Citing the increased burdens of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and an overall shortage of qualified manpower, chief financial officers participating in a recent staffing survey said that it now requires a minimum of four weeks to fill an open accounting position. According to the poll, conducted by financial staffer Robert Half International, CFOs said that, while it may take a month to fill staff-level accounting vacancies, it takes upwards of six weeks to bring a new manager-level employee on board. The survey included responses from 1,400 CFOs of U.S.-based companies with more than 20 employees. Robert Half chairman and chief executive Max Messmer said that the slow hiring process stems from the added responsibilities of compliance and the fact that those extra duties constrict the time that companies have to dedicate to the recruiting process. He advised companies to treat recruiting "as an ongoing process, whether or not they are actively looking to add staff."

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