The CFO Alliance Releases 2019 Mid-Year Update to CFO Sentiment Study

No Signs of Slow Down Yet, As The Middle Market Continues Their Press to Add Top Talent and Additional Customers for the Balance of 2019

​The CFO Alliance, a leading peer advisory network with more than 8,000 CFOs and qualified finance executives from middle market and emerging enterprises from all industries, geographies, sizes, and structures involved, released its 2019 Mid-Year Update to the CFO Sentiment Study, to provide insights into the strategic planning and financial outlook of CFOs for the 2nd half of 2019. This Study is unique in that it is designed to offer insights into how today’s finance leaders are best positioning their enterprises to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities during the remainder of 2019. Over 200 senior financial executives from across North America participated in this year’s Mid-Year Update, offering in-depth perspectives on how CFOs are delivering on changing expectations for their enterprises in the face of decreasing confidence in the Global economy, increasing talent shortages, and disruptions to industry and business model norms impacting customer relationships and revenue streams.

Following are twelve (12) primary findings from the Study:

  1. 70% of Survey participants are at or above YTD top and bottom-line plans.
  2. CFOs’ views on the future performance of the North American market remain high, while views on the Global market have plummeted, with 50% of Survey participants characterizing the global economy as ‘weak’.
  3. Own-company optimism remains high.
  4. 77% of Survey participants will be investing internally (Build) to drive growth (vs. 10% who will use Acquisitions, 7% who will use JVs, Partnerships, or Alliances, and 6% who will use Automation).
  5. 40% of Survey participants will focus on increasing existing customer spend and entering new markets to drive growth for the balance of 2019.
  6. Improving Operational Efficiency remains the one critical success factor that will have the greatest impact on top and bottom-line performance for the remainder of 2019.
  7. About half of Survey participants noted that Talent Acquisition and Development are the top concern “keeping them up at night’’.
  8. About 60% of Survey participants intend to add additional talent during the remainder of 2019.
  9. Expectations for revenue, earnings, and hiring growth all continue to be robust.
  10. CFOs claim substantial talent constraints, but not capital constraints, are impacting their performance.
  11. Top uses of cash are adding additional talent and investments in automation, including upgrading technology systems and enhancing data analytics.
  12. CFOs’ top personal focus area is enhancing margins through automation.

“Our CFO Alliance Members continue to remain confident in their own enterprise’s ability to make good on their plans to drive top line, bottom line and shareholder value performance in 2019, as 69% are operating at/above YTD plans. They also remain bullish on their industries and the current markets they serve. However, as we move through 2019, their concerns and pessimism continue to increase as they evaluate the strength of markets outside of their own and the health of related and unrelated industries. We are committed to providing finance leaders with the most efficient and effective ways that they can access a qualified peer network for benchmarking, best practice sharing, and confidence building as they drive performance and decision making through the remainder of 2019 and beyond,” says Nick Araco, CEO of AchieveNEXT and The CFO Alliance.

Those who are not Members of The CFO Alliance can access the Report and learn more about The CFO Alliance by contacting Candace Cook (

Survey Methodology

The CFO Alliance tracks the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s leading and most influential enterprises. This Report summarizes CFOs’ opinions in four areas: business and economic environment; enterprise priorities and expectations; finance priorities; and CFOs’ personal priorities. The CFO Alliance 2019 Mid-Year Update to the CFO Sentiment Study was conducted from June 27, 2019, through July 10, 2019. A total of 210 finance leaders participated. The data collected represents a cross-section of respondents representing over 200 enterprises. Those surveyed are from all geographical areas of the United States and Canada with the largest concentration, nearly 40%, from the northeast region of the United States. 71% percent of the participants in the 2019 Mid-Year Update hold finance leadership positions at enterprises with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, and the majority of the participants’ enterprises, 67%, employ between 50 and 5000 full-time employees.

About The CFO Alliance

The CFO Alliance is the leading peer advisory network for more than 8,000 CFOs and qualified finance executives from middle market and emerging enterprises from all industries, geographies, sizes, and structures. Membership to The CFO Alliance is for forward-thinking, innovative finance executives who are committed to a path of constant learning, self-improvement, and knowledge, experience, and insight-sharing. CFO Alliance Members are poised, sophisticated and professional. CFO Alliance Members share their knowledge, insights, advice and counsel virtually and in-person to ‘Make Connections That Count.’ Our Members demonstrate an understanding and empathy to the challenges and opportunities of the Modern

Contact info:
Name: Deanna Tully, Operations Manager
Organization: AchieveNEXT
Address: 1265 Drummers Lane, Suite 106 Wayne, PA 19087
Phone: 610.492.7400

Share this article:

Recent Posts

Twenty-One Leading Finance & HR Executives Collaborate to Release Special Task Force Report on COVID-19 Agile Business & Workforce Re-entry

​​WAYNE, PA, May 27, 2020 — TWENTY-ONE (21) LEADING FINANCE & HR EXECUTIVES COLLABORATE TO RELEASE SPECIAL TASK FORCE REPORT ON COVID-19 AGILE BUSINESS & WORKFORCE REENTRY LAUNCH OF CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCE OFFICE ALLIANCE  AchieveNEXT, a provider of Peer Advisory Networks and specialized Human Capital Performance Solutions brought together a select group of respected Finance […]

Read More
COVID-19 Current Sentiment: “Emotion comes in waves,” Robyn Pollack, AchieveNEXT Managing Director

As we are through almost four weeks of crisis, emotion comes in waves. Most days I am okay, but there is always that point where it hits you. I started thinking about how the stages of this process tie to the stages of grief, not just personally, but for enterprises, people and culture. In 1969, […]

Read More
Search firms hit with inquiries as companies, employees brace for layoffs

March 24, 2020 ( – Unemployment claims have spiked in Pennsylvania and New Jersey due to the wave of business closures created by the coronavirus crisis. A spate of layoffs and furloughs are anticipated in the coming weeks with many of the businesses that have been shut down unable to pay employees much longer. For […]

Read More