Survey: CFOs most concerned with rising health care costs

Financial executives have many issues on their minds, but topping the list are curbing rising health care costs and keeping other expenses in check, according to a recent survey from Robert Half Management Resources.

Nearly half (47 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said the rising cost of health care is one of their most pressing concerns. Forty-six percent cited controlling costs and improving profitability as a chief concern.
 
CFOs were asked, “Which of the following are your three biggest concerns as CFO?” (Multiple responses were allowed):
  • Rising cost of health care – 47%
  • Controlling costs and improving profitability – 46%
  • Cash flow management and debt/equity financing – 33%
  • Establishing and maintaining internal control over operations – 24%
  • Staff recruitment, training, and retention – 23%
  • Creating and maintaining a strong technology infrastructure – 23%
  • Managing growth – 23%
  • Managing financial statement preparation auditor relations – 12%
  • Mergers and acquisitions – 6%
 
“A top priority for many firms in a slowly improving economy is a stepped-up focus on containing costs,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Of particular concern to companies are health care-related expenses and the possible impact of recent health care reform on their business.”
 
McDonald added, “Although firms must closely monitor expenses, they also need to be prepared to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities by making targeted investments. Chief among these are efforts to strengthen their employee teams and ensure they have the right people in place to respond to rising customer demand.”
 
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
 
About Robert Half Management Resources:
Robert Half Management Resources is a Menlo Park, CA-based provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow Robert Half Management Resources on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalfMR.
 
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