Hourglass: Making the Most of Your People
Challenges for Financial Leaders: PwC CFO Pulse Survey
Our CFO Pulse Survey provides a snapshot of the views of more than 200 finance leaders on the challenges and opportunities in their businesses right now. It also seeks views on the changing role of the finance function as we move forward.
The survey, which was conducted at the end of 2011, shows that, despite widespread European economic uncertainty, Irish finance leaders are relatively upbeat about their own businesses and there is a sense of stability beginning to emerge. There is no doubt that Ireland’s positive exporting economy has a large part to play. Irish businesses are also capitalising on much pain already taken through cost control and restructuring adjustments introduced over the last number of years.
Key findings in the survey include:
• The single biggest risk for business today is economic volatility (90pc);
• Nearly half (46pc) of Irish businesses have already returned to growth with another quarter expecting to return to growth by the end of 2012;
• Launching new products, entering new markets and introducing new marketing incentives are the key growth strategies, according to the survey;
• More than half of organisations are anticipating growth in revenues and profits. A third are expecting growth in employment and capital investment in the coming 12 months;
• Available finance remains a key constraint for the finance leaders, with a large majority saying finance is no more easily available now compared to six months ago. Other key business challenges are maintaining margins, controlling the cost base and lack of demand;
• The finance function is seen as a strategic business partner and is contributing positively to cost control and revenue generation initiatives;
• The single key factor contributing to the success of the finance function is cited as the quality of the people. Specific challenges for the finance department, according to the finance leaders, are accurate budgeting, organisational restructuring and management.