The pound hit an eight-year low against the euro a few weeks back, with the official exchange rate at €1 to £1.083. At some airports, such as Southampton, travelers were being offered just €0.872 to £1. This represents a 15% reduction in value against the euro since the UK decided to leave the EU and comes as Brexit negotiations are dominating the headlines.
Adaptive Insights VP of United Kingdom and Ireland, Rob Douglas, argues that market fluctuation like this is exactly why businesses need to change their financial planning to be as agile and adaptable as possible. He comments:
“While for many it will be those going holiday that are top of mind as the pound devalues, a much greater concern is how businesses will deal with this fluctuation. Not only will businesses likely be dealing with much greater sums of money and therefore potential loss, but as margins are reduced and prices potentially increased, there will be a knock-on effect across the UK economy that everyone needs to be prepared for.
“Businesses need to be able to bend and flex to changes in exchange rates, while minimising the impact on customers and staff. For many, however, this is not a reality. Recent research shows that over half (60%) of CFOs say it takes five days or more to generate new scenario analyses, enabling them to model the impact of market movements such as this, and yet the majority would like it to be a day or less. This unmet expectation by CFOs sheds a light on the need for a different kind of financial planning that focuses on agility and active planning in nearly real-time to keep pace with the rapid changes in today’s businesses.
“For the UK, uncertainty and volatility is likely to become the new norm, which means businesses need to be prepared for the unknown. While being agile will allow businesses to be more responsive, ‘what-if’ scenarios are also fundamental for businesses to understand the potential consequences of the changing market. After all, many would not have predicted that the pound and euro would reach parity.”