Report: Finance Workers’ Confidence Dips

Job market remains strong, however; "not enough accountants to fill the need."

Confidence among accounting and finance workers dipped slightly in the first three months of 2007, according to a new report from Spherion.

In the staffing firm’s latest Accounting and Finance Employee Confidence index, sentiment dropped by 1.7 points, to 62.9. The index represents a sample of 11,187 American workers, including 541 who work in accounting and finance, and measures their feelings about job security and the economy. A reading of 100 would represent complete confidence.

“There was a drop in confidence in the economy in all sectors this quarter,” says Brendan Courtney, a senior vice president at Spherion.

The report found that just 27 percent of accounting and finance workers believed the economy was getting stronger, compared with 30 percent in the previous quarter — somewhat more pessimistic than the CFOs who responded to the most recent Duke University/CFO Business Outlook survey. Meanwhile, 68 percent of workers claimed to have confidence in the future of their employers, compared with 71 percent last quarter.

In spite of the fall-off, accounting and finance workers are feeling better than many of their colleagues in other departments. “It continues to be a candidates’ market,” says Courtney, who points to increased regulation due to Sarbanes-Oxley as a reason for the high demand.

“It’s forced a wage increase,” he adds. “There are not enough accountants to fill the need.”

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