Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 28


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. Adapting your board to the digital age
"Software is eating the world," veteran digital entrepreneur Marc Andreessen quipped a few years back. Today's boards are getting the message. They have seen how leading digital players are threatening incumbents, and among the directors we work with, roughly one in three say that their business model will be disrupted in the next five years. In a 2015 McKinsey survey, though, only 17 percent of directors said their boards were sponsoring digital initiatives...

2. Using M&A to Increase Your Capacity for Growth
Large, well-established companies in need of long-term growth often turn to M&A. Kraft Foods and Heinz, AB Inbev and SABMiller, or Royal Dutch Shell and British Gas come to mind. Yet the typical M&A and postmerger integration (PMI) approach has a famously poor track record: close to 60% of M&As fail to create value. What needs to change? It starts with re-thinking the objectives for M&A and the post-merger period. Companies should look beyond the typical goals of size, scale and efficiency - and instead seek to rebuild their capacity for growth. We call this path "postmerger rejuvenation."

3. LinkedIn's Top Three Secrets To Getting Hired In 2016
Pop quiz: How many companies were looking for people with a background in cloud computing in 2014? So few that it didn't even make LinkedIn's list of the most sought-after job skills by U.S. employers. Just two years later, cloud computing tops that exact same list. So how can you possibly prepare to stay ahead of changes you don't even know are coming—changes not just in the skills you need to be competitive but also in the way we work, search for jobs, and get ourselves hired?

4. Business analytics and decision making - The human dimension
The range of data available to business continues to expand. There is already a lot of data captured by diverse process owners across the business. Developments in Big Data and Data Analytics provide opportunities to access and assess further sources of data which may have potential to better inform decision-making and performance management.

5. Five benefits of an integrated risk management programme
Risks facing companies can come from anywhere - currency-fluctuation risk related to the UK's decision to leave the EU is a recent example - which is why enhancing enterprise risk management (ERM) efforts is a popular topic among boards and the C-suite. Here are five benefits of an integrated ERM programme from the proposed framework released by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

6. Six Body Language Mistakes That Are Making You Look Unconfident
You've perfected and polished every last word of that presentation, elevator pitch, or sales spiel. It's so ingrained in your memory, you're certain that your delivery and your body language are absolutely spot-on. That's not what your audience or conversational partner sees, though. Instead, they're looking at someone who appears nervous and self-conscious. No matter how refined our words, our nonverbal cues often speak much louder. Here are six body language mistakes that are undermining your confidence, so you can stop making them immediately.

7. Give Yourself Permission to Work Fewer Hours
In 2007 I decided enough was enough. I had been running my own business for a couple of years and I constantly felt stressed. I had no clear boundaries between work and personal time, and I rarely stopped working without feeling guilty. Although I enjoyed my work and was compensated well for it, the constant stress of overwork prevented me from feeling like a real success. That year was a turning point for me. I made some changes in the way I worked, bringing my hours from about 60 per week down to 50. Over the subsequent years, I gradually reduced my hours to 40 per week. And even though I was working less, I was increasing my revenue.

8. In Tech, Return Measures are Better than Margins
This is the second article in a four-part series on what drives success for shareholders in technology industries. Many investors, analysts and journalists seem obsessed with profit margins. One security analyst wrote, "After working as an analyst myself for 20-plus years now, I'm prepared to say that if I had to make investment recommendations based on just a single series of numbers, I would definitely choose gross margin."

9. Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule
At the age of 10, Benjamin Franklin left formal schooling to become an apprentice to his father. As a teenager, he showed no particular talent or aptitude aside from his love of books. When he died a little over half a century later, he was America's most respected statesman, its most famous inventor, a prolific author, and a successful entrepreneur. What happened between these two points to cause such a meteoric rise? Underlying the answer to this question is a success strategy for life that we can all use, and increasingly must use.

10. How to tackle implementation of multiple high-profile accounting st...
A wave of significant accounting standard-setting has created heavy compliance burdens that many company finance departments are struggling to handle. Just 37% of more than 140 companies surveyed by KPMG LLP said they are on the right track in their implementation of the new revenue recognition standard issued by the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which takes effect at the beginning of 2018 for public companies.

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