Canadian financial executives getting more HR oversight duties

BY KEN TYSIAC

Senior financial executives in Canada are increasing their oversight of human resources, but many rate their knowledge of HR functions as moderate or average, according to a new survey.

Sixty-one percent of Canadian financial executives reported that they have taken on more accountability for HR functions such as payroll, recruitment, talent management, training, benefits, and bonus management in the past five years, according to an online survey by the research arm of Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada).

More than one-third of respondents expect their involvement in HR and payroll to increase in the next five years.

But three in four financial executives ranked their HR function knowledge as a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. Just 11% said they are extremely knowledgeable about HR functions.

“Financial executives manage many moving pieces on the modern business landscape,” FEI Canada President and CEO Michael Conway said in a news release. “They need to think strategically about all levels of their business, while managing risk, staying ahead of technology, fostering innovation, and working with fellow executive team members to build enterprise value. Human resources is another area where CFOs are being held accountable.”

The survey revealed the following about financial executives’ oversight of HR:

  • Almost four in five respondents rely heavily on a per capita-based formula for evaluating performance management and tracking revenue, cost, profit, EBITDA, or return on investment per full-time equivalent.
  • Respondents pay most attention to the average cost of employer-paid sick days and personal leaves; 73% ranked these HR expenses as moderately to most important.
  • More than half (53%) said it was moderately to very important to develop a more comprehensive measure for return on investment in human capital.
  • Just 10% said data on voluntary separation of high performers is crucial.


Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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