The global economy is still reeling from world governments’ responses to the COVID crisis, and, as such, global business is tentatively feeling out their way forward from a massive hit.

In South Africa, if the economy is to rally,  we’ll need to enter a recovery phase for business and government alike.

Now is the time to start taking a hard look at our processes and methods, to ensure that we have a firmer footing moving forward – and in case 2020 gets any more disastrous for business.

The greatest challenges we now face are cost management, new avenues for corporate losses, and a lack of financial literacy – and we’re not talking about individuals.

Knowing where your business stands, having a clear view of the future, and keeping a tight leash on corporate spending are challenges at the best of times, and are made ever-more difficult by a lack of insight into your business’ finances. This financial literacy, of the corporate kind, is what will dictate whether your organisation sinks or swims through the COVID floodwaters.


Knowing the unknown: Where augmented intelligence assists

Your business, as a financial entity, has several options available to enable greater insight into the operational and financial transactions that power your day-to-day business. Your analytics solutions give you a view of the unknowns that allows you to tackle them as they arise. These “known unknowns” can be managed and assessed on a case-by-case basis, and your understanding of them increases accordingly.

Machine-learning, provided by most reputable FP&A solutions, gives you a running tally of your “unknowns” and records them as they become known – allowing you to access the playbook for all manner of transactional anomalies.

With COVID losses, retrenchments, contract upheavals, stimulus funding, and erratic earning, it’s now critical to ensure that you are using machine-learning to its full potential.

The “Unknown Unknowns”: Taking your planning and analytics further

While your business grapples with the changing conditions and influx of new stressors, you may find yourself flying blind, even with the most advanced supervised machine-learning. These “unknown unknowns” can cause upheaval within your business, your finances, and your stakeholder sentiment.

Your aim is to cut costs and stabilize your cash flow, and while you do so, you can implement AI which identifies and flags your “unknown unknowns” more effectively than your Red Bull-powered financial analysts.

The global trend, currently, is to activate the full potential of the FP&A tools at your disposal to help track and trace fraud, cut costs, manage transactions, and forecast better.

Getting there: The step-by-step process

IBM is well-versed in the journey to fully-realised AI potential with augmented intelligence front-and-centre. Where does your business stand in the below process?

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Whereas you may need to focus on new challenges for today, the requirement to drive efficiency, reduce risk, and deliver foresight in your organisation is ever-present. Analytic agility is critical to enable a view of the “unknown unknowns”, and your business needs a deeper insight, especially in such tumultuous times, to drive growth and economic health.

Starting out with an FP&A technology strategy

If you’re somewhere along the journey and you need a boost in your capabilities, assess your software tools and technology offering. Can it do what you need it to? Can your team manage it? Do you have the right knowledge and tools to go forward, or do you require additional help?

Finding a consultant or partner to help drive the transformation in your organisation is often the most judicious first step.

Implement the solution you require, in a for-purpose configuration, so that what you get out is what is required to help your business survive and thrive.

Contract the expertise to optimise and improve your processes to the point that you can be agile, practical, insightful, and accurate in both your decisions and your financial representation and forecasting.

To find out more, or consult with us, Contact Us here