Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 39, 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. This Is the 1 Habit All Successful People Live By
On the outside, successful people tend to look like they don't have a care in the world. Everything is going according to plan. They have what they need, when they need it. They have who they need, where they need them. They have their priorities set, their goals envisioned, and all parties involved are aligned. It appears to be a perfectly synchronized dance.

2. What It Takes to Shift From Competing to Creating
In their just released book, BLUE OCEAN SHIFT, Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, creators of Blue Ocean Strategy, deliver the definitive guide to shifting yourself, your team and your organisation to new heights of confidence, market creation and growth. They show why nondisruptive creation is as important as disruption in seizing new growth, what leads to one over the other and why you'd be unwise not to understand this.

3. The Best Business Books of 2017
One of the first (and best) lists of the season has just come out: McKinsey and the Financial Times's list of semi-finalists for the best business book of the year. Each year, a panel of luminaries selected by the two institutions combs through the year's best titles to pick a dozen or so finalists, then narrows it down to around half as many semi-finalists, before finally crowning one book as the best of the year. Here are the semi-finalist picks from this year's impressive line-up of judges…..

4. How Industry 4.0 will change accounting
History class teaches us about the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th century, when steam power revolutionized industry. But some may not realize this wasn't our only industrial revolution. As this Deloitte video explains, a second occurred in the 19th century, when electricity and assembly lines led to mass production, and a third in the 1960s, when advances in computing allowed us to program machines and networks. Today, we are on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution, dubbed Industry 4.0.

5. 5 Proven Ways to Be More Influential at Work
Most people, at some point in their professional life, feel that they're not really getting anywhere but just kicking the can down the road. Sometimes that's nature's way of saying you need to be working in a different organization or even a different field. But often it simply means you need to ramp up your influence. Becoming more influential at work, or in any environment, is largely a matter of managing relationships. That means taking a careful look at all your workplace relationships--top to bottom, side to side.

6. EY: Companies need to work harder to keep reports focused
The annual reports of FTSE 350 companies have increased in length by 25% over the last five years. With additional reporting requirements in the pipeline, particularly around the board's accountability to its wider stakeholders, companies will need to work harder to ensure they stay clear, focussed and relevant, says EY.

7. Companies Piling Losses onto Balance Sheets
Companies may be managing earnings by shifting potential income-statement losses to the other comprehensive income (OCI) part of their balance sheets, the authors of a new study of OCI find. The report's authors, Georgia Tech accounting professor Charles Mulford and graduate student Anna Babinets, infer from their findings "that companies are engaging in selective earnings management by reporting losses in OCI and excluding them from net income."

8. 8 Design Principles To Live And Die By, According To Facebook, IBM,...
Most designers have a set of principles upon which they loosely base their work. Fast Company asked eight prominent designers who were either judges of or honored in the 2017 Innovation By Design Awards: What if you really had to boil it down? What is the one principle you never compromise on? What design tenet do you live and die by? These are their responses. Finance professionals should pay attention; their report will certainly improve.

9. M&A Opportunities Abound — If Companies Lower Their Bar
Where are the mergers and acquisitions? Consumer confidence is high. Equity values have been climbing for years, and the markets have seen a significant bump since the presidential election, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 22% and the Nasdaq Composite 24% [as of Sept. 19]. And yet M&A activity appears stalled. Through mid-September this year, just $2.4 trillion in deals have been announced; that's 23% lower than the value of deals by this point in 2015.

10. There Are 100 Days Left in 2017. Have You Achieved Your Goals Yet? ...
There are 100 days left in the year. How are your 2017 goals coming along? For most people (me among them), there are things you wanted to accomplish that you haven't even started yet. Fortunately, 100 days is a great time period for achieving goals. It's a sufficient block to achieve progress, but short enough to leave no room for procrastination, which leads to a greater likelihood of success.