The months known for sunshine and relaxation are coming up fast. And for many finance pros, that means summer vacation!
If and when that happens, your finance teams needs to be prepared, so operations can keep running smoothly no matter who’s in or out of the office.
CFOs can share these four tips with finance managers and staffers alike:
1. Start planning early
If your people are making summer plans, it’s best to start the conversation early, in the spring. That way, you can get an idea of everyone’s schedules and see if there’s any vacation overlap.
Be sure to publicize this calendar (in your email program, a shared document, etc.) and update it regularly. With it, everyone can stay in the loop on each other’s schedules and avoid long email exchanges as plans develop, change or are finalized.
2. Check coverage
There are some finance tasks, like issuing payments or hitting quarterly tax deadlines, that can’t be put on hold while someone’s on summer vacation.
So before time off, staffers should consider all their tasks and come up with two lists: 1) tasks that they can handle before or after vacation, and 2) tasks that someone else will need to complete in their absence.
For example, an A/P staffer may be able to pause a master vendor file cleanup project while they’re off. But he or she may need to ask another staffer to issue a recurring payment with a specific vendor to meet an agreed-upon deadline.
3. Spread the word
A lot of people depend on Finance to be there when they have quick paycheck questions, want expense reimbursement, etc. And they may be surprised if one day they find their go-to people are unavailable.
That’s why it’s important for your staffers to notify not just those within your department, but anyone they work with often (employees, vendors, customers, etc.), about their summer vacation schedule. They can send these people a heads up with their departure date, return date and a backup staffer they can contact in their absence.
And to ensure anyone else who contacts your staffers gets this info too, have your people set an autoreply email with the same details. (Tip: For ease and uniformity, you could give staffers a standard out-of-office email template that they can quickly fill out and turn on before they shut down their computers.)
4. Disconnect and enjoy
When you care about your job and your company as much as most CFOs do, it can be hard to truly disengage. But if you and your staff have done the upfront work, you can rest assured things won’t fall into disarray in your absence. You know you have a plan and can trust your people.
So, set a good example by disconnecting from your devices as much as possible during your summer vacation. And encourage your staff to do the same, so they can truly relax and recharge. That way, when you and your staff return to work, you’re all refreshed, remotivated and ready to go.