How finance leaders plan to react to COVID-19

The potential for COVID-19 to lead to a global economic downturn is the top concern for finance leaders in the US and Mexico, according to PwC. However, 90% of finance leaders say their business would return to normal in less than 3 months if COVID-19 were to end immediately.

finance COVID-19

Key findings

  • All finance leaders say their business is experiencing some impact as a result of coronavirus.
  • 54% of respondents say the outbreak has the potential for “significant” impact to business operations.
  • 58% expect a decrease in their company’s revenue and/or profits this year.
  • 34% say impact has been limited to specific regions, but that they are monitoring developments closely.
  • Just 14% of finance leaders reported that their company is not considering any financial actions as a result of COVID-19.
  • Only 30% are considering supply chain changes.
  • 80% indicated that a potential global recession rated among their top-three concerns with respect to COVID-19.
  • 48% of finance leaders expect to change disclosures.

“Uncertainty, especially regarding both the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a predominant concern for chief financial officers,” said Tim Ryan, PwC US Chair and Senior Partner.

“However, with 90% of CFOs and finance leaders optimistic that they can return to normal business operations fairly quickly if the pandemic stops soon, this should signal a strong sense of urgency for business leaders to work closely with government and public health officials to help address the crisis.”

finance COVID-19

Most finance leaders optimistic

“Most finance leaders surveyed seem to be optimistic about a resolution to the spread of the coronavirus and as a result are focused on near-term versus long-term solutions to managing costs,” said Amity Millhiser, PwC US Vice Chair and Chief Clients Officer.

“However, if conditions continue to deteriorate we would expect to see a pullback in long-term investment spending as companies move to longer-term cost containment strategies.”

Of the 50 finance leaders surveyed, 80% are from Fortune 1000 companies, with others in healthcare non-profit associations or in privately held companies, and 44 respondents are from the US whereas 6 are from Mexico.

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