Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 11, 2020

Want to stay up to date with the latest developments in finance, but short on time? Don't worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis
In fast-moving and uncertain situations, many leaders face questions they may not even have answers to. As someone who studies crisis communication, I regularly tell my students and clients that you need to communicate early and often with your key constituencies throughout a crisis. Even if you’re still trying to understand the extent of the problem, be honest and open to maintain credibility.

2. Good CFO/Bad CFO
There's a stark contrast between an effective finance chief and an ineffective one. Here are the major differences.

3. 35 questions for coronavirus planning
It’s reasonable to be concerned about the spread of the coronavirus worldwide. But it’s not the time to panic, especially for organisations, said Jennifer Elder, CPA/CFF, CGMA, a consultant and author. Business leaders should be proactive in putting emergency plans in place: for employee wellbeing, business continuity, remote working, and other areas.

4. What Companies Tend to Get Wrong About AI
It’s almost impossible to pick up a trade journal, hear a start-up pitch or listen to a quarterly earnings call without hearing the two magic letters: AI. Over the past few years, interest in artificial intelligence has rocketed with no sign of abating. But in the stampede to build an AI strategy, executives fall into the following four main traps.

5. The CFO’s Response to Coronavirus Uncertainty
Learning the levers now will mean they can be deployed more quickly, more effectively, and more successfully later.

6. What boards can do to confront the coronavirus
As part of their mandate to oversee good governance and risk management, a board should take a keen interest in how management is handling a crisis, according to Deloitte’s Global Center for Corporate Governance.

7. Thomas Piketty explains why the world is ripe for ‘participatory socialism’
The French economist, whose first “Capital” book in 2014 became a surprise bestseller with its deep analysis of income inequality over the centuries, is back—and this time offering solutions to the complex problem in his new book, “Capital and Ideology.”

8. AI-powered spend audit – the secret weapon for finance teams
Anant Kale, CEO and co-founder, AppZen discusses how AppZen’s AI platform has become the finance team’s secret weapon across finance functions.

9. The Coronavirus Checklist: Nine Steps to Protect Your Company
The business world was caught off guard by Covid-19. According to a report by Dun & Bradstreet, 94% of Fortune 1,000 companies are experiencing supply chain delays—not to mention workplace absences, lower productivity, travel cutbacks, and reduced trade and investment. 

10. When it Comes to COVID-19, How Much Briefing is Too Much Briefing?
“First and foremost, the board should be engaged with management and ensure the focus is on the employees,” Whalen says. “Communication between boards and management is important. Companies need to establish a process to keep the board informed, without over-burdening management with one-on-one director briefings.”