CFO 2023 Outlook: Cautious optimism amid recession, cost cutting, and workforce challenges

CFOs report on challenges in the economy, workforce complications, and tech strategies

Each quarter,, sponsored by Oracle NetSuite, conducts a Wakefield survey of small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) to understand how finance leaders, their teams, and their executive peers interpret and respond to economic trends. 

Heading into 2023, we examine how CFOs and their C-suite peers view the outlook for their businesses and their plans for continued growth. Learn how CFOs are planning to acquire top talent, manage cost cuts, map out technology spend, and increase productivity and relieve pressures on overworked employees. You’ll also get a peek into how non-executive managers view the performance of their finance chiefs and their outlook on their company’s performance.

In short: 

  • 500 CFOs, C-Suite executives, and managers answered the reader survey, conducted by Wakefield Research.  
  • 65% of survey responses came from companies with $50 – $250 million and 35% came from $50 million or less in annual revenue. 
  • The recession is a very real concern for business leaders with nearly all (99%) predicting budget cuts due to these concerns and more than 3 in 5 (61%) anticipate cuts to hiring or retaining talent. 
  • Businesses may be exacerbating oncoming challenges with these cuts as 4 in 5 business leaders (83%) say they will face critical hiring needs in the 1st half of 2023.

The top 3 challenges facing CFOs for 2023:

  • Recession worries—How to cut costs and manage expenses
  • Workforce—How to plan for quiet quitting, rising salaries, and employee retention.
  • Technology adoption—How to find and properly utilize qualified talent with the help of technology—including operations technology, automation, and machine learning solutions. 



Download the survey report

Download the survey report