83% of finance & accounting professionals covet CFO position

08 March 2009

HONG KONG, 9 March 2009 – Despite gloomy economic times, dreams of a brighter horizon do not escape the ambitious finance and accounting professionals of Hong Kong.  An international survey conducted by Robert Half shows that high hopes for career advancement remain in tact, and professionals are willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Rocky financial roads have not halted Hong Kong’s professional’s hopes of reaching top management positions.  83% of respondents expect to one day become a CFO, compared to 41% in Singapore and a meagre 16% in Japan.  Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong believes this figure “reflects the fierce determination that has made Hong Kong the respected financial market it is today.” 

Approximately 12% also see the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role as just a stepping stone to the coveted Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position rather than the top post available to finance and accounting professionals. 

Ever driven for success, the main motivations for advancement vary.  At the top of the list, 37%, report the prospect of greater financial rewards compared to just 22% in Japan, while those driven by greater management responsibility account for 29%.  Loyalty to their current employer will not get in the way of progress for 55% of Hong Kong’s respondents who will happily job hop in order to climb the ladder.

To fast-track their own professional development, over 77% of Hong Kong respondents have attended a personal development course in the past eighteen months, and half of these funded their own way. This contrasts starkly with respondents in France (24%), United Kingdom (28%) and Japan (27%).

“The finance and accounting professionals we meet are dedicated to self improvement so this figure does not surprise me. Hong Kong should be proud of its tenacious, ambitious and driven workforce.”

However, while fiercely determined to reach the very top, respondents also firmly believe that achieving a balance between work and life holds equal weight to career advancement.

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