Study: Compliance, staffing capabilities will need special attention in changing economy

The 2011 benchmarking study of the finance function, which gives accounting and finance executives a tool for evaluating how their organizations are performing relative to peers, has been released. The report was developed jointly by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Robert Half Management Resources.

Benchmarking the Finance Function reveals how public and private firms of all sizes are currently managing their financial departments in six vital areas: staffing, accounting operations, financial systems, sourcing, internal controls, and compliance.
 
“Now more than ever, we are seeing an increasing number of companies operating with reduced staff, driving the need to seek greater efficiencies within the financial function,” said Marie N. Hollein, CTP, president and CEO of FEI, which is an advocate for the views of corporate financial management.
 
“This report allows accounting and finance executives to more easily compare their own operations with those of peer companies of comparable size and gain insights into new and innovative enhancements that can help to improve performance,” Hollein said.
 
Key survey results from the study include:
  • More than 70 percent of financial executives surveyed expect compliance regulations to increase.
  • Four in 10 respondents (43 percent) use temporary, interim, or contract professionals in their accounting and finance departments.
  • Eleven percent of this year’s respondents are using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), up from 5 percent in the prior year.
  • On average, it takes companies surveyed 22 business days to produce annual draft financial statements.
 
“In this transitional economic environment, effectively managing staffing resources is especially critical," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Up-to-date benchmarking data can help managers maintain the right staff levels to keep productivity and service levels high and personnel costs in check.”
 
Results and analysis in the report are based on data collected using a 46-question online survey of more than 200 financial executives from both public and private companies conducted throughout June and July 2010.
 

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