With more people expected to return to corporate offices to work, and as countries reopen borders for international travel, a survey carried out by advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has indicated a growing concern among financial analysts for a resurgence in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
According to the PwC survey, 64 per cent of CFOs around the world believe that there will be a new wave of COVID-19 infections.
Of the number surveyed, 61 per cent of CFOs are concerned about the impact of a global economic downturn should there be a drastic increase in new cases of COVID-19.
“It’s clear from PwC’s sixth COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey that CFOs are focusing on regaining their footing, rebuilding revenue, and reshaping their businesses,” a release said.
Earlier this month, between June 1 and 11, PwC carried out the survey, polling 989 CFOs in 23 countries and territories, including over 40 CFOs in Jamaica and across the Caribbean
In the Caribbean, 66 per cent of CFOs anticipate that the pandemic will effect a 10 per cent reduction in revenue and profits. At the same time, 11 per cent of CFOs could not project the decrease in revenue and/or profits, while two per cent said the impact would be too difficult to assess.
“Caribbean Finance leaders are now looking to balance their business strategy with the new requirements for doing business in this challenging era of unpredictability… COVID-19 has created opportunities and it will be good to see businesses evolving and adapting to remain profitable.”— Leighton McKnight, advisory leader — PricewaterhouseCoopers Caribbean
In comparison to the rest of the world, 70 per cent of Caribbean CFOs believe that introducing a new product or service is critical to rebuilding or enhancing their companies’ revenue streams. The global figure was 63 per cent.
CFOs in the region were not expecting to reduce their spend on digital transformation and/or cybersecurity, however.
According to PwC advisory leader in the Caribbean, Leighton McKnight, “Caribbean Finance leaders are now looking to balance their business strategy with the new requirements for doing business in this challenging era of unpredictability… COVID-19 has created opportunities and it will be good to see businesses evolving and adapting to remain profitable.”
He underscored, too, that it shouldn’t be shocking that CFOs are concerned about the return of employees to corporate workspaces. However, “if companies implement the right measures to keep employees and clients safe and take a phased approach, they’ll be better able to focus on working to survive and thrive as we move forward,” Knight reasoned.
The PwC lead advisor pointed out, therefore, that there are opportunities that company heads can take advantage of, including investing in people and communities, which could spur economic growth.