managing staff• Temporary / interim staff account for 26% of finance departmental headcount compared to 18% in 2011
• General operational accounting will experience the greatest demand (24%) for temporary resources over the next 12 months

New research, from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, shows that more than three in 10 (31%) Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have either significantly or somewhat increased their use of interim and temporary staff compared to three years ago, showing the continued necessity UK businesses have to engage temporary resource to help augment permanent headcount.

Despite continued regulatory change, organisations across the UK are increasingly reliant on agency workers to carry out business critical processes, with research showing that CFOs across small, medium and large businesses have increased their levels of temporary/interim staff from one in five (18%) departmental employees before the onset of the regulations to one in four (26%) more than a year after its inception – an increase of eight percentage points. The highest use of temporary workers is within small companies, where nearly one third (30%) of departments are comprised of temporary or interim staff.

200 CFOs were asked: ‘Thinking about your interim and temporary staff, has this number generally increased, decreased or stayed the same compared to three years ago?’

significantly increased    10%
Somewhat increased    21%
Stayed the same    48%
Somewhat decreased    16%
Significantly decreased    6%


General operational accounting (24%), IT – financial systems implementation and upgrades (20%), risk management (18%), and audit, compliance and corporate governance (16%) are anticipated to be the areas where there will be the greatest use of temporary or interim finance and accounting professionals.

200 CFOs were asked: ‘In what areas do you plan to use interim / temporary resources within the next 12 months?’

  UK  North and


Midlands  South West

and wales

  London and

South East

General operational accountancy  24%   28%    31%    29%    9%
Information technology(financial systems implementation and upgrades)  20%    22%    19%    16%    23%
Risk management   18%    12%    19%    18%    23%
Audit, compliance and corporate governance   16%    20%    10%    11%    19%
Operations management (business process improvement,inventory planning, reporting and logistics)   15%    18%    10%    16%    14%
Treasury, cash management and credit control   15%   16%   15%    13%    14%
Commercial finance (budgeting, forecasting, business analysis, M&A etc.)  14%   12%   17%    13%    12%
Legislative and regulatory changes  13%   16%   17%    4%    12%
Programme and project management  12%   10%   6%    9%    19%
Financial business partnering   9%    16%   2%    9%    9%
Finance transformation   8%    2%   13%    7%    9%


Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK said: “Despite regulatory changes, finance leaders continue to rely on the cost effectiveness that temporary professionals offer an organisation, allowing companies to account for workload peaks and troughs without incurring the fixed cost of a permanent hire. With the challenging business environment amidst continued economic uncertainty, some hiring managers are taking advantage of the knowledge and skills that interim professionals can bring to a company’s bottom line. By continuing to capitalise on the readily available and highly trained temporary and interim market, businesses can adjust more easily and quickly to workload variations, and bring in specialists with the required experiences to run particular programmes.”