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Financial Executives More Optimistic Than Ever Despite Concerns About Deficit, Jobs, and Global Crises

Quarterly Survey Reveals that CFOs are Preparing for Growth Amidst Current Job Volatility, Japan Earthquake Aftermath, and Middle East and Africa Unrest

(Mountain View, CA - June 6, 2011)

 Financial executives paint current conditions as the most positive in recent times.  Two thirds of finance executives expect the overall economy in 2011 to fare better than in 2010, and 60 percent expect revenue to grow at their companies.  Over one third (35 percent) expect to hire over the next six months.  These results are part of the findings of a quarterly poll of finance executives conducted by Adaptive Planning and the Business Performance Innovation Network.

However, recent global crises and lingering conditions have tempered the optimism somewhat.  Seventy-one percent say that global crises such as the earthquake in Japan and conflicts in the Middle East will have a negative impact on their business.  And the need for deficit reduction ranks as the number one concern (42 percent) for the overall US economy, followed closely by unemployment (40 percent).  Jobs growth continues to get stretched out, with nearly two-thirds (63 percent) not expecting a meaningful and sustained improvement until at least next year, and almost a quarter (23 percent) saying not until at least 2013.  

A rising percentage (33 percent) predict no improvement or additional declines in the overall economy this year, and a larger proportion now foresee a double-dip recovery (41 percent) than at the end of last year (36 percent). Fifteen percent (versus 10 percent at the end of 2010) see the economy as getting worse in six months.

“What we are seeing is increased optimism in a growing economy that is somewhat tempered by a number of mitigating circumstances,” said Greg Schneider, Vice President of Marketing for Adaptive Planning. “We’re seeing that at the company level, CFOs and other finance professionals are focusing on accelerating new growth opportunities, while at the same time looking out for potential potholes in the road to recovery.”

Despite recent tumultuous global events, there is less uncertainty among financial professionals than before.  Only one third of finance executives report high levels of economic uncertainty, which represents a 20 percent drop from the end of last year.  This data along with other findings in recent surveys suggest that more companies are focusing on revenue growth rather than operational concerns.

“When we looked at financial management processes within companies, we found that despite the increasing focus on growth opportunities, sales forecasts in most companies are still not very accurate,” added Schneider. “On average, forecasts are only 83 percent accurate one month prior to the end of a period, which makes it challenging for management teams to optimize their top line growth and overall business performance.”

The online poll conducted in March – April 2011 surveyed more than 225 financial professionals from companies in over twenty industries and ranging in size from under $10 million to over $1 billion in revenues. This is the ninth quarterly poll examining perspectives on key economic conditions, individual company performance, and the role of planning and forecasting in the current economy.

The Business Volatility and Variables Survey is conducted once per quarter, with results tallied against those of previous quarters to identify trends in overall economic conditions and planning practices.

For more information on the summary report of the findings, visit:

About the BPI Network

The Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network is an influential group of senior-level executives driving transformation, process re-invention, organizational innovation, lean operation, and competitive adaptability in multi-national enterprises worldwide. Members of this change-centered affinity network represent companies with combined annual revenues of more than $1 trillion. The aim is to share thinking and advance best practices in how enterprises can "transform to better perform" as they seek to tap more complex, cost-sensitive, growth markets with large, diverse and evolving consumer and infrastructure needs. More information is available

About Adaptive Planning

Adaptive Planning is the worldwide leader in on-demand business performance management (BPM) solutions for companies and nonprofits of all sizes. Adaptive Planning’s solutions allow finance and management teams to obtain real-time visibility into performance metrics, streamline financial planning and reporting, and drive better business decisions. By offering affordable annual subscriptions and rapid implementations, and by eliminating the need for new hardware or IT support, Adaptive Planning makes it easy to move beyond spreadsheet-based processes without the cost and complexity associated with traditional on-premise BPM applications. Adaptive Planning is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. and can be reached at 650-528-7500 or

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