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3 Ways Finance Teams Can Excel in a Remote Work Environment

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With 2020 behind us, it's time to start thinking about how to effectively optimize your finance-led planning processes. Although we can't predict how the year ahead will be--considering the unpredictability of the pandemic and its long-term effects on the global economy--what we do know for certain is that working from home is here to stay, and finance teams are going to have to explore different ways of working in this new environment.

Remote Work and Process Optimization

According to survey results published in Vena's 2020 Industry Benchmark Report, remote work will continue across various sectors. In the report, 92.5% of finance and operations leaders surveyed agree that virtual work is here to stay. This echoes previous research conducted by Gartner where 317 CFOs and 74% of finance leaders revealed that they will move at least 5% of their previous on-site workforce to permanent remote positions. Additional research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) found that more than 20% of the global workforce with the majority in job sectors such as finance, insurance, and IT could work away from the office and be just as effective.

As your business continues to grow and your finance team continues to work remotely, here are three ways Vena can help your team excel while working from home:

1. Automating Processes

Working remotely means you're always working digitally and it's important to recognize pertinent processes versus ones that add little value. Redundant processes, such as emailing back and forth between departments, utilizing multiple versions of a budget and emailing department heads or waiting on accounting to confirm data, slow down teamwork and take time away from the things that matter - digging into your data, uncovering key business insights and telling the story of your business performance.

Within Vena's Complete Planning platform, your financial processes can be automated so that you have the ability to visually design planning workflows, test them, remove or modify them and then implement the changes right away. Our Process Designer tool allows you to map out your processes visually and to see where problems can hide in the workflow. We automate your processes while always maintaining your data integrity. With Vena, you are always working from a single source of truth, and this allows your team to have some peace of mind when it comes to your data. Vena automatically updates your data so there's no need to double check all of your reports over and over again.

Consolidate all of your data, budgets, actuals, reports--and really everything else you can think of--in a smarter and more intuitive way. Working from home can be a drag. Save time and worry less about slow data loads, macro errors and audit trailing and more about focusing your mindshare where it matters most--value-adding activities and your wellness.

2. Improving Task Management

Effective collaboration is extremely important when your team is working from home. With Vena, you can connect the dots between people, departments, processes and systems. It doesn't matter where you are working from--you can stay connected across teams, and key stakeholders with access to all of your data (financial and non-financial) while you work remotely. 

Since all of your high level planning is kept on a single, collaborative platform, it's also easy to keep track of your team and task progress. In Vena, you can work in a collaborative environment and from a single source of truth, rather than with multiple sources of data that are scattered across departments. This kind of intuitive workflow supports more downstream planning which is useful when multiple team members are involved with planning and budgeting. 

Contributors also have a place for discussion around the task with context. For example, they can add supporting documents, accept or reject workflow and have an auditable tracking of task completion. When a team member has finished a required task on a budget or report, a notification is sent via email to all other collaborating team members. This makes it easier to monitor progress around tasks during remote work - especially since you can't exactly tap your colleague on the shoulder. The great part is that Vena leverages an Excel interface, and since most finance teams are familiar with Excel, Vena provides a smooth team adoption.

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3. Forecasting Changes

Forecasting changes will be a challenge this year, especially as we all navigate new ways of working, so it's important to take advantage of forecasting software and other tools that will allow you to be ready to face the unpredictable. The data that fuels scenario modeling and forecasting in Vena updates automatically, acting as your early warning system so you can keep your business growth journey on track. It can be difficult for finance teams to do their usual planning outside of the office boardroom, but Vena's Complete Planning platform enables finance teams to plan with agility in a virtual environment. 

Plan for any unexpected changes to the business or plan for business as usual. Your finance team will also be able to test for best and worst case scenarios in a collaborative setting and this will help the team stay updated, notified and ready for change. Vena's forecasting and scenario modeling also removes manual file linking and aggregation, allowing finance teams to be much more efficient with time and to react quickly to changes. You can stay in the know and prepare your business for anything--whether it's five weeks, five months or five years into the future and while working from home.

The Benefits of Optimizing Your Planning Processes

In order for your finance team to focus on what's important, one of the first steps is to remove processes that no longer serve your business in a profitable way and to modify existing processes to account for remote work. Streamlined workflows need to be effective and communication channels need to have clarity across all company departments. Using forecasting software and tools will  help you effectively plan ahead and pivot when necessary. 

Vena can help your finance teams continue to succeed and to plan ahead while working remotely. Our Complete Planning Platform allows workforces to work more efficiently, ensuring better communication and clarity across all levels and functions of your business. 


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