UK finance directors may have faced the toughest year of their careers in 2020–between Covid, Brexit, and the consequent supply chain issues and soaring material costs–but two years on, many are still dealing with stretching difficulties and predict further trouble to come.
● War in Europe is further squeezing supply chains and material availability
● Utility bills and the cost of living are rising faster and higher than they’ve ever done in recorded history
● The UK is facing an unprecedented skills shortage
● Inflation is hitting new highs and expected to rise higher still before the end of the year
● Adjusting to remote and hybrid working remains a challenge
● Salaries are rapidly trending upwards, and the cost of living crisis combined with the skills shortage looks likely to drive an inflation/salary spiral
● Investment and lending are becoming more difficult and costly to access just as loans taken out during Covid are starting to fall due
Finance directors are feeling the pressure. They’ll be reviewing costs, tightening budgets, worrying about employee engagement and retention, and often juggling additional workload with the need to hire scarce talent to fill skills gaps. Many FDs are liaising with sales teams and customers to get a feel for pricing reactions, forecasts and pipelines. They’re probably keeping a close eye on relationships with banks and Lending options, drilling cashflow forecasts more intensely than ever, and Looking for a better understanding of profit drivers and revenue streams so they can focus on the most efficient ways to turn a profit.
While strong finance teams will help companies survive the chaos reasonably unscathed they can’t work miracles, and board members expecting them to will only make the problem worse.
If you’re an FD feeling the strain right now, you’re not alone. And on the upside, your skillset and CV will improve rapidly with every challenge you face.
If you’d like to discuss the current state oF the market or get some expert help with your recruitment needs, please give us a call or drop us an email–we understand what you're going through.