Chief financial officers expect sales will increase in 2014, which could be a sign that the American economy is truly recovering.
This year has proven that the United States economy has come a long way since 2009's recession. The price of real estate is rising, the unemployment rate is at a five-year low and the Fed's decision to begin tapering off its bond purchases has not had a negative impact on financial markets.
Discussions about the strength of the American economy in 2014 may remain speculative, but a survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows that chief financial officers now believe that positive growth is happening. About 90 percent of participants said that they expect to see their company increase or maintain the size of its workforce.
CFOs predict that sales in 2014 will be higher than 2013 figures, but in order to ensure that happens, these professionals are working on developing growth strategies. These range from marketing campaigns aimed at expanding the client base to offering new goods and services. Higher sales can't be guaranteed — 37 percent believe sales will be similar to 2013.
On the other hand, the cost of health care coverage may get in the way of these CFOs' plans for 2014, almost two-thirds of respondents said they will comply with Affordable Care Act requirements.
"The CFO Outlook mirrors what we've heard in conversations with our clients: With the right strategy and financial partner, 2014 can bring more opportunities for expansion and success," Alastair Borthwick, head of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a statement. "Middle market companies are increasingly exploring different paths to growth, from creating deeper relationships with existing customers to entering new markets that have great potential."
Due to this nationwide change, human resources in every work sector need to rev up their HR software to be prepared for these changes, otherwise the system may be unable to reliably provide pertinent information to employees. If the company is offering a larger selection of services to ensure that their staff is covered or has plans to launch a major hiring spree, human resources should be ready for anything.