On Monday, the Association for Financial Professionals issued its “2013 AFP Estimating and Applying Cost of Capital Survey Report.” The survey of 424 finance professionals found that although financial planning and analysis (FP&A) might be the department that makes the most use of weighted average cost of capital (WACC) figures, it is generally not the department responsible for coming up with WACC estimates. In 46 percent of respondents’ companies, treasury is responsible for WACC calculations. This responsibility falls to finance in 32 percent of companies and to FP&A in only 18 percent.

More than half of respondents think their organization’s WACC estimate is within 50 basis points (bps) of its actual cost of capital, but 11 percent believe the WACC is off by more than 100 bps. Large companies are three times as likely to think their WACC calculations are more than 1 percentage point away from actual cost of capital (see Figure 1).


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