Five Ways to Effectively Manage Finance Teams Remotely
In the time of COVID-19, finance functions are facing unprecedented challenges. A combination of rapidly changing guidance and regulations, social distancing mandates and market turbulence means some modes of working are no longer feasible. Finance functions have had to rapidly adapt to sustain core operations and processes remotely. Here are five practical ways to effectively manage finance teams remotely while maintaining strong business continuity:
1. Identify, map and update policies to rapidly adapt to new regulatory requirements
COVID-19 has compelled local, state and federal governments to respond with new regulations and mandates. Subsequently, finance leaders have very compressed timelines to adhere to new guidance, which is further complicated when regulations substantially differ across geographies, and when required teams are working in a remote environment. In response, finance leaders should conduct a comprehensive policy-mapping session to identify which organizational policies require updating.
Further, a centralized document repository should be maintained to house updated policies, and if any policies require employee or organization inputs, low-cost survey tools can be utilized to gather key data. Policy mapping should be revisited and updated regularly to foster continuous improvement beyond COVID-19.
2. Enable transactions and controls by redesigning core finance processes
After ensuring that compliance and controls are in place to adapt to COVID-19 regulations, organizations should turn to their core finance processes for touchless automation. For most organizations, these core processes will involve cash management and treasury. Given the sudden closure mandates in response to COVID-19, many organizations may still be receiving paper invoices and checks at a central location. This can exacerbate existing liquidity problems by decreasing visibility into the daily cash position, preventing payments to key suppliers and hindering efficient cash applications.