Most financial executives plan to maintain their current accounting and finance staff levels in the fourth quarter, according to the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index.

Eighty-four per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they will take no hiring actions before the end of the year. Four per cent of respondents expect to add full-time employees while 10 per cent foresee cutbacks, up from 8 per cent who forecast personnel reductions last quarter.

The Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International.

“Organizations appear to be exercising caution before adding full-time staff until there are signs of a sustained recovery,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “At the same time, companies recognize that carefully chosen accounting and finance professionals are critical to their efforts to manage what remains of the recession and also to take advantage of growth opportunities once conditions improve.”