75 percent of CFO respondents in the PwC survey feel very confident they can meet customers’ safety expectations, and 70 percent are very confident they can provide a safe working environment for employees.
The survey of 867 CFOs in 24 countries and territories also found that about half of CFOs are considering making remote work a permanent option where feasible, and 48 percent are looking at accelerating automation and other ways of working.
Key findings of the PwC COVID-19 CFO Pulse
- Workplace safety. Confidence about workplace safety runs particularly high in Denmark (90 percent) and Germany (85 percent), both of which have reopened or are soon planning to reopen their schools, restaurants, and shops. Among the tactical measures planned to protect staff, 76 percent of all CFOs surveyed are considering masks and testing, and 65 percent say they’ll reconfigure worksites to promote physical distancing.
- Revenue. More than half of CFOs expect a decrease in revenues of up to 25 percent as a result of the current crisis.
- Cost containment. As companies settle into stabilisation, cost containment is a favoured strategy among CFOs, with 81 percent saying they will consider it in response to the crisis. 60 percent of finance leaders say they will defer or cancel planned investments, with facilities and general capex (83 percent), operations (53 percent) and workforce (49 percent) topping the list.
- Recovery. Although 42 percent of CFOs believe their company could return to “business as usual” within three months if COVID-19 were to end today, there is a growing sentiment in many territories that recovery may take much longer. Overall, 8 percent of CFOs would expect it to take more than one year. In Malaysia, 23 percent of CFOs say returning to business as usual could take more than a year. 26 percent of Mexico CFOs and 33 percent of Africa CFOs believe it will take six to 12 months.