Crisis as a catalyst for finance operations
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated severe disruption—and finance is no exception. CFOs have suddenly found their organizations in a firefighting mode: preserving cash, assessing risks and trying to rapidly redo all financial plans and forecasts for the month, quarter and year. The crisis should serve as a catalyst to reinvent the operating model of the finance organization. Trends, that have been sitting in an incubation mode, have emerged as real working models out of necessity—and they are here to stay. These trends include massive workforce virtualization, technology enablement and forward-looking, scenario-based services.
Today, CFOs face three major challenges:
- Determining the right balance between physical and virtual work locations
- Breaking down silos so that finance operates as a more global, cross-functional team
- Assessing priorities and outcomes quickly to support the enterprise during periods of massive volatility
Even as the COVID-19 crisis settles, CFOs need to prepare their finance operating model to meet future volatility.
The time is ripe for intelligent finance
Today’s unpredictable climate calls for an “anytime, anywhere” finance function, value optimization capabilities and a finance command center. Let’s take a look at what this involves:
By employing intelligent operations, organizations can be more resilient. Employees are able to work efficiently, effectively and flexibly—collaborating remotely and accessing essential data using virtual tools.
What does intelligent finance look like?
An intelligent finance operating model helps the finance function transition from the transactional to the strategic. It does this by making the most of human and machine partnerships and using machine learning to strengthen forecasting and increase data accuracy. And by forging stronger business partnerships and sourcing the best capabilities. An intelligent finance operating model also draws on real-time, diverse data that helps the finance team to gain more timely insights and accelerate decision-making.
Radical change and uncertainty call for a clear-eyed, well-crafted response. With the right talent, preparation and insights, CFOs can successfully navigate their company through a crisis—and emerge stronger. The CFOs who recognize there is no “getting back to normal” and have already put anytime, anywhere and value optimization capabilities in place can better manage turbulent times. Setting up a finance command center is an important step to emerge from uncertainty with increased revenue, expanded margins, a stronger balance sheet and greater confidence.