Hmmm … I might have guessed that finance chiefs' biggest job stress would be responsibility overload. Or maybe tanking performance metrics in a slow economy.
Both of those are indeed major headaches for CFOs, but they're not their biggest worry, according to a new Deloitte study.
The number 1 cause of sleepless nights for CFOs, it turns out, is “changing regulatory requirements,” cited by more than 40 percent of the finance leaders in Deloitte's poll, and beating out “major change initiatives” (like M&A and IT changes) and “strategic ambiguity.”
And which regulatory requirements are CFOs getting stressed out about? Deloitte picks out two:
“While companies' specific regulatory focus in the aftermath of the midterm elections is broadly distributed, two areas are a major concern for most CFOs: corporate tax policy and health care reform.
“Corporate tax policy is a top economic concern for over one-third of CFOs and is a top lobbying focus for two-thirds. Health care policy is also top-of-mind, with half of surveyed CFOs rating it a top lobbying focus and 30 percent of CFOs polled at Deloitte's November CFO Vision conference naming it their most pressing regulatory issue.”
When tax concerns outweigh even excessive workloads in finance executives' view of the world, you know that there are some serious legislative issues out there. CFOs will be keeping a close watch on the unfolding tax reform discussions in Washington. ###