Treasury Readiness: How Prepared Are You?
Unexpected events don’t have to wreak havoc on your business if you have a strong emergency plan in place. These 21 questions will help get your company crisis ready.
Whether it’s a natural disaster, an employee illness or a cyberattack, unexpected events can wreak havoc on your business. That’s why you need to develop contingency plans now—before unpredictable, yet inevitable, disruptions occur.
Readiness requires that leaders take a hard look at current operations and ask the tough questions. This is business critical. Solidify your crisis-response strategy and make sure everyone in your organization can meet any emergency with clarity, confidence and relative calm.
The questions below will help you assess your treasury readiness and develop the emergency plans your company and your people really need.
Management and Communications
- Do you have a designated emergency management team? You need people who are accountable for the immediate response after an emergency and for ensuring your employees stay safe.
- Do you have a predetermined chain of command in an emergency? You should know who will take on key responsibilities and leadership roles if those typically in charge are unable to do so.
- Have you documented the chain of command and distributed the information throughout the organization? Internal awareness is a crucial component of an effective emergency response.
- Have you developed internal and external communications plans for each type of crisis? This includes a list of key vendors, outside partners and even public agencies that may need to be informed.
- Do your employees, clients, suppliers and other key business contacts have your emergency contact information?
- Have you shared your disaster preparedness procedures with local services and government agencies so that they’re primed to respond?
- Have you considered employees’ emotional needs in a crisis? You should be ready to offer access to support resources.
- Have you prepared supplies you might need in a disaster, such as potable water, emergency food and flashlights?
- Do you have alternate power sources for your main server? Do you have a backup plan if your internet provider goes down?
- Do you have a plan for securing data and facilities, as well as processing payments? This requires close contact and communication with existing vendors, financial institutions and external partners.
- Do you have locations where you can rapidly shift accounting operations during a crisis? Being able to quickly pivot will allow your business to continue running smoothly.
- Do your banks also have dispersed payment centers so that you can avoid accounting disruptions? Internal preparation will only get you so far if your financial partners are not also prepared.
- Have you allocated emergency funds across different accounts? If a partner is also affected, this can help you maintain access to your money.
- Have you tested your contingency site to be sure it has all the functionality of your primary site? Will there be proper equipment and sufficient space for your employees?
- If your contingency site is being leased, have you communicated with the tenants about space allocation during an emergency?
Tests and Reviews
- Do you conduct tests by logging in to your backup system and generating at least one live transaction per month? Running regular tests can help you avoid unexpected hiccups during a real emergency.
- Do you have a set schedule for conducting full end-to-end tests that validate your ability to recover quickly?
- Have you audited your tests? An additional layer of confirmation can help safeguard your business and give you peace of mind.
- Have you reviewed your account information to ensure accuracy and added authorized signers, security administrators, user IDs and entitlements with each of your banks?
- Have you scheduled periodic connectivity reviews between your backup systems and your internal departments, customers, suppliers and other key business contacts to ensure they are compliant and operational?
- Have you completed a comprehensive review of your insurance coverage as it relates to recovery and restoration?
Remember that communication, preparation and testing will help your business conquer any crisis that comes along with minimal disruption to your operations. But readiness also means doing the right thing for any employee or customer who experiences the stress of an emergency. By focusing on preparedness and bringing everyone along in the process, you’re sending an important message: We don’t only care about the business—we also care deeply about you.