Twenty-eight percent of respondents believe the impact to their organization's revenue could be even higher than 30%, per the survey, released Thursday.
Most CFOs are using "the most severe downside scenarios to inform their decisions," said Alexander Bant, practice vice president of research at the Gartner Finance Practice. "This is leading CFOs to consider drastic cost management actions across April and May."
Asked how these downside scenarios impact their ability to fund long-term growth investments, 70% of CFOs said they now exercise additional caution.
While 15% of CFOs plan to completely suspend all or most long-term investments, 50% are more selective with their suspensions. An additional 30% have no plans to suspend most of their investments, while the remaining 5% are already replacing previous long-term investments with new ones.
"Investing in growth bets ahead of the curve is vital for coming out on top," Bant said. "Right now, we see CFOs clamping down on funding for these growth bets."
Bant said industry-leading companies will quickly pivot and replace their previous long-term growth investments with new ones. But currently, only 5% of companies appear to be doing so.
In order to "guide the business through rethinking investments," CFOs require a solid theory of how their customer is changing, according to the press release. Effective CFOs spend between 5-10% of their time with customers during normal times, but in crisis mode, Gartner recommends CFOs spend more.
Being on the front lines, listening to how their key customers are modeling out the recovery and what things will change, will catapult effective CFOs ahead of their counterparts.
Most respondents to the survey also indicated expectations of little or no delay to their books-closing process, come the end of the first quarter. Just 3% of CFOs surveyed expected a delay of more than three days. Sixty-five percent expected no delay, and 28% expected a delay of three days or less.
"These results show the finance function is generally coping well with remote working and is able to carry out a lot of work as usual," Bant said. "In fact, recent data from another Gartner poll showed CFOs warming to the idea of remote working as a cost management tactic."