Huge Concern Over Covid-19 Among CFOs

17 Apr 2020 | 08.24 am

Huge Concern Over Covid-19 Among CFOs

PwC's CFO Pulse Survey

17 Apr 2020 | 08.24 am

Chief financial officers in Ireland are more concerned about the impact of Covid-19 than their counterparts around the world, according to PwC.

The consultancy’s fortnightly CFO Pulse Survey  says that 96% of CFOs in Ireland are “greatly concerned” about Covid-19 having a ‘significant’ impact on business operations, a much higher proportion than among overseas counterparts, at 73%.

Cost containment (78%) and deferral or cancellation of planned investments (61%) are high high on the agenda. More layoffs cannot be ruled out, according to one in four of the large em;ployers surveyed.

In line with world counterparts, the top concern for 70% of Irish CFOs is the financial impact on their organisation’s operations, liquidity and capital resources. Two-thirds are concerned about the possibility of a global recession. Other findings from CFO participants in Ireland include:

  • 39% expect temporary furloughs
  • 44% say that if the pandemic were to end today, their businesses would return to normal within three months
  • 17% state they would not expect recovery for over a year, compared to the global average of 6%
  • Six out of ten respondents expect productivity losses due to lack of remote working capabilities

PwC consulting partner Garrett Cronin said: “Similar to what’s being seen globally, Irish companies are cutting costs and putting planned investments in technology, workforce and capital expenditures on hold while they try to weather an unprecedented economic storm.  

“Before this pandemic hit, many businesses were focused on long-term growth. Now companies are being forced to protect their bottom line. However, businesses are also looking to the long term, including, with the help of government supports, protecting the livelihoods of their people for as long as is possible.”

Numbers taking or planning to take government supports are smaller than overseas. At present 35% are either already taking or plan to apply for the assistance. Another 35% said they would not be taking advantage of the supports on offer.

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