Companies Helping Employees Hit the Books

Survey: Nearly 4 in 10 Canadian Firms Boosting Training Budgets 

Toronto, ON – While students prepare for summer break, many workers may be headed to the classroom, recent research suggests. Roughly two-in-five (39 per cent) CFOs in a Robert Half Management Resources survey report their company’s training or professional development budget is higher this year than last. Only two per cent cite a decrease.

“Investing in employee professional development is an essential part of building a successful team and business,” said David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources. “Companies that promote robust learning opportunities are more attractive to skilled professionals, who seek organizations that support their career growth.”

CFOs were asked, “How does your company’s professional development budget for 2017 compare to 2016?” Their responses*:

Increased significantly in 2017


Increased somewhat in 2017


No change


Decreased somewhat in 2017


Decreased significantly in 2017


No answer



*Does not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

CFOs also were asked, “In which areas, if any, does your firm provide training for accounting and finance employees?” Their responses*:

Regulatory compliance




Soft Skills


Technical skills


* Multiple responses were permitted

King added, “Organizations must ensure their teams are equipped to successfully maneuver in a continuously evolving regulatory environment. Provide employees with access to the latest technology tools and system upgrades, and the necessary training to stay on top of emerging compliance trends.”

Robert Half Management Resources highlights six professional development options companies can offer beyond traditional training:

  1. Guest speakers: Invite experts from within and outside the company to share insights on key issues affecting your team. A fresh voice also can spark new ideas.
  2. Job rotations: Role rotation programs help staff build different skills, better understand other parts of the business and develop new problem-solving strategies.
  3. Mentorships: Having seasoned professionals counsel less-experienced colleagues is a tried-and-true strategy. But don’t stop there. Also look for opportunities for newer employees to share expertise that can benefit more senior staff members.
  4. Cross-departmental teams: Assign employees to project task forces to introduce them to colleagues from other departments and expand their skills. When appropriate, give them leadership positions and greater decision-making authority.
  5. Tap consultants: These professionals can serve as mentors and assist with training programs. In addition, when their engagements end, coordinate sessions where interim professionals can pass their key learnings to your full-time staff.
  6. Volunteering: From planning to collaboration to leadership, these opportunities require competencies all professionals must possess. Support your team’s volunteer efforts. This also may include assisting nonprofit or philanthropic organizations with technical needs such as compliance and budgeting.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half Management Resources

Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals for companies’ project and interim staffing needs. Customizing its approach for each organization, Robert Half Management Resources can provide a single consultant, a financial team or full-service consulting services, delivered through Protiviti, a Robert Half subsidiary. With more than 140 locations worldwide, Robert Half Management Resources works with companies of all sizes, including more than half of the top 100 companies from the FORTUNE 500®. For more information, visit Follow us at and @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]