CFOs who are hiring accounting and finance staff are looking beyond accounting skills, according to a new survey.

The survey, by the staffing company Accountemps, found that 33 percent of the 2,100 CFOs polled said they value general business knowledge most. Twenty-five percent of the survey respondents are looking for expertise in information technology.

Fourteen percent of the CFOS said they value communication skills, 13 percent prefer leadership abilities, another 13 percent favor customer service orientation, and the rest said they didn’t know or did not provide an answer.

“Accounting and finance professionals are playing a broader role at work,” said Accountemps chairman Max Messmer in a statement. “They help develop strategy, inform key decisions and serve as business partners for multiple departments. Employers seek individuals who have the business acumen necessary to see the big picture and understand how a strong accounting function influences the success of the entire organization.”

Messmer also noted that proficiency with the company's enterprise resource planning system and spreadsheet application is a prerequisite for many accounting positions. He added, “New hires who already possess IT knowledge face a shorter learning curve and can contribute more quickly.”

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