CFOs and senior-level accountants anticipate spending more of their time five years from now on non-accounting functions, according to a new survey.

Staffing firm Robert Half Management Resources polled 1,400 CFOs at companies with 20 or more employees and asked them, “Five years from now, what percentage of a senior-level accountant’s time do you expect will be focused on performing less traditional accounting functions, such as offering strategic advice or providing input on information technology projects?” Their responses averaged out to 40 percent.

Respondents also were asked what percentage of a senior-level accountant's time is now focused on performing less traditional accounting functions. The mean response was 36 percent.

“In today’s economy, the increased focus on cost savings and liquidity has accentuated the importance of the finance function, and senior-level accounting and finance managers are being asked to step into leadership roles,” said Robert Half executive director Paul McDonald. “Accountants will always be required to maintain stringent oversight of financial reporting, but in the coming years, an increasing amount of their time will be devoted to providing strategic insight that helps support company initiatives.”

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