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Read about our latest research, including results from our ongoing surveys of senior managers and workers, and company announcements.

Getting A Lock On The Clock
Robert Half Management Resources Survey: Time Management is CFOs' Greatest Challenge, Followed by Keeping Up With Technology

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- If time is money, finance executives may have something to worry about, according to a new Robert Half Management Resources survey. More than one-third (38 percent) of chief financial officers interviewed cited time management due to competing priorities as their biggest work challenge. Keeping up with technology and accounting regulations garnered 30 percent and 19 percent of the response, respectively.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier 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.

CFOs were asked, "In your opinion, which one of the following is the greatest challenge for financial executives today?" Their responses:

Time management given competing work priorities 38%
Keeping up with technology 30%
Staying current with accounting regulations 19%
Achieving work/life balance 13%

"Although having too little time is hardly a new predicament, the current business environment is exerting greater pressure on executives and their teams to do more with less," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "As CFOs revive projects postponed during the downturn and build out plans for business growth, they're having difficulty allocating time, technology, resources and staff to these initiatives."

Robert Half Management Resources offers these tips for getting more value out of your workday:

  1. Identify the "mosts." When every project seems to be top priority, focus efforts on those that will save the most money, grow the most revenue, or open doors to the most new business. Encourage your staff to use this same approach to manage their time.
  2. Be realistic about internal resources. Delegating another major project to your staff may bring already overloaded employees to the breaking point. Understand their limitations in terms of time, knowledge level and experience – bringing in outside experts to manage the project may result in faster execution and fewer errors.
  3. Avoid micro-managing. Set milestones and regular check-ins, but otherwise let staff run the initiative. Getting mired in details will slow the process for you and others.
  4. Practice the golden rule. Show respect for others' time. Avoid scheduling meetings that, on closer inspection, aren't really necessary. Don't keep staff waiting for feedback and approvals.


About Robert Half Management Resources

Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Robert Half Management Resources at for workplace news.