2021 was quite the year and if recent events are any indication, 2022 will bring a similar level of disruption. Stay on top of the uncertain climate with these five resources designed to get you through the usual difficulties of scaling and stewardship in the finance office and anything else the world can throw at you. The pandemic, digitization, inflation, and more will challenge CFOs just as they did in 2021. Below, in no order, are five content pieces, ranging in length from books to short articles, that can produce actionable insights for CFOs and finance professionals in the year ahead.
- Book: The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World, Peter Schwartz
A business classic, The Art of the Long View celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021 but is no less relevant than when it was published, and considering recent events, is more useful than ever. Inspired by the Royal Dutch Shell group’s ability to avoid the worst impacts of the 1980s oil crisis, The Art of the Long View instructs readers in the art of scenario planning to increase resilience in the face of uncertainty and chaos. The future can be scary, but Schwartz’s methodology of planning makes it more manageable and is thus indispensable for any finance professional. Every other blog mentioned in this list and a great of business thought since its publication builds upon the ideas explored here in detail by Schwartz.
- Blog: 10 Reasons Finance Teams are Choosing to Replace Excel with Cloud FP&A Software, Jade Cole, Limelight Blog
A finance team’s performance is improved exponentially with the proper tools so getting the latest financial software is imperative for any CFO looking for advantages over the competition. In this blog, Limelight CTO Jade Cole explains why finance teams at growing organizations are leaving behind the world of static spreadsheets for cloud-based FP&A software to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive business environment. Cole describes the primary pain points of Excel such as its lack of ERP integrations and its tendency to create cascading errors while also explaining how cloud FP&A overcomes these pain points and transforms the finance office from data managers to strategic decision-makers.
- Blog: Sales, scale and efficiency: 3 benefits of a cloudERP platform for mid-market organizations, Evan Vuckovic, Sage Blog
Like the above blog, “Sales, scale and efficiency” looks at how organizations can innovate, scale, and expand with cloud-based ERP software. Cloud-ERP automates key finance functions, manages data, and enables scaling and growth. Vuckovic relates the adoption of ERPs to the larger process of digitization and standardization that will continue in 2022 and beyond, the “digital revolution.” When combined with cloud-based FP&A software, ERPs will be an indispensable tool for the finance office in 2022.
- Blog: 5 CFO tips for adjusting wages to high inflation, labor shortages, Jim Tyson, CFO Dive
The finance office is always reacting to economic shocks that have the power to up-end unprepared companies. Tyson, writing for CFO Dive gives CFOs a ready-to-implement guide to adjust to recent economy-wide labor shortages and the higher wages that could result from them. The blog also explores the recent trend of inflation and its effect on the labor market. Tyson suggests that CFOs look at tracking wages and expanding non-monetary compensation such as health insurance plans. Tyson also suggests that CFOs try to tailor the employment experience to each individual employee for retention rather than creating a company-wide approach. The outlook on labor and prices might seem scary but the tips contained within this blog should make it manageable for a CFO.
- Blog: How CFOs contribute to their organization's reputational risk, Ted Knutson, CFO Dive
Building off the information presented in the previous blog, this blog by Ted Knutson of CFO Dive outlines how inappropriate work behavior by CFOs can lead to unfortunate public relations mishaps and take away from employee retention, one of the most important factors for any organization in a time of labor shortage. The blog looks at work culture holistically, discussing not just personally unpleasant behavior but other misuses of authority such as embarking on pointless projects and impulsive, arbitrary planning. Knutson goes on to explain how as CFOs transition into leadership roles within their organizations they need to pay attention to other issues that can affect a company’s reputation and retention rates such as updating technology and switching to cloud-based technology.