There will be a modest increase in the hiring full-time accounting and financial professionals over the second quarter, according to professional staffing concern Robert Half International. According to the firm's Financial Hiring Index, hiring in the accounting and financial arenas will rise 6 percent, a one-point percentage rise from first quarter projections. The Robert Half hiring poll includes responses from 1,400 chief financial officers from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. "Companies appear to be more confident, pursuing new initiatives as well as ones that were previously postponed," said Max Messmer, chairman and chief executive of Robert Half International. "As economic conditions improve and more projects are launched, there is greater urgency to hire accounting and finance personnel to support expansion efforts." Among survey executives who indicated that they would increase staffing levels in the second quarter, 61 percent cited business growth as the reason. Some 17 percent of those polled pointed to larger workloads. Messmer added, "Corporate governance initiatives continue to fuel demand for skilled accounting and internal audit staff as firms address ongoing Sarbanes-Oxley compliance."

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