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Gartner Says Most CFOs Do Not Drive Returns That Exceed the Cost of Capital

CFOs Should Avoid Peer Pressure and Build Cost Strategy Around Differentiating Factors, Not Competitive Trends, says Gartner. Only a third of firms drive returns greater than the cost of capital, according to a Gartner, Inc. analysis of cost structure models. For those organizations built around factors such as unique competitive differentiators they drove a 6% greater return on return on invested capital (ROIC) over 3 years when compared to those with cost models focused on external factors such as competitive ...
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5 Leadership Traps to Avoid Post-COVID

From CFO.com: Turn 2021 into a year of execution by recognizing these traps that are holding you back. No more excuses. The pandemic’s first year gave leaders some slack: The situation was novel, the challenges unique. Everyone was flying blind. Those days are over. We’re still confronting the crisis, but the adrenaline has worn off. If you’re leading a team or a company, you may have gotten a pass last year if some mistakes were made and things didn’t go ...
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After Wirecard, Germany’s Proposed Audit Overhaul Worries Finance Executives

From WSJ: Proposed legislation calls for higher fines for audit firms and more oversight of regulator BaFin. Auditors and finance chiefs of some of Germany’s biggest businesses are worried that a new regulatory proposal intended to improve audit quality in the wake of the Wirecard AG scandal will lead to higher costs and less competition. German lawmakers currently are debating draft legislation for the so-called Act to Strengthen Financial Market Integrity. The law is expected to pass over the next ...
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Yellen pushes for global minimum corporate tax rate

From CFODive.com: Yellen deplores “a 30-year race to the bottom” in taxation and says a global minimum corporate tax rate would help bolster U.S. competitiveness.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on Monday for a global minimum corporate tax rate, pledging to work with other countries “to end the pressures of tax competition and corporate tax base erosion.”
  • Yellen said Treasury seeks in talks with G-20 nations to achieve a minimum corporate rate that ensures “the global economy thrives ...
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Finance Indaba Online keynote urges CFOs to look at the future differently

From CFO South Africa: The Finance Indaba Online is off to a roaring start as thousands of finance professionals gather virtually to enjoy the gamified expo. Kicking off the day, TomorrowToday founder and futurist Dr Graeme Codrington said in his opening keynote presentation that CFOs need to change the way they think about the future. “Covid-19 has been tough on everyone, but I think we’re in for a massive decade of change. I don’t even think Covid-19 will make it on the list of ...
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Separation of audit and advisory functions should be tested

From Moneyweb: Audit firms need to be kept from getting carried away by ‘opportunities’ and better able to spot red flags. The complete separation of audit and advisory services in large audit firms has been hailed as a solution to the corporate and state capture scandals that have decimated public trust in the accounting profession. This hard line was taken by KPMG chair Wiseman Nkuhlu at a recent Courageous Conversations webinar hosted by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants ...
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Why military veterans make great finance team members

From CFO Daily News: Hiring military veterans for your finance team and your workplace as a whole can give you a major competitive advantage. Vets bring some unique and important traits that can benefit American businesses. Now more than ever. Veterans are no strangers to uncertainty and volatility. Which sounds an awful lot like the business conditions we’re in now. Even better: They can understand the ultimate goal, then pivot where necessary and tackle setbacks, while never compromising the larger mission ...
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Has the role of the CFO really changed over the last 100 years?

Pre-1960s finance directors, chief accountants and financial controllers were often regarded as mere bean counters, with a responsibility ‘to prepare the books and report back to higher level management on the overall financial risk and performance of the enterprise”. Contemporary accounting literature creates the notion that before the 1960s and 1970s, CFO predecessors (finance directors, chief accountants and financial controllers) were more or less exclusively focused on bookkeeping and reporting and that they did not delve into contemporary business-partnering roles, ...
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More than a balancing act – what is the future like for CFOs?

From Fin24: The changes that have been occurring in the professional world of work have meant that careers that were considered bankable about a decade ago and now slowly being rendered irrelevant by machines and artificial intelligence that can do the same job. The same goes for accountants. Even World Economic Forum leader Till Leopold warned white-collar jobs would not be spared in the onslaught of jobs for skilled and educated people in the coming year, saying that 35% of ...
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Bean counter or strategist? Differences in the role of the CFO in family and non-family businesses

By Martin Hiebl, Faculty Member, University of Sigen. The role of the CFO in family versus non-family businesses differs widely. When family businesses (FBs) grow older and larger, they typically employ more non-family managers. Non-family management becomes necessary if there are simply not enough family members available to fill the vacant management positions or if younger generations are not willing or able to take over managerial responsibilities. The first management position handed over to non-family managers is often the ...
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European CFO route to the top

An analysis of the background and experience of CFOs in the 10 major European indices. From SpencerStuart. What stands out about this research is that roughly nine out of 10 CFOs in Europe do not have an accounting qualification, and half come from a non-finance background. This should force us to re-examine what skills are required of a CFO in the modern workplace. Introduction
Spencer Stuart continually analyses the profiles and backgrounds of CFOs in leading European companies. By combining ...
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Gartner says CFOs using outmoded approaches risk losing Covid cost efficiency gains

Organizations that achieved unexpected cost efficiency gains as a result of operational constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic risk losing these gains needlessly, according to research from Gartner, Inc. The traditional approach of reintroducing costs after a business downturn based on recovered revenue fails to account for permanent shifts in the business environment. There have been numerous efficiencies discovered as a result of increased use of technology, changing customer preferences and a significant move towards permanent remote work. “Some organizations are ...
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Why Finance Executives Rely on Supply-Chain Finance: A Guide to the Financing Tool

From WSJ: Companies are setting up programs to improve working capital and cut costs while disclosing few details. The struggles of Greensill Capital have shone a light on the increasing use of supply-chain financing, a tool that gives companies the ability to extend their payment terms to vendors. Regulators and standard-setters are closely watching if and how companies disclose their use of the financing tool, which has come into focus amid the recent problems seen at Greensill, a major provider ...
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Lessons learned: How CFOs are applying 2020 insights in 2021

From CFO Daily News: We’ve all had to learn to adapt quickly in our personal and professional lives to deal with the realities of the pandemic and help our companies find the best path to prosperity in the “new normal” that emerged in the wake of the initial outbreak. The changes we’ve implemented have been crucial in keeping companies afloat. However there are new issues arising as remote work continues — and that’s giving CFOs new reasons to burn the midnight ...
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5 Leadership Traps to Avoid Post-Covid

From Cfo.com: Turn 2021 into a year of execution by recognizing these traps that are holding you back. No more excuses. The pandemic’s first year gave leaders some slack: The situation was novel, the challenges unique. Everyone was flying blind. Those days are over. We’re still confronting the crisis, but the adrenaline has worn off. If you’re leading a team or a company, you may have gotten a pass last year if some mistakes were made and things didn’t go ...
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