Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 36, 2019

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. So You Think You Can Be CEO?
Ready to make the leap from CFO to CEO? The right mix of humility and confidence is going to be critical.

2.  Lessons from a finance system implementation
The goal of this case study is to help other finance leaders guide their businesses through similar major technology investments. While this article highlights the vendors we used, the lessons learned could be applied to working with a variety of vendors when approaching a similar project.

3. How to Make Your Sales Forecasts More Accurate
Consistently accurate sales forecasts are gold. They deliver the revenue predictability that is essential for companies to accelerate their growth and success. Unfortunately, consistently accurate sales forecasts are rare. That’s because many companies fail to align their sales and marketing departments, and that alignment is a prerequisite for forecast accuracy.

4.  Women: A true asset for private equity deals, and the data shows it
Many people believe that an equal representation of both sexes in senior positions is “the right thing to do” for pure gender diversity matters. However, what if you could add ammunition to the moral argument with raw data proving that women are key contributors to successful deals in the private equity sector?

5.  Five ways data is changing the role of the finance professional
The data revolution has opened the doors to a new world and the role of the finance professional as we know it is set to change. In short, this means that in order to continue to be seen as a value-added service or department, finance professionals must evolve to keep up with ever-changing technologies. Laura Timms product strategy manager at MHR Analytics explores some of the biggest changes we can expect to see in the role over the coming years.

6. How Finance Leaders Can Hire and Keep Talent
CFOs who offer their teams a career culture based on experiences (rather than titles and promotions) and the ability to move between departments can reduce the compensation premium companies must offer to new hires by half, according to Gartner.

7. The drumbeat of digital: How winning teams play  
Pace and power go hand in hand for digital leaders, which typically run four times faster and pull critical strategic levers two times harder than other companies do. 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.

8.  Want business agility? Throw out the calendar!  
There was a time when “business” was mainly about farming, hunting, and fishing. The four seasons provided a natural rhythm for everybody involved. But today, the reality is starkly different. We long ago moved from an agrarian society to an industrialised one. And now we are in an information age where companies are trying to keep up with how technology is changing business models in industries from oil to banking.

9. Back Channels in the Boardroom
If you’ve ever served on a board, you know the feeling: The regular meeting has ended, you have lots you still need to talk about, but the next meeting isn’t for months. Maybe you’ve got questions about a complex technical issue there wasn’t time to dig into during the meeting. Maybe you need to discuss sensitive information that can’t be shared with the whole board. Maybe you just want a reality check on something. Whatever it is, you feel it can’t wait, so you do what members of a team always do in this situation: You start having conversations on the side.

10. Is Greed Destroying Your Soul?
As Gordon Gekko famously said in Wall Street, “Greed, for the lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” Do you believe he had a point? Defined as the obsessive pursuit and accumulation of wealth, greed is also known as one of the seven deadly sins. However, it may have a purpose, according to evolutionary psychologists. They believe that, by pushing us to amass status-signalling possessions, greed can help us attract a mate and thus perpetuate our genetic code.