Solution to boost finance function productivity

CFOs and FDs have identified the need for specialist interim professionals and data analytics technology as key strategies to improve the productivity of the finance function.

  • Hiring specialist project professionals and leveraging data analytics technology identified as key strategies to improve finance function performance
  • Productivity of the finance function anticipated to increase by 9.63% if strategies to improve efficiency are introduced

London, 20 April 2016: Improving productivity in the finance function is now a key objective for UK organisations, reveals new research from leading interim management specialists Robert Half Management Resources. Almost a third (31%) of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance Directors (FDs) plan to recruit specialist project professionals, while an equal 31% plan to leverage data analytics technology to achieve productivity gains.

Investing capital in human resource and technology to automate and streamline processes are the primary strategies to improve productivity in an environment where firms continue to look for efficiency savings. Streamlining processes (30%) was acknowledged as a strategy to improve productivity in finance function performance, followed by investment in performance management software (29%) and hiring additional permanent resources (26%).

CFOs and FDs were asked: ‘With the growing need to improve efficiencies, how do you plan to improve productivity within your finance function?’ Their responses*:



Percentage of CFOs and FDs planning to adopt this strategy


Hire additional temporary/interim resources



Leverage data analytics technology



Streamline processes



Invest in performance management software



Hire additional permanent resource



Invest in finance automation solutions



Outsource processes to third party vendors


*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to multiple responses permitted.

The CFOs and FDs believe they could boost the productivity of the finance function by 9.63% if their strategies for improvement were introduced. More than one in ten (13%) respondents believe they could achieve productivity gains of 20% or more.

Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half Management Resources UK, said: 'The finance function is gearing up for the next phase of evolution, as businesses continue to expect more support from their finance teams. Businesses across the UK are seeking efficiencies in how they progress new commercial opportunities, mitigate their operational risk and reach their growth goals.

'In the current skills-short marketplace, utilising the specialist skills of interim professionals can be a powerful strategy to effect change management in an organisation and improve productivity.  At a time when return on investment is an increasing focus in both operational and commercial departments, capital outlay needs to deliver real dividends.'

- ENDS -

Notes to Editor

1The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm. The study is based on more than 200 interviews with senior HR executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

Finance 2020: closer than you think is a new report launched in March 2016 by Robert Half.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and