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Benchmarking the Finance Function 2011


This research report, conducted by Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) in collaboration with Robert Half International, examines the results of the second annual benchmarking survey of the staffing, compliance, internal controls and other costs of the finance function. Key survey results include: • Forty-three percent of respondents use temporary, interim or contract professionals in their finance and accounting departments; • Managers in accounting and finance typically work 49 hours on a weekly basis while 43 hours is standard for nonmanagement staff; • More than half (62 percent) of the companies surveyed reconcile their accounts manually; • On average, it takes respondent companies 22 business days to produce draft financial statements; and • Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents expect the compliance burden to increase over time. Where possible, the report includes a year-over-year comparison to track trends. Some key survey results compared to last year include: • Eleven percent of this year’s respondents were using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), up from just 5 percent in the prior year; • While down from last year’s 65 percent, Excel was still the most widely used budgeting and planning tool (59 percent); • More respondents (45 percent) said the cost of compliance is rising (41 percent last year); and • An even larger majority (78 percent, compared with 66 percent last year) believe the way to ease the compliance burden is through more streamlined regulations.

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