- Information-sharing and benchmarking your response with your sector and the market remains the goal for this stage of the COVID era in the US. To this end - two surveys of important membership groups are worth highlighting - with a shared conclusion about
lack of visibility making it to soon to consider longer-term plans.
CFO Flash Survey
the viewpoints of 50 North American CFOs during the week of March 9-13. A few findings that jumped out to us, led by this statement of confidence:
66% of these CFOs say their businesses will be back to business as usual within a month from the end of the crisis.
48% of those surveyed plan changes to their disclosures, including 8% of those making "significant changes", and 44% expect to adjust guidance. From the capital structure angle, we were surprised that
just 28% expect to adjust company financing plans
- which might speak to company balance sheets already being run conservatively by some companies, or the lack of complete visibility on the final impact.
maintains a dialogue with board members responsible for overseeing their companies; its
Pulse Survey gathers
the opinions of nearly 200 directors as to their involvement in company operations and strategy.
76% of board members report that their boards have discussed COVID with management
- with the majority of those discussions focusing on internal operations, response plans, and making sure to protect the health of employees. Just
32% have pressure-tested management's assumptions about the possible business impact of COVID to date, while 45% expect to do so at the next board meeting
as part of evaluating management's preparedness. However, most directors state that longer-term forward-looking decisions have not been made as of yet;
just 16% stated they've discussed post-crisis plans with management, and 13% state they've worked with management on decisions to postpone a major 2020 investment
. While the job of any board, and really any IR team, is to look forward, both CFOs and directors don't think the board is set well enough to think several moves ahead.