“We’re in a world that is highly abnormal. There’s a ‘sense of pause’ that’s been created. For me, this is a unique opportunity because when the world is standing still, we have the ability right now to validate our vision,” explains CFO Amir Jafari of Reputation.com. For Jafari, the current environment demands that finance listen closely to customers and continue to execute on strategy despite the obstacles that persist.
- Will rely on the “lens of our customer” to help forecast a recovery.
- Uneven state-by-state response to COVID makes forecasting ever more challenging.
- Certain industries are expected to recover faster.
CFOTL: Tell us what metrics you will seek to incorporate and how you expect to track them when it comes to forecasting an economic recovery …
Jafari: For U.S. businesses, as your audience well knows, the reactions vary differently state by state. Hence, the recovery will vary state by state, but we’re also trying to understand what happens in the UK and all of our other respective markets. So, we’re constantly listening and we’re trying to understand how we would go back into each of these markets and position the company.
We really want to look at this through the lens of our customers to make sure that we are beyond empathetic and have compassion for each of their respective industries. In healthcare—when healthcare reopens back up to a normal process—we’ll be looking at the folks who serve the elderly, or elective surgeries, or wherever the need may be. Perhaps it’s the dental shops across the U.S., as an example: What are the key stats for when they can open from an economic perspective?
We’re obviously monitoring what’s happening in each of our segments. At a macro level, of course, there’s unemployment. There are a lot of key stats there, some of which are lagging. But we view things more in terms of industry by industry to see what’s happening.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the role that CFOs play, and it involves not just the tactical elements, but also and more importantly the strategic elements of what we do for our organizations. Specifically, it’s time to get focused—it’s time to be very maniacally focused on how to execute. And then to make sure that we don’t let ourselves get distracted by some of the noise that could be out there in the short term. jb
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the role that CFOs play.”