Uncertainties about the economic situation have increased over the course of the year. This is just one of the findings from the latest "Operations Efficiency Radar", conducted by Roland Berger and the International Controllers Association (ICV).
The study also found that companies from the German-speaking area are more careful about their planning and more focused in their growth efforts. At the same time, they strive to improve cost efficiency. This means priorities in the CFO agenda for 2013 have changed: For the first time ever, working capital management ranks among the top 3; accounting and finance remain high on the list in 4th place while purchasing has moved up from spot 8 to 5.
For this study, Roland Berger and the ICV surveyed over 100 CFOs and accounting executives at manufacturing companies. The survey also revealed differences among the various industries: whereas managers in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector tend to be more optimistic, the mood in the automotive industry is much more cautious.
Furthermore, responses to questions about the euro crisis demonstrated that different opinions about the impact of the crisis can exist within the same company. In such cases, clear guidelines and the use of scenario techniques can help to develop company-wide planning for the upcoming year.