Western Australia’s financial executives appear to be more confident than others of business improving over the next 12 months.
Surveys have found that total business confidence has fallen in the state alongside falling exports; a Sensis Business Index report for June found that 19 per cent if businesses were confident of improving conditions, down from 23 per cent earlier in the year.
But the state’s chief financial officers and finance directors don’t appear as pessimistic.
Of 75 surveyed in recruitment firm Robert Half’s Financial Employment for WA report, about 83 per cent were confident conditions would improve.
The optimism was backed up by plans to hire more staff; 60 per cent are expecting to add more staff to their finance and accounting teams in the next six months.
Only seven per cent expected a decrease while 28 per cent thought staff numbers would stay the same.
Business growth or expansion and increasing workloads were the top two reasons for bringing in more permanent staff.
Robert Half associate director Edward Cross said the results indicated the state’s finance leaders were taking a longer term view than their counterparts.
“They are acutely aware of the need for finance and accounting professionals who can help control costs and manage fluctuating commodity cycles.”
Mr Cross said WA provided a good market for finance-focussed workers as activity had been consistently strong thanks to a number of new mining and resource projects.
But he said companies would need to carefully plan how they would attract staff, and should consider offering flexible working options, health insurance plans and employee share schemes.