Menlo Park, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2004) -- Chief financial officers have a growing concern about their companies’ ability to protect and sustain operations, as a new survey found 37 percent believe their firms are most vulnerable in the areas of disaster recovery and security of information systems.

Other areas of unease for CFOs included protection of intellectual capital (11 percent), detection of accounting fraud    (10 percent), and theft by company employees (2 percent), a recent survey from accounting and finance professional staffer Robert Half Management Resources indicated.

When the same executives were asked where they plan to invest the most dollars in 2004 to ensure future business growth, 28 percent said technology enhancement. Others said they plan to invest in marketing (20 percent), facilities expansion (17 percent), training (17 percent), additional personnel (9 percent), and acquisitions (2 percent).

“Potential business disruptions, such as operational failures, network intrusions and e-mail viruses, are top of mind for many executives,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “As a result, CFOs are allocating more funds to technology in 2004. In addition, firms are increasing investment in security within operating systems, across applications, and throughout networks.”

The national poll of 1,400 CFOs includes a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. It was conducted by independent research firm International Communications Research and developed by Robert Half.

-- WebCPA staff

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