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Media comment: Four measures to get businesses back on track amid the COVID-19 crisis

11 May 2020

As the UK takes cautionary steps to get its economy moving again, businesses leaders must focus on keeping their organisations afloat in a changed, ever-evolving environment and prepare to face the headwinds of a second peak later in the year. Businesses need to focus on four key measures to outlast the impact of the crisis on their operations and people: 

  1. Manage their cashflow: preparing for things to get worse before they get better. Businesses will need to assess current income and expenditures, plan across multiple scenarios and do some radical reforecasting for the next six months to better control and preserve their cashflows. 
  2. Bring employees back: mobilising their talent and re-engaging them into the workplace. However, businesses will need to factor in new challenges and implement new flexible, remote working practices to foster collaboration and drive productivity. 
  3. Adapt services and products: meeting customer expectations and creating value is fundamental to survival. Businesses need to adapt the delivery of their products and services to new consumer behaviours in the near- to long-term.  
  4. Build resilient supply chains: managing supply chain relationships, both upstream and downstream, to promote agility and resilience is key to begin functioning again. In addition to ensuring that businesses have adequate processes in place to deal with the current crisis, they must also put an additional focus on maintaining good relationships and trust with their suppliers and providers.  

Only businesses that demonstrate adaptability, build resilience and foster collaboration will be able to weather this coronavirus lockdown and, most likely, future ones.

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants