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How Finance Teams Can Deliver Quick Wins In Difficult Times

Peter NesbittForbes Councils Member
Forbes Finance Council
COUNCIL POST
Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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VP of Finance at Teampay, the leading distributed spend management platform that gives finance total control and visibility into spend.

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In these unprecedented times, people can only speculate about the future. From what I’ve heard, the general consensus is that businesses need to weather a situation that will last for 18 months or more, and even then, how the “new normal” will look remains unknown. In this environment, there’s a need for finance teams to adapt and deliver quick wins for their businesses.

Reprioritize Investments

Payback is generally always on finance’s mind, but it may have taken a back seat in a stronger economy. It is easier to invest in projects that have unclear or extended payback periods when your company is growing. Now, during a crisis that could last 18 months, it might make sense to prioritize projects that yield a payback within that period.

Take this downturn as an opportunity to review all ongoing projects, as well as those that are on the road map. Consider the urgency of each project against the value it delivers in terms of increasing or protecting revenue and reducing or avoiding costs. How much revenue will you lose if you wait to launch a new product or feature? What will it cost your business if you delay an enterprise resource planning implementation?

Knowing where your money is going in real time is crucial in this market. When your finance team can see how much money has been spent, as well as what has been committed but not yet spent, they can have more productive conversations about where to invest or stop spending.

Improve Productivity

Economic downturns demand that you consider investing in new solutions when they boost productivity. This will allow you to leverage your current team to the fullest, which is especially necessary during a hiring freeze.

For finance teams, this could mean accounts receivable software to reduce days sales outstanding, a forecasting tool to speed the planning process, or a distributed spend management platform to give you control and visibility over company spend. Identify tools with short implementation and rollout time frames that will yield results quickly.

Leveraging technology intelligently isn’t just about adding new tools, but also streamlining your current tech stack. By holistically viewing the platforms used across your company, you can easily consolidate duplicate software purchases, cancel zombie subscriptions and renegotiate licenses that are up for renewal.

Empower Employees

With employees now working from home, it is imperative to support them so they can thrive in this new environment. Empowering them to do their jobs virtually will increase motivation and productivity at a time when you need to rely on your existing talent more than ever.

Your workforce is likely craving connections with their peers that used to take place over catered lunches, happy hours and “watercooler” conversations. Partner with HR to develop initiatives for employees, such as virtual hangouts, home lunch deliveries and online trivia competitions. Leveraging technology can allow you to offer new perks with minimal additional accounting effort. 

Be transparent, and continually talk to your employees about the company’s financial situation. Your workforce might hear about your business changes but lack knowledge of the rationale behind them, which can lead to confusion. Communication will help employees understand changes and eliminate anxiety so they are empowered to succeed in their work. 

Think Outside The Box

Finding new ways to deliver quick wins for your company will position your finance team as a strategic force and propel your company forward in the difficult times ahead. Whether it’s reprioritizing the projects already in your plans or investing in new initiatives to improve productivity and support employees, focusing on where your company money is going is critical to staying on course through the rough waters ahead.


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Summary | 14 Annotations
How Finance Teams Can Deliver Quick Wins In Difficult Times
2020/06/09 00:54
Reprioritize Investments
2020/06/09 00:54
Improve Productivity
2020/06/09 00:54
Empower Employees
2020/06/09 00:54
Think Outside The Box
2020/06/09 00:54
It is easier to invest in projects that have unclear or extended payback periods when your company is growing. Now, during a crisis that could last 18 months, it might make sense to prioritize projects that yield a payback within that period.
2020/06/09 00:54
Knowing where your money is going in real time is crucial in this market
2020/06/09 00:55
Economic downturns demand that you consider investing in new solutions when they boost productivity.
2020/06/09 00:55
Identify tools with short implementation and rollout time frames that will yield results quickly.
2020/06/09 00:55
By holistically viewing the platforms used across your company, you can easily consolidate duplicate software purchases, cancel zombie subscriptions and renegotiate licenses that are up for renewal.
2020/06/09 00:55
Empowering them to do their jobs virtually will increase motivation and productivity at a time when you need to rely on your existing talent more than ever.
2020/06/09 00:55
Leveraging technology can allow you to offer new perks with minimal additional accounting effort. 
2020/06/09 00:55
Be transparent, and continually talk to your employees about the company’s financial situation
2020/06/09 00:55
focusing on where your company money is going is critical to staying on course through the rough waters ahead.
2020/06/09 00:56