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Second wave isn’t priced in

Lachlan Maddock
— 1 minute read

Almost half of businesses have no contingency plans for the possibility of a second outbreak of coronavirus.

Research and advisory firm Gartner has found that 42 per cent of CFOs are not incorporating a second outbreak of COVID019 into their financial protections for the remainder of 2020. Only 8 per cent have a second wave factored into all their scenarios, and only 22 per cent have a second wave factored into their “most likely” scenario. 

“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 of research at 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.”

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But CFOs are becoming more concerned about the risk associated with the pandemic, with CFOs citing “macro-pandemic concerns” as their top concern at more than double the rate they did at the start of April. Meanwhile, fears about revenue losses, productivity losses, and meeting payroll have declined.

CFOs are also trying to determine when they can reopen facilities, with many experiencing a disconnect between the advice of authorities and their own plans for when employees can resume on-site work.  

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

Gartner surveyed 99 CFOs and finance leaders between 14 April and 19 April to get their results.

 

Second wave isn’t priced in
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