Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 27, 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. Finance steps up during the COVID-19 crisis
A restaurant chain controller and vice-president shares how the pandemic has changed finance’s role in the organisation.

2. COVID-19: Visualizing the impact of an invisible threat
How do you depict a threat that’s invisible to the naked eye yet having devastating impact across the globe? Since early March, when COVID-19 began its global spread, McKinsey has published 350 articles, surveys, reports, and conversations on the impact of the pandemic, grouped under the themes of Resilience, Recovery, Return, Reimagination, and Reform.

3. The CFO's role in value creation
Financial performance is just one component of an organisation’s true value — in fact, what’s on the balance sheet is now estimated to be just one-fifth of a business’s value. That’s one of several reasons the CFO’s role in value creation is growing more complex.

4. Scorecard: Safeguarding Working Capital
In trying times, the old adage “cash is king” is never truer. For CFOs, ensuring their organizations’ working capital management strategies and processes are best-in-class is again a high priority. After all, tighter working capital performance means well-timed inflows and outflows of cash, essential for companies operating on a small cushion of safety.

5. Building Digital Resilience Around the Customer
In building resilience, the customer-centric perspective is critical. Only companies that leverage digital technologies and data to engage with customers more effectively, enrich customer experiences or offer innovative customer-centric business models will create long-term growth.

6. Metric of the Month: Total Cost to Reward and Retain Employees
In times of economic downturn, it is incumbent on every finance leader to take a hard look at spending and make cuts as needed to keep the business strong. While every cost should be on the table, this month I’m going to advocate a move that may seem counterintuitive.

7. In the Current Crisis, Less Hierarchical Companies Show Special Resilience
How can more traditional organisations leverage the cultural and behavioural aspects of self-management imposed by the Covid-19 crisis? “Our three-year transformation towards a more participative organisation helped us to overcome this,” shared the CEO of the Brussels-region governmental employment agency regarding the Covid-19 crisis.

8. In Pursuit of Better Analytics
COVID-19 has brought about one of the strangest business environments in memory, and more than ever leaders need data to determine how to survive it. It has pushed finance professionals, particularly those engaged in finance analytics, into the limelight. They are being asked to build forecasts and models for situations they have never encountered (and never anticipated). So, is finance ready to play a starring role during a crisis once again?

9. M&A activity offers opportunity to CFOs, FDs
Post-coronavirus mergers & acquisitions require new considerations, but can provide a competitive edge for savvy finance leaders.

10. The 20 Best Business Books of the Year So Far, According to Amazon
The best business books that came out while we were all distracted by the headlines this spring.