Date posted: 18/08/2023

3 ways finance teams can manage revenue during economic uncertainty

Effective strategies to proactively manage revenue during times of macroeconomic stress.

During periods of economic volatility, the only certainty is uncertainty. From rising inflation to declining demand, managing revenue can be challenging. The good news is that there's plenty that Chartered Accountants (CAs) can do to proactively – and effectively – manage revenue during times of macroeconomic stress.

To assist finance teams, CA ANZ has published three reports containing practical tips and guidance from experienced CAs. These explain how finance teams can cultivate a commercial mindset, improve forecasting, and communicate effectively.

1. Cultivating a commercial mindset: How to maximise revenue opportunities during economic uncertainty

By demonstrating commercial acumen, finance teams can maintain (even increase) profitability and add value during times of economic uncertainty.

The first guide reveals seven ways finance professionals can make the most of revenue opportunities, including why you must look beyond the profit and loss (P&L) statement and why a strong commercial culture is your greatest weapon. It also explores cash flow management and working capital management, with tips for boosting cash flow in the face of a tightening economic cycle. Finally, it unpacks three key opportunities for CAs who can adopt a commercial mindset, including:

i) The opportunity to shape an organization

ii) The opportunity to grow and learn as a finance team

iii) The opportunity to upskill and progress your career.

2. Forecasting with veracity: How to forecast accurately and manage data effectively during economic uncertainty

Absolute certainty is improbable when it comes to the macroeconomy.

"Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one."
Voltaire, French Philosopher.

Yet there are proven ways for CAs to maintain accurate financial forecasts during volatility.

The second guide in our revenue management series provides seven tips for developing robust, defensible forecasts, which are grounded in real-time data. Covering rolling forecasts, qualitative approaches, competitor analysis and more, it explains how to produce credible, reliable forecasts that boost business confidence and maintain trust in finance.

It also looks at a best-in-class forecasting tool (hint: scenario analysis), as well as explaining how to use data to its full potential, including:

  • centralising data capture
  • setting up automatic data feeds
  • using dynamic tools
  • working with real-time data
  • digitising the supply chain
  • using data analysis to support experimentation and test new products/approaches
  • managing data risks.

Finally, it explores how to make forecasting part of your organisational culture – because your forecasts are only ever as good as the people using them.

3. Communicating with clarity: How good communication can boost revenue management during economic uncertainty

During uncertain economic times, effective communication is essential. It can offer reassurance to stakeholders, build trust, and achieve buy-in. In short, and as is certainly the case in refinancing conversations, good communication can pay dividends.

The third and final Insight paper in this series looks at ways CAs can improve their communications to boost revenue management when the economy looks shaky. It offers seven tips for communicating with stakeholders, including how to establish credibility, motivate the right behaviours, and focus on solutions and next steps. It also explores how to deliver bad (and good) news in a way that is sensitive to your recipients and strengthens working relationships.

Finally, it explains how to approach refinancing conversations with your bank to achieve the best possible outcomes. From a partnership mindset to proactive reporting, this guide can help you communicate your financial past when you negotiate for the future.