While many employers are scaling back payrolls, demand for accounting and finance professionals remains strong as businesses look to squeeze every penny, recruiters say.

Nine percent of 1,400 CFOs recently surveyed by Robert Half International said they plan to hire extra financial staff in the coming year. Demand was even higher among bigger companies, the California-based staffing firm reported. At the same time, eight percent of all respondents said they're planning more job cuts.

"Even though weakness in the economy is affecting hiring in many fields, accounting and finance expertise in key functional areas remains in demand," Max Messmer, the firm's CEO, said in a statement.

Even as unemployment rises, the survey found many employers are struggling to find skilled accountants to fill key vacancies.