CFOs Fear Impending Finance Talent Shortage

September 6, 2007 ( - Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) surveyed said a new kind of talent is needed to steer the finance function beyond traditional roles within a company and to a new level of strategic leadership, but few companies are doing what it takes to attract top talent and few graduates see the finance function as a good starting career.

Steven Ehrenhalt, a Principal with Deloitte Consulting, said in a press release its global survey, “The Finance Talent Challenge: How Leading CFOs are Taking Charge,” found 35% of CFOs said recent graduates do not see the finance function as a career launcher. Additionally, he said only 33% of executives agreed their finance organization markets finance as an attractive career option or destination.

The survey found Financial Planning and Analysis professionals rank first among the functional groups or positions that provide the primary pipeline for the finance organization’s leadership, but these professionals are among the hardest to find, the press release said. While lack of career advancement opportunities tops the list of frequently cited reasons finance talent quits, only 46% of respondents agree their finance leaders routinely develop talent as a part of career development programs.

Few survey respondents (28%) agreed finance routinely provides talent with opportunities outside of finance and 38% said their finance organizations are reluctant to release talent to other departments within the company to further develop their skills and increase their knowledge of the company.

The disconnect between finance talent and demand exists globally as 67% of respondents from Asia-Pacific cited that the current supply of finance talent is either limited or inadequate; and 54% of respondents from Eastern Europe, 53% from Asia-Pacific, 52% from Western Europe, and 47% from North America stated finance talent will be limited or inadequate in three to five years.


Nearly 80% of public sector respondents cited an inadequate or limited supply of finance talent. By industry, 65% of Life Sciences and Health care respondents and 67% of Consumer Business respondents said supply was inadequate of limited. Nearly 60% of Life Sciences and Health care respondents expect the supply of talent to continue to be inadequate or limited in three to five years.

The survey results are here .