How Is Your Company Doing with 2022’s Top Financial Priorities?
As we entered 2022, things started looking up for the world and for businesses. Yet while businesses started reopening and getting back to normal, they were also still dealing with the effects of the pandemic. Many companies had to move digital faster than they’d planned as employees shifted to remote work. Many others found their supply chains disrupted and needed to find creative ways to deal with those issues. 2020 and 2021 were strange years for everyone, and we’re still dealing with the effect on businesses today.
Near the start of 2022, NetSuite and CFO.com released a whitepaper titled “3 CFO Priorities in 2022” outlining priorities for the new year. In this paper, they focused on managing cash, wages, and workforce, as well as scenario planning. The paper offers an overview of each issue, as well as concrete recommendations for CFOs working on these concerns.
Now that we’re almost halfway through 2022, it’s a good time to pause and reflect. Did you make cash flow management, wage and workforce management, and/or scenario planning a priority this year? How is your company doing in these areas? Are you on track for meeting your goals this year, whether or not you prioritized these three concerns?
Managing Cash Flow Concerns
Individuals and companies are all being affected by inflation this year. Other factors including political instability and conflicts in Europe, as well as supply chain shortages and delays, also affect cash flow concerns. For businesses, high inflation rates and worldwide uncertainties mean CFOs might need to get creative with their cash flow management. At the very least, CFOs need to pay closer attention to cash management than they might in a more “typical” year.
The NetSuite/CFO paper recommends companies invest corporate cash “under a board approved investment policy” and review “assets and liabilities on their balance sheets that may normally be overlooked” (p. 4). With fluctuations in short-term interest rates and other ongoing changes that can affect cash flow, cash management is a major concern for CFOs in 2022.
Managing cash flow is often challenging. This is especially true if your company is working with paper records, spreadsheets, or other data that you can’t search through, organize, and update quickly. Using an ERP program like NetSuite and integrating it with business process automation software helps solve these problems. ERP and BPA software, like we offer here at NextProcess, works together to give you increased control over financial processes. It also provides reliable, up-to-date data for use in forecasting and improved cash flow management.
Considering Workforce and Wages
There are two main concerns related to the workforce for CFOs to keep an eye on in 2022: labor shortages and remote work. Low unemployment rates are generally a good thing, but “the labor force participation rate remains below pre-pandemic levels” (NetSuite/CFO p. 5). This means that many companies are struggling to find and retain qualified employees. In addition to these concerns, the increasing popularity of remote work is also changing how employment works. Remote work can be a positive thing, but it also introduces new concerns that companies might not yet be used to dealing with.
The NetSuite/CFO whitepaper recommends that CFOs work with HR departments to find cost-effective ways to incentivize employees to sign on and stay with the company (p. 6-7). CFOs can also help support efforts to hire more diversely, rethink hiring parameters (like minimum experience requirements), and automate routine tasks. Remote work may actually be an asset in this case, since it’s now easier for companies to consider hiring people who aren’t geographically close to a specific location.
Business process automation programs like we offer here at NextProcess can support companies facing labor shortages in several ways. First, our software automates routine business processes. This frees up employees’ time to focus on other tasks so they can get more done without feeling so burned out. Second, the software is user-friendly. It’s easy for employees to learn how to use the software, and it helps make their jobs easier. Finally, our software also lets you set up remote access for approved employees, making it easier to collaborate as a team even if everyone’s not in the same location.
Planning for the Unexpected
The pandemic—and its effect on businesses—caught people off-guard. Many companies simply weren’t prepared for global supply chain disruptions, lockdowns, and employees moving to remote work. While it’s challenging to plan for the unexpected, the type of “scenario planning” the NetSuite/CFO whitepaper discusses can help.
For example, one toy company that already had a plan in place to deal with a scenario where their supply chain might be disrupted was able to weather 2020 and meet their customer’s demands (p. 8). NetSuite/CFO suggests other companies do something similar “by focusing on two to three significant uncertainties and building multiple scenarios from there” (p. 10).
Reliable data is essential to any plans for your company’s future. Whether you’re creating a budget for doing scenario planning, you need accurate data to base predictions on. This is another area where software like NextProcess’ can help. The system automatically logs data and metadata related to every transaction. You’ll be able to search within this data and run reports with ease.
Automating for Future Success
These three things might not have been at the top of your company’s concerns going into 2022. But there’s a good chance that cash management, changes in the workforce, and making plans for possible business disruptions are at least on your radar.
How’s your company doing so far? Maybe you’re on track to meet your 2022 goals related to cash flow, employment, and strategic planning. Or maybe you’ve identified areas that need more work. Either way, software like NextProcess can help your company stay or get on track.
NextProcess’ business process automation software is easy to customize to fit your company’s needs and support your custom goals. We can also integrate every module in our software suite seamlessly with existing ERP software for improved functionality.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free demo. You can see first-hand exactly how our software can help you meet your goals in 2022.