News & Resources

High hopes for financial performances in 2014

Jan 07, 2014 Walt Wojciechowski

The economic situation in the United States has stabilized substantially in the past year, with its resilience proven following several tests that occurred, including the government shutdown. Business leaders now seem more confident about a variety of matters, including credit risk management, electronic payments and overall revenue building going into the new year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently released its 2014 CFO Outlook, which found that the vast majority of financial decision-makers among firms in the United States are expecting a successful performance next year. According to the report, despite concerns about the increase of medical-related expenses as the result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, chief financial officers are largely prepared to expand hiring.

The firms surveyed more than 750 CFOs from across the nation, 90 percent of which stated that they will either keep the same number of employees on board or hire more in 2014. This is likely the product of widespread confidence that revenues will be either level or higher next year than they were in 2013. For example, 54 percent of the respondents stated that their revenues will increase, while 37 percent expect them to be level.

"Middle-market companies are increasingly exploring different paths to growth, from creating deeper relationships with existing customers to entering new markets that have great potential," Alastair Borthwick, head of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "The CFO Outlook mirrors what we've heard in conversations with our clients: With the right strategy and financial partner, 2014 can bring more opportunities for expansion and success."

Business leaders who are concerned about access to credit should always remember that alternative financial service providers are available to be tapped in times of need. Studies indicate that between alternative and traditional lending channels, companies will be able to grow in 2014 with more reliable financing options.