CFOs struggling to find qualified finance professionals: Survey

Most chief financial officers (CFOs) here are struggling to find qualified professionals, according to a new survey.

It noted that 83 per cent of those polled said recruiting was a major challenge, with almost all of them predicting that it will only get worse in the next five years.

There is high demand for such professionals as company expansion over the past 12 months has led to a hiring drive for talent, said recruitment consultancy Robert Half, which did the survey.

The firm's latest salary guide found that the most in-demand financial jobs included credit risk officers; internal auditors; finance, tax and relationship managers; and accountants.

The highest salary among the list was reserved for internal auditors in commerce and industry, which tops out at $200,000 annually. The lowest was for accountants at $50,000 to $75,000.

The annual study was conducted in January by the independent research firm. It polled 150 CFOs.

Mr Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore, said digitisation, automation and artificial intelligence initiatives are placing additional pressure on financial employers to recruit technologically adept candidates.

"Combined with new regulations and the skills shortage, finance leaders are struggling to find the talent they need to face commercial challenges in 2019," he added.

Mr Imbert-Bouchard said there was particularly high demand for candidates in risk, auditing, financial and client management as financial institutions continue to expand across Asia.

He added that the rise of e-payments is creating strong demand for accountants and credit controllers who are able to efficiently streamline strategic responsibilities for businesses.

Mr Imbert-Bouchard said: "Companies need to be proactive in not only enticing new talent to their organisation with a competitive salary, but also incentivising their top-performing staff to stay.

"And while salary is just one component of the overall remuneration package, training and development are also vital for employers to secure and retain the best talent."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2019, with the headline 'CFOs struggling to find qualified finance professionals: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe