Finance leaders are under pressure to better manage margins and earnings performance, cash flow and cybersecurity, according to a new survey.

The survey, by the consulting firm Protiviti and the Financial Executives Research Foundation, indicated that CFOs and finance professionals are concerned about intensifying volatility as they address a growing set of priorities. The survey polled more than 650 CFOs, vice presidents of finance, corporate controllers and other finance management professionals.

Margin and earnings performance ranked as the top priority for the executives polled, cited by 73 percent of the respondents, followed by 69 percent who cited strategic planning and tax planning and forecasting, and 68 percent who cited periodic forecasting and budgeting.

“Margin and earnings performance ranks as the top priority across all groups of our survey respondents,” said Ryan Senter, a Protiviti managing director and leader of the firm’s Business Performance Improvement practice, in a statement. “With the modest economic recovery of the past few years, finance functions are preparing the enterprise for challenges that could materialize at any time by working to preserve margins and by sustaining a strong focus on working capital management.”

Cybersecurity also ranked high among a subset of the survey respondents, cited by 81 percent of the CFOs and finance VPs polled. Cybersecurity is now a top boardroom issue, drawing substantial time and attention from finance personnel.

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