By Christoph Dubies, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, Serrala

In 2020 so far, we have seen finance organizations pivoting and driving necessary change – with a CFO Playbook they can stabilize the business, safeguard liquidity and build on strategic objectives for the future.

For the first half of this year, many companies were in reaction mode as a result of the Covid 19 crisis, adjusting their processes and adding technology where necessary to stabilize the business. 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.

Digitization was one of the first steps that companies took to keep the business running. This was particularly true in finance and treasury departments. To accelerate inbound cash flows and control supplier spend, CFOs moved quickly to digitize 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 digitization helped organizations adjust as many employees were forced to work from home. However, with 42% of companies we surveyed in spring indicating that their current cash processes didn’t meet their needs, CFOs had 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.

Achieve Strategic Goals

CFOs have the opportunity to build a new game plan to capitalize 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 helps them build an offensive strategy as they move into recovery mode, so they can save costs, minimize risks and maximize transparency.

To avoid mistakes, they must understand the unique challenges facing their business and put the best possible teams and tools in place. Digitization is only the first step. Thereare 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.
  • Analyzing 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 minimize 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.
  • Centralizing and digitizing payments to ensure they are fast, secure, and compliant, even in a disrupted economic environment.

Build a Game Plan to Position your Company for the Future

The crisis has changed the global playing field drastically and to compete CFOs will have to be open to change and ready for transformation.

To help CFOs navigate 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 organization – 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 register for our latest game changer virtual expert forum!

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