Singapore CFOs Lament Skills Shortage

Singapore-based finance and accounting professionals cite a lack of skills among their team as the biggest problem they face as the end of the financial year approaches, according to Robert Half.

The specialist recruitment company interviewed 150 chief financial officers and finance directors in Singapore and found that 52% specifically mentioned skills shortages. Among large companies with more than 500 employees, the skills shortage is more acute, with 72% lamenting the lack of skills in their permanent staff.

The next most common challenge is the lack of time they have to meet deadlines – a problem faced by 47% of finance leaders, while 29% believe they have a problem with the lack of motivation in their staff.

Robert Half CFO survey

According to the survey, the average work week will expand by 10% to meet the end of fiscal year deadlines, while two per cent of employees can expect a 50% increase in their working hours. These additional hours are compensated for with additional time off (51%), overtime pay (49%) or a bonus (23%).

To overcome the skills shortage, 89% of finance leaders are planning to employ interim staff to boost their team. Interim staff is most favoured by large companies (500+ employees) where 94% will look to make temporary hires.

Stella Tang, director of Robert Half Singapore, said that financial year-ends always result in an increase in hiring activity within the finance and accounting profession. “The end of the fiscal year is always a stressful time for CFOs and their teams. Adding more manpower to get the job done is sometimes the only way to meet deadlines.

“There are plenty of opportunities around for people with financial skills who don’t want to work full-time, to take an interim role to fill a skills gap at a company.”


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