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CFO Insights — What's keeping CFOs up at night in 2018?

Published on: Nov 01, 2018

There are plenty of reasons why CFOs might be suffering from insomnia — not all of them negative. Far from it, in fact.

Growth, it turns out, brings its own stressors. While in Deloitte’s Q3 2018 CFO Signals™ survey CFOs’ expectations for year-over-year revenue growth remained at one of its highest levels in the past four years, respondents expressed concern about their organizations’ abilities to stay focused and execute on growth and change initiatives. They also continued to rank securing and retaining talent as among their top internal risks.

But, as bright as the economic foreground may appear, a less vibrant horizon looms — one that forward-looking finance chiefs can’t help but glimpse. In fact, the survey found that the proportion of CFOs who expect better conditions in North America in a year dropped from 52 percent in the second quarter, to 45 percent in Q3 — the lowest percentage in two years. Moreover, 71 percent of CFOs said equity markets are overvalued, up from 63 percent in the previous quarter.

What’s driving those numbers is likely also what’s keeping CFOs up in 2018: uncertainty about a range of fast-moving issues (trade policy), persistent challenges (finding and keeping talent), and familiar-but-evolving qualms (global volatility).

This issue details those concerns, along with seven others, drawn from the resources of Deloitte’s U.S. CFO Program, which include our Next Generation CFO Academies, CFO Transition Lab™ sessions, CFO Forums, CFO Vision™ conferences, and the quarterly CFO Signals survey.

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