Preparing for the Upturn - Staffing Firm Offers Checklist to Help Businesses Lay Groundwork for Economic Rebound

    TORONTO, May 25 /CNW/ - The economy may be showing glimmers of hope for a
recovery, but are businesses positioned to capitalize on the opportunities
ahead? Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of
senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim
basis, offers advice for making the most of personnel resources to manage
future business growth.
    "Companies who are adequately prepared will be in a favourable position
when the economy rebounds," said David King, executive vice president of
Robert Half Management Resources. "Businesses that try to mobilize only once
the recovery is under way may be challenged to compete with those who have
implemented strategies early."
    King advises that instead of waiting for an official end to the
recession, companies start now to analyze every aspect of their business and
determine how prepared they are to respond to improving business conditions.
This is particularly true for firms that made staff cutbacks. Robert Half
Management Resources offers the following checklist for determining if your
business is recovery-ready.

    1.  Keep reassessing budgets. Financial staff must be prepared to
        continually modify budgets to reflect progress or setbacks. Those
        companies that fully leverage the expertise of financial, budget,
        treasury or cost analysts will be better positioned to capitalize on
        improving conditions.

    2.  Evaluate your bench strength. Some firms are realizing they have cut
        staff too deeply in response to the economic downturn. This can be an
        ideal time for a "talent upgrade" as many highly skilled financial
        professionals are in the job market. Companies that are reluctant to
        add employees can still prepare for the future by engaging temporary
        or project professionals to fill potential skills gaps.

    3.  Revisit compliance requirements. Companies should be prepared to
        evaluate financial reporting competencies, information technology
        controls, risk assessment procedures and documentation. Businesses
        that encourage cross-departmental cooperation and collaboration with
        outside advisors are in a better position to effectively address
        corporate governance issues that may impact their businesses.

    4.  Anticipate next-generation financial reporting. The Canadian
        Securities Administrators have mandated a convergence between
        International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Canadian
        generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), effective January 1,
        2011. Proactive firms are already offering education and training to
        help staff better understand these initiatives and plan for

    5.  Invest in your people. Organizations that scaled back on training and
        development in recent months should consider reinstituting these
        initiatives. Firms that invest in staff training better prepare their
        teams for new business opportunities. Professional development also
        boosts employee job satisfaction.

    6.  Upgrade IT systems. Outdated financial systems can impair a
        business' ability to compete, but conversions take time and
        resources. Companies that are planning systems upgrades should ensure
        they have the budget and staffing resources to manage the

    7.  Prepare for new products and services. For companies that are
        considering new product or service launches, this is the time to
        ensure that the new offering can be introduced quickly when the
        economy rebounds. Cost accountants, financial analysts and others who
        can ensure business projections are sound can positively impact the
        success of the initiative.

    8.  'Re-recruit' your best people. Don't be surprised if top performers
        are approached with other offers once the economy turns around. A
        best defense is a good offense: Managers should meet with their best
        people now to discuss their careers and remind them how much their
        contributions are valued.

    Robert Half Management Resources has more than 145 locations worldwide
and offers online job search services at

For further information:

For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,

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