More than half of CFO’s expect a decrease of Revenue and/or Profits of up to 25% as a result of Covid 19

This according to PwC’s latest COVID-19 CFO Pulse, where they surveyed 989 CFOs from 23 countries during the weeks of 1 June and 8 June 2020.

But on a positive note, the report goes on to say that many companies have now weathered the immediate crisis by implementing safety measures and remote working, but are now thinking about what they need to do to survive and thrive going forward.

Such measures will include improving the workplace with over 70% of CFO’s saying they are working on safety measures and over 50% say they are improving the remote working experience. Over three quarters believe the increased flexibility and agility developed during the crisis is a factor that will make their organisation stronger over the long term.

Innovation will be a driving factor during the recovery period with nearly two thirds of CFO’s citing new or enhanced products or services as key. There are many examples to evidence this innovation such as distilleries producing hand sanitiser, 3D printers producing face shields and uniform makers switching to hospital scrubs. This coupled with flexible pricing strategies, flexible payment terms and alternative distribution strategies are all seen as the way forward in the survey.

The survey reports that the key concerns of CFO’s are the impact of a global economic downturn (60%), new wave of infections (58%) and financial effects (47%). But there has been a 42% improvement in the expectation of worsened efficiency since March as business has transitioned to remote working. Although there is deferral of general capex, CFO’s are still investing in IT and Cyber Security and less are looking to defer capex investment in R&D than previous surveys reported.

The report concludes “While bracing for a second wave of infection and working to enhance revenue streams, finance leaders will continue to prioritise agility as they navigate this new world.”

You can read the full report here:

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