CFOs Excited About Transitioning from Crisis to Growth in 2021


It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that the economy should be in dire straits after so much pandemic-induced disruption.

But there’s a surprising trend during times of crisis that turns the above notion on its head.

One example that comes to mind is during World War 2, where unemployment dropped to 10%. Of course, various factors involved – such as factories being retooled to fuel war efforts – led to this success.

Perhaps what the example of World War 2 conveys is that times of crisis seem to motivate industries to band together, innovate, and perform at a higher level than before.

And, according to the CNBC Global CFO Survey for Q1 2021, current projections look similarly bright for the economy with the COVID-19 crisis in its twilight.

Chief financial officers haven’t had this much economic confidence since 2018—moreover, CFOs fear COVID-related risks to their business outlook 50% less than last quarter.

America’s Current Landscape is Conducive to Hope

An article from CNBC breaks down the Global CFO Council Survey conducted between March 2 and March 23. As highlighted in the introduction, the outlook is overwhelmingly excellent, and this is chiefly due to the following factors:

  • The added fiscal stimulus
  • President Biden’s new proposed infrastructure plan
  • 75% of CFOs projecting the Dow to hit 35,000 instead of crashing back to 25,000

Given these factors, Diane Swonk – the chief economist at Grant Thornton LLP – believes the economy will show more growth than it has since 1984.

What Does Recent Economic Confidence and Projected Growth Mean for CFOs?

As long as you hold firm, rely on your expertise, and roll with the punches, you’ll make it out on the other side of a crisis.

However, just because you’ve steadily managed a crisis doesn’t mean it’s an ideal situation.  Innovating new ways to stay profitable when the deck is stacked against you gets tiresome after a while.

But given the challenges faced during the pandemic, financial service organizations have sharpened and honed their toolkits.

They’ve learned to survive and even find success in circumstances unfriendly to their business. And now is the time to reach for the sky and truly grow.

For instance, take these statistics from a recent Grant Thornton LLP survey:

  • 60%-plus of CFOs claim to have made work environments more flexible and remote in their organizations.
  • Over 40% of chief financial officers speak to improved collaboration within their companies.
  • 40% of surveyed CFOs also stated that their business processes have improved while noting a heightened focus on strategy.

It seemed like being forced to do business without the benefit of in-person interactions made CFOs and their organizations dig down deep to find ways to thrive. As a result, they’re using the lessons learned from the pandemic to create a blueprint for their future, transitioning from crisis management to growth.

With Exponential Growth Comes the Need for High-Level Talent

Financial service organizations need to prepare themselves to leverage the unprecedented number of growth opportunities about to come their way. Otherwise, it will be nearly impossible to maintain a competitive edge in the industry. The only way to stay on top is with top-performing talent who knows how to create, spot, and leverage changes for growth.

You can find those types of difference-makers by contacting JFS Partners for the highest-performing job candidates in accounting and finance.


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