Of 331 FDs questioned in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question, 82% said their role became more important within an organisation as the economy turned sour. Most argued FDs become more ‘visible’ in troubled times rather than their role changing in substance.
One FD said: ‘The finance director is perceived to have a more important contribution in times of trouble. The contribution itself should be unchanged.’Another said: ‘When the business is profitable people simply don?t notice the role of FD. Good companies listen all the time.’
Most respondents agreed an FD’s role was of the utmost importance to a business at any time but that until times are tough the role and the person are invisible.
Only 12% denied the role grew in importance. They argued it should retain the same level of importance irrespective of the economic situation. Six percent remained neutral.
One FD said: ‘Even when times are tight, the finance director?s role should remain the same as when things are looking good.’
Despite mixed messages on whether the UK will spiral into full-scale recession, the number of companies downgrading profit forecasts grew rapidly in the third quarter. The next three months are expected to see up to 150 listed companies issuing profit warnings.
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