No signs of slowdown yet, as middle market continues press to add top talent and additional customers for balance of 2019
The CFO Alliance, a leading peer advisory network with more than 8,000 CFOs and qualified finance executives from middle market and emerging enterprises from all industries, geographies, sizes, and structures involved, released its 2019 Mid-Year Update to the CFO Sentiment Study last month to provide insights into the strategic planning and financial outlook of CFOs for the 2nd half of 2019.
This Study is unique in that it is designed to offer insights into how today’s finance leaders are best positioning their enterprises to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities during the remainder of 2019. Over 200 senior financial executives from across North America participated in this year’s Mid-Year Update, offering in-depth perspectives on how CFOs are delivering on changing expectations for their enterprises in the face of decreasing confidence in the Global economy, increasing talent shortages, and disruptions to industry and business model norms impacting customer relationships and revenue streams.
Following are the 12 primary findings from the Study:
70% of Survey participants are at or above YTD top and bottom-line plans.
CFOs’ views on the future performance of the North American market remain high, while views on the Global market have plummeted, with 50% of Survey participants characterizing the global economy as ‘weak.’
Own-company optimism remains high.
77% of Survey participants will be investing internally (Build) to drive growth (vs. 10% who will use Acquisitions, 7% who will use JVs, Partnerships, or Alliances, and 6% who will use Automation).
40% of participants will focus on increasing existing customer spend and entering new markets to drive growth for the balance of 2019.
Improving Operational Efficiency remains the one critical success factor that will have the greatest impact on top and bottom-line performance for the remainder of 2019.
About half of Survey participants noted that Talent Acquisition and Development are the top concern “keeping them up at night’’.
About 60% of Survey participants intend to add additional talent during the remainder of 2019.
Expectations for revenue, earnings, and hiring growth all continue to be robust.
CFOs claim substantial talent constraints, but not capital constraints, are impacting their performance.
Top uses of cash are adding additional talent and investments in automation, including upgrading technology systems and enhancing data analytics.
CFOs’ top personal focus area is enhancing margins through automation.
“Our CFO Alliance Members continue to remain confident in their own enterprise’s ability to make good on their plans to drive top line, bottom line and shareholder value performance in 2019, as 69% are operating at/above YTD plans,” said Nick Araco, CEO of AchieveNEXT and The CFO Alliance. “They also remain bullish on their industries and the current markets they serve. However, as we move through 2019, their concerns and pessimism continue to increase as they evaluate the strength of markets outside of their own and the health of related and unrelated industries. We are committed to providing finance leaders with the most efficient and effective ways that they can access a qualified peer network for benchmarking, best practice sharing, and confidence building as they drive performance and decision making through the remainder of 2019 and beyond.”
The CFO Alliance tracks the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s leading and most influential enterprises. This Report summarizes CFOs’ opinions in four areas: business and economic environment; enterprise priorities and expectations; finance priorities; and CFOs’ personal priorities. The CFO Alliance 2019 Mid-Year Update to the CFO Sentiment Study was conducted from June 27, 2019, through July 10, 2019.
Those who are not Members of The CFO Alliance can access the report and learn more about The CFO Alliance by contacting Candace Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The CFO Alliance is the leading peer advisory network for more than 8,000 CFOs and qualified finance executives from middle market and emerging enterprises from all industries, geographies, sizes, and structures. Learn more at thecfoalliance.com.
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