Finance Flash: The TOP 10 articles of week 31

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance but 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. Robotic Process Automation - Changing the Finance Landscape

As the role of the CFO evolves to focus on operational competitiveness, finance and accounting is no longer considered a back-office-only function - it also delivers end-to-end commercial value streams, for example, quote to cash. As such, there is an increasing demand to eliminate organisational silos and drive process transformation across the value chain.

2. What B2B CFOs Can Learn from B2C Pricing

Successful pricing strategies strike the right balance between the value attributed to a product or service by the buyer and the seller. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have found this balance with their dynamic pricing models that fluctuate with demand. Each Saturday night, a safe drive home is perceived as more valuable than a ride after work on a Tuesday.

3. The Four Leadership Styles and How to Identify Yours

We all want to be part of a great success story. To run, start or play a senior role in a company that wins big or changes the course of its industry; to launch a brand that dazzles customers and dominates its markets; to be the kind of executive or entrepreneur who creates jobs, generates wealth and builds an organisation bursting with energy and creativity. This means that all of us, no matter where we are in our careers, have to wrestle with the big question of leadership, and define our personal view of success.

4. How to Choose the Right Forecasting Technique

In virtually every decision they make, executives today consider some kind of forecast. Sound predictions of demands and trends are no longer luxury items but necessities, especially if managers are to cope with seasonality, sudden changes in demand levels, price-cutting manoeuvres of the competition, strikes, and large swings of the economy. Forecasting can help them deal with these troubles and more.

5. Figuring Out How IT, Analytics and Operations Should Work Together

A new set of relationships is being formed within companies around how people working in data, analytics, IT, and operations teams work together. Is there a "right" way to structure these relationships?

6. Is Your Company Prepared for Millennials?

Some companies choose not to hire millennials, opting instead to change their recruitment policies to only hire people with five years' ore more experience in the hopes that such individuals would be more stable. Where do you stand on the matter?

7. Why We Should Have a Four-Day Work Week

Why is it that two days off never seems like enough to recharge? Part of the problem is that the typical workweek has slowly stretched beyond 40 hours. A 2014 Gallup survey found that most full-time employees now work an average of 47 hours a week, while 39% work more than 50 hours a week.

8. Using Excel to Boost Productivity

We've said it before but it bears repeating: Microsoft Excel is likely the most powerful program on your computer - if you know how to use it correctly. Whether you need to outline your personal budget, forecast future earnings for a company you may invest in, or host your fantasy baseball draft, possessing a working knowledge of Excel will allow you to work much more efficiently.

9. Why FDs Must Quantify the Contribution of their Workforce

The phrase "people are our greatest asset" is arguably the most regularly indulged piece of hypocrisy in business. "Greatest asset" has appeared on 32 separate occasions within the annual reports of FTSE 100 companies over the last decade. On 27 of these occasions, it was used solely in relation to the company's workforce. And yet this greatest asset is never measured. After all, there is no commonly-accepted metric to quantify the contribution of a workforce.

10. The Difference Between Managers and Leaders

Debate has long surrounded the topic of whether managers differ from leaders and vice versa, and if so, how. Some companies try to train employees to be both, while some consider them distinctly different. In reality, the answer remains elusive because managers and leaders are both the same and different.