Volatility has been the name of the game these past few years. But those who were well prepared before the pandemic were able to quickly regroup and rebound, while others were first forced to adapt to remote work and constantly shifting rules and forecasts. Now, however, volatility appears to be constant.
Planful, along with our partner Verostone, recently hosted 40 finance leaders at The Shard in London to explore tips and strategies for working through volatility, maintaining resilience, and preparing the Office of the CFO for future uncertainty. Here’s a quick recap of the knowledge shared at that event.
Planful’s VP of Sales, Matt Mallette, kicked off the event by diving into volatility head on. By recognizing and embracing constant change, he said, you gain the advantage.
“Volatility brings opportunity,” Matt opened with. “But only if you’re agile.”
Being prepared, agile, curious, and persuasive are critical to capturing that opportunity, and they all come back to data. Real-time data analytics, with speed, help finance leaders clearly visualise strategies and make more informed decisions about an organisation’s future direction.
A recent survey by Everest Group shows that most CFOs agree. It found that 70% of responding CFOs stated they will prioritise the implementation of digital technologies to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and the stakeholder experience in 2023 and beyond. But CFOs must also follow through on implementing those digital technologies or, for the other 30%, must shift gears now to ensure they are not left behind.
“By investing a little now to be well-equipped and well-informed, you’ll be well-positioned tomorrow,” Matt concluded.
Guests at the event were posed the question: How has your company been impacted by the challenges we’ve faced in the past 2 years, and what strategies have you employed to remain resilient?
There were a number of interesting points discussed, including the need to embrace new digital technologies while moving away from archaic systems. Continuous testing and learning of novel financial concepts and changing approaches were other key themes discussed.
James Muscat, Group Commercial Finance and FP&A Director at global concierge and client loyalty platform Ten Lifestyle Group, added to the resilience conversation by explaining how Planful enabled his team to move out of “Excel city” and add more value to the business. Cutting out slow, manual spreadsheet-based frustrations enabled Ten Lifestyle Group to accelerate its month-end close process. That gave them the time to act as finance business partners, with a focus on value-add tasks.
“Having an agile mindset has really helped us stay ahead in uncertain times,” James said. “This has been prevalent as the company continues to course-correct in real-time.”
Read the full Ten Lifestyle Group case study here.
Dave Francis, Director, and James Coupar, Client Services Director, both from Verostone, explored the topic of “Fit for the Future.” The duo explored the steps organisations can take today to master agility, including how to gain visibility and real-time insights into cash positions, as well as understanding the greater need for improved financial reporting and analytics.
“Agility is more than just reacting to change. It is about being able to see and act on future opportunities,” said Dave. “These tasks require real-time, accurate data, so a viable action plan can be executed with velocity.”
A single source of financial truth is required, however. CFOs need fast access to accurate data. Then, by having best-in-class financial planning solutions in place, CFOs can use that data to help organisations become — and stay — financially agile in these challenging times. The combination of data and solutions purpose-built for the Office of the CFO enables teams to carry out “what-if” scenario modelling for future-mapping in a crisis, as well as model financial scenarios to create new routes to market.
Today, there’s rarely an aspect of business that isn’t constantly fluctuating, evolving, or adapting to trends. By becoming financially agile, organisations are able to respond to the changing landscape and make decisions with confidence.
Prioritising your shift to more nimble finance and accounting business processes is key for long-term success. At Planful, we empower our customers with solutions that provide the accurate insights needed to make smarter, more agile decisions. Today and into the future.
See what’s possible in Planful and get yourself fit for the now and the future.