Between COVID-19-related shutdowns, continued, epic unemployment, and the instability in consumer confidence, Finance Leaders are finding themselves at the very frontlines of leadership now more than ever, as businesses look to navigate uncharted financial waters. The challenge is familiar to small and large businesses: how do you manage cash flows until a normalized level of revenue returns? How do you keep employees motivated? What are ways to reduce the level of effort through automation? We asked some of our clients, and here’s what we heard back:
Cut back on frivolous spend
One CFO we spoke to found an extra $50,000 a month being spent on individual subscriptions to products either covered under a corporate plan, or perks like magazines, as well as cables, even advanced travel booking (“hey we were trying to save the company money.”) Explain that employees need to be more conscientious of how funds are spent – every dollar saved is a dollar that can be spent on payroll.
Look closely at the data
However you manage your business, whether through a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, or Quickbooks, or a homegrown Excel-based system, accurate, up-to-date, and detailed data is critical for analyzing business performance. As you adjust forecasts, get a read on your quarter, or undertake planning, you need detailed data quickly. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
“Work smarter not harder” always sounds easier than it is. However, today there are a plethora of automation tools and products to help. PEX customers use real-time reporting, preauthorized spending categories, spending limits, and card limits, and see activity posted directly into their Quickbooks packages, or integrate the PEX API into their own platform in order to see expense activity in real-time.
Learn more about how PEX can help you better manage spend, get clearer data insights and automate your expense policy, reporting and reconciliation.
Plan, plan and plan again
Today, businesses are experiencing a roller coaster ride. According to CNBC, Best Buy saw a 25% increase in revenue in the first few weeks of March, with online orders up 250%. Then, post March-21st, it saw a significant drop-off, and now expects to end the year at 70% of last year’s revenues. How will your policies, staffing and forecasting change? Get together with staff and game scenarios to create action plans for different outcomes – you won’t get a chance for it when the next shift happens.
Keep your employees motivated
Our last point may be a simple one, or even contradictory: people should be happy to be working now. Yet the reality is, many people are dealing with inordinate levels of stress. They may be caregivers to children or elderly parents, or maybe they’re alone. Limiting frivolous spend, while allowing essential activity and providing them with resources to enhance productivity (such as a noise-cancelling headset), may strike the perfect balance. How do you strike it? By providing employees with expense cards with limited funds that can be spent in key areas (such as buying a headset, not getting that extra Zoom subscription the company already pays for), while eliminating reimbursement and petty cash solutions.
Whatever you encounter, we’re here to help! Learn more about how PEX cards and the PEX platform help Finance leaders manage spend during these challenging times.