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Survey: The view from the CFO's chair

Deutsche survey finds CFOs think they are great at what they do.

CFOs carry out a key function in corporations, a fact borne out by the heavy coverage they receive from the average investment bank. In an attempt to understand the needs and concerns of CFOs better, Deutsche Bank got Professor Henri Servaes of the London

Business School and Professor Peter Tufano of Harvard Business School to conduct a survey questionnaire of corporates in 39 countries.

Money raising and tax management are the functions they regard as the most important. Yet that does not mean they are necessarily satisfied with the way those important functions are carried out in their companies. What they find important but believe could be better performed are: merger, acquisition and disposal decisions, working capital management, making investment decisions, risk management and financial planning and analysis.

However, overall they are happy with the way the finance function is carried out at their firms. They are particularly happy with their bank relationships and ability to issue debt. CFOs are least satisfied with pensions and internal auditing but assign relatively low value to those functions. They are keen to increase the amount of time they allocate to risk and working capital management, financial planning, investment decisions, tax management and, to a lesser extent, cash management.

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