More than 90% of chief financial officers (CFOs) believe their business is in a good position to capitalise on the expected economic upturn in the final quarter of this year and into 2015 with 66% of those surveyed saying they expect to hire additional workers next year.
The results are contained in a survey — published yesterday by audit, tax and advisory firm, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks — which also showed that just under half of respondents feel the budget unveiled last month will not support Irish businesses.
Commenting on the survey, RSM Farrell Grant Sparks director, David McGarry said those surveyed were near bullish about the prospects for their businesses and the wider business environment looking ahead to next year.
“CFOs are typically the more cautious business leaders, but our survey showed that they were almost bullish in their level of optimism for the Irish business environment with 73% saying that they see an improvement in their business due to the upturn in the economy. This is obviously a hugely positive endorsement and is not just over-ambitious sentiment.
“54% of finance professionals surveyed currently have opportunities for employment in their companies and 66% say that they expect to hire new employees in 2015,” said Mr McGarry.
While sentiment towards Budget 2015 was quite negative, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) appears to be a huge source of optimism for business leaders.
More than €800m in new credit is to be made available to Irish SMEs through the initial tranche of SBCI funding.
The scheme, jointly backed by Irish, German and European funding could eventually lend up to €4bn; providing much-needed access for small and medium-sized businesses to credit.
Two-thirds of finance professionals surveyed also believe that the introduction of new financial reporting framework will significantly impact their business.
As well as ascertaining the attitudes of business leaders, the survey aimed to assess the level of IT advancement adopted in recent years.
Only 40% of those surveyed use cloud applications in their roles.