Financial executives extend their reach into IT, HR

Cross-functional projects broaden knowledge: Robert Half
||Last Updated: 08/09/2011

Senior financial professionals in Canada are spending more time outside of traditional finance responsibilities in areas such as information technology and human resources, according to a Robert Half Management Resources survey.

More than one-fifth (21 per cent) of 270 CFOs interviewed said they have become more involved in IT over the past three years. HR is the second most common area of expanded responsibility, cited by 18 per cent of respondents.

When asked, "Which one of the following areas outside of traditional accounting and finance responsibilities, if any, has your role expanded into most over the past three years?" CFOs responded:

•Information technology (21 per cent)

•Human resources (18 per cent)

•Operations (17 per cent)

•Marketing (14 per cent)

•Sales or business development (10 per cent)

•None, role hasn't changed (18 per cent).

"Given the business challenges over the last few years, CFOs are extending their reach throughout the organization to foster greater financial discipline," said David King, Canadian district president of Robert Half Management Resources. "Now that the economy is improving, many firms are reconsidering those IT investments and system upgrades that had been put on the backburner. Senior executives understand that these updates can help improve risk management and increase operational efficiency across the board."

Financial professionals hoping to advance their careers need to not only showcase a diverse skill set but take on more cross-functional projects said King.

“Volunteering for these assignments is certainly a great way to gain a broader knowledge of the company."

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