../Morning Post
Posted May 26 , 2010
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Financial

WALK THE 'BOTTOM' LINE - Improving Profitability, Cash Flow Management Among Top CFO Concerns, Finds Robert Half Management Resources Survey

TORONTO - Financial executives have many issues on their minds, but managing expenses and cash flow top the list, a new survey shows. Forty-four per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said controlling costs and improving profitability is one of their three most pressing concerns. Nearly one in four (24 per cent) cited cash flow management and debt equity financing as their chief worry.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, and was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, "Which of the following are your three biggest concerns as CFO?" Their responses(*):

Controlling costs and improving
profitability............................. 44%
Cash flow management and
debt/equity financing..................... 24%
Creating and maintaining a strong
technology infrastructure................. 18%
Staff recruitment, training and retention.. 17%
Establishing and maintaining internal
control over operations................... 15%
Managing growth............................ 15%
Managing financial statement preparation
and auditor relations..................... 11%
Mergers and acquisitions................... 3%

(*)Multiple responses were allowed.

"Managing expenditures with a focus on profitability was a lesson learned during the downturn and continues to be a top priority for firms," said David King, president of Robert Half Management Resources' Canadian operations. "Ensuring there is ample cash flow to leverage emerging business opportunities will help companies position themselves for growth as the economy rebounds."

King added, "Many firms have been operating with lean teams for prolonged periods of time. While it is important to monitor expenses, companies must also ensure they have the right people on board to capitalize on promising initiatives."

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