Zero to Forecast in 3 weeks

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It's May 12, 2020 - where to from here?

We have seen the first COVID-19 wave and the chaos it has brought but what-if there are more waves to come? Do you know what that could mean for your business? Boards are only now turning themselves to these and other post-first-wave questions as they look to navigate the way forward.

When our borders closed on March 19 2020, time compressed and a lot has happened since.

Six weeks ago you were probably scrambling to produce a forecast which bore some semblance to the uncertain economic realities of the post-COVID-19 world. How many times have you had to update it in the weeks since?

Now you’re asking yourself “how many more re-forecasts will I have to produce between now and when things return to normal and how far off will that be?”. The answer is, many.  Short of a miracle, most international borders probably won’t open until some time in 2021.

Perhaps you don’t want to think about that? The stress and workload of the last 6 weeks and what it means for the medium and longer-term is something you’d sooner forget.

But we know business doesn’t work like that for Finance people. The landscape is still changing rapidly, and stakeholders need the reassurance of a forecast that makes sense based on current information. I know – that means yet more forecasts and sustaining an ongoing narrative that works to make sense of it all.

Frequent re-forecasting (aka Continuous Forecasting) is now a feature of the landscape that will stay for the foreseeable future.

CFOs need to be able to re-forecast quickly.

The government has released several assistance packages recently with a speed of development and delivery that is unprecedented. Details solidify only as legislation is drafted, and frequently afterwards, as we have seen with JobKeeper in Australia and PPP in the US. Looking specifically at JobKeeper, the eligibility criteria there relies on meeting a revenue decline threshold, or on near-term forecasts of a decline. If your results don’t currently show it but soon will, you need to be able to make that case with a forecast confidently – or you will lose out.

Just as the shutdown was starting to take place, CALUMO’s clients were already re-forecasting their what-if scenarios utilising CALUMO’s forecasting capabilities to generate forward-looking results for extremely varied outcomes. In some cases, our clients used the experience of our consulting team as a sort-of “Outsourced FP&A” function – to keep pace with the rapidly changing models and assumptions driving their financials.

You may read this and think you’ve missed the boat, you didn’t have a robust, flexible forecasting tool in place before COVID-19, and that ship has sailed – you’re stuck doing things the old way. Mercifully, that’s not the case.

CALUMO can go from zero to an integrated reporting, planning and forecasting solution inside of three weeks.

That brings through all your general ledger data, charts of accounts, consolidations and eliminations, while providing rich, rapid, secure and accessible reporting over all your finance data. You’ll also get the ability to create what-if planning scenarios at the click of a button. CALUMO can rapidly move you, your finance team and line of business managers to the position where they can make adjustments to values or assumptions on the fly, as soon as new information comes to hand.

Sound like exactly what you’ve been looking for? You owe it to yourself, your team, and your stakeholders to get moving now. You’ll be amazed just how much we can achieve in three weeks, how little of you and your team’s time we need to get you moving and how much better you'll feel with your finger on the pulse.

Dominic Parsons Managing Director & Evangelist, CALUMO Group