Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 34, 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. Recovery Through Resilience: Considerations of Top CFOs
As the pandemic continues to cause global economic disparity, experts scramble to forecast economic recovery. While no one can predict with precision what lies ahead for the economy, CFOs’ expectations and actions can be a helpful barometer. On a recent Resilient Podcast episode, Mike Kearney, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory CMO, and I discussed CFOs’ expectations for the economy, how they are handling hiring and retention, and how they can position their companies for growth. Here are the top takeaways.

2. Without Compassion, Resilient Leaders Will Fall Short
It can come out of nowhere — a contempt attack. Like a panic attack, it arises suddenly and takes over completely. You feel a roil of emotions and an overpowering sense of exasperation: the person you’re working with is wasting your time, undermining your efforts, holding back the team. They’re weak, lazy, willfully misguided. In the grips of the attack, you can no longer focus on the matter at hand. The problem is more fundamental. What troubles you about this person is not so much what they’re doing as who they are.

3. To-do lists are dead. Use these 3 daily hacks to stick to your priorities and get more done
If you’re having trouble “prioritizing your priorities,” you’re not alone. McKinsey asked some 1,500 executives about the way they spent their time and found that just 9% were “very satisfied” with it, less than half “somewhat satisfied,” and about one-third “actively dissatisfied.” Only a little more than half reported that their allocation of time matched the strategic priorities of the organizations they lead.

4. The Auditor’s Role in Lease Accounting
In this interview, FEI’s Accounting Policy Manager, Josh Mortensen, spoke with LeaseQuery’s Vice President of Accounting, Jennifer Booth, about how COVID-19 has highlighted the need for more advanced technology solutions to lease accounting and how non-public companies can leverage the knowledge the audit firms have gained from public companies.

5. Target Is Beating Amazon and Walmart in a Big Way With This Simple Strategy
Target can't compete with Walmart or Amazon, at least not on overall scale. It's simply not large enough. Walmart has a much larger brick-and-mortar footprint. Amazon is obviously a bigger player online. Both generate far more revenue. What Target has, however, is a loyal following that any company would envy. That's largely the result of the way the company has build a brand as a place people like to shop. I don't know anyone that says, "Oh, let's go to Walmart!"

6. COVID-19 recovery pushes CFOs to improve scenario planning
Financial planning methods are evolving quickly for CFOs as they help their companies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grasp emerging opportunities. For many, the rapidly changing situation has forced out old ways of planning and forecasting and ushered in newer, more advanced scenario-planning techniques.

7. Finance leaders see uneven recovery, business impact still unfolding
Economists have been trying to predict whether there will be a V, U, or L-shape COVID-19 recovery in countries, and, increasingly, we hear that it may be a case of a K-shape recovery where cash-rich companies or businesses in certain industries — technology, pharmaceutical, and grocery — will thrive, alongside those hardest hit by the pandemic — hospitality and tourism, aviation, and retail — which will continue to struggle.

8. Why BlackLine founder-CEO Therese Tucker—who broke some of tech’s toughest gender barriers—is stepping down
Therese Tucker, who launched financial software company BlackLine in 2001 and took it public in 2016, is giving up her CEO role in January. When she does, the tech industry—and corporate America in general—will lose one of the very few women who run public companies, let alone ones that they founded.

9. 9 reasons to be optimistic that a COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available in 2021
As fall approaches rapidly, many are wondering if the race for a vaccine will bear fruit as early as January 2021. Here is where the current research stands, where I think we will be in five months, and why you can be optimistic about the delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine.

10. Reimagining the postpandemic economic future
The scale of the economic challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic has not been faced in the United States in nearly a century. The pandemic has not only exposed weaknesses in US health systems but also, just as quickly, exposed economic vulnerabilities. The impacts across employment and productivity are at levels not seen since the Great Depression.

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