Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 19, 2019

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. Here's Einstein's Advice to His Son on How to Accelerate Learning
The genius offered simple, enjoyable advice to his young son on how to learn more quickly.

2. The Legal and Ethical Implications of Using AI in Hiring
Digital innovations and advances in AI have produced a range of novel talent identification and assessment tools. Many of these technologies promise to help organizations improve their ability to find the right person for the right job, and screen out the wrong people for the wrong jobs, faster and cheaper than ever before.

3. 3 Powerful Habits That Will Transform Your Productivity
As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we have much on our plate trying to balance work life, family life, and giving to our communities. Focus is a "superpower" that can help you achieve extraordinary results and shave hours off of your work week.

4. Few Companies Have an Adequate CFO Succession Plan
Let’s just say this is not the pinnacle of risk management: according to a new study, 80% of CFOs said there was no ready-now successor for their role at their companies. And only 38% of finance chiefs said there was any comprehensive succession plan for replacing them, should the need arise.

5. The Wise Power of Utopian Thinking
Today’s shifting global dynamics have increased the pressure to navigate into the new and the unknown. Alas, afraid of how the world is evolving; eager to keep for ourselves what we have; willing to preserve the certainties that we have built in our heads; enticed by a new philosophy where we are supposed to maximise happiness — we continue to resist and reject change. Why embrace the future if it is this painful? Why become aware that our world is collapsing?

6. Want a better decision? Plan a better meeting
Decisions are the lifeblood of organizations, and meetings are where important business decisions often happen. Yet many executives are nonplussed—at best—when describing their own experience of meetings. Some business leaders we know wonder openly how they can dedicate so much time to an activity that feels so unproductive. “I spend nearly all of my time in meetings,” admitted one top-team member to us recently, “and I don’t get to sit down to think on my own until after 6:00 p.m.”

7. New Lease Standard: Comparing IFRS and U.S. GAAP
Financial statement users have long been aware of the hidden leverage that arises from lease obligations. As companies file their first financial results for 2019, financial statement preparers and users alike will finally find these leases brought to light, thanks to the new lease accounting standards issued by FASB and IASB. But while the new standards add clarity, they also present new comparability challenges and nuances between IFRS and U.S. GAAP treatment. CFA Institute created a guide to help investors decipher the changes.

8. A Massive Accounting Hack Kept Clients Offline and in the Dark
Dutch company Wolters Kluwer NV makes the software on which many of the world’s small and mid-sized accounting firms run. Earlier this week, a cyberattack took down that software and presented a case study in how not to communicate with customers over a hack.

9. Benchmarking? It’s not just about cost
Outsourced support services regularly have to balance diminishing returns against growing customer expectations. Benchmarking offers a way through this conundrum, but a sole focus on price is misguided, argues Mike Boxall, MD of consultants Sitemark.

10. 10 Podcasts That Will Change Your Business Life For The Better
If you want to stay motivated, excel and achieve your goals, you need to stay on top of current business news and trends. A great way to stay connected is listening to podcasts. There's no shortage of channels to tune into, so I've compiled a list of some of the top podcasts to inspire, motivate and challenge your ideas of how to build a better business and career.