Fact. Your CFO is losing sleep at night because he or she is worried about your organization’s financial reporting processes. According to the Future of Financial Reporting 2017 survey, conducted by the FSN Modern Finance Forum on LinkedIn, 97 percent of CFOs are being kept awake by a host of reporting-related concerns, from inadequate controls, to the prospect of having to face “unanswerable questions” in the boardroom and finding that serious errors have cropped up on critical spreadsheets.
While this is a prosperous period for the world economy, the recent volatility in the stock markets globally is an indicator of changing times. The World Bank has forecast growth of 3.1% for 2018, which will benefit businesses, but at the same time a healthier trading environment brings with it the prospect of wage inflation, interest rate rises and the end of cheap money. As we saw from the dramatic reaction to figures that showed US wages were rising faster than expected, the markets are jittery about the end of loose monetary policy.
CFOs today are under more pressure than ever before from their board of directors and CEO to unlock trapped cash. Unfortunately, regional operations hold unnecessary cash buffers to protect their balance sheet. This cash-hoarding culture is detrimental to free cash flow, and could eliminate the opportunity to execute the corporate capital allocation strategy, including share repurchase targets, corporate debt repayments, shareholder dividends, and M&A initiatives.