We are delighted to present the third Deloitte CFO Survey report for West Africa. This report offers a glimpse of the views, expectations and challenges of CFOs in Ghana and Nigeria as they negotiate particularly tough global and local economic fluctuations.
There are times when CFOs feel they are the single voices of reason in their organisations and this survey is aimed at providing them with a yardstick to measure how they are reading the business environment in relation to their peers.
Conducted in May and June this year, the research gives an indication of how CFOs view the economy and the performance of their operations within the broader economic context. It also provides insight into industry challenges, how CFOs intend to spend their companies' cash and what strategies they have adopted to enhance the performance of their organisations.
The West African results are presented alongside the collective views of CFOs in East Africa, Southern Africa and South Africa. East African respondents hail from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia while the Southern African sample incorporates input from CFOs in Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
CFO responses in South Africa were not included in the Southern African sample as they numbered 146 compared to 141 respectively and we were concerned this would skew the results significantly. For an overview of the respondent profile see page 25 of this report.
We understand the CFO role is not an easy one and requires a high degree of fortitude, particularly in challenging economic times. As an integrated African firm, we are committed to providing CFOs with information and support that will give them the edge when it comes to making informed decisions and addressing thorny issues in their daily work lives. In this respect, we trust the survey will deliver useful insights and information to our valued clients and readers.
What did West African CFOs tell us?
- CFOs in West African countries are less optimistic about their companies' performance in 2016 than their East African counterparts, but more optimistic about their performance in 2017 and 2018 than East African CFOs.
- Currency volatility, the political landscape and disruptive power supplies are regarded as top risk factors for West African CFOs.
- Capital is seen as costly and not readily available to West African CFOs.
- Top job stresses for West African CFOs include changing regulatory requirements and excessive workloads.
What are they doing about it?
- Improving current operations and repaying debt are the top cash-flow priorities for West African CFOs.
- Ghanaian CFOs intend to invest in new capacity.
- This year, West African CFOs will focus on improving operational efficiency and process optimisation.
- Additional strategic measures include the reduction of operating costs and finding ways to improve investor confidence.
This survey as it relates to Ghana and Nigeria is a "pulse survey" intended to provide CFOs with information regarding CFO thinking in the two countries across a variety of topics. It is not, nor is it intended to be, scientific, including in its number of respondents, selection of respondents, or response rate. Accordingly, references to Ghana and Nigeria summarise findings for the two countries, but do not necessarily indicate economy- or industry-wide perceptions or trends. The regional data for the collective Southern, East and West African regions is, however, scientific as minimum sample sizes were achieved.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.