Survey: Significant Increase in CFO Confidence in U.S. Economy

Focus on Revenue Growth and Human Capital

PHILADELPHIA, PA–(Marketwired – Jan 14, 2015) – A CFO Alliance survey of chief financial officers found 60 percent of CFOs have a strong positive outlook for the U.S. economy in 2015, a significant increase from 2014 when only 30 percent of the CFOs surveyed felt U.S. economic conditions were strong. The 2015 CFO Sentiment Study conducted by the CFO Alliance, a global community of senior financial leaders, shows the positive economic outlook has led companies to focus on revenue growth and human capital.

Of the finance chiefs polled, almost 40 percent cited organic growth as their highest priority to drive revenue in 2015. This compares to roughly 15 percent focused on developing new products or selling into new markets. More than 50 percent felt investing in human capital would yield high returns on investment. Further reflecting the importance of human capital, 66 percent of CFOs were either concerned or greatly concerned about talent acquisition and retention in 2015.

"The theme for 2015 among CFOs is building resilient companies as economic optimism returns. Senior financial executives have shifted from a defensive mindset to become more focused on creating proactive strategies that increase top-line revenue growth," said Nick Araco, CEO and Co-Founder of The CFO Alliance.


Other major findings of the 2015 CFO Sentiment Study:

  • The customer experience really matters in 2015:
    Forty-six percent of survey respondents feel enhancing their customers' experience is the most important driver of top-line growth
  • Marketing takes center stage:
    CFOs stated driving growth and profitability will hinge upon companies' marketing efforts and nurturing the customer experience, with 61.5 percent of financial executives indicating that their marketing initiatives will be the number one factor impacting their company's success.
  • Market share growth leading to company investments:
    Sixty-three percent of executives indicated that increasing market share will be the single most common focus of investment for their companies in 2015.
  • Top-line revenue growth:
    Seventy-nine percent of executives polled expect revenue to increase in 2015, 66 percent expect earnings to rise, while only 49 percent expect margins to improve.
The theme for 2015 among CFOs is building resilient companies as economic optimism returns

More than 40 percent of CFOs will look to increase sales of their existing product lines as the main channel to drive top-line revenue growth. Not surprisingly, the most common financial challenge cited by CFOs (44 percent) in 2015 is meeting top-line revenue targets. To download a copy of the survey or to read the executive summary, please visit: The 2015 CFO Sentiment Study was conducted by the CFO Alliance over the months of November and December, 2014.

A broad sample of senior finance leaders predominantly from middle-market U.S. based organizations was invited to respond to the survey; 605 participated. For more information about the CFO Alliance, please visit