There have been many struggles and trials for businesses throughout this pandemic. But one positive is that it has afforded executives time to rethink both business and operation models, learning from these experiences and looking for new ideas, capabilities, and technologies that can drive continued recovery.
While it’s easy to say, “When we get through this, we’ll do things differently,” doing so is more difficult to put into practice. Finance executives aren’t necessarily looking to improve an already optimized system; they need to fix—or in some cases, completely rework—a struggling one. Finding themselves on the “needs improvement” list are traditional elements such as planning, accounting, compliance, control, reporting, analysis, and advising. Many could be easily improved with automation, though surprisingly, only about a third of finance activities are currently automated for most organizations.
With past focus on growth, CFOs and finance teams now need to shift focus to the organization’s future.
Agility Promotes Adaptation and Preparation
Agility has been key during the pandemic, feeding business’ need to nimbly adapt to a constantly shifting economy. Driving this agility are accounting and reporting software solutions that give real-time insight into performance, empowering leadership to make the right decisions to not only adapt to the now, but also prepare for the next.
Reopening guidance will give companies clearer vision into planning the physical reopening of production and operations, allowing more accurate forecasting for revenue, margins, and cost. However, agility will continue to serve as futures will remain uncertain. Some states are rescinding reopening procedures as infection rates spike, and businesses need to be prepared to scale down just as quickly as they ramped up for reopening. These four tips can help businesses prepare for what’s next in the midst of uncertainty.
Four Tips to Prepare for the New Now
- Automate, automate, automate. Crisis situations that forced teams to work remotely uncovered a number of activities that finance could have (and should have) automated already. This includes transaction processing, compliance, controls, and reporting. Automating these activities frees up employees for more planning and analytics to support decision-making processes.
- Digitization = resiliency. Similar to automation, digitizing to virtual operations is part of what sustained business continuity during the pandemic. Many organizations who were not already digitized fast-tracked their digitalization to empower remote work. This move will only continue to benefit teams as businesses roll out their own reopening plans and build out additional support for on-going remote work.
- Re-think leverage. Leverage is a form of risk that CFOs want to limit, restructuring borrowing frameworks as the world moves back toward “normal.” This involves finding ways to generate more cash, such as by accelerating payment cycles by monitoring payment terms within accounting and reporting software.
- There may be no “normal” anymore. While most everyone has at least once wished for things to return to “normal,” or discussed what the “new normal” will look like, the fact is this crisis has highlighted that perhaps nothing ever was or will be “normal.” Instead, agility, alertness, and the capability to shift on short notice are becoming hallmarks of successful businesses, from current survival through future thriving. Accounting and reporting software can support this with scenario modeling, rapid simulation, and data-driven forecasts.
Support Updated Software Needs With ASI
Adjusting and reemerging will look different for every company. But no matter your industry or business, your organization can prepare for whatever’s next with the help of robust accounting and reporting software. These solutions can support automation, harness data, drive analytics, and provide the deeper insights that finance teams and leaders alike need to push the business into the future.
This year’s challenges have pushed businesses to fundamentally rethink traditional operating and business models. It’s a transformation that will be challenging yet necessary for finance. With the addition or optimization of accounting and reporting software solutions, businesses will be better positioned to anticipate tomorrow while delivering today, building the necessary capabilities to thrive in whatever comes next.
Has 2020 highlighted a need for new or updated accounting and reporting software in your business? The software experts at Accounting Solutions, Inc. are ready to help you accelerate business growth while empowering teams to maintain focus on success. We’ll help you find the right fit solution and support you every step of the way. Be confident in your accounting and reporting software for improved business performance with the help of the team at ASI. Contact our software experts now.