Digital transformation, workforce planning, and collaboration with the business continue to be trending topics heading into 2021. To keep you current, below are a few insights into how Finance and FP&A leaders are moving forward. We’ve found these articles helpful, and we hope you do, too.
Forbes: CFOs And The Digital Imperative
CFOs are being pushed to take more of a leadership role in digital transformations. The past year has shown the value of technology to facilitate everything from remote work to agile plans and forecasts, but CFOs should view this as a reason to double-down on digitization investments to help their business even during less chaotic times. “A thoughtful digitalization strategy enhances productivity by protecting revenue and enabling companies to pivot their business models.”
The need for speed, agility, and insights during the pandemic forced FP&A to step up, and step up they did! CFOs are pointing to improved communication, business flexibility, and tighter connections with suppliers as some of the many positive outcomes of the past year. A more agile cash strategy was also a side benefit, and now some CFOs are facing the challenge of too much cash. “In hindsight, it wasn’t exactly what I would have liked to do.”
Deloitte / WSJ: Vaccines Boost CFO Outlooks for Year Ahead
Deloitte’s latest CFO survey found that most Finance chiefs remain optimistic about the economy going into 2021. More than three-quarters expect COVID-19 vaccines to contribute to economic improvements by mid 2021. Few rated the current economy as good, however. “For the first time in the survey’s more than 10-year history CFOs expressed more optimism about China’s economy than that of North America.”
It’s usually difficult to quantify the true return on brand-building investments, but FP&A should provide financial guidance in support of the brand. To do so, CFOs need to understand the value a good brand brings to the financial equation. “As brand preference goes up, price sensitivity goes down. Building brand preference makes money.”
A data breach can cost your company tens of millions of dollars in both real costs and lasting damage to your business. So, the CFO should work more closely with the security team since they’re both working towards the same goal of preventing business losses. But it’s difficult to quantify security ROI because most investments are measured against the value of what they prevented from happening. “CISOs need to establish a stronger relationship with their CFO and financial team to better communicate the value of existing, and future, security investments.”
This past year has been particularly stressful for everyone. Finance has a fairly straightforward role in implementing physical safety protocols, such as increasing cleaning budgets and investing in hand sanitizer stations. But mental health and emotional wellness pose more nuanced challenges for most companies, yet the cost of addressing it is usually only time. “Scheduled time with your employees is an opportunity to communicate clearly, show empathy, and offer counseling, coaching, and support.”
With 42% of U.S. employees still working remotely, the chance to move to a more affordable area while retaining your salary has become an attractive choice. But some companies, Facebook, for one, have said they’d adjust salaries of relocating employees. Others aren’t so sure. “If a remote employee in San Francisco does the same work as their colleague in Little Rock, one person’s choice shouldn’t be rewarded while the other is penalized.”
Stay Tuned for More Useful FP&A Content
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