Crisis as a catalyst for finance operations
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The COVID-19 pandemic has generated severe disruption—and finance is no exception. CFOs have suddenly found their organizations in a firefighting mode: preserving cash, assessing risks and trying to rapidly redo all financial plans and forecasts for the month, quarter and year. The crisis should serve as a catalyst to reinvent the operating model of the finance organization. Trends, that have been sitting in an incubation mode, have emerged as real working models out of necessity—and they are here to stay. These trends include massive workforce virtualization, technology enablement and forward-looking, scenario-based services.
Today, CFOs face three major challenges:
- Determining the right balance between physical and virtual work locations
- Breaking down silos so that finance operates as a more global, cross-functional team
- Assessing priorities and outcomes quickly to support the enterprise during periods of massive volatility
Even as the COVID-19 crisis settles, CFOs need to prepare their finance operating model to meet future volatility.
The time is ripe for intelligent finance
Today’s unpredictable climate calls for an “anytime, anywhere” finance function, value optimization capabilities and a finance command center. Let’s take a look at what this involves:
01. Establish an “anytime, anywhere” finance function
An anytime, anywhere finance function uses an intelligent finance operating model to tap into the power of functional technologies, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and talent to standardize work routines and bring actionable insights.
02. Create a center for value optimization
Under an optimized valuation model, finance teams meet in real-time to assess business challenges or uncover hidden value. The agile model uses data and analytics to enable finance to make high-impact recommendations to the business.
03. Set up a finance command center
A finance command center brings together finance’s (and others’) best minds in a virtual environment. Together, they can triage and orchestrate changes to maintain operational resilience, monitor company performance and help to preserve cash flow.
Radical change and uncertainty call for a clear-eyed, well-crafted response. With the right talent, preparation and insights, CFOs can successfully navigate their company through a crisis—and emerge stronger. The CFOs who recognize there is no “getting back to normal” and have already put anytime, anywhere and value optimization capabilities in place can better manage turbulent times. Setting up a finance command center is an important step to emerge from uncertainty with increased revenue, expanded margins, a stronger balance sheet and greater confidence.