Guide shows businesses how to boost disaster resilience 

| December 7, 2021

A new online guide is helping businesses of all sizes with continuity and disaster resilience planning to support business recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The guide, How to create an effective business continuity planprovides a business continuity plan template, as well as advice about tools that can support better business resilience.

Fabian Calle, managing director, small and medium business, SAP Concur Australia and New Zealand, said, “Filling in any vulnerability gaps that cause cashflow challenges has become significant to business survival in the current environment. Even thriving businesses may still be at risk from cashflow issues brought about by COVID-19-related slowdowns. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to recover and achieve growth in an uncertain future must ensure their finance processes are resilient enough to take on whatever happens in the economy.

“Businesses that are not hitting profitability expectations and have lower cash reserves or unpredictable cashflows are especially vulnerable to even the slightest market shifts. Businesses in strong financial shape may also not be entirely protected, depending on how the economic landscape evolves and whether demand and supply chains remain stable.”

According to SAP Concur, having the ability to respond to immediate economic changes depends on how resilient spend processes are in the business, combined with sound continuity planning and risk management. Any of these factors can impact cashflow management. Therefore, it’s vital for businesses to take a full ecosystem and end-to-end supply chain review so they can be prepared for the next major market shift.

Fabian Calle said, “businesses have needed to quickly adapt and automate many business processes, including financial processes, to gain better insights and maintain viability in the new digitally led economy. Key to achieving this is through business continuity planning that incorporates digital transformation and, more specifically, the automation of everyday spend processes.”

For SMBs in particular, the digitalisation of spend management produces valuable insights and extensive control over employee-initiated expenses while also delivering an improved mobile user experience. This capability is highly beneficial in a remote or geographically dispersed working environment. It lets businesses more effectively modernise spend management, improve policy compliance and internal controls, cut costs, and improve the employee experience.

Unfortunately, many businesses still rely on manual methods such as spreadsheets to manage spending. This is exposing these businesses to cashflow risks because financial information is often outdated, unreliable and error prone. It also costs the business extensive time, effort, and resources to manually manage records of employee spending. Considering that most expenditure now occurs via digital methods, such as online credit card transactions or e-invoicing, automation plays an important role in protecting cashflow by tracking spending in real-time, which reduces the risk of errors and fraud.

Fabian Calle said, “In today’s distributed and turbulent work environment, managing and tracking spend and controlling cashflow is progressively more complicated, and some businesses will continue to struggle to balance business sustainability against operational effectiveness. Having the right digital tools is the only way to achieve an optimum balance in cashflow management.

“Using manual methods to track and manage cashflow is nearly impossible in the digital business world, which is why businesses are realising that maintaining cashflow will be highly dependent on automated financial processes in the not-too-distant future. Ultimately, incorporating digital tools in business continuity planning is the only way businesses will be able to effectively manage their cashflow while at the same time gaining operational efficiencies, improving data security and achieving the level of agility that is required in the new world of business.”