As the U.S. slowly reopens for business, we’re already hearing warnings that a second wave of the pandemic is likely heading our way in the fall. Since that’s the case, a recent Gartner survey finding that 42% of CFOs have not addressed a potential second wave in their planning for the remainder of the year is a little disconcerting. Here’s an excerpt:
A Gartner, Inc. survey of 99 CFOs and finance leaders taken April 14-19, 2020 revealed that 42% of CFOs are not incorporating a second wave outbreak of COVID-19 in the financial scenarios they are building for the remainder of 2020. Additional survey data showed that only 8% of CFOs have a second wave factored into all their planning scenarios, and only 22% have a second wave factored into their “most likely” scenario. The lack of planning comes even as CFOs express a cautious approach as to when they will fully reopen their operations and bring employees back to their normal office routines.
“As CFOs are attempting to project revenue and profits for 2020, it’s surprising that 42% are not baking a second wave of COVID-19 into any of their scenarios” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research, for the Gartner Finance practice. “Our latest CFO data also reveals that most executive teams are still trying to decide what factors they should use to determine how and when to reopen their offices and facilities.”
In fairness, this survey was taken a full month ago, and a lot has changed since then. But with the COVID-19 pandemic already spawning securities litigation, the potential lack of preparedness for a second wave presents governance and disclosure issues that may make attractive targets for plaintiffs.
-John Jenkins, TheCorporateCounsel.net May 18, 2020