Traci Purdum Chief financial officers will be focusing on more than their companies' books in the coming year, according to Robert Half International Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing service provider that commissioned a survey of 1,400 CFOs from U.S. companies with more than 20 employees. The survey asked CFOs "Which one of the following is the biggest challenge facing your company in the next 12 months?" Their responses:
Government regulation -- 20%
Adequate sales/financing -- 19%
Competition -- 18%
Finding qualified staff -- 17%
Meeting customer demands -- 12%
Other -- 8%
Don't know/no answer -- 6% Robert Half International conducted a similar survey three years ago. The results of that survey found that finding qualified staff (27%) and maintaining growth (22%) were CFOs top priorities. "In the wake of corporate scandals and amid a weakened economy, CFOs are facing a variety of interrelated issues," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Financial executives must provide strategic insight on day-to-day business matters, develop action plans for complying with new regulatory requirements and ensure their firms maintain a competitive edge."