IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and the Shanghai National Accounting Institute (SNAI) this week published a joint report, “Chinese Enterprises Facing the Impact of the COVID-19 Epidemic–A Survey of Challenges and Responses,” intended to help global businesses learn from their Chinese peers as they deal with the current pandemic.

The survey features responses from Chinese businesses about the struggles finance and accounting professionals have faced due to COVID-19. The questionnaire covers topics related to the business and operational considerations of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  1. Operational difficulties during epidemic control and work resumption
  2. Challenges faced by employee management and related solutions
  3. Current business conditions and forecast
  4. CSR and the leadership role of finance executives

Through the survey, IMA and SNAI found that the top three challenges facing these enterprises were poor cash flow, labor shortage, and reduced effective demand. Furthermore, they found that small enterprises lacked effective crisis response capacity and risk management mechanisms, which led to poor operational results.

However, more than half of the respondents to the questionnaire were cautiously optimistic about the complete resumption of business operations by the end of the first half of 2020.

“The responses from finance and accounting professionals have opened up a window into the challenges businesses have faced in China as they have gradually resumed operations following the peak of the pandemic,” said Yufei Shan, co-author of the report and knowledge manager at IMA. “This perspective can be especially valuable for companies in the U.S. who will be looking to avoid these obstacles as business continues in the coming months.”

The report also highlights the outsized role finance leaders and CFOs have had in helping their businesses respond to the impact of COVID-19 in China. These business leaders performed key responsibilities such as capital operation, risk management, budget management, internal controls, communication with stakeholders, and compliance with professional ethics and values. 

About Shanghai National Accounting Institute

Shanghai National Accounting Institute (SNAI) was established in September 2000 as a public service institution affiliated with the Ministry of Finance of China (MOF). The Institution is subject to the dual leadership of MOF and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, and its operation is managed by the President under the supervision of the Board of Directors. In the past 10-plus years, SNAI has sought to find a curriculum appropriate for senior finance and accounting professionals, cultivate high-end talent for the accounting industry, and provide advanced continuing education for macroeconomic regulators, large-and-medium-sized SOEs, financial institutions, and intermediaries.

 For more information on the report, visit here.