OUT-OF-POCKET LEARNING

Survey: Half Of Employers Do Not Fund Continuing Education Credits For Staff

MENLO PARK, CA, April 13, 2006 -- As demand intensifies for skilled accountants, some companies are pulling out all the stops to recruit top candidates. But a recent survey shows many firms may be overlooking an attractive benefit. Half of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said their organizations do not reimburse staff for the continuing education units required to maintain their professional certifications.
 
The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “Does your company reimburse its employees for the continuing education units needed to maintain their professional designations, such as CPA or CMA?” Their responses:

Yes, full reimbursement    29%
Yes, partial reimbursement    17%
No reimbursement provided    50%
Don’t know/no answer      4%
   100%

“Companies that support continuing education signal they are committed to the professional development of their staff, which could give these firms an edge in their recruitment and retention efforts,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “While education benefits rarely are the sole criterion for accepting a position, they can tip the scales in an employer’s favor in a competitive hiring environment.”
 
Messmer noted that support of ongoing learning can help businesses beyond their recruiting efforts by helping them to develop a more skilled workforce. “Employees who earn professional accreditations establish themselves as leaders in their field and, in the process, gain insight into industry trends and best practices.”

Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, has more than 330 locations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalf.com.


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