A Gartner, Inc. survey of 192 CFOs and finance executives on April 6, 2020* revealed the majority of CFOs surveyed plan to slow pay vendors to preserve cash in the coming weeks. The CFO respondents from small organizations (with revenue under $500 million) are also actively pursuing flexibility in their rental payments strategy, with 84% reporting that they are seeking some level adjustment to their rent obligations in April and beyond.
“CFOs are taking a variety of proactive cash management measures in the wake of this economic turbulence, with more than a third of respondents indicating that customer receipt payments will be delayed or go unpaid,” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research, for the Gartner Finance Practice. “Fifty-seven percent of large firms with access to credit lines are actively drawing down upon them, while smaller firm CFOs are more often having to take more aggressive measures, including delaying rent and payments to vendors.”
In addition to dealing with wide-scale disruptions from COVID-19 impacts as many locations have imposed lockdowns, staff is forced to work remotely and supply chains come under strain, both large and small company CFOs face the prospect of delayed or unpaid customer bills (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: CFOs Report 36% of Customers Payments Will Be Late or Not Paid