The CFO'S Perspective

Maintaining Business Controls in a Remote Work Environment

We are now seven months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is clear we are far from returning to “normal”; however, that may be defined. What is clear is the pandemic pushed the concept of work-from-home (WFH) from being a motivational tool and employee benefit to a way of life. Work-from-home will undoubtedly remain an essential part of company operations well after the pandemic is under control. REI, Zillow, Twitter, Square, and other companies announced a plan to work remotely indefinitely.

Moving to a remote work environment in March with little or no notice was extraordinarily disruptive and often haphazard at best. We did what we needed to operate in the so-called “new normal.” By now, most of us have settled into a regular work cadence and adapted to working apart from the rest of our teams.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce and half of all “information workers” can work from home. Though the number of people working partially or fully remote has been on the rise for years now, the COVID-19 pandemic may have pressed the fast-forward button on this trend.

With millions of people taking part in this work-from-home experiment, now is the perfect time for companies to take a fresh look at their internal control environments, especially as they relate to their WFH team members. What once worked with everyone in the same place may not be effective with a distributed workforce.

A critical self-examination of your company’s internal control environment begins with an assessment of the segregation of duties.

Topics: Leadership Risk Management Change Management Business Controls

Re-opening: A CFOs Perspective on What Businesses Should Focus on in the Near Term

What now? You have your PPP loan (or determined you did not need or qualify for it) and every state has begun easing stay home restrictions, but there is still economic uncertainty ahead. One thing is certain, most businesses have been impacted and their 2020 results will differ significantly from previous budgets and forecasts.

Now is the time for serious planning and strategizing. Business owners and CEOs should be considering what reopening looks like in all markets in which they operate. Will your business return to normal operations or will there be significant changes needed? Involve your key leadership team and advisors in these planning sessions.

Topics: Planning Leadership Change Management

Certainty in Uncertain Times

In uncertain times businesses need continued access to experienced bookkeepers and accountants to keep cash flowing. Whether the need is part-time, interim, or project-based, a third-party financial professional can offer the information needed to make strategic business decisions. This need does not change when people are working remotely. In fact, with so many businesses temporarily pausing operations, the need for bookkeepers and accountants is likely greater than ever before.

While the future may be uncertain, there is one immutable certainty – businesses still have access to the reputable, qualified bookkeepers and accountants that they need to keep their organizations afloat. These kinds of key personnel aren’t going anywhere and are available to help businesses navigate today’s unique challenges.

Topics: Finance Accounting Hiring Change Management Transition COVID-19

2020 Pandemic Crisis – What to Focus on Right Now

This is an uncertain time for business owners.

Difficult questions like deciding whether to pause operations, continue a lease, apply for a loan, or lay off employees, are on the minds of business owners across the country. Many are confused about their tax obligations in the face of new legislation. Most are worried about maintaining proper security and managing communications effectively with a larger percentage of their employees working remotely. Some are concerned about how they will repair the brand damage that is occurring as a result of not being able to fulfill their brand promise to their customers.

Frequently shifting state and local regulations have left the waters murky for many businesses, especially in highly seasonal industries. Some business owners may be wrestling with the question of whether their businesses will be able to reopen at all after the shelter in place orders and social distancing recommendations have been lifted.

Topics: Change Management Transition Strategy COVID-19

A CEO Guide to Change Management for Financial Processes (and Financial Teams)

Change comes more from managing the journey than from announcing the destination.”  -  William Bridges

Change can be hard to navigate under the best of circumstances. When things aren't right within the financial arena, it can unknowingly create a delicate situation. CEOs should tread lightly, and yet, must still be effective leaders.

The inclination of many CEOs is to assume that because financial teams tend to be more analytical than, for instance, a marketing team, they can make changes without understanding the potential ramifications. This may not be the case. Here are some best practices for navigating change in your financial waters.

Topics: Leadership Financial Process Change Management