The current crisis has highlighted the critical importance of the finance leader in steering the business through turmoil. As it becomes increasingly clear that business will not return to normal, a “wait and see” approach is not an option. It means now is the time for finance leaders to seize the opportunity to redefine their business’s strategy, operations, and technology.
Our latest white paper, written in partnership with global consultancy Bain & Company, explores the steps that finance can take to help the business recover and improve resiliency in 2021.
At the core of the white paper are six detailed strategies finance leaders can take now to equip their business for the next stage, including details on the following steps:
1. Conduct Scenario Planning
In an uncertain situation, scenario planning can help you to understand the actions required to react appropriately across a number of different circumstances. When a certain set of circumstances emerges, you will be ready to take positive action immediately, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in your industry.
2. Strengthen Working Capital
Take practical measures to preserve and generate cash that can be redeployed to proactive strategies – start with making your working capital work harder for the business.
3. Improve Real-Time Visibility into Company-Wide Spending
Organisations with good visibility into their spending are better equipped to identify savings opportunities, enforce compliance, and meet financial reporting requirements. These savings and efficiencies could provide a welcome cash boost for SMBs.
4. Look for Cost Saving Opportunities
In the previous recession, the companies that bounced back fastest were the ones that moved away from legacy offerings that didn’t fit their new way of working. Finance leaders should take action on the areas that aren’t delivering a strong return or will see the business through the short-medium term risks that the business faces.
5. Eliminate Low Value Work
Finance leaders should consider if there are activities in their functions that take up too much of their team’s time or are too complex to be viable in the new circumstances. Can these activities be simplified? Or should they be removed all together?
6. Plan for New Ways of Working in the Long Term
After their experiences during lockdown, large and small companies alike see remote working becoming far more widespread and are adapting their processes accordingly.
What steps would you need to take in order to address all these areas in your business and what could the impact be for your long-term profitability?
How Digital Transformation Underpins These Strategies
These steps all have one thing in common – they’re all enabled and improved upon through digital technology.
Digital technologies transform finance processes for practical, logistical reasons. They facilitate remote working and remove lower value tasks, freeing employees up to focus on more meaningful, valuable tasks.
Digital technologies are also transformational because of the way they enhance visibility of spend. Over 75% of CFOs highlighted insufficient forward-looking information in management reports as a top challenge for 2020 – and that was before the current situation emerged. Finance automation makes it easy to access up-to-date and accurate financial information to inform the plans that are the essential component of all aspects of a robust recovery.
69% of users of SAP Concur finance automation solutions agree that automated solutions allowed them to better respond to business challenges due to the improved visibility of the company spend data.
Download the White Paper Today
While we may not know what the future landscape looks like, history tells us that downturns and setbacks are followed by a period of growth. Businesses that take rapid action now position themselves more effectively to weather the storm of uncertainty and emerge stronger on the other side. It means there’s never been a better time to take action than right now.