3 Keys To Conquering Strategic Planning As A CFO

Written by Keegan Chamberlin
August 4, 2022

When you request reports to guide strategic planning as a CFO, does it take your team hours of manual work? If so, chances are it’s not due to your team’s work ethic; their abilities are being limited by legacy technology. 

In today’s market, agility is valuable. Analyzing the beginning of the pandemic, the most successful companies were able to pivot their go-to-market and cash strategy swiftly. If you are going to conquer strategic planning, your organization needs the right tools and processes in place.

Laying the Groundwork for Strategic Planning

To proactively plan, you must transform your financial and treasury operations digitally. Digital transformation is not just a buzzword; it’s becoming necessary for companies that want to scale in the future. To digitally transform your operations, you need to lead:

  1. Democratizing Data
  2. Transitioning Your Team
  3. Leveraging Technology

strategic planning guide

1. Democratize Financial Data

Data is not valuable if you don’t know how to use it. Real-time decision-making and reacting nimbly are of utmost importance, especially in volatile markets. You have to rethink the access to your data, and how it’s being utilized. As well, you need to consider whether you can depend on that methodology long-term. 

Let’s begin with addressing how to improve access to data. Many businesses are still managing balance and transaction data in Excel. Excel was intended to be a personal database that sits on a local hard drive. It was not designed to be a centralized resource for managing data across many actors. And when your organization is using it as such, you extend it beyond its core capability. That’s when data integrity issues arise.

Democratizing financial data involves centralizing and transforming data. Doing so future-proofs your ability to plan and react proactively. Cloud-based platforms built on open banking APIs are designed to automate the aggregation and normalization of transaction data across all your banks, enabling you to establish a single source of truth. 

With this single source of bank data, you can increase transparency throughout your finance teams and have increased confidence that you are making decisions based on accurate data.

2. Leverage New Technology To Discover New Cash Flow Insights

Democratizing bank data through automation doesn’t just eliminate tedious data management; it also presents new opportunities to discover richer cash insights.

Scenario modeling is quite limited in Excel. Every scenario has to be created from scratch. Or, you must use complicated macros that have limited analysis capabilities.

machine learning and artificial intelligence breakdown

Automation presents new opportunities to increase analysis capabilities through machine learning and AI.

Machine learning (ML) algorithms constantly analyze new data coming in from your banks and can spot trends humans can’t. ML also empowers your team to perform scenario planning and analysis repeatedly.

For example, Trovata, our automated cash management platform, enables your team to input custom variables, like an increase or decrease in expenses. As a result, it outputs a forecasted scenario that shows the effect that that scenario could have on cash flow. 

You and your team can focus on strategic analysis and planning by allowing algorithms to analyze data that is difficult to do in Excel.

For CFOs, machine learning is a cutting-edge technology because it analyzes data over and over as it comes in, so the algorithms can better react to inconsistencies and anomalies within your data over time. This enables it to predict cash flow more reliably.

3. Transition To Digital Transformation

Transitioning your finance team from data managers to strategists involves more than implementing new technology. As the CFO, you must encourage your team to drive trends analysis and take more of a consultative approach. To do this, you need IT and finance to work cohesively. 

IT needs to take an active role in digital transformation because they need to drive the resilience and commonality of data. They must also communicate how these new technologies and integrations enhance bank data. The result is that IT will enable finance to focus on what they do best: driving strategy and analysis. 

Fortunately, Trovata makes integrating with your different financial systems easy. Trovata has an extensive library of banking APIs and ERP integrations across some of the world’s largest financial organizations. These are maintained internally by the Trovata team, enabling you to gain complete visibility into cash flow in weeks, not months.

Drive Strategic PlanningWith Global Cash Visibility

With the right tools and processes in place, you can gain the visibility needed to conquer strategic planning. By bridging the gap between banks and accounting systems, Trovata makes it easier to automate cash reporting, forecasting, analysis, and money movement.

Learn how you can drive the digital transformation of your financial operations by downloading our exclusive resource, A Strategic CFO’s Guide To Digital Transformation.

strategic planning cfos

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