Finding opportunity in crisis

May 18, 2020

By Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, and Sara Bux, Ph.D. for Financial Management

The COVID-19 crisis has the potential to be a time for finance professionals to demonstrate their value to the organizations and clients they serve. Despite the coronavirus’s creating so much existential risk and uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, management accountants are well positioned to differentiate themselves and help their organizations prepare for an uncertain future as lockdowns related to COVID-19 are lifted.

However, it will require the sophisticated and thoughtful application of a management accountant’s toolbox to truly add significant value.

What does that mean, and what can you be doing right now to seize this opportunity? While there are significant and numerous challenges, often outside an organization’s control, facing many finance professionals, these are some of the tools that are making a difference.

In a pair of recent videoconferences hosted by CIMA with the Africa Regional Advisory Panel, African finance leaders shared how they are finding opportunity amidst risk and uncertainty, how effective financial management is confronting the challenges of the time, and the value that they are adding to their organisations.

Effective cash management as a strategic advantage. Effective and prudent cash management offers multiple benefits beyond the short-term survival of the organization. With stable cash flow now, organizations can approach banks proactively, in control of their own story, and demonstrate long-term stability, earning some much-needed breathing space and flexibility as the crisis progresses.

Organizations that understand and have a plan for their cash flow possess a distinct advantage when approaching lenders and investors for financing to support long-term planning, including strategic pivots, loan repayments, and facilities maintenance.

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