Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 27, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. Skills that help CFOs handle disruption strategically
Many CFOs are frustrated by how often their companies face significant new business threats, a study by the Financial Executives Research Foundation suggests. Of the 55 financial executives of Fortune 500 companies interviewed for the study, 24% said they don't see significant changes and unknown threats to the business until it is too late. "The level and speed of disruptive risk is providing a challenge for executive teams to recognise the sources of disruption and how it will drive potential risk and opportunities for the company."

2. To Develop a Winning Strategy, Know Who You Are Fighting
Business strategy is all about using uncertain information to make unalterable choices that best create and capture economic surplus. A successful strategist must find and exploit opportunities that establish and protect a sustainable advantage. Otherwise, the economic surplus will be snatched up by other industry players such as competitors, suppliers, channel drivers, and customers.

3. Three Lessons in Business Strategy From One of the Greatest Militar...
Seventy-two years ago today, on July 5, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur officially announced the liberation of the Philippines. It was a triumphal moment for the 5-star general. It marked the ultimate fulfillment of his memorable promise ("I shall return"), and it brought the war in the Pacific to Japan's doorstep. MacArthur was one of the world's most admired leaders in those days, and although the Chinese and President Harry Truman would tarnish his shining reputation in the 1950s, MacArthur's strategic creativity, agility, and focus in World War II's Pacific Theater remain a high point in military history….

4. How To Structure And Finance Your Partnership Buyout
Business partnership buyouts can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes, a business partner is no longer aligned with the vision of the company. More commonly, a business partner is looking to retire or move onto a new venture. Whatever the scenario, it is important to cover your bases to ensure that the buyout is favorable for all business partners and the viability of the company. Once the terms are defined, you will be able to make an informed decision on how to best finance the buyout.

5. Five tips to better manage rapidly changing enterprise risks
Executives are aware that the risks businesses face have increased and become more complex in the past five years, but most companies aren't fully equipped to manage the rapid changes, according to research released by the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

6. Steve Jobs did not invent the iPhone
The iPhone just turned 10 years old, and if you were anywhere near a magazine, newspaper, or screen—swipeable or otherwise—you probably saw a story or nine celebrating its advent. That story would likely run alongside an image of one man in particular. There he is, Steve Jobs on stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Steve Jobs with an aluminum-backed rectangle in his palm. Steve Jobs handing the iPhone down unto the world.

7. Skills that help CFOs handle disruption strategically
Many CFOs are frustrated by how often their companies face significant new business threats, a study by the Financial Executives Research Foundation suggests. Of the 55 financial executives of Fortune 500 companies interviewed for the study, 24% said they don't see significant changes and unknown threats to the business until it is too late. "The level and speed of disruptive risk is providing a challenge for executive teams to recognise the sources of disruption and how it will drive potential risk and opportunities for the company."

8. Fire Auditors Early, CFOs Are Advised
CFOs thinking about firing their companies' independent auditors for legitimate reasons, like dissatisfaction with the firm's price or quality, might want to cut the cord before the end of their fiscal second quarter, an author of a new study of auditor dismissals advises. If a company announces the dismissal of its auditor after the second quarter, it risks being "lumped in with the bad apples," that want to end the relationship to cover up "nefarious" doings, according to Jeff Burks, an associate professor of accountancy at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

9. Advanced analytics: Nine insights from the C-suite
Data and advanced analytics have arrived. The volume of available data is growing exponentially, with more added every day from billions of phones, sensors, payment systems, and cameras. Machine learning is becoming ubiquitous, but organizations are struggling to turn data into value. Conversations with hundreds of business leaders reveal nine ways that they are—and are not—adapting to the analytics revolution.

10. 10 Warning Signs That Your Leadership Pipeline Is At Risk
Leadership readiness is among the greatest risks companies face today. According to the 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte, 89% of executive survey respondents "rated the need to strengthen, re-engineer, and improve organizational leadership as an important priority." But "more than half of surveyed executives (56%) reported their companies are not ready to meet leadership needs." According to its 2017 Global Human Capital study, "organizational capabilities to address leadership dropped by 2%."