Full steam ahead, say Canadian CFOs

By Staff | June 20, 2013 | Last updated on June 20, 2013
2 min read

Optimism is on the rise when it comes to economic growth, according to a new survey.

It surveyed senior finance executives from the U.S., Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia, and found 50% of Canada’s finance executives plan to support top-line growth this year, while improving profitability through modest spending and investment.

Read: Positive growth on horizon for Canada

Additionally, 31% plan to increase real spending and investment by more than 10%. That compares to only 17% of CFOs in the U.S. Further, only 9% of Canadian CFOs expect political gridlock and uncertainty to negatively affect economic growth in Canada, compared to half (50%) of financial executives in the U.S.

Our southern neighbours are bracing themselves for the effects that the European recession and political uncertainty will have on their economy.

The confidence seen among Canadian executives, however, is good for business since nearly two thirds (63%) claim they haven’t shortened their planning horizon in response to increased market volatility in the past two years. Another 47% say it’s unlikely for them to do so in the next year.

Read: A look at the global economy

“The results indicate that Canadian CFOs are still looking ahead at long term opportunities for growth and spending rather than merely trying to survive in the short term,” says Paul Parisi, vice president of Global Corporate Payments at American Express Canada.

These execs will also expand locally and internationally. More than half (53%) will focus primarily on increasing sales within the domestic market, but moving into emerging markets remains lucrative. About 84% will look at starting operations into China (56%), India (41%) and Brazil (34%).

Comparatively, more than a quarter (26%) of U.S. executives do not plan to expand globally this year.

Read: Great Lakes economy rebounding

CFOs key for growth

CFOs in Canada are taking a more prominent and strategic role, with 43%of saying the 2008/2009 downturn enhanced their influence within their respective organizations.

Looking ahead, more than half say they’ll encourage innovation over the next two years at their businesses. 
Parisi says, “They are looking at their business with a more strategic lens to ensure that they are helping to lay the foundation for growth and innovation in years to come.”

He adds, “As we increase investments in booming emerging markets we’re offsetting economic uncertainty in Europe, giving Canadian executives the confidence to plan for growth long-term.”


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Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.