Drought or drowning? Cash challenges for CFOs

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Whether the company is cash rich or cash poor, the CFO’s contribution to navigating the complexities of the current climate successfully is crucial.

The gap between the haves and have-nots has rarely been wider.

At one end of the cash spectrum, many investment-grade corporates have amassed formidable balance sheet positions.

Fuelled by fear of being locked out of credit markets, and by a lack of confidence in investment options, these companies have built up huge war chests of cash. And they are showing no sign of opening their coffers yet.

At the other end of the spectrum, after a period of four years in which banks have tightened credit and reduced lending, thousands of companies remain in a precarious cash position. For many, accessing cash is a permanent preoccupation which means the difference between staying in business, and not.

We explore key considerations for the CFOs of cash rich and cash poor companies, to help them seize the opportunities, manage the complexities and steer their company through this unusual economic environment.

The CFO's role

In the graphics below, we summarize recommended actions for both cash-poor and cash rich CFOs, and how they relate to the six segments the CFO’s role. The CFO wheel represents our view of the core elements of the CFO’s role

Actions for cash-poor CFOs  |  Actions for cash-rich CFOs


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