The KPMG Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Forum serves as a platform to discuss issues of common interest to CFOs and foster interaction between CFOs and relevant government regulators and policymakers. The KPMG Annual CFO Outlook Survey provides valuable insights into how CFOs and their organisations view the business environment, their ask of government and their response to the challenges faced. This year, we decided to publish the report at the half year and evaluate the impact of developments in the first half of the year, as well as the rest of 2021.
2021 has so far been unique in several ways. The COVID pandemic which captured global attention in 2020 continued to dominate the headlines in the first half of 2021 and many of the assumed temporary measures put in place by businesses in 2020 to deal with the pandemic have had to become business as usual in 2021. Secondly, even though the economy exited recession much quicker than anticipated, overall growth remains tepid as the economy still suffers from structural imbalances and businesses grapple with rising inflation and currency devaluation. Thirdly, the state of insecurity in several parts of the country has been unprecedented in recent times and has added a further layer of complexity to an already challenging business environment. Against this backdrop, CFOs are facing increasing demands to keep their businesses profitable and enhance value creation.
In this year’s survey, we collated the views of CFOs on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their respective industries, their outlook on the prospects of growth for both the economy and their organisations, their key challenges from an ease of doing business perspective, and finally, their response to the challenges of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the finance function.
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