CFOs: reducing costs remains a priority

11 April 2011

11 April 2011 | Steve Bagshaw

On-going cost cutting measures remain a priority among the UK’s chief financial officers (CFOs) according to the latest quarterly survey from accountancy giant Deloitte.

The probe of 137 CFOs, including 46 of Britain’s largest firms, found that 31 per cent described “reducing costs” as a “strong priority”, up from 29 per cent in the final quarter of 2010. Only “introducing new products and services or expanding into new markets” was more important to them.

Overall, the research found optimism among CFOs at its lowest level for two years but a rise in those who consider now a good time for greater financial risks. A total of 41 per cent of respondents reported now as a good time – the highest level since the survey began in the 2007.

In its analysis of the findings Deloitte explained the apparent contradiction between perceptions of risk and broader sentiment.

“CFO optimism seems to be influenced more by external events and movements in financial markets. Risk appetite on the other hand seems to reflect a series of factors where CFOs take a more positive view; longer term judgments about opportunities, the strength of balance sheets and financial prospects,” it said. 

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