How European CFOs tick – before and after the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic
Acredia board member Gudrun Meierschitz: “Even before the Covid 19 pandemic, almost every second company surveyed was affected by payment delays and almost every third was affected by the insolvency of a customer.” (© Acredia / Martina Draper) There is nothing that European CFOs fear more than late payments or bankruptcies of their customers. From the CFO’s point of view, even cyber risks lag behind the two main risks, followed by difficulties in supply chains, declining sales and profitability. This is the result of the current study “DNA of a CFO” by Austria’s largest credit insurance company Acredia in cooperation with Euler Hermes.
When it comes to what quick and noticeable impact on businesses has to stand customer late payments top the list of worries. “Even before the Covid 19 pandemic, almost every second company surveyed was affected by payment delays and almost every third was affected by the bankruptcy of a customer,” says Acredia Board member Gudrun Meierschitz. “That is a relatively frightening result and shows the great snowball effects that bankruptcies can trigger in the entire supply chain. After this Outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic were even two-thirds affected by payment delays.“
To Payment delays (47%) and bankruptcies (32%) European chief financial officers were particularly concerned about Covid-19 Cyber attacks (30%). “Almost a third of the companies surveyed were victims of a cyber attack in the past year,” said Meierschitz.
Credit insurance: protective mask for the economy
After the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic 61% of European companies between March and May 2020 were particularly marked by a decline in sales, In 2019 it was only 25%.
“In public life we have kept our distance since the outbreak of the pandemic. In the economy, it is now a matter of moving closer together, working in networks, using credit insurance like a protective mask and stabilizing supply chains, ”emphasizes Ludwig Mertes, Acredia board member.
With regard to a standing in the room Protective shield solution for Austria Acredia hopes for a quick agreement in order to create stable framework conditions for Austria as a business location. “This is about enabling and securing Austrian business, sales and jobs as well as maintaining supply chains,” Mertes emphasizes.
In comparison, Germany will probably come through the crisis better than many other countries. “In addition to the better initial situation and the shorter, less strict lockdown, the main reasons for this are the quick and very extensive immediate measures taken by the German government. In particular the The joint protective shield of the federal government and credit insurers for German companies has stabilized trade and additionally protected supply chains“, Said Mertes about the situation of the German neighbors.
The role of credit insurance is becoming more important
In the Solving the challenges ahead The chief financial officers of the companies surveyed then concentrate primarily on Planning security and one possible stringent internal risk management. You bet on one greater diversification such as Security solutions, such as with credit insurance. The Acredia experts are convinced that their role will become more important.
With a market share of 55% and a total exposure of 29.9 billion euros, Acredia is Austria’s leading credit insurance company.