The entire world has changed radically in the Last Few months due to To mitigate the public health crisis, companies are forced to change the way they operate.
But even as restrictions are eased in some areas, companies are abandoned Wondering exactly how to operate going forward. So much stays unknown: Can it be safe to return to the office, or if workers work from home indefinitely? How can companies prepare for a possible second wave? Has the worst passed, or is it yet to come?
And that is at the company level. Individual departments will need to Consider changes as well to align with the rest of the business. While much remains uncertain, I have identified a few areas that will shift for finance groups moving forward.
Many bookkeeping and finance teams are directed by predictable cycles, Such as monthly closure and quarterly reporting. Ahead of the pandemic, teams intended their analysis and other projects around this workflow cadence.
Today, these procedures need to get completed much more frequently. Quarterly reporting is currently monthly (and sometimes, per week ). Teams try to find a continuous close as opposed to a month-end exercise.
Transferred into a monthly schedule. This implies finance groups are accountable for not only consistently supplying reports and updating versions, but also providing updates and insights to key stakeholders on a more regular basis. I anticipate this new cadence to last long after things “come back to normal”
Greater Emphasis On Risk Control
The pandemic introduced company challenges that pushed iconic brands to file for bankruptcy. As new regions with the potential to impact operations emerge, fund teams are stepping up to identify and mitigate risk.
Finance teams in companies large and small are taking a close look at Their own financial risks, as well as those of important suppliers and clients, and developing plans to handle those challenges. The next task is communicating and implementing updated approaches.
Given that the shortage of in-person interactions, finance departments Will Need to Do more than just push out information and expect it’s consumed; they need to ensure it is available and easy to follow. Embedding policies and procedures within their present workflows is a surefire way to ensure compliance and mitigate danger without extra effort.
Reliance On Real-Time Data
Faster accounting cycles mean finance teams can’t afford to wait Until the close of the month or quarter to get accurate data. They will need to learn how much was invested throughout the business in any given moment.
Conventional workflows require finance to base strategies on last Month’s numbers, which can quickly become obsolete in this accelerated working atmosphere. This rearview mirror strategy hinders regular decision making.
Companies can keep their finger on the pulse of their business by Using up-to-date, accurate data, finance teams can have more effective conversations with business leaders around where to ramp spending down or up.
There has never been a greater need for timely and accurate financial data. However, with all the manual work that’s typically involved with financial reporting — data entry, coding and processing paper invoices, receipts, expense reports, etc. — it can appear overwhelming to give management the information they require in a 40-hour job week.
An investment in technology can help here. Automating tasks for example Reconciliation frees teams to focus on more strategic work (such as developing recommendations to discuss those monthly board meetings).
Pick solutions with short implementation times that may easily Yield results. This will enable your staff to make an impact and provide you a competitive edge in this uncertain market.
An Emphasis On New Skills
Many companies are beginning to bring on new gift following a months-long hiring freeze. Finance teams specifically must be intentional about the people they include and look for certain abilities which are especially applicable in the present climate.
Also read: How To Start Career In The Finance Industry
In this new working environment, staff members Will Need to be flexible, Forward-thinking and eager to abandon the way things have always been done in favor of bold, contemporary approaches. Including embracing new technology to improve efficiency and agility.
Because new gift will likely be remote, at least in the Brief term, Giving employees the resources they need to work at home is critical to maintaining productivity. This means allowing all workers smart, Policy-driven accessibility to business money so they can buy the things they Need to do their job, without friction and bureaucracy slowing them down.