Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 14, 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. The CFO’s role in helping companies navigate the coronavirus crisis
Strong, steady leadership from the finance organization is critical for addressing immediate concerns about safety and survival, stabilizing the business in the near term, and positioning it for recovery.

2. Getting ahead of the next stage of the coronavirus crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading at an extraordinary speed. You have put a crisis team in place and are doing all you can to keep your people safe, stay on top of your business, and deal with the uncertainty amid constantly changing conditions. However, that isn’t likely to be good enough.

3. A Crisis Management Blueprint for COVID-19
In recent days, it’s become commonplace to call COVID-19 an “unprecedented crisis”. It is a politically convenient cliché, implicitly letting leaders in many Western nations off the hook for their manifestly slow and insufficient responses to the pandemic. How could they be expected to know what to do, when confronted by a completely unfamiliar enemy?

4. In focus: Global map of coronavirus cases
Coronavirus infection cases are now in over 180 countries, and the latest hot spots include Europe, especially Italy, which now has the largest number of cases and death toll outside China; the Middle East, with Iran in the spotlight as two members of the parliament succumbed to the virus; and the US, with cases crossing the 1,000 mark.

5. What Newly Remote Teams Need, Right Now
Most remote working prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was either a perk for a lucky few, or a peculiarity – something that call centres and a few tech start-ups could offer to all their employees. Data from these outliers ran the risk of being irrelevant to most sectors of the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively forced a regime change, where people in all sectors have had to work from home, and our survey launched three weeks ago was an attempt to get a first look at how they are coping. 

6. 6 essentials for first-time telecommuters
As governments around the world struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are urging employees to work from home. In the UK, for example, several big legal and accountancy firms have triggered emergency remote working plans as part of ongoing business continuity planning. With more businesses across sectors likely to follow suit, many finance and accounting professionals will find themselves as first-time telecommuters.

7. Seven key actions business can take to mitigate the effects of COVID-19
At PwC’s Global Crisis Centre, we deal with crises every day. But as the COVID-19 outbreak has worsened, the volume of calls fielded by our teams has noticeably increased. By the end of February, the phones were ringing off the hook. Business leaders are concerned, and rightly so, for the welfare of their people and their organizations.

8. Remote Work Dos and Don’ts
Industrial and Organizational Psychologist Dave Sowinski shares his tips for managing emotional distance and technology misuse in remote work.

9. Real Leaders Are Forged in Crisis
We are living through a global health crisis with no modern-day precedent. What governments, corporations, hospitals, schools, and other organizations need now, more than ever, are what the writer David Foster Wallace called “real leaders” — people who “help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.”

10. COVID-19 Infects CFO Sentiment
COVID-19 has increasingly shrouded CFOs’ outlook – evidenced by PwC’s most recent COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey where 87% of CFOs expressed that they were greatly concerned with the potential for significant disruption on business operations.