What do CFOs worry about the most? What's their biggest challenge?
The answer: time management and keeping up with changing technology, according to a study from Robert Half Management Resources.
What's more, previous studies done in 2006 and 2001 show that these areas have been top-of-mind-challenges for quite a while.
The research asked CFOs, "In your opinion, which one of the following is the greatest challenge for financial executives today?" Top response was time management due to competing priorities (38 percent). Second was keeping up with technology (30 percent). At 19 percent, staying current with accounting regulations was a distant third.
But Robert Half also conducted similar studies in 2006 and 2001. And in both of those years, CFOs pointed to time management as the top challenge (46 percent and 36 percent) and technology as the second (22 percent and 27 percent). Accounting regulations also came in third.
It would seem, then, that through very different economic circumstances, CFOs consistently have struggled with these concerns. "Our research over time has shown that, through fluctuating economic cycles and the evolving role of the CFO, the same issues remain top challenges. And as their roles further expand beyond traditional accounting and finance functions, balancing priorities competing for their attention will continue to be a primary challenge for CFOs," wrote Joel Dibble, a spokesperson for Robert Half in an email.
Still it looks like time management currently is less of a challenge than it was five years ago and keeping up with technology more of one. That may reflect the hyped up speed of technological change, rather than fewer problems with time management.
And that's something likely to continue for the foreseeable future, as well.