Number Crunching Alone Insufficient for Today's Financial Professionals, Suggests Survey

    TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - Accounting is a technical field, but job
candidates who also possess strong soft skills now have an edge over those who
stick strictly to the numbers, a recent survey suggests. Close to two-thirds
(65 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they would hire someone
with fewer technical skills if the candidate had particularly strong soft
skills, such as communication and interpersonal abilities.
    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 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of
Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.
    CFOs were asked, "Would you be willing to hire someone with fewer
technical skills if the candidate had stronger soft skills, such as
communication and interpersonal abilities?" Their responses:

           Yes ..............................  65%
           No ...............................  29%
           Don't know/refused ...............   6%

    "Technical expertise is a prerequisite for finance and accounting
candidates, but it is only one part of the equation when hiring managers
assess prospective employees," said Paul McDonald, executive director of
Robert Half Management Resources. "During the interview, for example,
applicants are also evaluated as to how well they articulate their
accomplishments and the contributions they hope to make in the role."
    McDonald added that as the strategic importance of the accounting
function has grown, so has the visibility of the financial professional.
"Practitioners must be able to produce financial reports and perform complex
calculations, as well as explain the meaning behind the numbers. This requires
a broader skill set, which includes strong written, verbal and interpersonal
capabilities," McDonald said.

    Robert Half Management Resources has more than 140 offices throughout
North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers
online job search services at

    EDITOR'S NOTE: To schedule an interview for local commentary in Montreal,
    Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver please contact Jason Chapman at
    416-350-5201, extension 62070.

For further information:

For further information: To speak with a local expert, contact: Robert
Half Management Resources, Jason Chapman, (416) 350-5201 extension 62070,

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