Survey: Consulting work enables CFOs to stay active

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They may be ready to hand over the keys to the company car, but chief financial officers (CFOs) aren’t ready to hit the golf course full time.

For this segment of the workforce, a career in consulting holds some appeal, suggests a Robert Half Management Resources survey.

More than one in four (26 percent) CFOs surveyed said the security of remaining actively employed was the No. 1 reason they would consider consulting. This top response was followed by flexible schedules (21 percent) and the variety and challenge of consulting work (20 percent).

CFOs were asked, “Which of the following is the most attractive aspect of a career in consulting?” Their responses:

  • Active employment – 26%
  • Flexible schedule – 21%
  • Variety and challenge of work – 20%
  • Attractive compensation – 18%
  • Ability to make decisions more autonomously – 10%
  • All of the above – 2%
  • None of the above – 2%
  • Don’t know/no answer – 1%

“The leadership experience and extensive business knowledge CFOs possess can make them high-demand consultants, particularly for start-ups or newly listed companies seeking guidance,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.

“As organizations continue to look for ways to increase efficiencies and many resume projects put on hold during leaner times, they are finding it cost-effective to engage tenured accounting and finance executives on a project basis,” McDonald said.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, a provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

“Consulting enables experienced professionals to maintain many of the benefits of working full time, including challenging assignments, attractive compensation, and intellectual stimulation – but with the added advantage of greater flexibility,” McDonald said.

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