businessman holding newspaper

March 2020.

We have always had to deal with uncertainty in life and in work, but the uncertainty we are facing now is of the kind none of us could ever have imagined (other than perhaps the Simpsons).

We’ve been lucky here in Australia as we’ve escaped unscathed from previous recent pandemics, but we didn’t avoid this one. In fact, it seems that no one has, and there’s no guarantee we will avoid them in the future.

We most likely all agree this current Covid19 Pandemic will lead to significant changes, in the way we live our lives, the things we take for granted and are grateful for, and even the manner in which we wash our hands.  For the CFO it is also an opportunity to learn from the difficulties they’re experiencing now and change and improve their business processes for the better.

In these abnormal and uncertain times, CFO’s will be focused on doing whatever it takes to make it out the other side. But what will set an exceptional CFO apart from the pack? What will be the difference between a business merely ‘making it out’ the other side and one that comes out running?

EPM systems in times of uncertainty

There are many businesses already in prime position to charge through and come out running.  Those CFO’s that already understand the importance of a modern EPM system, and have implemented one for their business intelligence, reporting, planning and forecasting needs will be much better placed to adapt and respond to an ever-changing situation.

EPM Systems such as BOARD and Jedox, provide CFO’s and their teams with three key benefits;

The ability to

Collaborate remotely

Can your team still work together and collaborate the same when they are working from home? Collaboration is the cornerstone of the modern EPM system. They are all about making it easier for people to work together, either in the office or remotely. From inbuilt instant messaging, seamless sharing of dashboards and reports with commentary, to a single source of the truth for all users, a modern EPM system provides CFO’s and their team with the collaborative tools they need when working remotely.

Understand the current situation, quickly

How quickly can you get your numbers out? In times of great volatility timeliness of your numbers is of paramount importance. Often this requires several manual steps, extracting, integrating, checking and then reporting on the data across multiple systems.  With modern EPM systems, this process is set to be run at the click or of a button, or on a schedule.  This provides CFOs with an instant update on where the business is, to quickly realise opportunities and address risks.

Analyse scenarios and plan

How quickly can budgets/plans be amended, and how quickly can you work out what they should be? Being able to change your budgets and plans is one thing, but in uncertain times it can be extremely hard to know what to change to. Some businesses will decide that there is no point in re-planning, but the successful ones will have several strategies ready depending on where we end up.

EPM systems provide a collaborative and integrated reporting and budgeting solution, incorporating what-if and sensitivity analysis capabilities, to help CFO’s stay on top in disrupted and uncertain times.

One of the main uncertainties is when this situation will end, we hear everything for a few months, 6 months, to over 12 months. With the implementation of an integrated reporting solution starting at 2 weeks, there is still time for those CFO’s and businesses who can, to act quickly and put in place such a solution as a first step to a full EPM implementation. The sooner CFO’s can improve their reporting and forecasting systems the better placed CFO’s will be to steer the business through these trying times.

The better CFO’s, who haven’t already, will  take away two key learnings from the current situation;

Make sure your business is not left behind when we all celebrate the end of this pandemic.

Stay safe

The bi5 Team



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