Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 50


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.

(In the photo: CFOs of the Year 2014 and 2015: former Standard Bank FD Simon Ridley and Alexander Forbes CFO Deon Viljoen.)

1. Top 10 CFO Risks for 2017
The potential for global developments to unsettle economic conditions and restrict growth opportunities both here and overseas is the top risk cited by executives in a survey from the consulting firm Protiviti and North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management. Seventy-two percent of respondents rated "uncertain economic conditions" as potentially having a significant impact on their companies over the next 12 months.

2. How to tackle common finance interview questions
Interview questions are designed to draw out information about how you have made a difference in your organisation, but it can be difficult to come up with examples when you are nervous. To make sure you present your experience and suitability for the role in the best light, preparing and practising answers before the interview is key. If you are not trying to come up with the right example for each answer on the spot, you'll be less nervous.

3. Don't Set Too Many Goals for Yourself
We work in a fast-moving era where we're overloaded with information and must prioritize and focus in order to succeed. That's certainly the case for today's corporations. But it's also true for us as individuals. In order to accomplish our most meaningful goals, we need to fight back against two dangerous impulses: hewing too closely to a fixed plan and attempting to do too much at once.

4. There Are 4 Personality Types. Here Are the Best Books to Give Each...
The 4 Styles of Leadership Everyone is different, but executive coach Wendy Capland identified four distinct types of leaders: the Envisioner, the Feeler, the Doer, and the Analyzer. Most people combine styles but lean on one. A book that reflects our own style is most likely to make an impact.

5. Nokia's next chapter
The only way a corporation endures for a century or more, according to former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner in McKinsey Quarterly, is by changing 4, 5, or even 25 times over those 100 years.1 Otherwise, he says, "they wouldn't have survived." By those measures, Finland's Nokia is a paragon of corporate renewal.

6. The Better Way To Break Bad News
Here's some bad news: You're probably delivering bad news the wrong way. Every company, team, and manager hits setbacks, and it's always somebody's job to break the unpleasant news to others. But the way to talk about even the toughest turns for the worse isn't simply to put a falsely positive spin on what went wrong and what it means.

7. The Potentially Risky Job of CFO
The margin for error for finance chiefs continues to narrow as regulators strive to hold individuals responsible for companies' misdeeds. Here are five articles looking at the potential penalties CFOs face for corporate misconduct and how to mitigate the risk.

8. Will All Companies Go to a Subscription Model?
If you're ever awake, you probably know that the subscription-based, recurring-revenue business model is booming. But do you know just how big and loud that boom is? "Everything is going to move to subscription at some point," claims Tyler Sloat, CFO of Zuora, a company that offers a comprehensive billing and finance platform for subscription businesses. He does acknowledge that it's "a very big statement" — but he's actually not kidding around.

9. Most Industries Are Nowhere Close to Realizing the Potential of Ana...
Back in 2011, the McKinsey Global Institute published a report on the transformational potential of big data—and it would take a supercomputer to process all of the articles that have appeared since then urging companies to get on board before some digital disruptor renders them obsolete. And yet for all the hype, most industries have still not come close to realizing the full potential of data and analytics.

10. 10 Steps to Financial Audit Success
There are a variety of reasons why private companies need to subject themselves to the often-bemoaned financial audit. Whether it's to provide reporting for investors, lenders, or creditors or to make better decisions on regulatory actions or succession planning, conducting a financial audit is an effective way to get a better understanding of your firm. However, the process can be helped or hindered by a company's preparation leading up to the actual audit, and the outcome depends on a combination of adequate preparation and knowing what you need to know going into it. When it comes to financial audits, making it a seamless process — or a tiring uphill slog — is largely up to you.

Related articles