CFOs share their ‘tips from the trenches’ – real-life examples of COVID-19 success stories

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It’s one of the biggest buzzwords of the moment – unprecedented. We’re living in unprecedented times, whereby a pandemic is causing an unprecedented impact on the economy. As a result, businesses are facing unprecedented and unpredictable changes to their operations.

At times like these, you turn to those you can rely on. Those who can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and can guide you in making positive, sustainable choices to mould your future.

As Australia and New Zealand’s leading CFO advisory network, CFO On-Call boasts a stable of experienced financial advisors equipped with all the tools to do just this. So, while some business owners are still acting like a ‘deer in the headlights’, others are using this unique opportunity to be both creative and strategic.

Sue Hirst, Co-Founder of CFO On-Call, says that savvy businesses are treating the crisis as a catalyst to not just survive, but come out the other side in even better shape than before.

“With our CFOs based throughout Australia and New Zealand, we are currently working with a myriad of businesses from a diverse range of sectors – from wholesale, pharmaceuticals and consultancy to fitness, retail and trades,” said Sue.

“This has given us a first-hand glance into how certain sectors have been dealing with the impact of COVID-19, as well as how certain businesses have chosen to make the best out of a bad situation.

“We’ve compiled our ‘tips from the trenches’ – real-life examples of businesses who we have worked with through the COVID-19 pandemic – in the hope that it can help others to push through the tough times,” added Sue.

For wholesalers, COVID-19 has prompted them to embrace ecommerce and online shopping, moving their operations onto the likes of Amazon and eBay. Many have been encouraged to take advantage of this time to do more menial tasks like stocktake and setting up new warehousing where appropriate.

Monthly forecasts combined with training and strategy sessions have proven a great help for those in the pharmaceutical industry, while gyms had much success employing a loan system for their equipment during their closure periods.

In consultancy, the best results have been observed by those who are building positive relationships for the future by offering a reduced fee for a similar or the same amount of work.

Overall, businesses are achieving success by using the downturn to tweak their business model and plan for the future.

“We’ve found that for many business owners, this period has offered them the opportunity to take a step back and properly evaluate their business – something that, under basically any other circumstance, they may not have had the chance to do,” added Sue.

“Immediate priorities have included ensuring they can access the right amount of government stimulus, planning ahead for the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ case scenarios and doing weekly cash flow forecasts to keep on top of finances.

“The best prepared business owners have also taken the opportunity to put their information in black and white and focus on developing accurate forecasts – something which our CFOs have been working on.

“Whatever the industry, the lessen that we’ve learned from the COVID-19 crisis is clear – now is the time for businesses to adapt quickly, plan ahead and get creative,” added Sue.

To help guide businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, CFO On-Call is offering business owners a free 30-minute coaching session with an experienced CFO On-Call Partner. For more information visit


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Alison Orren | | 02 4324 6962