Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 37, 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. Why a '5 to 9' Schedule Will Make You More Successful Than the '9 t...
Before you read on, let's be clear: This article is not another Tim Ferriss wannabe regurgitation about time management or some cheesy cliche about the "early bird catches the worm." I'm not talking about filling your calendar to the brim to make yourself look busier than you really are, but rather, from a leadership perspective, understanding the real difference between how you should spend time at the office and how you should spend it outside the office.

2. How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing Business In 2017
Recent research found significant gaps between companies who have already adopted and understand Artificial Intelligence (AI) and those lagging. AI early adopters invest heavily in analytics expertise and ensuring the quality of algorithms and data can scale across their enterprise-wide information and knowledge needs. The leading companies who excel at using AI to plan new businesses and streamline existing processes all have solid senior management support for each AI initiative.

3. Financial globalization hits a more stable, inclusive stride
As cross-border capital flows have declined in recent years, many banks have shifted their focus to recoup losses after the global financial crisis. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey Global Institute partner Susan Lund and McKinsey senior partner Eckart Windhagen speak with MGI senior editor Janet Bush about how the shift to domestic lending and other financial activity has created a more stable financial environment overall and what challenges still remain.

4. The Four Horsemen of Negotiator Power
To maximise their success at the bargaining table, negotiators should maximise their power. At the bargaining table, a negotiator's primary objective is to reach the best possible outcome, be it a higher salary, additional accessories when purchasing a car, or acquiring a company at a lower price. No matter what one negotiates about, the single most reliable predictor of the outcome is the amount of power one has. Although having power is important for many reasons, there are two fundamental ways in which power benefits negotiators.

5. Only 3% of Companies' Data Meets Basic Quality Standards
Most managers know, anecdotally at least, that poor quality data is troublesome. Bad data wastes time, increases costs, weakens decision making, angers customers, and makes it more difficult to execute any sort of data strategy. Indeed, data has a credibility problem. Still, few managers have hard evidence or any real appreciation for the impact of bad data on their teams and departments….

6. Modernizing Compliance: 6 Questions Every Finance Executive Should ...
After passing yet another anniversary of a major regulatory reform - this time the fifteenth anniversary of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act - we are reminded once again of the heavy and evolving compliance burden with which many companies must grapple. Perhaps most acutely, the cost of compliance continues to challenge businesses simply because compliance is a cost center, not a revenue driver. CFOs and finance teams in particular want to understand how to do compliance better, faster and cheaper - all while leveraging the cost of compliance across other parts of their organizations.

7. CFO's as Value Drivers
Using cost discipline, astute capital investments, and operational know-how, these 20 CFOs aim to guide their companies to a growth-filled future. Choosing the top finance chiefs for the third annual installment of CFOs to Watch was tricky. We wanted to honor a CFO's past performance but, like stock-pickers, also wanted to select candidates with an eye toward what they might do in the next 12 months. Consequently, the 20 finance chiefs named on the list really satisfy two requirements: they've made sizable contributions to their companies' past successes, and, at the same time, the current disruptive forces buffeting their organizations may vault these CFOs into even greater prominence.

8. The iPhone 8 And 8 Plus Are Chips Off The Old Block, With Nice Pric...
Apple Tuesday announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the successor phones to last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new phones are visually similar in size to their predecessors, though Apple says it has reinforced the glass to make it the most durable ever used on a phone. The iPhone 8 has a screen size of 4.7 inches while the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. Both phones also support wireless charging through the Qi standard. This allows the iPhone to charge by lying flat on charging mats from vendors like Mophie and Belkin.

9. Getting ready for the future of work
Work is changing. Digital communications have made remote work commonplace. The gig economy is growing. And advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics could upend the conventional workplace. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, at least 30 percent of the activities associated with the majority of occupations in the United States could be automated—including knowledge tasks previously thought immune.

10. CFOs' growing role: Culture champions
The title says "financial" squarely in the middle, yet CFOs these days are doing far more than overseeing an organisation's standard reporting. Increasingly, the changing remit of the finance chief includes a greater role in shaping corporate culture. Finance executives say culture can take on a number of meanings, from smaller things such as a company's dress code or its social media presence, to key values such as integrity and transparency. And while a CFO certainly sets a standard for the finance team first, the role of shaping culture goes company-wide.

Related articles