CFOs getting more requests for pay increases and promotions

CFOs have plenty to deal with these days as their strategic role in organisations grows and as business gets more complex.

They’re also getting more requests from employees for promotions or more money.

Forty-three per cent of CFOs said pay increases and promotion requests have increased from two years ago, according to a survey by Accountemps, and 44% said requests have remained the same. The survey took the responses of more than 2,100 US CFOs.

With demand rising for skilled workers, finance chiefs are paying more, according to an earlier survey by Robert Half, the parent company of Accountemps. In the earlier survey, average starting salaries for corporate accounting positions are projected to rise between 2.9% and 4.4% in the US and between 1.6% and 4.9% in Canada.

A UK survey by Robert Half this year found that CFOs and finance directors planned to offer an average pay increase of 6.1% for finance staff. A strong majority (87%) in the survey said they faced challenges in finding skilled finance talent.

Workers who are more confident in job prospects aren’t afraid to ask for more from an employer, whether the request is more money or a new title. And bosses should listen if they want to retain staff: 38% of office workers in another recent survey said inadequate pay was the most likely reason for employees to quit their jobs.

Offering training and the chance for advancement are two good ways to keep employees, but so, too, is a rise in pay. Compensation and pay was rated as more important than any other aspect of job satisfaction in a 2013 survey of US workers by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Employers must pay close attention to compensation levels to stay competitive and retain good workers, Bill Driscoll, an Accountemps district president, said in a news release. “It’s better to be prepared than surprised by an employee’s request for a raise or promotion,” he said. “Now’s the time to proactively connect with key team members to identify advancement opportunities and discuss viable career paths.”

Neil Amato ( is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.