Three Quarters of Private Sector CPAs Pay for Their Own Continuing Education

As businesses reinstate some of the employee perks lost during the recession, one doesn't appear to have made a comeback: paying for continuing education. Twenty-six percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey said their companies offer staff full or partial reimbursement for the education units required to maintain professional certifications. This is down significantly from six years ago when nearly half (46 percent) of executives said they cover these costs.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting and 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.

CFOs were asked, "Does your company reimburse employees for the continuing education units needed to maintain their professional designations, such as the certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accountant (CMA)?" Their responses:

  2012 2006
Yes, full reimbursement 5% 29%
Yes, partial reimbursement 21% 17%
No reimbursement provided 73% 50%
Don't know 0% 4%
  99%* 100%

 

(Note: Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.)

"As the job market strengthens, it becomes more important for companies to offer benefits that help employees advance their careers," said Max Mesmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 2nd edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "A robust professional development program is an attractive incentive for talent recruitment and retention."

Beyond retention and recruiting, Mesmer noted that supporting ongoing learning can help businesses develop a more skilled workforce. "Employees aren't the only beneficiaries of continuing education," he said. "Companies benefit from developing a workforce that is equipped to meet evolving business needs."

About the Survey

The national study was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments are represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportion of employees within each region.

 

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