In spite of turmoil and uncertainty in the financial markets, CFOs are looking forward to next year with a sense of cautious optimism.

A new survey by the CFO Alliance, a community of more than 2,000 CFOs, finance leaders and partners, found that 67.5 percent of the respondents expect 2012 revenues at their companies to grow, while 10.4 percent expect a revenue decline. In addition, 35.5 percent of the 505 survey respondents see margin improvements in 2012, while 18 percent expect their companies’ margins to decline. The survey also found that 55.5 percent of the respondents anticipate earnings growth next year, while 16.2 percent expect earnings to decline.

Performance improvements in 2012 will require organizations to be more efficient and productive. Only 43.2 percent of the survey respondents said their organizations plan to increase overall spending in 2012, and only 29.2 percent plan on increasing capex.  While many CFOs expressed concern about unemployment, 52.2 percent expect to spend more on wages and employee benefits in 2012. Wages and benefits are the largest area of planned spending increases in 2012.  

Most CFOs see their role changing next year. Of those polled, 73 percent expect their role to expand, 28 percent anticipate broader organization responsibility, and 19 percent foresee broader operational responsibility. Within mid-market organizations with revenues between $50 million and $250 million, more than 61 percent of the CFOs surveyed expect their role to become more strategic, with greater involvement in setting corporate direction and strategy and creating long-term shareholder value.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access