Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 33


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. How Strategic CFOs Navigate Turbulent Markets
Hint: It's the same way they navigate stable markets. In the business world, nothing is as certain as uncertainty. Markets spike and dip, venture capital flows and slows, and sales can fluctuate. Peaks and valleys are simply part of the game. For all CFOs, planning for these conditions is a critical part of the job. However, all too often multiple scenario planning is primarily done as a reaction to a bad quarter or down projections.

2. Missing Forecasts Is Better Than Making Bad Decisions
It can be tempting for CFOs to overly look to forecasts when pressed to make important financial decisions. After all, projects based on new information can change budgets substantially in real time. However, a CFO should not react to every short-term event or change to the numbers. Making snap decisions based on perceived pressure to hit forecasted numbers is almost never a good idea. In fact, reacting to forecast pressure can be a CFO's Enemy #1.

3. 3 Leadership Skills Critical For Driving Change
All organizations experience periods of much-needed culture change in order to achieve the results they need to grow, compete and win. Changing or improving the culture of a company or team requires focus, accountability and consistency. And it must be led from the top. Without total and complete buy-in from the senior leadership team the desired culture will fail to be achieved.

4. Calculating the ROI of Customer Engagement
We know that customer engagement matters. Yet much of our thinking about engagement remains simplistic. Most current definitions of engagement are bimodal - someone is either engaged or they're not. But this is a limited view that hampers our ability to manage engagement in meaningful ways. A more sophisticated understanding of engagement allows community managers to effectively influence and change it, and even to calculate an ROI for engagement.

5. 5 ways to better manage third-party assurance programmes
Companies are increasingly expecting outsourcing to do more than reduce costs, but their approach to third-party risk and performance reporting is often less ambitious, Deloitte research suggests. Nearly one-third (31%) of 280 executives Deloitte polled this year said outsourcing offers an opportunity to increase revenue by driving innovation into the business. Cost reduction remained the primary goal for 59% of executives, and 20% aimed to improve efficiency.

6. Management accountants expect 6% pay rise in 2016
Pay increases could be coming to 94% of management accountants over the coming year, according to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' (CIMA) annual salary survey. The average increase expected by the members polled was 6%. In addition to their basic salary, 70% of members around the world expect to receive a bonus in 2016. On average, respondents expect that award to be equivalent to 12.2% of their salary.

7. An Introvert's Guide To Leadership
I think a lot of people assume I'm an extrovert because I'm relatively visible in my role at BodeTree and enjoy engaging with people across the board. The truth, however, is that I'm more naturally inclined towards introverted tendencies. I'm more than comfortable keeping to myself and cherish the time I dedicate to quiet introspection.

8. 8 Powerful Lessons You Can Learn From the Career of Elon Musk
Elon Musk, in the words of one blogger who did a series of in-depth interviews with the Tesla and SpaceX founder, is, basically, "the raddest man alive." Who could fail to be impressed by a single entrepreneur who has set his sights on both getting humans to Mars and revolutionizing our energy economy?

9. How big data will revolutionize the global food chain
By taking advantage of big data and advanced analytics at every link in the value chain from field to fork, food companies can harness digital's enormous potential for sustainable value creation. Digital can help them use resources in a more environmentally responsible manner, improve their sourcing decisions, and implement circular-economy solutions in the food chain.

10. 10 differences between Data Science and Business Intelligence
In years past, Business intelligence (BI) was something only big blue chip companies could enjoy. Mainly because employing analytics software was expensive, and it required building data centres and hiring IT specialists, who are also expensive. BI systems have, over time, become less expensive and have become a useful way of gathering corporate data and correlating that data in a way that will produce useful observations to the business.

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