Dubai debt restructurings and economic turmoil in Europe are still keeping senior executives awake at night.
Murtaza Chevel, the chief financial officer at Union Properties, knows what they must be going through.
During his three years at Union Properties, Mr Chevel has helped restructure debts at the Dubai developer and understands the pressure his colleagues are under.
"In [the Dubai restructurings of] 2008 to 2009 when a lot of debt became due, firms rolled them over for two to four years," says Mr Chevel.
"Now the time has come when they cannot extend the debt anymore, they have to bite the bullet and take losses."
Global economic optimism among world's chief executives, chief financial officers and senior accountants is dwindling.
The Chartered Global Management Accountant's Global Economic Index declined 7 points to 58 in the second quarter from the first quarter reading of 65. Any figure above 50 is a positive indicator of business confidence.
But the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Britain's Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (Cima), which released the index last month, forecast a negative outlook for the global economy over the next 12 months.
The survey was conducted among 609 executives in 60 countries.
"While all factors in the index weakened, global economic optimism registered the most significant decline," says Geetu Ahuja, who set up the Middle East office of Cima in Dubai in 2010, and is now its head of Arabian Gulf operations. "Only 11 per cent of respondents expressed optimism."
The index measured 10 indicators including global and domestic economic optimism, expansion plans, revenue, profits, employment, capital spending and training and development.
Chief financial officers are not the only ones under pressure. Accountants at smaller companies are also feeling the heat.
"I am still recovering from [the recession]," says Yoga Yoheswaran, a chartered accountant who runs Mideast Outsourcing in Dubai. His company handles the accounts for six small to medium enterprises in Dubai.
"It [took] a bit of time for recession to take root in Dubai and when I was thinking it would not affect me, it cost me three clients."
His customers struggled to cope with declining cash flows.
"I am trying to get new clients through personal contacts, which are more powerful than advertisements," he says.
In a move to attract potential customers, Mr Yoheswaran started the Dubai Business Breakfast last year, an informal gathering of businessmen, which now has 690 members. "And we try to get our fees in advance," he adds, referring to ways to ensure his firm is paid for its services. At least one of his clients fled the city and his liabilities there during the recession.
It is during the tough times when the role of chief financial officers, or senior accountants, becomes even more important. "Management accountants come in where finance and business strategy meet and so are perfectly placed to assess the future of an organisation from both a micro and macro perspective," says Ms Ahuja.
Steering the right financial course is vital to any business.
"We can tell the management to look at new opportunities and what assets could be sold to build the funds to repay debt and finance growth," says Mr Chevel.
At Union Properties, which developed the Ritz-Carlton and Index Towers at Dubai International Financial Centre and the mixed-use property Motor City, the focus will switch to mid-sized projects to maximise short-term profits.
"We have to be more dynamic and so we have to always look at the glass half full," Mr Chevel says.