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Lack of skills and motivation hampering fiscal year-end say CFOS

A lack of motivation and skills among permanent staff rank as the top two key challenges when managing fiscal year-end, according to 34 per cent and 32 per cent of Chief Finance Officers, new research from recruitment specialist Robert Half reveals.

A lack of skills is a key concern for large firms (46%), and firms based in London and the South East and the North and Scotland (40%), while staff experiencing poor motivation is more prevalent among mid-sized companies (40%), and those based in the Midlands (38%).

The research, based on the responses of 200 CFOs/FDs, also revealed there is significant pressure on companies at their fiscal year-end. Finance teams increase their work week by 5 hours to manage fiscal year-end and nearly two thirds (64%) of finance directors are likely to engage temporary staff to help manage their 2013 fiscal year-end.

Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half in the UK, said, “The fiscal year-end is generally the busiest period for finance and accounting teams, bringing heavy workloads and overtime and impacting employee morale and motivation. There is no escaping the annual round-up of financial performance and despite planning ahead, there are generally too few hours in the day to complete time sensitive tasks. As finance leaders look to reduce the impact on accounting staff, the majority are bringing on skilled temporary professionals to not only help with excessive workloads, but also offer specialised skills and expertise that many not be available in-house.”

Other key challenges include managing auditors (32%), lack of time (32%), managing temporary/interim staff (29%), lack of budget to engage temporary/interim staff (27%) and access to reports / data (19%).

With the added pressure on finance teams during these periods, organisations are increasingly rewarding their staff with extra benefits and/or remuneration.

The survey found that four out of ten (43%) organisations have rewarded staff with additional annual leave/time off in lieu, 40% have provided employees with overtime pay and 28% with bonuses.

Other initiatives include, team function/recognition event cited by nearly one in five (19%) organisations, followed by additional non-financial benefits (10%). However, 16% of organisations do not provide any additional remuneration to their staff.


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