In this time of upheaval after upheaval, Finance teams need to create stability and predictability where they can. And right now is the time to do it – according to our recent survey conducted with CFO Dive, Finance budgets are on the rise, with 81% of respondents saying they saw a budget increase for 2022.
But as the last two years have taught us, positive indicators of progress can also be harbingers of turmoil just around the corner. That’s why it’s more important than ever for Finance teams to be able to pivot on a moment’s notice – and to bring the organization along with them.
Here are three ways you can prepare today for the certain uncertainty of tomorrow:
Invest in Digital Transformation
Finance leaders need to prioritize investing in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help their team and their organization stay nimble. If your Finance team is still relying on repetitive manual tasks and siloed processes, it’s time for an upgrade. Advanced Finance technology solutions help Finance teams budget, forecast, and pivot faster with a reduced risk of human error.
“Given the pace of change and rising uncertainty in markets, whether it be due to technology disruption, geopolitical events, or climate and health-related crises, I think the whole budgeting process needs to be more dynamic and adaptable,” says Matthew Ranen, Scenario Planning and Strategy Consultant. “Having the ability to first, instantly analyze the impact on financials, and second, shift resources quickly – even within a given budget cycle – will become a strategic advantage to many companies.”
Smart technology investments are an indispensable part of developing greater agility and flexibility.
Hire Smart, Retain Smart
It’s not enough to simply have automation systems in place. Finance leaders need a team they can rely on to use those tools to analyze the data—and then compellingly explain what it all means to their number-phobic colleagues across the company.
“The Great Reshuffle, as with any crisis, creates opportunities for those willing to take them. Employees are leaving jobs for more meaningful work and greater flexibility. So provide your employees with meaningful work and greater flexibility. Don’t just talk about it – DO IT! Empower your employees, include them in the decision-making process, and allow them to make mistakes.”
A digitally transformed Finance function is also a remote-first Finance function. Finance leaders should embrace this: “It is possible for leaders to allow their team to set their own hours while demanding accountability,” Jack says.
With modern tools and the right staff, Finance teams will be well positioned to have an outsized impact on the organization. The Finance leader should use traditional Finance department skills like measuring and reporting alongside storytelling skills to illustrate the indispensable nature of the Finance function. With the executive team on board, roadblocks can become mere speed bumps.
Predict the Unpredictable
They say the only constant is change, but a digitally transformed Finance team can be ready to react quickly — and advise the entire organization — no matter what the future brings. After the hard-learned lessons of the past two years, now is the time to transform your Finance team.
Prophix is committed to elevating Finance and supporting Finance leaders in their transformation journey. Check out the 2022 CFO Benchmarks page to get started.