Digital is the new normal. The explanation is self-evident: the coronavirus pandemic last year really accelerated the steady digitization of our society. This accelerated digital transformation has posed serious challenges to quite a number of organizations.
Not only have we learned to live, learn and play digitally in the COVID age; we are also increasingly working digitally — by necessity, because teleworking has become the norm in many organizations. As PwC deduced last year from the results of a global COVID-19 survey of CFOs, “Digitization is essential to enable home working, which will become the new norm, and to increase efficiency.”
Beyond COVID-19 crisis management
A primary concern of the CFOs surveyed during the first phase of the coronavirus crisis was to ensure business continuity. They succeeded in doing so particularly by accelerating the digitization of a number of business processes. Moreover, even though they obviously still have to make the effort to keep their organization afloat, their focus is clearly shifting during this “new normal.” For example, the immediate crisis management of the first wave is increasingly having to make way for the stabilization and sustainable management of the business. In the process, these CFOs are also looking to the long term once again, rather than sticking to a purely reactive approach.
CFOs are slowly but surely daring to look ahead to the post-COVID era. While waiting for that (more) stable new era to arrive, PwC advises them to focus on defining an exit strategy that can withstand the constant uncertainty. “Due to the uncertain course of the pandemic, companies and economies are still in transition to a new equilibrium,” the consulting firm notes. “CFOs will need to navigate through that uncertainty to build resilience and ensure success in the ‘new normal.'”
How does that translate into practice?
1. Proactive cash management
In times of crisis, quickly accessible and correct information is crucial for making the right decisions on time. As the CFO, you want to be able to anticipate a possible cash shortage. You want to proactively take the necessary measures to ensure a stable cash flow.
With the Isabel 6 multi-bank payment platform or with the Ponto API solution, where you can continue to work in your current software, you get a clear, centralized overview of all your accounts with all your national or international banks. This enables you to better manage and control your liquidity and optimize your working capital. PwC confirms, “This is essential if you are to take the next step and implement a successful exit strategy. You will then be able to take strategic decisions to increase productivity, reduce operating costs and turn this crisis into an opportunity.”
2. A digital administration
Think about your administration as well. Which processes can be digitized (more efficiently)? Drawing up contracts and having them signed can also be done completely digitally today, for example with SignHere. You upload the contract with a partner or a new employee and have all the parties involved sign with itsme®, the Belgian eID or with a One-Time Password (OTP) via SMS or e-mail.
In an increasingly digital (business) world, we cannot do without a secure digital identity and optimum protection against digital fraud. That is why in 2020 we launched the TruliUs platform, a secure digital company passport. As CFO, you can see what steps your team is taking online and give the correct mandates to the right people.
Finally, you can also digitize the paper chain of your invoicing. With VOILA we are taking the lead in electronic invoicing in Belgium, and more and more partners, such as e-invoicing pioneer SDWorx, are joining our ecosystem.
Now, that’s quite a job! At Isabel Group, we regularly organize free information sessions, demos and webinars to give you a better understanding of the solutions that can help your finance team.
Make sure you have a look at our events page.
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