Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 29


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. Kodak's Downfall Wasn't About Technology

A generation ago, a "Kodak moment" meant something that was worth saving and savouring. Today, the term increasingly serves as a corporate bogeyman that warns executives of the need to stand up and respond when disruptive developments encroach on their market. Unfortunately, as time marches on the subtleties of what actually happened to Eastman Kodak are being forgotten, leading executives to draw the wrong conclusions from its struggles.

2. How Companies Are Benefiting from "Lite" Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is hot but also daunting. The latest advances - known variously as cognitive computing, machine learning and deep learning - sound complicated and expensive. And they are, despite the enormous potential they bring to the marketplace. For many companies, the price tag and the commitment of resources are too high a hurdle. And for other reasons, even a giant like Apple is facing challenges.

3. Necessary Ways to Manage Investor Expectations

Entrepreneurship is hard work. In fact, one of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship is managing an investor's expectations for you and your company. But through clear, honest and frequent communication with investors, you as the entrepreneur can ensure their continued support of your vision.

4. The accountant's role in human rights due diligence

As ethical stewards of an organisation, management accountants have a duty "to ensure that their employers recognise the relevance of human rights in business, and that the success of their operations should not come at the expense of the human rights of other people".

5. Intangible Assets: They're Not What You Think They Are

For centuries, executives expertly managed the total productivity of tangible assets, such as plants and equipment. They monitored both efficiency and effectiveness because tangible assets or "things," historically accounted for more than 80% of business value. But in the last 40 years, tangible assets have declined to 15% of business value, while intangible assets now generate 85% of value.

6. The Most Crucial KPI: Pricing Power

The rise of the digital enterprise has come with a rash of new issues that must be addressed. Organisations are struggling to utilise the increasing quantity of data available, make sense of it and create value for their customers in order to establish long-term profit growth. As such, CFOs take on the brunt of this challenge as the "gatekeepers of profit".

7. How to reinvent the external-affairs function

Engaging with external stakeholders is more important than ever to company leaders, according to the fifth McKinsey Global Survey on external affairs. Yet while most executives believe outside stakeholders will be increasingly involved in their industries in coming years, few say their companies have taken an active approach to engaging with stakeholders or that they have found success in their external-affairs efforts. The online survey garnered responses from 1,334 executives representing the full range of regions, industries, company sizes, functional specialties and tenures.

8. Keys to Becoming the CEO's Trusted Strategic Adviser

Competitive threats from new market entrants and established competitors are forcing CEOs to develop a greater appetite for risk. CEOs see danger in maintaining the status quo, and to achieve growth, believe they need to be more aggressive about taking on risk. According to a study by KPMG, one in three CEOs think they are not taking on enough risk as it relates to their growth strategies. CEOs need a CFO who can help management confidently take new, calculated risks and strategise ways to grow the business.

9. Psychological Tricks to Get Ahead in Job Interviews

When preparing for job interviews, most of us are aware of the power of psychology. We put effort into certain aspects we believe will influence the interviewer's judgment of us such as our external appearance, demeanour and timeliness. Of course, a neat presentation and showing up on time are likely to be better than showing up dishevelled and two hours late, though these will not really help you get ahead since they are pretty much expected in any interview and will not set you apart from other candidates. So what are some ways we can use human psychology to help us make a uniquely favourable impression in the interviewer's mind?

10. Machine Money, People Money: Why We'll Never Run Out of Jobs

At the outset of the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes penned a remarkable economic prognostication: that despite the ominous storm that was then enfolding the world, mankind was, in fact, on the brink of solving "the economic problem"?-?that is, the quest for daily subsistence.

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