Cash Flow Best Practices When Managing a Hybrid Workforce
In 2019, 68% of employees had already reported working remotely at least part of the time. By mid 2020 as COVID-19 accelerated this trend, companies have grown more receptive to hybrid workforce models centered around long-term remote workers. Today, business leaders are facing a future where the hybrid workforce is a permanent fixture in their everyday operations.
Managing a permanent remote workforce comes with unique financial challenges — new software and equipment requirements, for example — but also, greater difficulty anticipating cash flow problems, variances, and expenses. New remote, mobile, and hybrid workforces call for new best practices in managing cash flow, including a renewed focus on forecasting.
Finance teams need to understand and visualize both receivables and payments to have a full picture of cash flow performance. Fortunately, AI-driven software creates new opportunities for streamlined, digital environments for cash flow management that increase visibility and flexibility as your workforce continues to evolve.
Three Ways to Improve Cash Flow in Hybrid Work Environments
The following three considerations will help you shape a successful cash flow strategy as you manage your new hybrid workforce. We’ll also demonstrate how a single set of applications can work together to improve your finance team’s cash flow performance, helping them tackle core pain points related to cash that are emerging more frequently due to this new work environment.
1. Adapt your infrastructure to meet the needs of your employees
Your employees are the most important part of your business, which means providing for their needs as they adapt to hybrid work environments is critical. Teams with employees working remotely need digital tools to do their jobs effectively and in unison, including those responsible for cash flow management.
Automating key financial processes and integrating digital tools with existing applications is one way you can support remote employees. For financial teams, integrating cash flow and customer relationship management functions can help build more effective and efficient processes by reducing disjointed and tedious manual tasks.
For example, accounts receivable automation solutions that integrate with major systems like ERPs to allow managers and teams to view shared collections dashboards, assign and prioritize tasks, tag accounts, send notes, automate and customize processes like dunning campaigns, and see each other's work. The right tools can make the entire team more effective and cohesive when frequent face-to-face meetings and hallway conversations are no longer possible.
2. Improve cash flow forecasting through predictive capabilities
By now, the new equipment, software, and networking expenses associated with remote work across the business have had an impact on your cash flow. Its effect will likely evolve in difficult to predict ways as your hybrid workforce continues to adapt, becomes more permanent, and new requirements emerge. Identifying patterns early, and anticipating changes using predictive capabilities is essential as you respond to evolving business and operational needs.
Machine learning systems can pull key data from multiple sources — including both operational and market factors — to generate automated predictive reports. Predicting cash flow with this degree of accuracy will be a competitive advantage because it allows companies to enable and grow their hybrid workforce sustainably and effectively, minimizing both the operational and the financial impacts of future disruptions.
3. Optimize operational costs for hybrid environments
Your hybrid workforce requires that you become more proactive about optimizing cash flow — specifically by improving operations to free up considerable amounts of cash. For example, establishing new office hours to reflect the real-world requirements of employees may lead to operational cost savings. Eliminating investments that were valuable to on-premise teams but have since become less useful can also help.
The right systems and tools help finance teams visualize financial obstacles, obsolescence, and risks to safeguard cash flow. AI-driven tools align finances with key aspects of your business — including sales, operations, and procurement — so that you can optimize operations for resiliency and performance.
Adapt Cash Flow to the New State of Work
There has never been a more critical time to improve how you visualize your company’s finances. As you transition from a responsive to a proactive post-crisis strategy, renewing your focus on optimizing cash flow will help future-proof your business — and your employees.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is essential to this transformation. As Forrester described in November 2020,
“Businesses are looking to invest in intelligent automation ... where machines augment and enhance the employee experience.”
Tesorio Cash Flow Direct leverages AI to replace traditional forecasting with a dynamic, real-time, collaborative workspace. This environment connects finance teams with data, each other, colleagues across their businesses, and their customers and vendor partners. Contact a cash flow expert today to learn more.