Demand for accountants and other business services professionals is expected to grow at a slower pace in the months ahead, recruiters say.

In a survey of 1,400 chief financial officers by Menlo Park, Calif.-based financial staffing firm Robert Half International, nine percent said they planned to add full-time business services staff over the second quarter, while five percent anticipated reductions. Most respondents said they expected no change in staffing levels.

Of those planning to hire, nearly half said they attributed the increases to ongoing business growth, the study found.

By region, businesses in the South Atlantic, New England and West South Central states expected the largest gains in hiring.

"The employment market for accountants in the South Atlantic region is competitive, and, as a result, firms are finding they must move quickly to hire promising job candidates," Max Messmer, CEO of Robert Half International, said in a statement.