Coronavirus » Play smarter, not harder – the new game plan for CFOs

The severe and wide-reaching effects of the coronavirus crisis are forcing businesses to reset and rethink their game plans for 2020. For the first half of this year, many companies were in reaction mode, adjusting their processes and adding technology where necessary to stabilise the business. In a recent survey by Serrala, we found that 60 percent of companies were already affected by the crisis. And now that the global economy is starting to recalibrate, the game has changed significantly. Making smart plays today will enable companies to build a stronger, more resilient company for the future.

Digitisation was one of the first steps that companies took to keep the business running. This was particularly true in finance and treasury departments, which still rely on manual processes and complex spreadsheets to manage day-to-day tasks.

To accelerate inbound cash flows and control supplier spend, CFOs moved quickly to digitise processes. They implemented touchless payments or asked suppliers to send invoices electronically to get fast, accurate access to information on their inbound and outbound payments. This allowed them to generate accurate cash flow forecasts and safeguard corporate liquidity.

These quick moves towards digitisation helped organisations adjust as many employees were forced to work from home. However, with 42 percent of companies surveyed indicating that their current cash processes don’t meet their needs, CFOs will need to do more to win in today’s economy. They will have to reposition and rethink their priorities, and adapt finance and treasury processes so they become faster, more precise and more connected. Remote work also requires new security and compliance measures. The renewed focus on cash management and liquidity is a great chance for finance and treasury to have a much a larger voice in advocating for change.

Achieve strategic goals

CFOs have the opportunity to build a new game plan to capitalise on the changes they made to defend their business and achieve their strategic goals in this new economic reality. Making smart process and technology decisions will help them build an offensive strategy as they move into recovery mode, so they can save costs, minimise risks and maximise transparency.

To avoid mistakes, they must understand the unique challenges facing their business and put the best possible team and tools in place. Digitisation is only the first step. There are several options at their disposal to improve working capital and liquidity. These include:

  • End-to-end, integrated processes to improve visibility into cash and cash flows. Reducing friction points between accounts receivable, collections and credit processes, captures customer cash faster. Integrating accounts payable and payments processes helps control supplier spend and prevent fraud.
  • Measuring Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) and Days Payables Outstanding (DPO) to identify how to improve Order to Cash and Procure to Pay processes. Small changes in AR and AP can lead to significant improvements in working capital, reduced costs and faster cash flows.
  • Analysing financial KPIs with real-time data. Companies that want to achieve better forecasting need access to comprehensive and accurate information from all finance systems and related sources.
  • Intelligently automating cash-related processes to reduce costs and increase process speed and accuracy. Automation will give staff time to focus on value-added tasks that will help minimise bad debt losses and accelerate cash flows.
  • Improving the exchange of information between your finance team and banks, customers, suppliers to ensure you have the most timely and reliable information.
  • Centralising and digitising payments to ensure they are fast, secure, and compliant, even in a disrupted economic environment.

Tackle the boundaries of finance

The crisis has changed the global playing field drastically and to compete CFOs will have to be open to change and ready for transformation. They must push the boundaries of finance and optimise processes to accelerate B2B payments and build a more flexible and financially fit organisation for the future.

igate these complex decisions, Serrala has developed a CFO Playbook. This set of interactive virtual events and vast library of assets will provide CFOs – and their finance organisation – with the guidance they need to achieve best-in-class cash visibility and finance process efficiency. It includes expert advice and real-world customer scenarios so you can build a game plan to position your company to win in the current and to restart for the post crises economy. Discover our CFO Playbook today and define the right levers to future-proof your financial value chains at cfo.serrala.com

Serrala is a leading B2B fintech creating more secure global payments capabilities for every enterprise. The company provides unparalleled end-to-end services from inbound to outbound payments to its more than 2.500 global customers.

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