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How can CFOs Help Businesses Safely Transition Through the Pandemic?

The pandemic has changed the way everything functions. While people saw a drastic shift in daily interactions and associations, companies had it more complicated.

Not only did they have to relook work locations but also business and financial operations as a whole. This put the onus of easy transition on the CFOs and leadership teams to make the right decisions to keep the business alive.

But where do they make that start? To help businesses across the globe stay afloat, we’ve crafted this article that highlights three significant steps CFOs can take to navigate the pandemic easily. So let’s get started!

3 ways to ensure seamless business transition through the pandemic

1. Steps for immediate recovery

The pandemic has already caused nearly 140,104 companies to close shop, and the numbers only seem to be rising. Additionally, with all processes that need physical interactions coming to a standstill, it becomes crucial to notice which processes need instant attention.

To start with, here are four significant aspects CFOs can focus on for immediate recovery:

Stabilize present financial status

Accurately quantifying the bulk of cash present in the organization and other forms of accessible capital is one of the best ways to stabilize company finances. It also gives leadership and Finance teams an accurate picture of the current state of business financials. This can be useful while CFOs make crucial cost-cutting or cost-saving decisions.

Further, CFOs can map out revenue collections to their actual sales projections. If it’s noticed that multiple vendors have been delaying payments, continued persistence on the closure of dues will ensure that the company stays solvent.

Tightening operating and business expenses

Expenses are the crux of any business. Thus if companies are looking to go lean and optimize costs during these times, a good start would be redefining what works or does not with the transition.

While going remote has saved your business costs such as workspaces, electricity, and more, it has also brought about new expenses like employee Wi-Fi bills, office setup reimbursements, and such. Thus it is vital CFOs, in alliance with other leadership teams, understand what types of expenses can stay, what needs to be added, and what no longer holds good. This, combined with automated expense management, can help monitor, track and manage all business expenses effortlessly.

Predict and prepare for future scenarios

The pre-pandemic era was easy. All business leaders had a set of rules to follow to ensure business scale and success. But the post-pandemic era is different. Business leaders and CFOs have no frame of reference or data to back their decisions for today and tomorrow.

Thus, CFOs need to comprehend, analyze, and predict future scenarios to ensure their business stays afloat no matter the times. This will prepare the company for the best and worst to come and provide data-driven ammo to make the right business decisions. An easy start would be adopting software that helps businesses with planning, budgeting, and forecasting.

Over-communicate

It becomes essential for all teams, departments, and individuals to always be on the same page when working out of distributed spaces. Thus as a prerequisite, businesses must ensure a culture of open communication for both operational and non-operational things.

Easy ways to start this discussion is a top-down approach where CFOs and founders can conduct town halls, monthly catch-ups, etc. This would help employees understand that your business values them and opens doors for better communication and collaborations across teams.

2. Steps for long and short term stability

Once the organization’s immediate needs are taken care of, CFOs can assist in positioning the company for the new normal. These process improvements are essential for the business to sustain itself in both the short and long run. Listed below are some ways to go about it:

Improving financial productivity

Having healthy finances and financial processes is key for any business to survive today. Thus, companies must start by looking into all financial operations and workflows to understand the current state of business finances. Once done, they will have a fair understanding of what to prioritize and why.

Another way to fix business finances is by automating all mundane, time-consuming, and error-prone tasks. An easy start would be switching to an expense report software, a payroll software, and an accounting software for end-to-end finance automation.

Spring-clean your finances

Being in a time where every saved penny could impact your company’s profitability, CFOs need to relook business finances to match the revised set of goals. Here’s a handy checklist to get you started:

Encourage department heads or leads to review and optimize all types of business expenses.
Automate crucial accounting and financial processes to reduce errors and promote efficiency.
Train and enable Finance teams to look into expense data to find cost-cutting or saving opportunities.
Motivate teams to opt for automation technology that promotes productivity and growth.

But if teams stick to traditional means, these steps would be easier said than done. A smart roundabout is letting an expense software significantly do the heavy lifting for your business and your teams. This ensures healthy business finances and no financial leaks with no extra effort.

Adopting technology for boosting productivity

Embracing digitization is invaluable for ensuring sound financials and overall productivity by improving, simplifying, and streamlining processes, saving on operational costs, and mitigating risks.

A decent start would be by understanding the current level of digital literacy within teams. Then, based on how averse or not they are, CFOs can push for change where they deem fit. Additional training sessions can also be helpful to help employees jump onto the bandwagon of digital transformation.

Conclusion

How long this pandemic will last, no one can tell. But CFOs across the globe can play a critical role in helping businesses sustain and thrive despite the times.

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