Two women stand at a desk in an office
Two women stand at a desk in an office
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Answering “what if” questions has become more challenging for finance teams in the wake of unprecedented changes due to the pandemic. Business leaders, investors and customer organizations want their finance team to model more complex scenarios, faster. They want to understand what effect choices and decisions they could make would be likely to have on cost, and on revenue.

And at the same time, the changes that have been wrought by the pandemic mean the assumptions people would have been able to make in the past — for instance, that demand would follow a seasonal curve — may no longer…

“ !!! Our account balance is $50,000 below the forecast — where did that money go?!” Improving cash flow projections and variance analysis.

Anybody who has worked in finance for a small or medium-sized business will likely know that sinking feeling when you realize cash that was in the forecast has failed to materialize.

It can happen in any business, especially when they are in demand and very busy. Everyone is working flat out on lucrative projects, but bigger projects can mean extra complexity and chunkier bills. Just one large, late payment can be the source of a disaster. …

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a trend away from static, annual business plans towards more dynamic, rolling replanning. The increase in uncertainty we have seen over the last year is driving that shift home.

In businesses where the CFO is able to deliver a consistently accurate rolling forecast, the executive team is able to make better-informed decisions. And a recent survey we did showed that employees who are given insight into financial projections have more confidence in their organization.

But although many finance teams want to deliver that agile, future-focused approach because they understand it will give a…

While 2020 was tough to go through, we might look back on it as a time when we learned some important lessons. In our personal lives, perhaps this has forced us to grow, appreciate what we have a little more, and do more for each other. But in business too, there are ways in which we will never go back to the way we used to work.

Many business leaders have had to get accustomed to working in new ways — ripping up plans and budgets, and then having to do the same again a few weeks later. …

Imagine you are playing baseball — but when you go out onto the field, nobody will tell you what the score is. You don’t know if you are winning or losing, where your or the opposing team’s weak points are or what the strategy is to win. Do you think you could play at the top of your game in that scenario?

Unfortunately, that is the situation that all too many employees are experiencing according to the Financial Transparency and Employee Confidence survey we conducted at Place Technology. Many employees, particularly at entry-level, get financial updates less often than once…

Most businesses today are focused on building close, long-term relationships with existing customers while also reaching out to new ones. Companies are driven by the need to provide real and lasting value.

Business leaders generally want to know the answers to questions like: What are our existing and prospective customers looking for? What are their pain points and challenges? How are these changing in current circumstances? Being aware of changing market dynamics is key to being one step ahead of the competition, and nobody wants to offer their customers second best.

At my company, Place, I spend a lot of…

In “the old days,” when you asked the finance department for a report or the sales team for a lead list, it would take days (sometimes weeks) to get an answer.

Data would have to be collected, organized, and presented. Team members would have to go back and forth, comparing insights. And by the time you actually received an answer, the data, in some respects, would be considered outdated. New data will have been collected by the company, leading to the process being repeated over and over and over again.

Unfortunately, many businesses today are still living in “the old…

For every entrepreneur, the biggest challenge when running a company is knowing how and where to spend your time.

I remember when I started my first company, Talent Rover, I focused so much of my time (especially in the early days) hyper-focused on building the product. I wasn’t worried about anything else. And for a while, that seemed like a great path forward — until we got closer to actually launching the thing and needing to turn this product we’d worked so hard to build into a profitable, scalable business. That’s when things got crazy.

This is typically true for…

Rolling forecasts are still a fairly new concept for businesses.

In many organizations, financial planning is as follows: at the end of every year, you create a budget for the following year based on historical data. You look at how much money you spent in the past 365 days on marketing, sales, training, and technology, and then you adjust your budget accordingly. For the most part, once a business creates a budget for the next year, they don’t typically make any changes until the following year. They have their milestones and metrics in place, and they stay the course.


2020 is the year of pivoting.

Over the past six months, companies ranging from early-stage startups to massive organizations employing thousands of people have had to pivot to meet the demands of the current climate. Companies have pivoted their products, their business models, their internal processes, all with the hopes of adjusting to this “new world” we’ve found ourselves living in.

However, especially in times of uncertainty, pivoting can morph into a frantic chasing of the next short-term fix. …

Brandon Metcalf

Dog dad, husband, entrepreneur, investor.

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