new survey finds. Nearly four in 10 (37%) respondents are spending more than half of their time on planning business strategy, compared to only 4 per cent last year, a substantial increase of 33 per cent. Furthermore, only 1 per cent of CFOs said they dedicated no time at all, down from 17 per cent recorded in 2009, suggesting companies are not only more confident about the economic outlook but are in fact implementing strategic plans to drive growth.

The survey, developed by Robert Half, a leading provider of specialised recruitment services, was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 200 CFOs at companies throughout the UK.

CFOs were asked, "How much of your time would you say is currently devoted to planning your business strategy?" Their responses:

                                         2009 2010
    More than 75% of time                  0%   2%
    51% to 75% of your time                4%  37%
    26% to 50% of your time               42%  41%
    25% or less of your time              39%  18%
    None of your time                     17%  1%*

* Survey does not add to 100 due to rounding

"These are encouraging signs for UK businesses and the economy as a whole. It indicates that finance leaders are more concerned about managing growth and are devoting a significant amount of their day on ways to augment their organisation and its profitability," said Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half UK.

Sheridan adds, "There are a number of ways businesses can invest strategically for expected growth and increased demand. Consider making new, targeted hires to broaden the skill set and expertise of your existing talent bench. Temporary and interim professionals can also help manage workloads and growth initiatives while companies plan for permanent hires."

About the Survey

The national study was developed by Robert Half, a leading provider of highly skilled professionals on a temporary, interim and permanent basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 200 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of UK companies. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and number of employees.

A white paper based on the study results entitled, "Looking Ahead: New Challenges, New Priorities for UK CFOs" is available for download here. The paper provides an in-depth study of the issues facing UK CFOs.

About Robert Half

Robert Half pioneered specialised staffing services and today is the world's leader in the field. Founded in 1948, the company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: RHI) and operates five separate divisions in the UK, each serving distinct markets. They include: Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam, for administrative support, Robert Half Financial Services Group, for finance and banking professionals and Robert Half Technology, for IT professionals.

There are more than 350 Robert Half locations in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information about Robert Half please visit: http://www.roberthalf.co.uk



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