Different sectors of the economy are starting to show their pace of recovery, with some outperforming and others lagging behind. But with nearly all U.S. states adding jobs in May, and many businesses either open or on their way to reopening, more data on the recovery will quickly become available to help FP&A further refine plans and models.
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
This year is being approached as “wartime” by some CFO’s, given the uncertainty, economic impacts, and continuing fallout from the pandemic. But CFO’s can take extra steps to keep their businesses heading in the right direction. This includes over-communicating to the board and continually re-planning as new information arrives, with CFO’s advised to explore “all scenarios”. “All 2020 plans are virtually shot. Companies are going back to the drawing board.”
Deloitte / The Wall Street Journal: Finance Leadership and Planning in a Pandemic
The pandemic has affected every workplace in many ways, especially in how workers feel about their job security, working from home, and their employer’s future. For business leaders, especially in Finance, it’s given them the opportunity to lead and reassure both at the personal and professional levels. “It’s critical to bring people along to understand the potential range of outcomes the (business) may be facing, explain the scenarios and our processes, and then have open discussions about the actions to be taken.”
CFODive: When the CFO departs, who steps up?
Dealing with the stress of COVID-19 might push more CFO’s to either retire or use their success to advance their career. Openings in the CFO chair are generally filled from within the company, with a small survey showing that 75% of CFO’s were hired internally. But what are today’s corporate leaders looking for in a new CFO? A well-rounded financial executive who can see far beyond the spreadsheet. “People want someone who’s been in the company and enterprise, who can communicate well, and can move the dial with their teammates, instead of being in the corner collecting data.”
A recent study from commercial real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield, found that nearly three-quarters of workers believe their employers should embrace flexible and remote working. This is another in a long list of surveys signaling a shift to remote work. But to make it work, processes will need to be revised, some roles will be more remote than others, and the workplace itself will change — all of which require strong FP&A guidance to weigh the financial pros and cons. “If companies make no change in enabling flexible working, they could see [workspace] footprint size increase by 15-20% as a result of social distancing measures and new types of collaborative environments.”
AccountingToday: 12 strategies for thriving after the coronavirus
Day-to-day chaos brought on by COVID-19 seems to be waning, but as tactical needs and adjusting to the new normal take over, it’s easy to lose sight of the more strategic opportunities available. Accounting experts offer a dozen ways to approach your business that might just “make the difference between merely making it through the pandemic and being ready to take off in its aftermath.”
Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content
We’ll be continuing this weekly update with links related to how FP&A and CFO’s are leading their organizations through the continuing recovery. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please engage with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.