As financial leaders grapple with this year’s primary concerns, ranging from talent scarcity to recession fears, their roles have evolved beyond traditional boundaries. Today, it’s about more than managing finances meticulously; CFOs often find themselves contributing to strategic decisions across various departments like never before.
Embracing this multifaceted CFO role can turn economic uncertainty into a strategic asset for your business. To clarify how this could be achieved, we surveyed 500 executives and managers from companies yielding less than $250 million in annual revenue. The survey focused on their perceptions of business challenges, leadership responses to those challenges, and their company’s outlook amidst the current economic climate.
Here are the notable insights from our survey:
- A significant 80% of mid-level managers report their teams struggle to reach goals, with 40% asserting that leadership fails to grasp the impact of supply and staffing shortages on goal achievement.
- Surprisingly, 45% of larger and 32% of smaller organizations view inflation as a positive influence on their businesses.
- Almost every executive anticipates a recession in the coming eighteen months. To prepare, 51% of finance executives are analyzing the recession sensitivity of their products and services.
CFOs indeed face a challenging road ahead. Our survey revealed a palpable sense of uncertainty among managers regarding the level of support they receive from executives in addressing pressing concerns, such as the ongoing staffing shortages.
The prevailing indifference towards executive support is further exacerbated by the fact that 80% of managers acknowledge their teams’ inability to achieve the operational goals established in collaboration with leadership. The reasons for this shortcoming span a broad spectrum:
- 23% attributed the problem to antiquated tools and processes.
- 21% pointed to the ongoing labor shortage.
- 19% blamed materials shortages.
- 17% mentioned that the surge in demand surpasses their capacity to meet it.
Now, as a CFO, the onus is on your team to contribute in tackling these obstacles. While financial oversight has always been an integral part of your role, it is essential now more than ever to extend this support to supply chain management and other managerial roles, assisting them in achieving their objectives. Leaders are seeking advice from finance about where and how to channel investments within the business, making it your responsibility to step up and offer guidance.
Additionally, our survey solicited executives and managers’ perspectives on inflation’s effect on their businesses, their outlook on recession predictions, and their prime business apprehensions.