Survey Research & Economic Data

2021 AFP Risk Survey

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Supported by:
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The 2021 Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) Risk Survey: Post Crisis and Preparation for the Future, supported by Marsh McLennan, finds that managing people effectively is a top priority for 84% of practitioners as they prepare for the next crisis, and focus on keeping employees engaged, assisting them in adapting to alternative work environments, allowing flexibility and assisting staff in dealing with their mental health are some of the areas that organizations will need to enhance going forward.

According to the survey, 47% of respondents agree that those managing risks at their organizations have been propelled into a more strategic role, and practitioners note that the contribution of treasury managing macroeconomic risk, technology risk, and liquidity and financial risk has increased in importance.

The survey also reveals that 47% of respondents report that cybersecurity risks are currently the most challenging risk to manage. This is a significant increase from 2010 where only 12% of respondents noted that cybersecurity risks were challenging to manage.

Other key findings include:

  • Nearly 80% of respondents report that treasury teams are going to have to focus on managing cash flow, working capital and liquidity so they can assist their organizations in mitigating future risks. This finding reflects the challenges that organizations faced managing liquidity and cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Survey results indicate that the risks noted as having the greatest impact on earnings in the next three years are strategic risks such as industry disruptions, evolving customer demand and purchasing behaviors (49%) and business operations interruptions (39%), followed by macroeconomic risks (36%) and financial risks (30%).
  • Fifty-six percent of respondents report that their organizations’ exposure to uncertainty in earnings is greater today than it was three years ago, suggesting that organizations are currently less able to anticipate risks that might arise and impact revenue.

AFP thanks Marsh McLennan for its support of the 2021 AFP® Risk Survey: Post Crisis and Preparation for the Future.

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Shifting Priorities
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Questions about this subject?
Contact Tom Hunt, AFP's Director of Treasury Services.