5 action areas that CFOs should address for rapid recovery


Authored by RSM US LLP

As states relax restrictions and continue with COVID-19-related reopening measures, CFOs need to take swift action to refocus their energy moving forward. The right decisions will help to drive recovery, position the organization for rapid recovery and ensure the company thrives in the future. Now is the time for CFOs to take action and build business agility in these five key areas:

  1. Costs – CFOs should continue to focus on cost and cash flow management to best position their business for rapid recovery. Reevaluate your supplier and vendor contracts and think about shifting your fixed costs to variable costs where possible. Consider fully moving to the cloud, and outsourcing noncore functions (such as IT, finance, payroll, internal audit and tax) to increase the agility of your business.
  2. Process – Prioritizing process optimization is critical for CFOs. Leverage what you learned when you were forced to conduct your close remotely and permanently leverage financial close automation platforms to optimize your financial close process. Evaluate where automation can help streamline your processes across your organization to manage overall costs.
  3. Risk – CFOs should retrospectively evaluate what worked well and what did not work well during the COVID-19 crisis. Every company’s risk profile has changed given the crisis so refreshing your risk assessment especially around technology may be wise. Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should be enhanced and strengthened, and cybersecurity policies and procedures should be updated to adjust for workforces that may continue to work remotely.
  4. People – As a result of COVID-19, many organizations were forced to decrease headcount. You should consider critically evaluating the need to rehire staff and consider the potential value of outsourcing noncore business functions (variable cost model), as well as the potential to leverage automation throughout the organization to supplement staff.
  5. Customers – CFOs need to know their customers and have clear data and insight as to the cost of customer acquisition and retention and the ever-evolving demand for their products and services. You should make sure your customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), corporate performance management (CPM) solutions and additional financial systems are integrated and provide a clear picture of your customers’ buying habits and to help identify new ways to drive revenue. 

Timing will be critical as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the business environment steadily recovers. A trusted advisor can provide an unbiased analysis of each of these key areas, and help to outline a plan for post-pandemic success.