Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 26, 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. How to Reduce Personal Bias When Hiring
When it comes to hiring diverse candidates, good intentions do not necessarily lead to good results. I once met a talent acquisition leader at a large global technology company who had changed the organization’s hiring process in multiple ways to bring in more diverse candidates but was frustrated by the lack of progress. Internal analyses showed that even though the company had interviewed a higher number of non-white candidates in preliminary rounds, their final hires were still overwhelmingly white.

2. In Blockchain They Trust
Someday, you may use an app at a supermarket to scan the beef sirloin you plan to buy for dinner, discovering the cow’s life journey. Another app will assure that the pair of handmade Gucci loafers you just bought are authentic. These apps will be connected over the internet to blockchain platforms, each one a digital ecosystem created for a specific industry. And they’re not distant dreams of tech entrepreneurs — these apps are already in development.

3. How Charities Should Manage Their Cash
For non-profits, a large cash position could signal prudence or betray a lack of investing sophistication. In our previous articles, we looked at how charities should use investment instruments such as stocks and bonds. This article, which touches on the use of cash, is the eighth in a series based on our forthcoming book Good Practices for Managing Funds for Non-Profit Organisations.

4. What accountants can do to promote resilient supply chains
The Supply Chain Accounting and Employment Practices (SCA-Emp) research team, a multinational collaboration of academics and industry representatives, found that few companies employ effective strategies to promote ethical practices within their supply chain. The research team, which received funding and guidance from CIMA, also found that many companies miss out on opportunities to employ accounting techniques that could make their supply chains more resilient.

5. Here Are the 5 Biggest Business Issues Raised in the Second 2020 Presidential Debate
Tensions ran high during the second of two Democratic presidential debates on Thursday, as candidates delved into topics affecting small-business owners nationwide. From health care and student loan debt to climate change and trade with China, here are the most pressing entrepreneurial issues the group of 10 candidates discussed.

6. 6 reasons why you should make your next meeting optional
In my research into meeting practices at high-performing organizations, I found they had a lot in common. Some methods showed up everywhere, like using a clear process to run meetings and taking good notes. Other ideas only showed up in a handful of places, but when they did, they were game changers—big ideas that lead everyone to step up their meeting game.

7. The Dangers of Lacking Leadership Communication
Leadership communication is an effective skill which any business leader needs to have. The ability to successfully communicate with employees and team members will largely determine whether or not a business thrives, stagnates or fails. In a nutshell, leadership communication is what helps and allows an organization to keep functioning on a day-to-day basis while the leader establishes respect and the proper dynamic amongst their team. 

8. Here is a look at where fintech is leading us and why
Fintech is opening floodgates of opportunity for ambitious startups that previously had no hopes of overcoming barriers to entry in the finance field. With the desire to innovate and succeed, however, gutsy startups are now promoting financial literacy and reaching previously underserved groups with brand-new retail banking and investment services. The underdogs have enjoyed so much success, that leading financial institutions are starting to take notice. Resultantly, many changes will emerge in 2019. The following are five fintech trends that you should watch, and why you should watch them.

9. The drumbeat of digital: How winning teams play
Most executives we know have a powerful, intuitive feel for the rhythm of their businesses. They know how hard and fast to pull strategic levers, move their organization, and drive execution to achieve their objectives. Or at least they did. Digitization has intensified the rhythm of competition in many industries, leaving executives adrift, with information-gathering systems that are too slow or disconnected, direction-setting approaches that are too timid, and talent-management norms that are misaligned and incremental.

10. Breaking The Budget
Despite the constantly churning mechanisms of business, the traditional budgeting process has changed little since the 1920s. An organization can spend months creating a blueprint for the next year and then expend even more effort to stay on that defined path—regardless of whether the initial assumptions were correct. This inefficient process creates static numbers that quickly become obsolete. They also do little to support strategic decision-making.