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CFOs Rank Cutting Costs as Top Priority

Study found the number of CFOs prioritizing cutting costs in finance function rose from 38% to 44%

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
CFOs Rank Cutting Costs as Top Priority

Research from US Bank has revealed that the top two priorities for chief financial officers (CFOs) are cutting costs within finance function and across the entire business.

The study of 2,000 US corporate finance leaders found that 44% of respondents said cutting costs and driving efficiencies in the finance function is a top priority this year.

This figure has increased six percentage points from 2023 and almost doubled the 23% who said the same in 2021 when US Bank’s research first launched.

Meanwhile, 37% of CFOs said that cutting costs and driving efficiencies across the business is their top priority, which is an increase from 33% in 2023.

According to US Bank, finance leaders are prioritizing cutting costs to preserve margins due to the current economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

The report also found that talent shortages were ranked as the leading risk for CFOs for the third consecutive year, with 41% reporting it was the number one risk facing their business.

This was closely followed by the challenges related to the pace of technology change and digital disruption, which 38% of respondents classed as top of the agenda for their business.

Concerns about geopolitical tension have increased as 26% flagged this as a top-three risk, compared to only 17% in 2023. As a result, geopolitical tension moved from tenth to fourth most cited risk.

Stephen Philipson, head of global market and specialized finance at US Bank, said: “The CFO’s job has always been a challenge. But today they face higher inflation and interest rates, political uncertainty in the US and abroad, a difficult-to-forecast short-term economy and incredible pressure to make the right technology investments their firms will need to compete.”

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