See what’s on CFOs’ most-likely-to-be-outsourced list


By Neil Amato

General accounting and finance projects are the tasks CFOs are most likely to outsource to financial consultants and interim managers in the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

Fifty-seven per cent of CFOs who say they plan to use consultants expect them to work on finance or accounting projects, which include budgeting and forecasting, financial reporting, and mergers and acquisitions, according to staffing firm Robert Half. The survey used the responses of 900 US CFOs who work with financial consultants.

Forty-eight per cent of CFOs plan to use consultants and interim managers for business systems and performance improvement, 42% plan to use them for taxation projects, and 40% for risk, governance and compliance work. Respondents were allowed to pick more than one response.

A recent survey of finance professionals shows companies are more likely to hire. Thirty-four per cent said they have too few employees, and 15% plan to hire, an increase from 9% who planned to hire the previous year, according to the third-quarter Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey by the American Institute of CPAs.

An increased regulatory burden is one reason CFOs are turning to temporary talent, other research shows. Finance chiefs want to offer more pay and benefits to attract permanent talent, but they are also filling needs with temporary workers.

A report in October by Protiviti said finance executives have a strong desire to update capabilities for complying with evolving business tax policies, business regulations and accounting standards in a period of rapid change.

Regulatory and compliance overload is a chief concern for businesses. A BDO survey shows that 69% of board members at midsize US public companies consider regulatory and compliance overload a top risk.

Related CGMA Magazine content:

Finance Execs Meet Rising Demands With Three Key Strategies”: New regulations and increasing complexity are demanding additional attention from finance executives even as they try to meet a growing need for their services as strategic partners in their companies.

Survey Helps CFOs Compare and Assess Their Finance Functions”: As a CFO, would you like to know how your peers feel about IFRS or what parts of the finance and accounting functions they outsource? The research report Benchmarking the Finance Function 2012 has some answers.

Neil Amato (namato@aicpa.org) is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.