Workplace Culture

Navigating the Future: Can C-Suites Thrive Without Face-to-Face Communications?


30 May 2023

Wilber Ng, Country Manager, Singapore, AICPA & CIMA addresses the evolving dynamics of face-to-face communications in C-suites.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global business landscape has undergone a remarkable transformation, fueled by the widespread adoption of hybrid and remote work arrangements. This shift has raised a fundamental question: can C-suites effectively function without the traditional paradigm of face-to-face communications? As organizations embrace digitalization and adapt to new ways of operating, leaders must recognize the evolving dynamics and challenges that arise in this digital era. 

To delve more into this topic, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Wilber Ng, Country Manager, Singapore, AICPA & CIMA. Wilber has more than a decade of experience in the finance field, covering Banks, Fintech and Private Education. He has experience in management of teams, business development, complex partnership and expansion of regions in the United States of America, Europe and Southeast Asia. During the course of his career, Wilber has led teams from different regions to build successful expansion pipelines through strategic planning from high level budgeting and forecasting.

During the interview, he shed light on the critical role of CFOs in navigating this transformative landscape. By exploring the importance of collaborative decision-making, harnessing the power of data storytelling, and redefining organizational purpose, Wilber uncovered the key strategies for driving innovation, resilience, and long-term growth in today’s dynamic business environment.

The Importance of Face-to-Face Communications in C-Suites during the Era of Hybrid and Remote Work

In the current era of hybrid and remote work arrangements, the question arises: can C-suites effectively function without face-to-face communications? Recent research conducted for a blog post by the International Monetary Fund highlights the significant rise in digitalization triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge in digital transformation has been particularly evident in economies or industries that were previously lagging behind. Remote work and the shift to online operations have enabled numerous companies to survive lockdowns and navigate COVID-19 restrictions successfully.

As the momentum toward the digitization of the economy continues to accelerate, businesses must adapt their approaches to managing performance. Traditional methods are no longer sufficient to foster responsiveness and resilience. In collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the AICPA’s research underscores the importance of adopting innovative performance management strategies that leverage the talents of employees, align with the business model, and actively engage stakeholders.

For business leaders striving to build innovative and resilient organizations, creating an environment where people feel engaged in driving business strategies is crucial, irrespective of the work models in place. This entails cultivating a performance culture—an atmosphere where employees are empowered, motivated, passionate, and deeply invested in their work, resulting in strategy-driven value creation.

Initiating Collaboration in the C-Suite: The Role of CFOs

The rapidly evolving business landscape demands that CFOs move beyond number-crunching and a singular focus on the company’s balance sheet. They must pivot toward analytics, leveraging the vast amount of data at their disposal to ensure that business decisions effectively drive innovation and create value. Wilber states that “our own research on the future of finance has found that a digitally savvy CFO and finance function can enhance the agility of the business by providing a trusted source of information and a strategic overview.”

To foster innovation, CFOs must master the art of data storytelling. They should communicate data insights throughout the organization, informing strategic decisions at every level. Additionally, business partnering plays an increasingly vital role in the CFO’s responsibilities. 

Collaboration with various internal stakeholders also enables CFOs to extract insights and develop a comprehensive understanding of how value is generated within the business. Accomplishing these goals requires a blend of accounting, digital, business management, and interpersonal skills, allowing effective collaboration with colleagues from diverse disciplines, as well as external stakeholders.

The Significance of C-Minus One Executives’ Opinions in Decision-Making

To become effective business partners, accounting and finance professionals must proactively engage with other areas of the business, fostering inclusivity. Wilber further emphasizes that “the finance team is positioned to look across the organization objectively, and by analyzing a wide range of data, it offers powerful information to the teams it supports.” 

This cross-functional partnership expands the influence of the finance team, enabling accounting and finance professionals to lead their organizations toward sustainable success at all levels.

Internal Collaboration as a Catalyst for Long-Term Growth

Reflecting on the lessons learned from the past three years, Wilber emphasizes that managing businesses today must differ from previous approaches. In today’s dynamic and complex environment, focusing solely on financial data to assess performance, drive long-term strategies, and generate sustainable value is no longer sufficient.

While profitability remains a fundamental element of any long-term business strategy, finance leaders must challenge the prevailing notion that an organization’s best interest primarily lies in profit maximization. Instead, they should seek more sustainable ways of doing business, prioritize the creation of long-term value, and strengthen accountability to benefit investors, society, and promote sustainable economic growth. In essence, finance leaders must reimagine how they define and approach organizational purpose.

Finance and accounting professionals hold a pivotal role within organizations, positioned at the intersection of finance, business, and management. Their responsibility is to provide, analyze, utilize, and communicate decision-relevant financial and non-financial information, empowering businesses to seize opportunities and mitigate risks. Consequently, they play a vital part in facilitating the transition to integrated thinking across organizations, enhancing strategic decision-making, and generating and preserving value for all stakeholders.

The foremost challenge for business leaders lies in reimagining value creation for all stakeholders and embedding it into the business model while measuring results. In order to survive and thrive, businesses must adapt to the changing landscape, both now and in the future.

More Companies Go For Bigger Collaborative Spaces in Post-Pandemic Offices


23 May 2023

ISG, JLL Asia Pacific weigh in on fit-out trends, costs and near-future challenges.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced office lockdowns, employees kept the image of their individual desks planted at their own respective work spaces. Since then, many companies have ditched that concept of a fixed office setup.

Kelvin Hon, general manager of construction, fit-out, and engineering company, ISG, said returning employees will find that their companies have transformed their offices into more collaborative spaces.

“Creative, collaborative spaces are getting bigger and they tend to take up more space within an office. Fixed offices or fixed work desks, I find those features on a decline,” Hon told Singapore Business Review.

Height adjustable stations and hot desking — whereby a number of desks are allocated for a group of workers on rotation instead of individual assignment — are also on the rise, he said.

For meeting or discussion rooms, Hon said companies want them to cater to video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

“Basically, the new philosophy is around facilitating better communication among teams , rather than working in silos or stations,” he said, adding that since more companies are focusing on effective group communication, the finishes of new spaces tend to create the “collaborative” vibe.

Hon said companies also prefer furniture that is functional, which is why there is a growing preference for ergonomic chairs.

In terms of location, many companies still aim for the central business district. But Hon also observed a “decentralisation” in terms of companies served by ISG that are moving their “back office functions” out of the city center.

Martin Hinge, JLL Asia Pacific executive managing director for project and development services, said their clients have been investing “in better quality space to pivot the office to drive collaboration.”

JLL’s survey showed that 56% of companies plan to have open and collaborative office space with no dedicated areas by 2025.

“As evidence of the trend to shift offices toward more collaborative environments, we see a reduction in spend on traditional office elements such as partitions,” Hinge said.

In a separate survey, JLL also found that companies believe that collaborative working is one of the primary purposes of office space.

“Therefore, the office space should be designed as a destination for employees as part of their hybrid workstyle, to encourage both new and current employees to spend time in the office. Furniture solutions that offer the flexibility of configuration help support collaborative working and are essential to achieve this goal.” Hinge said.

‘Fit-Out Styles’

According to JLL, there are three styles for fitting out offices: progressive, moderate, and traditional.

These three styles differ with the percentage of enclosed offices, traditional benching, and space given to meeting rooms and agile or collaborative work zones, explained Hinge.

Amongst the three, ISG’s Hon said that whilst the progressive style captures the imagination of many companies, a significant proportion do still adopt a more moderate fit out. 

The reason for this, Hon explained, is that the moderate style caters to “a number of job functions” and so changing workstations, for which progressive fit-outs are designed, may not be suitable.

“Humans, being creatures of habit, tend to regularly favour the same particular hot desks and lockers. That’s why many companies take the moderate function, which is whereby it’s a mix of the progressive and traditional, rather than just go for the full on progressive option,” he said.

Based on the JLL report, the progressive style has an open floor plan with no enclosed offices, with traditional benching covering 60% of the floor area and the remaining space given to meeting rooms and agile or collaborative work zones.

The moderate style, on the other hand, has a “substantially open plan with 10% enclosed offices, with traditional methods of working covering 70% of the floor area, with the balance given to meeting rooms and agile or collaborative work zones.”

Dressing to specification fit-out costs for the progressive and moderate styles range between $108-133 (US$81-US$100) per sq ft and $144-$177 (US$108-US$133) per sq ft, respectively. 

In Singapore, the average fit-out cost for a progressive style is $192 (US$144) per sq ft., whilst a moderate fit-out will cost an average of $164 (US$123) per sq ft.

Rising Fit-Out Costs

Hon said the rising cost of fitting out spaces in Singapore can be attributed to rising material costs and the labour crunch, amongst others.

“The rising cost of materials is intrinsically linked to that growth in demand and further pressure to reduce programme timeframes, alongside some limitations on the supply of these products and materials in the market,” Hon pointed out.

Looking ahead, Hon believes fit-out costs will not decline anytime soon. “The sheer volume of demand means that we can expect prices to remain high until the market corrects back to a more normal condition,” Hon added. 

Hinge, however, believes fit-out cost increases will be moderate over the next 12 months as the “current challenges start to unwind, unless a significant economic event flattens or reverses current trends.”

“The region continues to wrestle with the multiple challenges brought upon largely by supply chain disruption, price inflation and labour shortages. However, with current levels of price inflation considered ‘unsustainable,’ the increased risk of occupiers potentially deferring projects will likely lead to a consequent softening of demand. That will ease pressure on the construction and labour market,” Hinge predicted.

“Additionally, as the supply chain stabilizes, the reevaluation of risk and uncertainty in raw material costs, availability of material, and lead times can help reduce risk premiums which are currently included in tenders,” he concluded.

The Importance of Social Skills in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


16 May 2023

A new study by the Singapore Management University examines the effects of equity analysts’ social skills on their performance and career advancements and finds significant and positive effects of social skills.

The findings support the growing importance of social skills, for which there is still no good substitute in the age of artificial intelligence, and highlights the importance of social skills training in school and workplace.

Titled “The Effect of Social Skills on Analyst Performance”, this research was conducted by Assistant Professor of Accounting An-Ping Lin (Singapore Management University) and is forthcoming at Contemporary Accounting Research Journal. The author team comprised co-authors Congcong Li (Duquesne University) and Hai Lu (University of Toronto).

Rationale for This Study

Social skills can play an important role in equity analysts’ performance, because the job requires effective gathering and analysis of information and smooth communication with investors and corporate management. Analysts with better social skills are likely to have broader social connections, such as industry peers, financial journalists, and the customers, suppliers, and competitors of covered companies. These connections serve as information sources and can provide analysts with information to improve their industry knowledge, an important determinant of analyst performance. Analysts with better social skills can also improve their performance and market impact by communicating more effectively with information sources and investors.

Despite the potentially important role of social skills in the analyst profession, there is no systematic evidence that social skills matter in the competitive equity research industry that demands a high degree of quantitative skills.

Thus while social skills are important, they seem difficult to measure. So far, few empirical studies have examined the effect of social skills on the performance of professionals. This study provides the first large-sample evidence highlighting the importance of social skills on financial analysts’ performance.

Measuring Analysts’ Social Skills

Based on the psychology literature that suggests high correlations between social skills and the size of social connections, the team uses the number of connections in equity analysts’ LinkedIn profiles to proxy for their social skills. They define analysts with better social skills, or more sociable analysts, as those whose LinkedIn connections are above the sample median.

The team validates this new measure of social skills with several tests. In one validation test, the team examines whether more sociable analysts enjoy better management access during earnings calls and finds that these analysts are treated more favourably by managers during earnings calls. In particular, they are given higher priority to ask questions in Q&A sessions and receive longer answers from management to their questions.

In another validation test, the team finds that more sociable analysts are more likely to lead an analyst team, consistent with prior studies suggest that social skills are essential for effective leadership and teamwork. All these results lend support to the use of our measure of social skills.

Key Findings and Practical Impact/Implications for Society

Using a sample of 38,875 analyst-company-year observations from 2014 to 2015, the team finds that analysts with better social skills have higher earnings forecast accuracy. These analysts also issue more profitable “buy” stock recommendations and receive stronger market reactions to their “buy” and “sell” recommendations. These findings indicate that social skills have significant effects on analyst performance, presumably because they have more information sources and are able to communicate better with and disseminate their research more effectively to investors.

Next, the team investigates the role of social skills in analysts’ career advancement. They find that analysts with better social skills are more likely to be voted as star analysts by institutional investors, likely because more sociable analysts can communicate better with institutional investor clients, be more responsive to clients’ needs, and thus provide better services to clients.

The team also finds that analysts with better social skills are more likely to be promoted to high-status brokerage firms. This finding is consistent with the labour economics literature that shows the importance of job search and hiring through social networks and that job candidates with better social skills are more likely to be treated favourably by employers.

Further analysis shows that analysts with better social skills are more likely to keep their jobs when their employers are acquired by other brokerage firms, suggesting that more sociable analysts enjoy greater job security than other analysts.

Collectively, these findings suggest that analysts with better social skills tend to perform better and have better career advancement than other analysts, supporting the importance of social skills in the labour market of financial analysts. The findings also help alleviate the concerns over the sustainability of the financial analyst profession, due to the threat of being replaced by artificial intelligence. Importantly, because many professions require social skills and competencies in communication and because social skills can be trained and acquired from practices, the findings also highlight the importance of social skills training in school and workplace.

More details here.

Grab Continues to Tap the Zoom Platform to Drive Employee Success in the Workspace


15 May 2023

Southeast Asia’s leading superapp is leveraging the Zoom platform to enhance employee collaboration and engagement, including deploying Zoom Rooms across its offices.

Zoom is empowering Southeast Asian superapp Grab in employee engagement across its offices. To support its employees to succeed in the flexible and hybrid work environment, the company is using a wide range of Zoom platform solutions, including Zoom Rooms, Zoom Events, Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars.

Grab operates across the deliveries, mobility and digital financial services sectors, serving over 500 cities across Southeast Asia. With its employees and teams spread across Southeast Asia, and beyond from Seattle, Bengaluru to Cluj Napoca, with Zoom, Grab ensures its workforce is provided with the right technology to work seamlessly and effectively.

In addition to the use of Zoom Whiteboards, Grab’s deployment of Zoom Rooms across 400 meeting and conference rooms in its offices helps its employees to collaborate. Grab also utilises Zoom Events and Zoom Mesh for internal townhalls, leveraging the Zoom platform’s inherent reliability and security for large-scale company events. Grab also uses Zoom Meetings and Webinars to communicate virtually with hybrid teams, partners and customers. The company has also integrated Zoom for Workspace Reservation, in addition to having piloted the use of  Zoom IQ for Sales, a conversational intelligence software, to upskill account managers of the Grab For Business platform.

“At Grab, we recognize the importance of building a work culture of collaboration and continued growth and this is only possible if we set our teams up for success with the right technology and resources. With our teams spread across Southeast Asia and beyond, integrating with Zoom across a wide range of use cases enables us to collaborate and work effectively,” said Adam Seyer, Grab’s Head of Engineering for Grabber Technology Solutions. 

“Southeast Asia is a hotbed of innovation and creativity led by economic enablers like Grab,” added Ricky Kapur, Head of Asia Pacific, Zoom. “As a company that is focused on fostering and enabling innovation, we’re thrilled to be able to support Grab in their mission to drive Southeast Asia forward with our platform solutions. Zoom has always been committed to providing our customers with a reliable and secure platform designed for collaboration, which will underpin all other business priorities – from enhancing employee experience to transforming customer experience. This is an exciting region to operate in, and we look forward to enabling more companies here as they grow and innovate.”

Finance Transformation: A Catalyst for Ongoing Learning and Development in the Workplace


10 May 2023

A lack of a culture of continuous learning may make it difficult for companies to attract top talent, particularly younger workers who place a high value on learning and development opportunities.

Finance transformation has significantly changed the way finance professionals work, and in turn, it has also spurred the age of continuous learning at work. 

To keep up with the evolving and rapid changes, finance professionals must continuously learn, relearn and unlearn. This has led to organizations cultivating “a culture of continuous learning” in the workplace – where employees are encouraged to acquire new skills and knowledge to stay relevant and competitive.

What is a Culture of Continuous Learning? 

When steeped in a culture of continuous learning,  employees take charge of their own development and career growth. They are encouraged and supported to seek out opportunities to hone their skills and knowledge to improve their performance. Such a culture is gaining momentum in organizations big and small as they recognize that  ongoing learning and development can not only help  achieve individual goals but also, organizational objectives .

Here’s how you can foster a culture of continuous learning in your finance team:

  • Encourage employees to pursue advanced degrees or certifications: Show your support for employees in the form of financial assistance, time off or other incentives to pursue advanced qualifications such as an MBA or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. This goes a long way in helping them with their studies. 
  • Offer regular training and development programmes: Be it in-person or online workshops, seminars or conferences, making training part of your company DNA. Keep your programmes fixed and consistent so that your team can benefit from a regular update on the latest finance-related technologies, tools and practices. 
  • Encourage employees to attend relevant industry events: Allow employees to seek out and attend relevant industry events, such as the 2nd DigitalCFO Asia Singapore Symposium 2023, where they can gain knowledge and exchange ideas with their peers and other finance leaders. This can significantly widen their perspectives and augment their practical understanding. 
  • Provide access to online learning resources: With employees from all around the world and working at different time zones, it helps if they have access to online learning resources such as courses, webinars and training videos, anytime, anywhere. 
  • Provide opportunities for cross-functional learning: If you would like your employees or team members to have more breadth in their scope of work, offering to work on cross-functional projects will be a good start. This can help them learn about other areas of the business and how their finance expertise can contribute to overall business success.
  • Foster a culture of knowledge-sharing: Last but not least, the above pointers all are geared towards cultivating a culture of knowledge sharing. As finance head, you can encourage knowledge-sharing by organizing regular meetings, brainstorming sessions, or knowledge-sharing events. Your team members will be able to learn from each other, share best practices, and collaborate on projects.

In essence, a culture of continuous learning in the workplace is one where ongoing learning and development are valued and supported. It can be achieved through regular training and development programs, fostering a growth mind-set, and encouraging knowledge-sharing among employees.

How has the Age of Finance Transformation Influenced a Culture of Continuous Learning?

One way that finance transformation has influenced a culture of continuous learning is through the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics. These technologies require new skills and knowledge to operate effectively, which has driven finance professionals to seek out training and development opportunities to improve their skills.

In addition, finance transformation has created a need for finance professionals to be more business-oriented and strategic. This means that they must understand the broader business context and how financial decisions impact the organization as a whole. To develop these skills, finance professionals must continuously learn and stay up-to-date with business trends and strategies.

Furthermore, the age of finance transformation has also led to a shift in the role of finance professionals from traditional bookkeeping and accounting to more value-added activities such as financial analysis, forecasting, and decision-making. This shift has required finance professionals to develop new skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, which can only be acquired through continuous learning.

What if…There’s No Such Culture in Your Workplace?

Without continuous learning, employees’ knowledge and skills can become outdated quickly, making it challenging to adapt to new technologies, tools, and practices. This can result in decreased productivity and competitiveness. The lack of a culture of continuous learning can also create a skills gap between employees and the needs of the organization. This can result in a shortage of talent with the necessary skills to drive business growth.

Adding to that, the lack of opportunities for learning and development can bring rise to employee dissatisfaction and turnover. This is due to the fact that employees may feel stuck in their roles or they may simply be unprepared for advancement, leading them to look for opportunities elsewhere. Without continuous learning, employees may become complacent in their roles, sticking to what they know rather than taking risks and experimenting with new ideas. This can result in decreased innovation and a failure to adapt to changing market conditions.

A lack of a culture of continuous learning may make it difficult for companies to attract top talent, particularly younger workers who place a high value on learning and development opportunities. Companies risk becoming outdated and lose out their competitive edge, which could make all the difference in a throat-cutting business world.

In conclusion, if you would like a dynamic, savvy and motivated team, foster a culture of learning and development and the world could just be your oyster. 

Importance Of Technology In Today’s Ever-Growing Economic Uncertainty


27 April 2023

Lucas Lu, Head of Asia, Zoom

Technology has become an essential component of modern business and society, playing a critical role in driving economic growth and innovation. Today, as we face an ever-growing economic uncertainty, the importance of technology has become more apparent than ever before. With disrupted global markets forcing businesses to adapt to a new normal, remote work and digital transformation has become the new standard. In this context, technology has played a significant role in helping companies to stay afloat and adapt to the new reality.

The impact of technology on the economy can be seen in various sectors, from e-commerce to fintech, from healthcare to education. The ability to access data, collaborate remotely, and automate processes has become crucial for businesses to remain competitive and resilient in a rapidly changing environment. Furthermore, technology has enabled new business models and provided opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups to disrupt traditional industries and create new markets.

Is it undeniable that the pandemic brought about drastic changes in the way businesses run their day-to-day operations as well as how communication needs to be well carried out without having to see each other physically. These changes are here to stay and to find out how technology has become such an integral part of any business, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Lucas Lu, Head of Asia, Zoom

Technology In Continuing Operational Efficiency Even In Periods Of Extreme Market Uncertainty

Leaders today are facing a highly disruptive business landscape, fuelled by the need to manage costs while coping with industry-wide skills shortage. Having the right technology solution to help manage these pressures is half the battle won. In fact, we are seeing increasing demand for a platform-first approach when it comes to technology adoption. 

Firms find that the ability to consolidate business communications and collaboration across employees, customers, and partners within a single platform is key to reducing what we call the ‘toggle tax’, or time taken to switch between apps. 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve workflows has also been instrumental in raising productivity for hybrid teams. With flexible work now a mainstay in many organisations, employees across time zones and geographies are able to work smarter and collaborate better with AI. For instance, team members can navigate to key parts of a meeting they might have missed with smart recording functions that’s powered by natural language processing. 

For customer support teams, productivity is often tied to the ability to scale up support with existing resources. In this aspect, intelligent chatbot solutions that are integrated into the platform employees use on the day-to-day can be a gamechanger. With AI, the number of man-hours needed to service the same volume of customer requests can be vastly reduced.

At Zoom, we have supported many of our customers in their pursuit for productivity. For example, we are working with Wall Street English, an international English language learning provider for enterprise businesses, adults and teenagers, as they expand to new markets. They leveraged Zoom’s video SDK to power their digital classroom, which helped educators deliver a high-quality, reliable teaching experience to more online students around the world. This helped their existing pool of teachers work more efficiently and effectively, which is pivotal to helping the company expand sustainably. 

Zoom In Helping Change The Way People Work & Viewing How Work Can Be Done

Zoom, at its core, makes flexible work possible. In today’s world, this is almost non-negotiable: a recent survey Zoom commissioned with Morning Consult in the US found that business leaders themselves prefer flexible work, and more than 90% said they preferred a hybrid or remote working environment versus in-person only. 

We are focused on providing organisations a collaboration platform that integrates seamlessly into employees’ preferred ways of working – be it in the office, at home or even while they are on the move. For example, Zoom Phone allows employees to take calls while on the go, and then transfer to Zoom Rooms or Meetings when they reach the office. This makes flexible work easier and more productive. 

With flexible work, naturally, also comes the challenge to continue engaging teams across time zones and geographies, to help ensure they feel included no matter where they are. With built-in features like automated translation and transcription as well as “raise hand” functionalities, our platform helps ensure that every employee – regardless of language or geographical barriers – has their voice heard.  

Ultimately, Zoom helps to build trust between teams and within the organisation. We believe that trust, along with technology, are the cornerstones of a successful flexible work model. 

Technology – An Integral Part Of An Organization & How It Has Brought On Other Challenges As Well

As we have seen over the past few years, technology is central to helping hybrid teams collaborate effectively, and bolstering organizations across verticals as they reimagine customer experience to stay competitive in a difficult business climate.

Customers are looking for increasingly immersive and personalized experiences, and being able to acquire and retain customers will be essential for profitability in the long-term. To give a simple example, electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) via video has made it possible for banking users to complete the digital identity verification process for their accounts within minutes, down from days. Customer signatures are securely recorded through a video call with a bank officer, and any paperwork can be reviewed and signed directly within the video meeting. Most importantly, this eliminates the need to visit the branch physically. We know that this is the kind of reliable, seamless and connected experience modern customers want. 

At the same time, rapid technology adoption in the workspace has exposed organisations to more cyber threats and complex issues surrounding identity verification. This only goes to show the importance of having security top of mind, rather than an afterthought. Having an  “always verify, never trust” approach is critical, especially as employees are now working from anywhere. This is why we also have recently partnered with Okta to enable the identity authentication of meeting attendees via email in end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) meetings, adding an extra layer of security to communications online while maintaining our seamless and reliable Zoom experience. 

Technology Changing The Workplace In The Next 5 To 10 Years

We must remember that work is no longer just a place, but a space where teams come together to collaborate. We expect the workspace to be continually disrupted in the coming years as employees truly embody the ‘work-from-anywhere’ model.  In fact, latest IDC research has found that by 2024, 40% of C-suite teams in Asia Pacific will use intelligent space and capacity planning technology to reinvent office locations for gathering, collaborating, and learning. As employees become more mobile, this also means that the collaborative platform they use must be equipped with feature-rich technologies that work across devices.

From working in shopping malls and virtual coworking spaces, to using avatars in replacement of human faces, the possibilities of collaboration and connection in the workspace are endless.  

In addition, the development of advanced technologies like AI, augmented reality and virtual reality will transform employee and customer experience as we know it. Teams will become more data-driven. For employees, this may mean managers leveraging data to refresh antiquated performance metrics based on office time, creating a level playing field for both remote and in-person employees. The use of conversation intelligence, for example, can also help in coaching customer-facing teams in their sales conversations through enhancing the effectiveness of their communications with customers. 

Something less discussed, yet equally important, is the role of technology in driving inclusivity and diversity in the workspace. Remote hiring will only become more prevalent, with organizations able to source the best candidate for their needs across the world. We will see workforces become more diverse and innovative as a result, ultimately benefiting the company’s bottom line.

Implementing DEI Strategies In The Workplace


24 March 2023

Diversity is the flavor of life, as the saying goes. How can diversity, which is simply another term for variation, improve or enrich the world, especially the business landscape?

Many organizations are aiming to promote many groups of people, including those of various ethnicities, races, faiths, skills, sexual orientations, and gender. This aim shares three interrelated values: diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As studies have repeatedly demonstrated, diversity—through the lenses of color, ethnicity, capability, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and beyond—can serve to build companies. Simply said, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) refer to three values that many businesses work to uphold in order to better serve people from all backgrounds. Although ideas like biodiversity are significant extensions of the fundamental notion of diversity, this article concentrates on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the commercial and societal contexts.

Businesses that value diversity, equity, and inclusion are better able to respond to problems, attract top personnel, and satisfy the requirements of various clientele. Companies are thinking about ways to effectively support employees with DEI in mind. Many organizations have made progress in recent years to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into their employment procedures.

The Definitions Of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Because they are interrelated and only when they work together can they have their full influence become apparent, diversity, equity, and inclusion are frequently grouped together. Several businesses incorporate similar ideas, including belonging, into their DEI initiatives. However each of these phrases might potentially be mistakenly used. Understanding the specific consequences and meanings of each of these phrases is crucial:

  • Who is represented in the workforce is referred to as diversity. Examples of workplace diversity include:
  • Gender diversity: How do males, women, and nonbinary people differ from one another in a population?
  • Are there a variety of ages in a group, or are the members largely from one generation?
  • Ethnic diversity: Do members of a group adhere to the same national or cultural traditions or do they come from many ancestries?
  • Are the viewpoints of people with impairments, whether or not they are visible, taken into account when discussing physical ability and neurodiversity?

These are just a few of the most typical instances, but what is deemed diverse can vary greatly.

Equality means treating everyone equally, ensuring that identity does not influence opportunities or workplace results through prevailing attitudes, practices, and regulations. The difference between equity and equality is small but significant. Whereas equity takes into account a person’s particular circumstances and adjusts treatment accordingly so that the outcome is equal, equality presupposes that all persons should be treated equally.

The term “inclusion” describes how the workforce perceives the workplace and the extent to which businesses welcome all workers and provide them the opportunity to contribute meaningfully. Businesses that are serious about hiring a diverse workforce must also work to create an environment where all employees feel that their opinions matter. This is essential if businesses want to keep their best employees and maximize the potential of their diverse workforce.

DEI Strategies To Implement In The Office

DEI, which stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is an important aspect of building a strong and successful workplace culture. Here are some strategies that can help promote DEI in the workplace:

Start with education: One of the most effective ways to promote DEI is to educate your team. Provide training and resources to help employees understand different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. This can help create a more inclusive environment and help employees better understand how their words and actions can impact others.

Foster a culture of open communication: Encourage employees to have open and honest conversations about DEI topics. Create safe spaces where employees can share their experiences and perspectives without fear of judgment or retaliation.

Focus on recruitment and retention: Ensure that your recruitment processes are inclusive and that you are actively seeking out diverse candidates. Also, focus on retention by creating an environment where all employees feel valued and included.

Establish DEI goals and hold yourself accountable: Set specific goals related to DEI and track your progress. This can help keep you accountable and ensure that you are making progress in promoting a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

Address bias: Work to identify and address any implicit biases that may exist within your workplace. This could involve training, policy changes, or other initiatives to promote more equitable treatment of all employees.

Offer mentorship and professional development opportunities: Provide opportunities for all employees, regardless of background or identity, to develop their skills and advance in their careers. This can help promote a more diverse and inclusive leadership team.

Celebrate diversity: Celebrate different cultures, holidays, and events throughout the year. This can help create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all employees, regardless of their background or identity.

Benefits Of DEI In The Long Run

Promoting DEI in the workplace requires a commitment to ongoing education, open communication, and creating an environment where all employees feel valued and included. Diverse teams bring together different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds, which can lead to more innovative and creative ideas. This can help organizations stay ahead of the competition and develop new products and services that better meet the needs of their customers.

When employees feel valued, included, and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. This can lead to lower turnover rates and a more stable and productive workforce. Organizations that prioritize DEI are often viewed as more socially responsible and ethical. This can help build a positive reputation and enhance the organization’s brand image, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and sales.

Diverse teams can bring different perspectives and experiences to the decision-making process, which can lead to more well-rounded and informed decisions. Organizations that prioritize DEI can attract a wider range of candidates, including those from underrepresented groups. This can help organizations tap into new talent pools and gain a competitive edge.

Customers are increasingly looking for companies that value DEI, and are more likely to do business with organizations that prioritize these values. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Overall, DEI can bring numerous benefits to organizations in the long run, including improved innovation and creativity, increased employee engagement and retention, enhanced reputation and brand image, better decision-making, access to a wider talent pool, and improved customer satisfaction.

Taking Two Steps Forward Towards Gender Equity In A Hybrid Working World

8 March 2023

Soo Chun Tan, Head of Corporate Communications, B2B, Asia, Middle East and
Africa, Logitech

We have all seen massive shifts in the workplace over the past three years. From the Great Remote Work Experiment of 2020, which forced everyone to take shelter in their homes and move collaboration and meetings online, to the present, where we’ve entered the age of hybrid work. Today, companies have welcomed their workforce back to the physical office while implementing flexible working styles. This shift gave people the option to choose where and how they want to work. 

“As a woman working in a company that has adopted a flexible arrangement post-pandemic, I couldn’t help but reflect on the impact of this new work model on equity.”

Soo Chun Tan, Head of Corporate Communications, B2B, Asia, Middle East and Africa, Logitech

Despite the positive benefits of hybrid work on work-life balance and productivity, hybrid work arrangements have the potential to create gaps between those who work from home and those who work in the office, regardless of gender. 

With this year’s theme for International Women’s Day being #EmbraceEquity, it is a timely reminder for organisations to take an inward look into how they are tracking toward exactly that – equity. And, in today’s rapidly evolving work environment, it’s critical that we take a closer look at the effects of hybrid work and ensure that we’re taking two steps forward, not one step back, in achieving gender equity.

Hybrid Meetings – Where The Equity Gap Widens

Mentoring relationships and powerful sponsors are critical for career advancement. However, women often find it harder to speak up, build networks and develop advocates who will strongly support them. Working remotely further complicates the situation, as it reduces visibility and opportunities to connect informally or strengthen relationships.

According to Logitech’s hybrid meeting survey, 54% of respondents who have joined a hybrid meeting virtually felt that they had fewer opportunities to build rapport with meeting participants, 39% agreed that their input will be valued more if they were attending the meeting physically, and 38% felt less included as compared to in-person meeting participants.

Important decisions that can impact progression or work recognition could also be made during in-person discussions, which excludes workers who are working remotely. These are glaring issues – especially since women tend to indicate stronger preferences for hybrid work. From the hybrid meetings survey mentioned above, 90% of women indicated a preference for hybrid and remote work arrangements, as compared to 85% of men. And, in a separate survey by Flexjobs, 80% of women ranked hybrid work as a top job benefit, while only 69% of men said the same. Organizations will have to work harder to curb any form of biases favouring those in the office.

The Way Forward For Equity In The Workplace

Considering that women tend to indicate stronger preferences for hybrid work, levelling the playing field against in-office and hybrid employees are a major imperative when working toward minimizing the gender equity problem. At the root of it, hybrid work is not the problem; it is how organizations manage their hybrid workforce, regardless of gender.

For a start, organizations need to establish a culture of inclusiveness in hybrid meetings. This means creating a space where all attendees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, ideas, and opinions regardless of work location. 

Those who are leading such meetings can put on the hat of a facilitator, to encourage active listening, prevent interruptions, and use gender-neutral language. The facilitator should also engage all participants, whether they are in-person or joining remotely. Everyone should also have access to the same materials in advance and be given equal access to the resources and information they need to be effective in virtual meetings.

Technology can also help close the equity gap within meetings. Advancements in video conferencing solutions are witnessing the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and auto-framing features. This allows remote participants a full view of participants in the office, and enables them to collaborate with their conference room counterparts just as easily as they could if they were in the office. With these tools, remote participants can feel more connected to the meeting and be more likely to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

Ultimately, organizations can do better to ensure that everyone – male or female – has the opportunity to contribute. By taking active steps to minimize gender bias in every setting including virtual meetings, organizations can put their best foot forward to creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all their employees.

DCFO IWD Series 2023: Indonesia – Equality & Diversity In The Workplace


3 March 2023

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment.

Equality and diversity in the workplace are important issues in Indonesia, a country with a diverse population of over 270 million people. Indonesia is home to a multitude of ethnic groups, religions, and cultures, which can create both opportunities and challenges for the workplace.

One of the most significant challenges to equality and diversity in the workplace in Indonesia is discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, and gender. For example, some employers may prefer to hire candidates from the same ethnic group or religion as themselves, leading to limited opportunities for those who are different. Additionally, women may face discrimination in the workplace, including unequal pay and limited opportunities for advancement.

To address these challenges, the Indonesian government has implemented several policies to promote equality and diversity in the workplace. The constitution of Indonesia guarantees equal rights for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender. The government has also implemented affirmative action policies to promote diversity, such as requiring companies to hire a certain percentage of women or ethnic minorities.

However, while these policies are a step in the right direction, implementation has been slow and uneven. Many companies still do not prioritize diversity in their hiring practices, and discrimination persists in many workplaces.

One way to address these challenges is through education and awareness. Employers can provide training to their employees on diversity and inclusion, including the importance of avoiding discrimination and promoting diversity in the workplace. Additionally, companies can promote cultural awareness and sensitivity, such as by celebrating different cultural holidays or providing language training for employees who speak different languages.

Another important aspect of promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is through leadership and role modeling. Company leaders should set an example by prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their own hiring and management practices. They should also be vocal about the importance of diversity in the workplace, and make it clear that discrimination will not be tolerated.

Importance Of Promoting Equality & Diversity In The Workplace

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. It not only helps to create a more inclusive workplace, but it also helps to improve employee engagement, retention, and performance. In this article, we will discuss why promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is important, and some ways in which you can promote it in your own organization.

Why is promoting equality and diversity in the workplace important?

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. This, in turn, can lead to higher employee engagement and productivity, as well as improved employee retention rates.

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace also helps to ensure that all employees have equal opportunities for career development and advancement. This is particularly important for traditionally marginalized groups such as women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, who may face barriers to advancement due to systemic discrimination.

Finally, promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is simply the right thing to do. We live in a diverse society, and it is important that our workplaces reflect this diversity and provide equal opportunities for all.

Ways To Promote Equality And Diversity In The Workplace

There are several ways in which you can promote equality and diversity in your workplace. Here are some of the most effective strategies:

Establish clear policies and guidelines

One of the most important things you can do to promote equality and diversity in the workplace is to establish clear policies and guidelines. This should include policies on hiring, promotion, and compensation, as well as guidelines on appropriate workplace behavior.

Provide diversity and inclusion training

Another effective way to promote equality and diversity in the workplace is to provide diversity and inclusion training for all employees. This should include training on topics such as unconscious bias, cultural competence, and inclusive language.

Recruit a diverse workforce

To promote diversity in the workplace, it is important to actively recruit a diverse workforce. This means reaching out to traditionally marginalized groups and ensuring that your hiring processes are fair and unbiased.

Create employee resource groups

Employee resource groups are a great way to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These groups provide a space for employees to connect with others who share similar experiences or backgrounds, and they can also help to promote cultural awareness and understanding.

Foster an inclusive culture

Finally, it is important to foster an inclusive culture in the workplace. This means creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or identity. This can include things like celebrating diversity, encouraging open communication, and providing opportunities for employee feedback and input.

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. By establishing clear policies and guidelines, providing diversity and inclusion training, recruiting a diverse workforce, creating employee resource groups, and fostering an inclusive culture, you can help to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. Not only will this lead to improved employee engagement, retention, and performance, but it will also help to create a more just and equitable society for all.

Finally, it is important for companies to create a culture of inclusivity and belonging. This can be achieved through various means, such as creating employee resource groups for different cultural or religious groups, providing mentorship opportunities for underrepresented employees, and creating opportunities for employees to provide feedback on their experiences in the workplace.

In conclusion, promoting equality and diversity in the workplace in Indonesia is a critical issue that requires ongoing attention and action. Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, and gender remains a challenge, but can be addressed through education, leadership, and a culture of inclusivity. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion are not only doing the right thing, but also reaping the benefits of a more diverse and innovative workforce.

DCFO IWD Series 2023: Breaking Gender Stereotypes In The Workplace


2 March 2023

Gender stereotypes have been a pervasive issue for far too long and breaking these stereotypes is the starting point for more women to pursue leadership roles.

Gender stereotypes have been pervasive in our society for centuries. These stereotypes are so deeply ingrained in our culture that they continue to influence our perceptions and expectations of men and women in the workplace. However, the world is changing, and there has been an increasing recognition that gender stereotypes are harmful, and they can prevent individuals from reaching their full potential.

Breaking the gender stereotype in the workplace is crucial for creating an environment where everyone can thrive regardless of their gender. To achieve this, organizations need to take proactive steps to address these stereotypes and create a culture of equality and inclusivity. In this article, we will explore the impact of gender stereotypes in the workplace and provide some practical strategies for breaking them.

The Impact Of Gender Stereotypes In The Workplace

Gender stereotypes in the workplace can have far-reaching consequences for individuals, organizations, and society as a whole. Stereotypes about gender roles can influence how people are perceived and evaluated, affecting their opportunities for advancement, job satisfaction, and even their mental health.

For example, women are often perceived as less competent and less committed to their careers than men, which can lead to lower salaries, fewer promotions, and less access to training and development opportunities. Similarly, men who don’t conform to traditional gender roles may be viewed as weak or lacking in leadership qualities.

These stereotypes can also have a detrimental impact on organizational culture. When women and men are held to different standards, it creates a culture of inequality and can lead to feelings of resentment and exclusion. This can result in lower employee engagement, higher turnover rates, and a negative impact on the company’s reputation.

Breaking The Gender Stereotype In The Workplace

Breaking the gender stereotype in the workplace requires a concerted effort by organizations to create a culture of equality and inclusivity. Here are some practical strategies for achieving this:

Provide unconscious bias training

Unconscious bias is a term used to describe the implicit attitudes and stereotypes that influence our perception and behavior. These biases are often unintentional, but they can have a significant impact on how we evaluate and interact with others in the workplace. Providing unconscious bias training to employees can help them become aware of their biases and how they can impact their decisions and behaviors. This training can also help employees learn strategies for overcoming their biases and creating a more inclusive workplace.

Encourage flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, part-time work, and job sharing, can help break down gender stereotypes by allowing both men and women to balance their work and family responsibilities. By offering these options, employers can create a more inclusive workplace that values the diverse needs of its employees.

Promote women into leadership roles

Women are often underrepresented in leadership roles, which perpetuates the stereotype that women are less capable or less interested in leadership. Organizations can break this stereotype by actively promoting women into leadership roles and creating a pipeline of female leaders. This can be achieved by providing mentoring and leadership development programs, as well as by setting targets and quotas for female representation in leadership positions.

Create a culture of flexibility

Creating a culture of flexibility is crucial for breaking down gender stereotypes in the workplace. This means that managers and colleagues need to be open to different work styles and schedules, and be willing to accommodate the needs of others. This can include offering flexible work hours, providing access to childcare facilities, and encouraging employees to take breaks and prioritize their mental health.

Celebrate diversity

Finally, celebrating diversity is essential for breaking down gender stereotypes in the workplace. This means valuing the unique perspectives and experiences of all employees, regardless of their gender. By creating a culture of diversity and inclusion, organizations can attract and retain top talent and create a workplace where everyone can thrive.

Gender stereotypes have been a pervasive issue in the workplace for far too long and breaking these stereotypes is the starting point for more women to pursue leadership roles. The number of CFOs in the world who are women is still below 20% which is not even a quarter. With female CFOs being such a rarity, it is important that businesses educate themselves about gender stereotypes and pinpoint internally; what is causing them to have more men in leadership positions? Once they notice this problem, they should come up with internal policies and work towards a workplace culture that is supportive of women. 

Creating A More Productive Environment For Finance Teams


27 February 2023

Creating a more productive environment for finance teams requires a comprehensive approach that focuses on various key areas to successfully cultivate it.

Finance teams are an integral part of any organization, responsible for managing financial transactions, monitoring budgets, and providing critical financial insights to decision-makers. However, with the ever-increasing complexity of financial regulations and the need for greater accuracy and efficiency, finance teams are under constant pressure to deliver results. To create a more productive environment for finance teams, organizations need to focus on a few key areas.

1. Streamline Processes

One of the most significant impediments to productivity is inefficient and time-consuming processes. Finance teams need to streamline their workflows to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce the time spent on repetitive and manual tasks. This can be achieved through automation, which can help reduce errors, speed up processes, and free up time for more critical tasks. For instance, organizations can automate tasks such as data entry, invoice processing, and reconciliation, enabling finance teams to focus on analyzing data and providing insights.

2. Invest in Technology

Technology has revolutionized the way finance teams work. From accounting software to financial management tools, technology can help streamline processes, increase efficiency, and provide real-time insights into financial performance. Investing in the right technology can help finance teams stay ahead of the curve, enabling them to analyze data faster and more accurately, identify patterns and trends, and make informed decisions. For example, cloud-based accounting software can provide real-time access to financial data, allowing finance teams to collaborate seamlessly and access information from anywhere, at any time.

3. Provide Training and Development

To create a more productive environment, organizations need to invest in the development and training of their finance teams. This can help improve their skills, knowledge, and abilities, enabling them to perform their tasks more efficiently and effectively. Providing training on financial regulations, technology, and industry trends can help finance teams stay up-to-date with the latest developments, ensuring that they are always operating at the highest level of proficiency.

4. Foster a Positive Work Environment

The work environment can have a significant impact on the productivity and morale of finance teams. A positive work environment that promotes collaboration, open communication, and teamwork can help boost productivity and engagement. Creating a culture that values employee well-being and work-life balance can also help reduce stress levels and increase job satisfaction. Organizations can foster a positive work environment by providing a comfortable workspace, flexible schedules, and opportunities for professional development and growth.

5. Implement Clear Goals and Objectives

Clear goals and objectives are essential for driving productivity in finance teams. Providing a clear roadmap for what needs to be accomplished and how it will be measured can help finance teams stay focused and motivated. This can be achieved through the implementation of key performance indicators (KPIs) and regular performance reviews. KPIs should be specific, measurable, and achievable, enabling finance teams to monitor progress and adjust their strategies accordingly.

6. Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is crucial for creating a more productive environment. Finance teams need to communicate effectively with other departments, stakeholders, and senior management to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Clear and concise communication can help prevent misunderstandings and errors, enabling finance teams to work more efficiently and effectively. Organizations can improve communication by establishing regular meetings, providing clear guidelines, and using collaborative tools such as project management software.

7. Embrace Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is vital for creating a more productive environment for finance teams. Organizations need to encourage their finance teams to identify areas for improvement, experiment with new technologies and processes, and implement changes that can drive greater efficiency and accuracy. This can be achieved through regular performance reviews, feedback sessions, and employee engagement initiatives.

In conclusion, creating a more productive environment for finance teams requires a comprehensive approach that focuses on streamlining processes, investing in technology, providing training and development, fostering a positive work environment, implementing clear goals and objectives, communicating effectively, and embracing continuous improvement.

Cultivating An Adaptable And Resilient Finance Team

8 January 2023

If businesses want to see results in the long run, they should cultivate a finance team that is resilient and adaptive especially in these trying times.

The basic traits of survivability are resilience and adaptation. This refers to living forms that are most able to adapt to their specific environmental circumstances, not necessarily the fastest, largest, or brightest life forms. This biology can be brought in to the workplace as well as the teams that are most adaptive and resilient will flourish in business.

Being resilient means having the capacity to overcome the challenges that come with life. A dynamic and ongoing process, resilience. There are various ways to increase corporate resilience and flexibility. For instance, flexible teams excel at coming up with innovative ways to use links to improve site ranking. Teams that use strategic thinking are more adaptable and flexible because they are encouraged to evaluate several options for achieving a goal.

The most resilient and adaptable teams will perform better in comparison to teams that are rigid and resistant to change – even if the non-adaptive team had superior talents. The most effective teams not only weather the storm of extraordinary scenarios, but also adapt to it and even improve in what they do. So if businesses want to see results in the long run, they should cultivate a finance team that is resilient and adaptive especially in these trying times. Here are some key ways, business leaders can do so; 

Ensuring Diverse Experiences And Backgrounds Among Team Members

Chartered accountants used to make up finance departments, but this is not always the case now. Analysts, statisticians, business managers, economists, and others with a wide range of business and financial expertise may all be a part of contemporary financial teams. The finance teams can contribute more broadly to the overall goals and strategy of the company and come up with creative ways to manage the finances with the support of a diversity of knowledge and experience.

The productivity, culture, and morale of a finance team can all be enhanced by cultivating diversity within the organization. Organizations can find novel ideas and make wise financial decisions with the aid of a varied team. Business executives may be able to source and locate people with different backgrounds and abilities by understanding how such a team might help the organization. Putting together a team with diverse viewpoints, experiences, and contributions might aid your team in coming up with innovative solutions to issues. This is due to the fact that diverse viewpoints and ideas are brought to the table by diverse teams more often than not. Teams gain from improved invention as a result of increased group creativity.

Additionally, finance professionals who collaborate in a multicultural setting can enhance and broaden their current skill sets. A corporation may gain from this since improved skill sets may lead to increased performance, productivity, and quality of work. Employees can hone their communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills in a multicultural team setting.

Focus On Efficiency

Efficiency and productivity are essential for every team’s success in the workplace. This is true for finance departments as well, with the best teams placing a strong emphasis on continual improvement. Many teams are spending more on automated financial management software and solutions as their team’s talents and strengths grow and diversify. To manage the massive volumes of data that analysts and forecasters need for their work, they may turn to artificial intelligence or cognitive computing solutions. (This will be further explained in the last section of the article.)

Finance leaders must eliminate ineffective procedures or duties that, if left in place, will negatively impact output if the finance teams are to operate more efficiently. Redundancies are typically major time wasters that can hinder the team’s progress. Processes are not the only thing that have redundancies. They can be seen in the team’s movement as well. To ensure that projects are finished on schedule and within budget, finance leaders should wish to restrict movements (both physical and otherwise) within the workflows and procedures.

Strong Relationship With The Management Team

Successful financial teams often build a solid relationship with the wider leadership team of the organization because of an improved strategic emphasis and an enlarged, more diverse function for finance departments in business. Business leaders expect finance directors to be active in talks about the status of the business and important future choices because they play a major role in the executive and leadership team of the company. Finance departments may find it difficult to have an impact on the significant financial decisions that the organization faces if they do not have a strong working connection with top management.

Long-term success is more likely to occur in an environment where top management and the finance department have a close working relationship. This is due to the possibility of talent transfer between less experienced employees and more seasoned ones in such collaborative team situations. Both the organization and the finance team may ultimately profit from this.

Take Advantage Of Automation And AI

The advantages of using automated tools for efficiency are well known, but they are especially applicable to finance because the task is so heavily rule-based and quantified. In order to increase a company’s economic resilience, business leaders should invest in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

However, organizations must provide a “how” answer. There are many different ways that automation can be used in business, but it is advised that high-end rather than entry-level implementations be sought after. One simple application of technology is robotic process automation. True machine learning may be used by more advanced enterprises to assist with financial planning and uncover patterns in large data sets. The change will not happen quickly, and businesses should anticipate some growing pains when new tools are offered, but if organizations want to maintain their financial stability, they must be willing to change along with the rest of the market.

By combining various financial functions and enabling them to cooperate effectively, automation strengthens the resilience of finance teams. The end result of this improved procedure is the elimination of internal operational bottlenecks and real-time financial insight throughout the entire organization. Additionally, it centralizes controls so that financial teams can make changes quickly and it enables trustworthy decision-making even under trying circumstances. Connecting the various components of the financial function through automation reduces expenses and frees up employees ’ time that can be used on more crucial areas of their jobs.

The significance of resilient and adaptable teams cannot be overstated. Having diverse employees in a team, a focus on efficiency, a strong relationship with the management team and automated processes will allow finance teams to deal with threats effectively and adapt quickly to change. These key areas are ways companies can build a workplace culture that will allow businesses to better overcome challenges that the hostile market environment will bring.

Find out how you can cultivate adaptable and resilient finance team at DigitalCFO Asia’s Executive Roundtable in partnership with LucaNet here.

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