Businesses across the world are under pressure to cut costs while maintaining some form of growth strategy, under the likelihood that budgets will be slashed again in 2014.
However, it is not an impossible task, says the senior director at advisory giants CEB.
"If you look at the companies that failed or went bust after the credit crisis, it wasn't from regulatory costs or fines, it was their failure to adapt to changes in the market," said Paul Dennis to IBTimes TV at the EIU CFO Summit.
"The recipe for success is being able to see where the business needs to change and manage that accordingly. Of course you need to manage costs but that doesn't mean doing a massive budget slash and then just moving on."
CEB provides advisory services to 16,000 senior leaders from more than 6,000 organisations across 60 countries.
This equates to more than 88% of the Fortune 500, more than 62% of the Dow Jones Asian Titans, and nearly 85% of the FTSE 100.
"Regulatory costs, in order to stay compliant, is the single biggest challenge for chief financial officers at the moment," said Dennis.
"However, those who succeed take calculated risks and understand more precisely the relative value of the different activities they do. It's a case of doing fewer things better rather than trying to do more with less".