October 28, 2009 – Three-quarters of respondents polled think things are the same or worse than they were six months ago, according to the October survey of more than 140 financial executives conducted by Adaptive Planning and the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum.

The Q3 2009 Business Volatility and Variables Survey showed that 57 percent surveyed are still facing high or very high levels of uncertainty in their business. Nearly half (46 percent) of financial professionals think that the current recession will be characterized by another large economic dip, and 74 percent see the recovery taking at least until mid 2010. Three times as many companies (34 percent) replanned or reforecast more than twice in Q3 versus Q2 of 2009.

Companies continue to underperform in their planning, with 61 percent coming in under revenue targets this quarter, offset somewhat by 46 percent coming in under expense targets. In the future, improvements are expected for revenues and profits, with 46 percent expecting revenue growth in the next six months, but only 33 percent predicting profit margin growth over that period.
 
The employment picture has deteriorated, with hiring plans decreasing from last quarter (14 percent versus 21 percent last quarter), and expectations for further reductions increased (39 percent versus 32 percent last quarter). Forty-seven percent of larger companies expect reductions in personnel.

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