2020 was an unprecedented, a year like no other. It created huge challenges for businesses. When it was no longer possible for staff to work from the office, working from home had to quickly become the new norm.

Rapid Change

Overnight, organisations had to adapt their operations and invest in technology to support the new way of working. Surveys showed that on average IT budgets were lifted by 20% throughout the crisis to support remote delivery models. It was a rapid transformation for many businesses.

With Covid short-circuiting the decision-making processes, we question whether finance functions have received the necessary tools to cope in a complete or partial virtual working environment?

No, is the answer we hear most often. Finance teams continue to work long hours due to inflexible IT solutions that don’t provide adequate collaboration or Finance Process Automation.

New Challenges

The pandemic situation placed fresh challenges for organisations’ planning and reporting requirements. Changes in operational processes and the introduction of remote working fashioned different spending patterns and habits. Economic and recessionary pressures have continued to force organisations to change their assumptions on an almost daily basis, requiring them to come up with new forecasts for how the business will perform.

During the peak of the crisis – cash flow forecasting became a survival tool, with some companies performing this exercise weekly or even multiple times per week. As companies now look for the way forward – scenario planning has really come into its own.

Scenario Modelling

It’s imperative Finance analysts make use of the scenario modelling capabilities in their FP&A solution. This will deliver business insights to help management plan appropriately for the crisis.

With ORYX scenario modelling capabilities, it’s possible to rapidly re-model forecasts and plans, and produce over 100 models within minutes. After comparisons and refinements, a smaller number of coherent viable scenarios for your business can be presented.

We advise that close on the heels of the pandemic is the next wave of disruption – and it is huge. This disruption is the change in customer behaviours and supply chains that have already taken hold. Things will not just go back to normal. There is massive pent-up demand in the system and consumers and businesses are desperate to get back to normal.

On track for recovery

With the US, EU and UK all planning colossal stimulus packages and unprecedented growth figures of 5-10% projected over the next 1-2 years, the ripples of global disruption to economic models will be orders of magnitude bigger than the sort of changes businesses are used to dealing with.

Financial analysts need robust technology to be in place to help businesses deal with unpredictable demands, supply chain issues, and balancing extra stock.

The aftermath of the crisis will be felt for years to come, and businesses who adopt systems and practices to put them on the right track for recovery, accepting that remote working habits are the new reality, will be the ones likely to prosper.

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