The CFO'S Perspective

Moving Beyond a Cost Reduction Strategy

Expense reduction services and cost reduction consultants have been extremely busy over the last year as organizations scrambled to overcome pandemic-related barriers and an overall downturn in the economy. Many companies that had been thriving before the pandemic saw their future success threatened and quickly froze their spending on everything from marketing to R&D. Others took a more measured approach, tightening spending across the board instead of cutting any areas altogether. And while their intentions were good, many businesses missed the mark when it came to executing cost containment strategies.

The reason too many cost reduction approaches fail is because they are predicated on the wrong assumptions. The assumption is that reducing costs will improve cash flow to allow struggling or compromised companies the breathing room needed to stay in business.

Topics: Finance Cash Flow Expenses Strategy

Weathering a Prolonged Recession – Expert Tips from Senior Leadership

Regardless of what precipitates a recession, economic ebbs and flows are to be expected over time. Recessions can be caused by a period of contraction that inevitably comes after economic expansion or a sudden and unexpected economic shock.

While the coronavirus recession is fresh on our minds, it is not the first nor will it be the last recession that today’s businesses face. Knowing how to weather a recession is an essential management skill regardless of how long it lasts. However, facing a prolonged recession poses unique challenges that can test even the most adept leaders.

Our team of experienced CFOs shares their top tips on getting through a recession and coming out stronger on the other side:

Topics: Economic Trends Planning Cash Flow Leadership Risk Management Change Management Transition Strategy COVID-19

What are the Benefits of Business Process Outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) allows CEOs to focus on the job of running the entire business instead of getting bogged down with the management of individual departments and teams.

Effective outsourcing allows both large and small companies alike to lean on senior skillsets outside of the company to provide accurate information, offer impartial feedback, and inform strategic decision making.

In fact, according to a recent Intuit study, 65% of business owners surveyed said they would be “better positioned for long-term growth if they could take a step back and look at the bigger picture.” These business owners also reported that they were involved in areas of the company such as sales, marketing, customer service, human resources, and accounting, instead of outsourcing them. It is no coincidence that these activities were taking away from their ability to focus on their core business functions. When they were asked what they should be spending their time on instead, their top answers included developing business strategy, making an impact on customers directly, and innovating product/service offerings.

Business process outsourcing allows business owners and CEOs to utilize highly experienced professionals without needing to hire internally, both managing costs and improving business agility. Furthermore, outsourcing allows business leaders to reduce stress, lessening the likelihood of executive burnout.

Topics: Recruiting Trends Planning Cash Flow Leadership Growth Budgeting Strategy

Cash Management Strategies: Selling Accounts Receivable

With government assistance waning, business owners are evaluating other ways to improve cash flow.

Since slow-paying clients are one of the biggest killers of cash flow, some companies choose to sell their invoices to recoup some of that missing revenue more quickly. This strategy, known as invoice factoring, is a way for companies to get an infusion of cash from the products they have already sold or services they have already performed from a third-party that is willing to advance them the funds before customers pay.

Alternatively, companies that do not want to sell their invoices, and may not want, or can’t, pursue a line of credit with a traditional business bank, can borrow money against their invoices from a specialty lender. This strategy, known as invoice financing, not only improves cash flow but can also serve as a means of borrowing for businesses that cannot readily obtain other lines of credit.

Each strategy has differences to consider. Find out more about invoice factoring and invoice financing to determine which approach is right for your business.

Topics: Cash Flow Accounts Receivable Budgeting Financing COVID-19

How CFOs Plan and Prepare for Worst-Case Scenarios

The current economic climate, combined with the fact that September is National Preparedness Month, has many of us thinking about how we can prepare for possible threats and business disruptions. This kind of strategic planning allows a business to approach a worst-case scenario with a growth mindset instead of fear – increasing the likelihood that your business will come out of a crisis stronger for having gone through it.

During a worst-case scenario, leadership must decide whether the organization will make the necessary adjustments needed to continue with business as usual or change how the company will operate. And while the conversation will undoubtedly include operational and capacity considerations, it is primarily a discussion about financial capabilities.

Topics: CFO Planning Analysis Cash Flow Risk Management CFO Responsibilities Change Management Strategy