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
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 www.roberthalfmr.com.
For further information:
For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,