April 30, 2021 — Industry Trends
How can you make your CFO love you?
Standardized operational data can make life easier for your finance team by making your financial forecasts far more accurate. Christos Kaidis, manager of technical sales EMEA at Greenbyte, shares insights from a recent webinar he spoke at with greenmatch.
Manager of Technical Sales EMEA, Greenbyte
You shouldn’t shape your decision-making processes around the data you can get.
Rather, you should shape your data operation around what decision-makers need.
That’s the theory anyway. That’s why Greenbyte is focused on providing you with the data that shows how your wind and solar farms are performing in relation to a host of key performance indicators. This can help you to run your projects more profitably.
However, we’re aware that there’s far more to be done in the industry to turn project performance data into a form that can be used by financial teams. Financial asset managers need accurate and accessible data for their financial reports, forecasts and portfolio optimization strategies. But all too often they don’t have any involvement in what data is collected and when. The result is that there can be a disconnect between those collecting the data and managing the technical performance of assets, and those who make the financial decisions. This has to change. In a world where profit margins are under pressure across the renewables value chain, financial asset managers need management strategies that offer far more collaboration between technical and financial teams.
Your technical data should be shaped around what your financial teams need. If you can do this then you’ll be loved by your chief financial officer (CFO) forevermore.
That’s why Greenbyte is partnering with greenmatch, the renewable energy finance software provider. We work with greenmatch to help firms pull through technical data from their renewable energy assets into a form that helps financial teams. It’s a great partnership and is a taste of things to come for the renewables industry.
It’s also why I was delighted to take part in a webinar with greenmatch last month, called ‘Technical & Financial Asset Management of Renewable Energy Projects’.
Now I’ll be honest: it’s not the catchiest name! But the webinar did share some great insights from greenmatch about how the strong operational data that we can provide helps renewable energy asset managers to put their financial plans on a strong footing. I’m going to focus on those insights in the rest of this post.
Strong operational data
No doubt most readers here will already know about the benefits of a rigorous data asset management platform for running the technical side of wind, solar and storage projects more profitably. Strong data helps you to find and fix problems quickly; plan maintenance times to minimize production losses; and in many other ways.
But what we hear less about is how this operational data helps financial teams.
Tobias Bitterli, Co-founder & CPO of greenmatch, explained that there are four main benefits for financial teams when they can draw on standardized data of the sort in Greenbyte Platform. Essentially, greenmatch takes the MWh data in our Platform and turns it into euros in a way that helps financial asset managers to:
- Accurately track assets’ financial performance
- Optimize equity distributions and avoid liquidity gaps
- Provide accurate data for future financial forecasting
- Create financial reports for relevant stakeholders
Tobias said that these are the cornerstones of efficient financial management in the renewable energy sector. To achieve this, asset managers need performance data that is reliable, comparable and offers continuity over a long period of time.
This is important because it enables companies to compare their original financial plan for an asset against the figures that are recorded, and keep their business plans for their assets up to date.
He said this last point is key. Rigorous performance data helps you track the impact on returns due to changes at both the asset level (eg. fluctuations in production and operating costs) and the macroeconomic level (eg. yield curves, electricity prices or inflation expectations). Financial teams that can accurately track these changes are able to produce more accurate forecasts about future returns at their projects.
Efficient financial management
Finally, Tobias shared five tips for companies to manage the financial side of assets. He said financial asset managers benefit from software platforms that could:
- Clearly assign tasks between team members
- Used a standardized financial model
- Used a standardized chart of accounts for all assets
- Minimize the number of data partners they work with
- Interface reliably between different software platforms
This is a fascinating insight into the benefit that rigorous performance data has on the management of renewables assets, by both technical and financial teams. This will be increasingly important for companies in the coming years, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with greenmatch to taking this leap forward.
Plus, you’ll become best friends with your CFO. What’s not to like?
If you’d like to talk about how you can make sure your performance data is optimized for your financial asset managers, please get in touch.