Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

As CFO’s continue to plan for changing cash flow realities, new economic forecasts for the coming months and quarters are beginning to take shape. However, planning for a range of scenarios is still the best way to combat continued uncertainties. The challenge of working from home also remains a hot topic, but more FP&A teams are starting to explore the benefits of keeping at least some workers stationed in their home offices even after this crisis ends. 

Here are a few expert opinions we’ve found helpful in the past week, and we hope you do, too. We’d love to hear from you, so please join our FP&A Slack Community and share your thoughts and suggestions. It is publicly available to everyone to discuss ideas related to the current crisis as seen from the FP&A perspective.

What the Experts are Saying on FP&A

CFO Dive: COVID-19 ‘first real test’ of digitization for office of CFO

The confidence levels of CFO’s in their preparedness to weather the COVID-19 ambush have changed over the last five weeks. Business transformation will be a necessity, but knowing where to invest or pull back will be elusive for those without access to the right insights. “It is incumbent upon the CFO to rely on his or her data to provide the company with the best possible vision for the future, and to provide the requisite tools.”

McKinsey: Digital strategy in a time of crisis

Although the world seems to be stuck in place, it does continue to move forward, especially as businesses adapt to work-from-home restrictions and prepare for the country to reopen. Digital transformation is now less for futureproofing and more for survival. Organizations must boldly and quickly adopt digital workflows, mimicking how “healthcare providers have moved rapidly into telehealth, insurers into self-service claims assessment, and retailers into contactless shopping and delivery.”

Deloitte / The Wall Street Journal: Toward COVID-19 Recovery: 3 Economic Cases 

Deloitte has developed three potential scenarios for the next 18 to 24 months, ranging from a mild to severe economic impact. FP&A teams can use these to guide planning, modeling, and cash flow forecasts as businesses prepare for what’s next. “Considering a range of potential outcomes can help to reveal the wisest—and most resilient—path forward.”

CFO Dive: Survey: Half of CFOs expect 30% revenue decline in 2020

Another recent CFO survey indicates that FP&A teams are shifting investment priorities based on what key customers are doing, underscoring the need for CFO’s to spend even more time with customers in the near-term. “Being on the front lines, listening to how their key customers are modeling out the recovery and what things will change, will catapult effective CFOs ahead of their counterparts.”

CFO: Dynamic Cash-Flow Forecasting — A Must-Have in Times of Crisis

Uncertainty is the reality for every business. Building a cash flow model that can be quickly and easily updated as conditions change can give you a more accurate view of which areas of the business need immediate attention. “Many organizations don’t have the financial strength to survive short-term crisis or business disruptions. Having a cash-flow forecasting model on hand is vital for evaluating a company’s liquidity over a specific timeframe.”

Forbes: The CFO’s Role In A Global Crisis

Managing cash flow is job one as businesses push their way through this crisis, but that puts the CFO in the spotlight. This article offers 7 tips to guide CFOs as they answer increasingly critical questions from their teams, the business, and investors. “As a finance chief, you have the leadership skills, the financial expertise, the strategic thinking and the operational aptitude to guide your company through a once-in-a-career renaissance.”

CNBC: As working from home becomes more widespread, many say they don’t want to go back

A CNBC/Change Research survey found that 24% of those currently working from home would like to continue doing so indefinitely. This could be an opportunity to reduce costs for some companies, but that may impact other downstream industries. “If businesses decided to save money by renting or buying less commercial office space as a larger percentage of their employees work from home, that could translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for builders and developers.”

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

We’ve launched a recurring FP&A Live Roundtable for business executives, practitioners, and industry thought-leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A, which happens each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Until next week, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more news and information. 

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Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

Businesses are moving beyond the impact assessment stage of COVID-19 and into action mode. For many companies, that means dealing with the reduced revenue and cash-flow of March and April, and planning for May and beyond. Others are looking to keep their supply chains running smoothly so they themselves can meet demand. Here are a few expert opinions we’ve found helpful in the past week, and we hope you do, too. We’d love to hear from you, so please join our FP&A Slack Community and share your thoughts and suggestions. It is publicly available to everyone to discuss ideas related to the current crisis as seen from the FP&A perspective.

What the Experts are Saying on FP&A

Deloitte / The Wall Street Journal: Cash Management Strategies to Bolster Supply Chains

Understanding current cash flow can help identify areas of immediate concern, but knowing the risk your supply chain is facing can add much more insight to those cash flow projections. Deloitte offers nearly a dozen strategies to consider as you evaluate your supply chain’s health and its impact on your business. “It is essential to take a full ecosystem and end-to-end supply chain perspective, as any approach will have implications not only for the organization but also for customers.

Deloitte / CFO Insights: Managing Through COVID-19: Six Imperatives for CFOs

Adequately preparing for the coming economic weakness can put you in a better position to come out the other side, and might even help you identify areas for future growth. But, given the fast-changing nature of the crisis, it will require faster and more flexible planning tools. “The speed at which the COVID-19 crisis is unfolding may likely require CFOs to use new tools—virtualization and scenario-based forecasting, for example—in addition to the traditional levers they have used to act swiftly and reasonably.

CFO: Dynamic Cash-Flow Forecasting — A Must-Have in Times of Crisis

Uncertainty makes it difficult for FP&A to plan accordingly, especially as macro economic and individual business situations seem to change week to week. The cash flow models you prepare today may be quickly outdated, so it’s critical that you not only develop several models, but that they are easily tweaked and updated as conditions change. “Creating a variety of models will allow a business to see its cash flow position under a range of different future circumstances. This allows an organization to quickly adapt processes and build contingency planning protocols as needed.

McKinsey: In the tunnel: Executive expectations around coronavirus

McKinsey surveyed more than 2,000 executives around the world to get their views on the efforts being made to control coronavirus and spur economic recovery. The majority of respondents, 59%, were optimistic about the impact of recovery efforts. But even the brightest scenarios come with obvious challenges, and executives know it. “Most executives seem to have internalized this assessment. They hold balanced views regarding possible outcomes.

The Wall Street Journal: Companies Move Shareholder Meetings Online Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Stay-at-home rules have already moved many work interactions and professional events onto video chat platforms. Now, CFOs are remaking shareholder meetings to conform with social distancing regulations while keeping schedules for earnings calls, management presentations, and annual meetings. “Listed U.S. businesses usually hold more than 4,500 shareholder meetings between April 1 and June 30. So far this year, at least 920 U.S. companies had announced virtual meetings, up from 283 in 2019.”

Andreessen Horowitz:  The CFO in Crisis Mode: Modern Times Call for New Tools

CFOs and FP&A professionals are being thrust into an even more strategic role as companies struggle to protect workers, allocate resources, and adjust to falling revenues. But, as mentioned by Deloitte above, many are struggling with outdated tools that take time away from what’s important. Moving away from a “piecemeal” approach can “significantly reduce time spent acquiring, scrubbing, and structuring data, allowing CFOs to focus instead on the strategic side of their role.

TechCrunch: PayPal, Intuit & Square approved to offer loans to small businesses through coronavirus relief program

Modern “fintech” companies have been capturing some of the market controlled by traditional financial services companies. Three well-known and “non-bank” names in that space are now eligible to participate in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is providing forgivable loans for small businesses. These fintech companies claim the ability to “‘reach those businesses most vulnerable’ in a more timely fashion than traditional financial institutions.

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

We’ve launched a recurring FP&A Live Roundtable for business executives, practitioners, and industry thought-leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A, which happens each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Until next week, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more news and information. 

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Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

Recent business news has turned away from dealing with the current situation to planning for what comes next. The U.S. is starting to talk about easing work and social distancing requirements, but when that happens and how the economy responds is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, we’ll continue to compile this list of publicly available resources which we personally found helpful, and we hope you do, too. We’d love to hear from you, so please join our FP&A Slack Community and share what you are learning. It is publicly available to everyone to share insights and discuss ideas related to the current crisis as seen from the FP&A perspective.

What the Experts Are Saying on FP&A

CFO: CFOs Respond Rapidly to Pandemic

A new survey from CFO Research sheds some light on the financial impact COVID-19 will have on businesses. Over 90% expect a Q1 drop in revenues, with 39% expecting revenues to be down more than 20%. On the bright side, almost half expect a recovery to be quick. However, half also said that they are delaying or cutting investments. “To keep existing employees paid and business alive, of course, the name of the game is to conserve cash. Cash flow was the second most-cited worry of executive management teams.”

Forbes: CFOs Plan To Permanently Shift Significant Numbers Of Employees To Work Remotely

Many of us are now several weeks into this new work-from-home arrangement. How long this will last is unknown, but as workers, managers, and businesses adjust, they are finding benefits they may wish to retain even after the end of social distancing. “Nearly three out of four finance leaders…said they plan to move at least 5% of their workforce that had previously reported to an office to a full-time, remote schedule.”

Deloitte / The Wall Street Journal: Talent and Liquidity: Managing Through COVID-19

Executives from Deloitte lay out six “distinct imperatives” CFOs should take action on today to help protect companies and workers. Preparation and communication are key, but so is the use of new techniques to prepare for more economic fallout as well as the eventual recovery. “(T)he speed at which the COVID-19 crisis is unfolding may require CFOs to use new tools—virtualization and scenario-based forecasting, for example—in addition to the traditional levers they have used to act swiftly and reasonably.”

CFO: The Restructuring Remedy

The magnitude of the coronavirus crisis is pushing some companies to the point of collapse. And while the government is taking extreme steps to help prevent economic disaster, many companies will need to consider equally extreme measures to save themselves. “Given the sheer magnitude of our current crisis, the bankruptcy process will be even more critical: As painful as this reckoning is likely to be, substantial restructurings must occur across several industries on accelerated timelines.”

PwC: FAQ on accounting for COVID-19 and market volatility (podcast)

The accounting firm has released a series of podcasts to discuss how FP&A can react to the current business disruptions. This installment looks at how teams might want to approach accounting and reporting for the obviously challenging first quarter of 2020. The podcast covers, “different models and triggering events for impairment assessments of tangible, intangible, and financial assets; the accounting for the impact on taxes, revenue recognition, inventory and debt, and considerations related to internal control over financial reporting.”

The New York Times: How the Virus Transformed the Way Americans Spend Their Money

Consumer spending has changed dramatically in the past 30 days. While grocery stores and online entertainment revenues are up, sales in travel-related industries have dropped 85% from last year while retail, entertainment, fitness, restaurant, and other industries have seen drops of 50% or more. “‘This is the sharpest decline in consumer spending that we have ever seen,’ said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust.”

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

We’ve launched a recurring FP&A Live Roundtable for business executives, practitioners, and industry thought-leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A, which happens each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Until next week, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more news and information. 

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Announcing the Planful Virtual Tour

Announcing the Planful Virtual Tour

The Planful Virtual Tour will be on May 19-21 starting at 9:00am PT each day.  We will host many amazing sessions and the focus will be on how you can maximize your productivity and impact, and achieve a vision of Continuous Planning. It’s also an opportunity for you to connect with fellow finance professionals to share best practices, tips, and solutions (we also launched a Slack community for just that, click to join).

You will hear from our CEO, Grant Halloran, presenting our broader vision for how we can help you elevate your speed, collaboration, and capabilities within your function and across your business. Our SVP of Product, Mark Bauer, and Chief Technology Officer, Sanjay Vyas, will share the Planful product roadmap — highlighting the exciting updates being delivered through our quarterly releases. We’ll have Planful users share their best practices and thought leaders discussing the industry as a whole. 

Stay tuned for more details on speakers, sessions, and giveaways — check out the Tour website and be sure to clear your calendar on May 19, 20, and 21! 

Sign up here.

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Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

Helpful FP&A Resources to Navigate an Uncertain World

For businesses large and small, this is truly an unprecedented time. Predictions on unemployment as well as how the CARES Act will impact the economy are starting to become slightly more clear, but we are still in uncharted waters. We’ll continue to compile this list of publicly available resources — we personally found these insights helpful, and we hope you do, too.

What the Experts Are Saying on FP&A

The Wall Street Journal: Pandemic Shows Importance of Stress Testing

“[Paychex] expects the shock of the coronavirus to prompt more nonfinancial companies to start conducting similar exercises when they develop their annual financial plans.” Requiring banks to undergo annual “stress tests” to detail how they would react to “nightmare scenarios” was one outcome of the 2008 housing market crash. Now that we’re in another such scenario, financial services companies are somewhat more prepared to examine and model their financial outlook. With the COVID-19 crisis hitting all sectors equally, it could prompt other industries, or even individual businesses, to instill a similar methodology of planning for these types of nightmare scenarios.

McKinsey: The CFO’s role in helping companies navigate the coronavirus crisis

The consulting firm shares their view of the “critical steps CFOs and finance organizations can take across three horizons: immediate safety and survival, near-term stabilization of the business in anticipation of the next normal, and longer-term preparations for the company to make bold moves during recovery.” Cash, scenario planning, and communications are the immediate concerns, according to the article. As the crisis subsides and the outlook becomes more clear, CFOs should look to stabilizing the business.

CFO Dive: The $2.1T stimulus: What’s in it for business?

“For large companies, the centerpiece is the authority given the Treasury to use $500 billion in funds to leverage loans and loan guarantees by the Federal Reserve. Smaller businesses with 500 employees or fewer can receive emergency grants and forgivable loans from a separate pot of almost $500 billion.” We all know the numbers, but what’s yet to be determined is how it will be implemented and who this will directly impact. As detailed process information trickles out, this article looks at some of the specific areas of relief that businesses can expect.

McKinsey: Getting ahead of the next stage of the coronavirus crisis

McKinsey sees the fallout of COVID-19 lasting well beyond the current supply-chain instability and coming liquidity issues. Their recommendation is to start preparing for the “next normal”, which they see as 1 to 2 years away. So as you’re scrambling to react to today’s situation, you should already be thinking about tomorrow. “[T]here are two practical steps you can take to help stay ahead: (1) Launch a PLAN-AHEAD TEAM to get ahead of the next stage of the crisis. (2) Direct that team to work across multiple time horizons.”

Accounting Today: Look for the opportunities amid COVID-19: AICPA

Paraphrased from a webcast, Christina Kite, vice president of global business strategy and analytics at Oracle, recommends a current focus on your critical customers, suppliers and employees, especially customers performing activities related to the COVID-19 crisis. But, Kite also offers a five-step plan for analysis, modeling, and planning as you look for new opportunities. ““This is a great opportunity not only for finance to have a seat at the table, but to exhibit leadership at that table.”

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

This week we launched our first FP&A Live Roundtable — an open forum for business executives, practitioners, and industry thought leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A and how you can navigate the day-to-day complexity of the COVID-19 crisis. Also, our FP&A Slack Community is now live and publicly available to everyone. Please dive in and invite your friends and colleagues to participate

Until next week, wash your hands, consider making your own face covering, and please stay safe and healthy.

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Helpful FP&A Resources from Experts

Helpful FP&A Resources from Experts

Resources, Guides, and Advice From Peers and Experts

Right now, business leaders are turning to the Finance department for answers. As a finance professional, you’re tasked with bringing clarity to one of the most unpredictable, uncertain, and unprecedented crises our modern society has ever seen. You need all the information, advice, and tools you can get.

We’ve compiled this list of publicly available resources — we personally found these articles’ insights and guidance helpful, and we thought you might find them useful, too.

What the Experts Are Saying: Helpful Resources for FP&A

The Wall Street Journal: Companies Retool to Assist in Fight

“Distillers concoct hand sanitizer, a car maker offers to assemble ventilators, a jeans factory switches to face masks.” As the pandemic turns many industries upside down, learn how some companies are quickly pivoting their operations to produce much needed supplies for their fellow citizens. This article explores a global effort reminiscent of the manufacturing spirit of World War II, and is a great reminder of how companies put humanity first when times get tough. 

PriceWaterhouseCoopers: PwC’s COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey

Wondering what your finance peers are thinking and doing in response to COVID-19? This article from PwC lays out the top concerns and considerations from a recent survey of 55 finance professionals.

The Wall Street Journal — CFO Insights and Analysis from Deloitte: Capex Risk Modeling for COVID-19 Response

As the economic impacts of COVID-19 start to set in, finance professionals everywhere are focused on re-forecasting scenarios and assessing a variety of tangible and intangible variables in order to chart a risk-adjusted path forward. Charles Alsdorf, managing director at Deloitte, lays out a 4-step Framework that helps CFOs develop a risk-resilient plan to understand, prepare for, and mitigate business impacts and uncertainties: “Such planning can position the company to emerge as strong as possible as soon as possible.”

CFO Journal: Crisis Management: The Overlooked Leadership Skill

The word leadership is thrown around quite frequently but leadership comes in many different forms. This article dives into leadership strategies that can be deployed immediately and is a must read for anyone tasked with leading people and organizations through this uncertain time. 

The Wall Street Journal — CFO Insights and Analysis from Deloitte: Financial Reporting Considerations for Virus Impacts

As the first quarter of 2020 for many companies ended yesterday, key accounting and disclosure considerations related to COVID-19 will arise, leaving a direct impact on financial reporting and financial statement disclosures. This article includes an overview of key accounting considerations that all finance leaders should be aware of, as well as recent public statements made by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton at the end of January and in mid-February. 

McKinsey: Beyond Coronavirus: The Path to the Next Normal

How will the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic affect our economic and social world order after the virus subsides? This article published by McKinsey explores five stages that we will experience, individually and collectively, as we fight the battle against COVID-19 and re-establish our “normal” lives.

Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content

In the coming days and weeks, we will be launching The FP&A Community on Slack, and a recurring FP&A Live Roundtable — an open forum of business executives, practitioners, and industry thought leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion about all things FP&A and how you can navigate the day-to-day complexity of the COVID-19 crisis. Please dive in and invite your friends and colleagues.

Until next time, please stay safe and healthy.

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