News & Resources

Top risk management concern: fiscal uncertainty

Jan 25, 2012 Philip Burgess

Financial uncertainty is the leading risk management concern facing CFOs, corporate treasurers and other senior finance executives, according to a survey released this week by the Association for Financial Professionals. Nearly three-quarters of respondents - 72 percent - say their top concern is in managing financial uncertainty, which has been rife in recent years. This includes issues related to credit, liquidity, interest rates and currency exchange. On a larger scale, finance chiefs are also concerned about inflation and the slow pace of economic growth. Forty-one percent expect more earnings uncertainty in the coming years. "Uncertainty is here to stay," said Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of AFP. "One way organizations can take control of rising uncertainty in their earnings is by adopting a new mindset and making more risk-adjusted decisions. The ones that do this effectively will have a competitive advantage." Consumer credit risk management will remain another concern in coming years, even as confidence climbs and unemployment drops. A report released this week by Zurich and the Harvard Business Review found 42 percent of survey companies currently employ a chief risk officer, compared to only 11 percent three years ago.