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
“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.