With the volatility of the modern market and the global crises it must face, businesses have been forced to adapt to survive.
Financial transformation has become a necessity not just to keep up with current trends, but to survive in the face of a crisis.
To execute a powerful transformation, which can provide a business with the resilience and tools it needs to survive a crisis, a business must:
Utilise the right digital systems: Ensure your operations benefit from the many opportunities of Finance 4.0 by choosing and implementing digital systems that help you achieve your unique business objectives.
Form a strategic plan and timeline: A clear strategy for what lies ahead can anchor your growth and give your team a sense of direction.
Invest in your team: Providing your team with growth and training opportunities will give them the knowledge and tools they need to derive greater value and productivity out of your transformation.
Account for all business priorities: Aligning transformation with the long-term objectives of your organisation ensures that your priorities are accounted for and balanced. An analytics roadmap can also enhance your organisation’s value chain.
Establish a robust transformation framework: This ensures that your transformation is sustainable and can be supported by the broad frameworks of your business.
At first glance, the term financial transformation appears quite self-explanatory. Beyond the general idea of reform, however, what it means and entails for a modern business can feel somewhat vague and unspecified.
Finance transformation alludes to the implementation of strategic initiatives that re-envision how the finance function aligns with your company strategy.
Across the modern finance function, teams must operate as strategic business partners that embrace technology and digital innovation to glean data-driven insights from advanced analytics and predictive modelling.
The events of the past year and a half have brought to light just how unpredictable the future can be. Regardless of the challenges, it has faced, however, the evolution of the finance sector was inevitable with Finance 4.0 and the rapid rise of AI, blockchain, and wide-scale automation.
Massive disruptions have historically led to businesses falling apart, learning to adapt, or thriving. The current digital disruption will call for the same responsiveness.
Businesses must either strategise well in advance for the digital future or lose their competitive edge.
The next financial crisis and what it could mean for businesses
The repercussions of COVID-19 and the full extent of its effect on the global economy are ongoing and yet to be analysed in more objective hindsight. It is safe to say, however, that it will leave long-lasting challenges.
COVID-19 is not the first financial crisis to occur, but it is a reminder that financial processes must be flexible, resilient, and innovative to have a chance at survival.
Governments are artificially stimulating economies to stem the tide of the crisis. This cannot be sustained indefinitely and analysts predict that we will see corporate bankruptcies sooner rather than later.
Even businesses that have managed to adapt to the situation will not be in the clear. The market has, arguably, never been more volatile than it is today and even industry best practices will need to be revisited on an ongoing basis.
This is why companies must prepare for financial crises by setting their sights on future-proof practices that offer them stability during a crisis.
The clear choice is financial transformation.
The road to transformation
Transformation can be inspired by a singular goal such as providing better services by shifting focus from delivering data to providing insights; it could be an effort to cut costs that broaden into a company-wide transformation to create more clearly defined processes, or the goal may be to foster higher productivity.
Regardless of the catalyst for change, the desired outcome is always to support an organisation on its path to achieving its overall vision and goals.
The road to surviving a financial crisis and enjoying successful transformation often feel like the same thing.
The simple fact is that while finance transformation may have a different effect on every business and may be approached in a multitude of ways, there are a few strategies that work in any scenario.
Digitalisation may be an unavoidable side effect of operating in the modern business landscape, but that does not mean implementing every innovation that is introduced will lead to enhanced productivity.
The right digital system will lower the burden of repetitive and lower value-added tasks on your finance teams by digitalising data analysis and automating your processes. This makes way for higher value-added activities, reduced wastage, more efficient resource allocation and empowers a business framework that can sustain your growth.
Enjoying the opportunities of Finance 4.0 while protecting your business interests begins by choosing a digital framework that meets your requirements.
Forming a strategic plan and timeline
A clear vision and timeline for what you want to achieve are imperative to business transformation.
This vision will anchor your growth and provide key milestones that will help your teams rally around your purpose and invest in your vision.
Investing in your team
When it comes to people development, the value of a trained and skilled team is irreplaceable.
Invest in the growth of your team by providing them with dynamic training opportunities. This will ensure that your teams are integrated and that the drive towards financial transformation supports and accounts for the overall goals of your company.
Balancing business priorities
Your finance transformation needs to align with the overall strategy of your organisation as well as the expectations of key stakeholders.
An analytics roadmap can help you identify where finance can factor into your company’s value chain to enhance your growth and optimise your processes.
Implementing a robust transformation framework
Achieving your desired outcome is an important goal, but it is equally important to ensure that your company has the frameworks in place to support this transformation once it has been achieved.
Having a clear understanding of your future operating model and how everything will fall into place will ensure this. For example, identify how reporting duties will change and how responsibilities will be allocated after your organisation is restructured.
By ensuring that the transformation process is strategic, you ensure that your business is more prepared to face, mitigate, and recover from financial crises.
Make the most of financial transformation for accelerated crisis recovery
To face the looming threat of a financial crisis and survive in the business landscape, post-crisis, companies will need to transform—strategically.
Find out what this means for your finance function today.
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