Today, CFOs are having to not only focus on their day-to-day business needs, but also focus on what is happening outside of their companies in order to navigate the tough economic times that they are operating under.
This sentiment is echoed in the 9th Annual Africa CFO Survey which shows that South African CFOs expect the interest rate to increase over the next six months, while only half of Southern African CFOs expect an increase. In addition to this, while South Africans are most worried about the political landscape in their country, currency volatility tops the list of top risks for Southern African CFOs.
Some of the key challenges from the survey include:
- South African CFOs expect the interest rate to increase over the next six months, while only half of Southern African CFOs expect an increase.
- There is decreased optimism amongst South and Southern African CFO’s regarding the performance of their companies.
- Capital is viewed as costly for most CFOs and not easy to get.
CFO’s responded to these challenges and highlighted that they will have to do the following in order to deal with these challenges:
- The strong possibility of interest rate increases means CFOs will be more circumspect when making decisions around the incurring of debt, interest repayments and stress on free cash flow.
- CFOs intend to be more circumspect in prioritising cash flow and the focus will be on improving current operations this year.
Looking ahead, most CFOs on the continent will be engaged in improving operational efficiency and process optimisation and reducing operating cost. These defensive strategies have spilled over from 2015 and will probably continue into 2017. They will need ingenuity to negotiate the ‘new normal’ and find novel ways of growing their businesses and enhancing their attractiveness to investors.
Get the full Deloitte CFO Report 2016 and read what CFOs across the African continent have to say.
For further information, contact:
CFO Programme Leader