What is Making CFOs Lose Sleep?

Image via Flickr by Francisco Diez

Being a CFO in today’s marketplace has never been more difficult; the mounting pressures and rapidly changing pace of technology are just two factors which contribute to making the job of CFO increasingly more challenging. Making it even harder still are the shifting global economics of an interconnected world, and anxiety over choosing the right strategies for navigating corporate growth. With so much to worry about, it is little wonder that CFOs may be losing sleep at night.Global Economics

The worldwide markets are dizzyingly complex and ever-changing. By the time you get a handle on the global economic picture, chances are that picture has already changed in some way. The volatility inherent in a globalized market where countries depend on one another for financial viability causes major headaches for many CFOs who need to be abreast of all the latest financial news around the world at nearly all times in order to even keep up, let alone get ahead. U.S. CFOs are always keeping a sharp eye on the euro, which is no surprise given the hard times many countries in the E.U. have had recently, and the struggles of that financial system. Emerging markets are another source of concern. CFOs struggle to get their hands on all the latest data and process it in meaningful ways.

U.S. Growth and Recovery

The U.S. itself is by no means immune to these wider global trends. Indeed, it is invariably caught up in the global financial system. Continued slow economic growth and high unemployment levels have been a cause for concern among many U.S. CFOs, as has the housing market’s slow recovery. The U.S. economy has become far more difficult to predict, resulting in CFOs spending long nights over endless figures, stressed and attempting to make accurate sales projections.

Growth Strategies

A major trend has been a shift from CFOs promoting cost-cutting strategies to those seeking avenues for new growth. Finding the proper areas for this growth is a time-consuming and stressful process that involves a great deal of research combined with something like a leap of faith. Generating organic growth is crucial, but many believe that transformational deals are also a necessity for continued relevance.

What is keeping you up at night? How do you deal with stress and uncertainty?