5 Tips for Budget Planning Post COVID

We’ve been talking to over 20 Asia Pacific multinationals over the last four weeks, including C-Suite, General Managers and financial executives. This is a summary of some plans over the next 12-24 months ranked in order. General management leaders are forecasted to invest more in broader categories over the next five years, including budgeting in RPA, data analytics, and cloud services. With COVID-19 still on-going, new project deployments are supposedly delayed across the board 3-5 years instead of one year only which has opened up creative ways to plan for company expenses over the next 24 months. 

1. Invest in people

If you’ve already included tech investment in corporate’s general management, keep doing it in 2021 and beyond. It’s time to gain back some positive results by investing in the team, company culture and re-engineering people to work flexible roles. The pandemic has fast forward initiatives, particularly around Robotic Process Automation applications. The emphasis on flexible work includes saving time and effort for your staff, while AI-generated systems increase productivity and efficiency. Over the next 12-24 months, executive decisions will revolve around investing more in mobile computing, digitalisation, and staff training courses to accommodate staff working remotely. 

Business business, office, businessman, small business, workplace, startup, workspace, business professional, using mobile, people using mobile
Invest in people Post COVID

Adoption percentages in technology trends are increasing post-COVID in the Fintech industry. For example, 25% of companies in these sectors are adopting blockchain in their systems. Other technologies supported for corporate initiatives are IoT, cloud services, VR, edge computing, and 5G. The Fintech industry has reported a triple rate growth of AI application by 2021 due to COVID replacing traditional roles inside the office space.

2. Stakeholder review

A close relationship between executives and stakeholders such as customers, partnerships and future collaborations brings many benefits for the general management and business. Notably, financial executives (e.g. CFO’s) within large multinationals review their operating budgets in line with post COVID projects to assess efficiency, productivity gains and cost on the bottom line. CFOs manage most of the firm’s investment, budgeting, cash flow, and new tech budgets. Winning ideas or new projects over CFOs is not easy. So the best way to achieve your goal is to prove to them the process throughout a long time, particularly around how the workforce changes post-COVID can help reduce expenses for the company. 

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Remember to include your CFO in all planning

3. Tax breaks on assets

A recent KPMG study estimated 45% of businesses are likely to increase their technology budget over the next 12 months. Having responsibility for budgeting and management means you can take advantage of innovative investments, particularly technology, to aid in employee remote office support. The budget can be used to reinforce security vulnerabilities, upgrade infrastructure, and transform the tech environment. Replacing old staff PCs, laptops, printers, screens with new hardware equipment can boost the staff’s productivity. However, only scale your technology to your firm size. Small scale companies don’t have to spend a massive budget on technology devices in the early stages. Replacing aging assets and taking advantage of Government support, grants, tax breaks on new asset investments is a smart strategy to optimise budgeting for 2021.

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Post COVID investment technology increasing

4. Create actionable projects

At the executive level, any new projects or developments can bring risks that might affect parts of the business. Key is to have SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. A SMART goal will help increase the chances of achieving goals, decrease the failure risk and enhance revenue growth. 

Business team consultant working with SMART Goals and new startup growth project plan and discussion analyzing for financial strategy statistics with computer, results of collaboration their successful teamwork teamwork, talking, planning, partner, presentation, team, discussion, seminar, consultation, negotiation
SMART Goals 2021 priority

5. Be innovative for new solutions

Executive management post COVID requires leaders to be innovative and impactful. With the global economy in turmoil, post-COVID revenue growth or commissions may remain stable for many years. The market can also demand new technologies, new functions or new features able to improve customer experience. Do not bring the same plans to annual meetings. Think of some improvements or new solutions that could align with the firm business and earn an increased profit opportunity.
(READ: Will coworking continue in Asia post covid?)

Look for new revenue innovations post COVID

Chief Executive Officer, OSDORO
Bachelor of Applied Finance and Bachelor of Laws, Sydney, Australia. 
David has been in real estate business since 2002 and has a passion for South East Asian cross border cooperation.

As an entrepreneur, David has won multiple tech industry awards, including 2019 for Best AI Startup GITEX awards, 2019 Best AI Technology Accathon Capital USA and recipient of the Wharton Innovation Fund Grant. His last startup, Woveon, was a New York VC backed AI enterprise business intelligence company that worked on customer data stitching and analytics of billions of conversations.

David is also the recipient of state and national Australia technology prizes including the PWC Innovation Award and Intel Enterprise Technology awards.

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Anders Lim
Regional Manager Asia