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Four in ten CFOs are worried about cashflow

Matt McAllister

Cashflow is a serious concern for many chief financial officers (CFOs) and a particular issue for SMEs. That’s the conclusion of a new poll of 200 UK finance directors/CFOS, commissioned by recruitment consultancy Robert Half

Four in ten (41%) of respondents said cashflow was their biggest internal concern, with this figure rising to 46% for SMEs.  The biggest reason for worry over cashflow was clients and customers not paying on time (61%), followed by clients becoming insolvent (45%) and competitive pricing (41%). However, lower revenue was less of a reason for cashflow problems than it was a year ago (38% compared to 50%).

The poll also showed that concerns about cashflow vary according to location. Almost half (48%) of respondents in the North of England and Scotland said cashflow was a major concern, compared to 37% of CFOs in London and the South East.

One in four (23%) of CFOs added that it was also difficult to secure investment funding for their company. The biggest barrier to receiving this financing was working in a sector that was either depressed or perceived to be risky, though bad debt and a poor credit rating were also cited as factors.

Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half commented: “Cashflow clearly remains a priority for finance leaders, particularly small and private companies who rely heavily on liquid capital to keep business running as usual. With half of all UK jobs coming from SME businesses, it is essential for these organisations to be supported to get the economy back on the right track.”

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