Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 37

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.

Controlling in week 37, 2016 - Top 10 artikelen uit internationale media

Vakliteratuur bijhouden maar weinig tijd? Geen zorgen. Controlling.nl verzamelt wekelijks 10 spraakmakende artikelen voor u uit Nederlandse en internationale media. Blijf voorop lopen met deze unieke kennis.

1. Overcoming global turbulence to reawaken economic growth
The era of easy growth is over. The world economy enjoyed an exceptionally brisk pace of growth over the past 50 years, with corporations and households alike reaping the rewards. But in the next 50 years, global economic growth will slow by almost half, falling from 3.8 percent annually to 2.1 percent.

2. How to ensure the effectiveness of risk safeguards
The way an organisation conducts itself entails a number of risks, and these risks lead back very clearly to the organisation's reputation, one of its chief assets. Increased transparency, regulation, and public scrutiny of corporate activity, combined with the speed and ubiquity of digital communications, mean a company's perceived failings or misdemeanours can reach a global audience instantly.

3. Do You Know What Your Company's Data Is Worth?
Data is no longer the domain of tech companies or IT departments — it is fast becoming a centerpiece of corporate value creation more generally. Today most organizations are data-driven to one degree or another. Data contributes not only to brand equity, but to what constitutes product and service delivery in globally connected and hyper-competitive markets. Failure to accurately quantify the enterprise value of data (EvD) may therefore woefully undervalue the importance of cyber-security investments, as well as the face values typically applied to cyber insurance policies.

4. Four ways to ensure anti-corruption programmes are up-to-date
Efforts to enforce financial crime regulations have increased worldwide, but multinational companies haven't fully aligned their due diligence, research suggests. Regulators have increased their pursuit of bribery, fraud, and corruption within individual countries and across borders in past years. For example, the G20, the group of finance ministers and central bank governors of the world's 19 largest economies and the EU, committed to co-operate more on enforcing financial crime regulation; and between 2013 and 2015 the US Securities and Exchange Commission more than doubled its financial reporting and disclosure actions.

5. EU commissioner Vestager defends Apple tax ruling
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has defended the decision to order technology giant Apple to pay EURO13bn (£11bn) in back taxes to the Irish government. Addressing the European Parliament during a debate on the Apple tax ruling, Vestager said the European Commission would defend its ruling that the tax arrangements between Apple and the Irish authorities amounted to illegal state aid.

6. Tech billionaire Mike Lynch: 'You're seeing the beginning of a new ...
Mike Lynch is making a bet on robot lawyers. This Wednesday, the tech billionaire investor announced an investment in Luminance, a newly launched startup that uses artificial technology to read contracts in order help law firms with the arduous process of due diligence for mergers and acquisitions (M&A). It's not a "sexy" piece of technology, Lynch argues — but one that has huge implications for the way we live our lives, and is indicative of a quiet revolution in artificial intelligence.

7. Skills worthy of a CFO
A set of rapidly expanding duties has created a huge personal challenge for many finance leaders and executives. The evolution of the CFO role has finance leaders taking on prominent responsibilities with various departments in addition to handling the critical function of helping to drive organisational strategy. These duties include: IT, risk management, HR and implementing and managing technology systems. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of CEOs participating in a 2015 global survey by KPMG said the CFO's role will increase in significance over the next three years, as compared with other C-level roles.

8. How Can A CFO Become A More Strategic Business Partner?
Two years ago, I blogged about the switch from CIOs to CFOs as the new influencer in technology spend decisions. Fast forward to today, and there's a lot of talk about how CFOs can become a more strategic partner to the business by adding more value. There are a couple of approaches that companies take to achieve this objective, but, alone, these tactics don't achieve the desired outcome.

9. On Wells Fargo and Incentives: When Will They Ever Learn?
Forty years ago, management expert Steven Kerr published an article in The Academy of Management Journal called "On the Folly of Rewarding A while Hoping for B." The point of the article was that whatever you measure, and reward, is what you'll get. You start out measuring something that is a decent index of what you actually care about, but over time, people find ways to score well on the index without doing especially well on the behavior that it is meant to be an index of. In other words, people find a way to game the system.

10. Robots, Robots Everywhere
In fairly short order, robots have begun taking over in the corporate world. Don't be alarmed. This is nothing like the feared "singularity," that prophesied (if dubious) moment when humans become smarter than machines and then, to prove it, commence wiping us out. But robots are indeed infiltrating finance departments, some other functions, and operational areas in a number of industries. For the most part, robots are being deployed to automate repeatable, standardized, or logical tasks historically handled by people. In finance and accounting, think procure-to-pay, order-to-cash, and record-to-report processes. Enterprise-wide, the number of potential use cases seems almost limitless, although most of the potential is so far untapped.