Hiring in accounting and finance is expected to increase slightly in the third quarter.

In a quarterly survey of 1,400 CFOs by staffing company Robert Half International, 90 percent of the executives expressed confidence in the growth prospects for their companies in the third quarter, with 43 percent saying they are very confident.

Seven percent of the CFOs surveyed indicated that they plan to add full-time employees in accounting and finance, while 6 percent expect staff reductions, leaving a net 1 percent increase, which is up one percentage point from the second-quarter forecast.

“To keep up with increased business stemming from an improving economy, companies are adding accounting and finance staff on both a full-time and temporary basis,” said RHI chairman and CEO Max Messmer in a statement. “While gains in full-time hiring are modest, employers face competition for skilled finance professionals. For some in-demand positions, such as financial analysts and senior accountants, a shortage of skilled candidates has developed.”

The South Atlantic and West South Central regions are projected to see the most active hiring in the third quarter, with a net 6 percent of CFOs in each location expecting to add full-time personnel. In the South Atlantic states, 10 percent of executives plan to hire and 4 percent project the size of their staff will decline. In the West South Central area, 9 percent of CFOs anticipate adding employees and 3 percent foresee personnel reductions. The South Atlantic region encompasses Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to the survey, while the West South Central includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Nationally, CFOs in the wholesale sector are most optimistic about their hiring plans for the third quarter, with a net 9 percent of financial executives anticipating personnel increases. Eleven percent of the surveyed executives plan to expand their teams, but 2 percent expect to reduce staff levels.

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