42% CFOs have zero contingency plans for COVID-19 second wave globally: Gartner


Nearly 42 per cent chief financial officers (CFOs) are not prepared for the second wave of COVID-19 and only 8 per cent of them have a second wave factored into all their planning scenarios, a Gartner survey has revealed.

Only 22 per cent CFOs have a second wave factored into their “most likely” scenario, meaning most of them have no contingency plans if coronavirus explodes into second wave.

The lack of planning comes even as CFOs express a cautious approach as to when they will fully reopen their operations and bring employees back to their normal office routines.

“As CFOs are attempting to project revenue and profits for 2020, it’s surprising that 42 per cent are not baking a second wave of COVID-19 into any of their scenarios” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research, for the Gartner Finance practice.

“Our latest CFO data also reveals that most executive teams are still trying to decide what factors they should use to determine how and when to reopen their offices and facilities,” he added.

While 81 per cent of CFOs report that they will look to state and local authorities for clearance on when to restart their operations, 55 per cent of them reported that they will take a measured approach as to when their employees will return to offices, while 44 per cent are unsure how employees will be brought back to work.

“Many CFOs seem to be conscious of moving too quickly, with only 4 per cent of CFOs telling us that their organizations will require employees to immediately return to the office, even after receiving approval from state and local authorities to reopen their physical facilities,” said Bant.

Despite the lack of contingency planning for a second wave of COVID-19, CFOs have clearly become more concerned about the risks associated with the pandemic broadly.

The concerns about the big picture implications of the pandemic have grown to tie cash flow worries as the top concern cited by CFOs in April about the COVID-19 crisis.

“A growing concern among CFOs about the pandemic’s duration, severity and related macroeconomic implications may be contributing to a disconnect between when CFOs perceive they are allowed to reopen their facilities for business, compared with their own specific plans for accelerating employees return to physical locations.,” the findings showed.



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