Weekly Round-Up: The Latest in Finance & Accounting

weekly roundup  Here are a few recent articles that explore various accounting, finance and outsourcing hot topics for CFOs and senior execs. Enjoy! (Feel free to tweet us or follow us @Sutherland_iBPO continue the conversation.)

Ford’s Wake-up Call
This article from CFO.com outlines how Bob Shanks, CFO of Ford Motor Co., reshaped the company’s finance department by implementing a standardization of processes and practices. Get insights into key challenges facing finance departments and how Ford addressed its disparate financial systems. The article also draws in statistics from the 2013 survey of corporate subscribers to the services of CEB, the big research and advisory firm, that states that 76 percent of respondents were engaged in finance transformations at the time. Many of them were driven by constraints on finance budgets. According to CEB research, in 2013 the average finance budget was 1.17 percent of revenue, down from 1.54 percent four years earlier.

Read: For Ford, Finance Transformation Is a Way of Life

Big Data For Better Decisions
Journalist Keith Button reveals the story of Merchant Cash and Capital of New York, an alternative financing company for small merchants. The company was looking to gain a competitive edge and needed to make faster decisions. To do this they needed to extract some of the human variability out of the underwriting process so that the company’s underwriters have a more consistent basis for approvals and declination. The article spotlights how Merchant Cash and Capital used big data to see commonalities between “deadbeat debt.”

Read: How Big Data Brought Good Decisions to Life

Turnover, Talent and Tapping into New Markets
Over at FinancialExecutives.org, Bryan Proctor delves into the need for company stability, noting the prominent uptick in CFO retirements for 2013 represented 36 percent of total departures. This is a notable change from the historical average of approximately 23 percent attributable to retirements. Glean insights into talent trends for CFOs and which sectors lead the pack with CFO hiring. With a strong focus on international growth, global expertise and experience becomes essential to the role of the CFO.

Read: The Changing Role of the CFO: New Demands Require New Fundamentals

Spend, Spend, Spend
Accounting Today reports that CFOs around the world are taking a more aggressive approach to spending and investment over the next year. Citing a new survey by American Express the article also notes that CFOs in the U.S. remain cautious amid concerns about regulations and political gridlock. The American Express/CFO Research Global Business and Spending Monitor found that 40 percent of finance executives in the U.S. expect regulatory changes will have a negative impact on growth over the next year. As well, the poll found the U.S. ranks second among countries that expect other countries’ political changes to have a negative effect on their company’s growth for the next year.

Read: CFOs Abroad More Aggressive on Spending, Investment

Addressing Corporate Reporting Shortcomings
Without relevant, timely and reliable information, investors are unable to make informed long-term investment decisions. This article explores the shortcomings of historical documents and how they do not present a complete picture of a company’s health and future potential. The article states “A 2014 Ernst & Young study found that two-thirds of global investors evaluate non-financial disclosures. However, only half of this group uses a structured process to make their assessments.” Learn more about the options and why a new type of integrated reporting is needed.

Read: What Investors Really Need 

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
A recent Compliance Week article examines how the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has taken up a few short-term projects to cut some unnecessarily complexity out of accounting rules and finalized new rules for development-stage entities. FASB has made changes to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) by simplifying the measurement of inventory and eliminating extraordinary items from the income statement. Find out how what other updates have been made to help foster more consistent consolidation analyses and decisions among public and private development stage entities.

Read: FASB Seeks to Simplify Accounting Rules


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Sutherland Editorial Team (386 Posts)

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