Friday, August 22, 2008

CFOs Highly Value IT Experience

If you hope to ascend to the CFO's suite, information technology experience is a hot ticket. And its value continues to grow.

Technology topped a list of four areas (beyond accounting and finance) that CFOs picked as most useful for their careers in a recent poll by Robert Half Management Resources. The other three areas were operations, legal, and sales and marketing.

Half of the 1400-plus CFOs surveyed by telephone pegged IT experience as "most beneficial for CFOs to possess." What's especially interesting is, the proportion has nearly doubled since 2003. When Robert Half posed the same question to CFOs five years ago, only 28 percent tagged technology as most beneficial.

Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, noted that

Companies increasingly expect their CFOs to provide insight into the value of new systems, evaluate the outcome of potential upgrades and make recommendations on technology-related investments.

Operations experience also ranked high, with 45 percent of the response – virtually unchanged from five years ago. (Respondents were allowed to name more than one area.) Legal experience rose to 37 percent, from 26 percent in 2003. Sales and marketing edged up to 26 percent, from 24 percent.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and used a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, stratified by geographic location and size (number of employees).

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