Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 42, 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. Not All CFOs Can Handle M&A
Chief financial officers are an indispensable part of a company’s corporate structure, working to strategically increase profitability while ensuring that accounts are managed, taxes are filed, cash flow remains strong, and company leaders and investors are kept in the loop. Although the job of a CFO requires a broad range of abilities, one area that’s frequently beyond the typical CFO’s skill set is the mergers and acquisitions process. There are numerous CFOs who are excellent in their normal roles but may not have the necessary expertise to see a deal through to completion.

2. The Two Big Reasons That Digital Transformations Fail
Plenty of cash is flowing into digital initiatives at large, industrial companies. In fact, the executives we surveyed recently at 1,350 of these businesses globally reported investments in digital reinvention totaling more than $100 billion between 2016 and 2018. The problem is that the expected results often fail to materialize. Most of the leaders we surveyed (companies representing 17 countries and 13 industries) reported poor returns on their digital investments. The primary reason: unsuccessful efforts to scale digital innovations beyond early pilot work.

3. Simon Sinek: The Best Way to Run a Business Is Without an End Goal in Mind
Simon Sinek got famous answering a question with a question. The first question, posed by company leaders, was, "How do I inspire employees and customers, day after day, even beyond their appreciation of what my business does?" The author and motivational speaker's answer--also the title of his first book--was "Start with why." People will be motivated, he explained, when they understand the fundamental reason that you do what you do.

4. Cyber Security Tops List of Concerns for CFOs
CFOs and their finance functions view data security and privacy as their highest priority, according to results from a new survey of global corporate finance leaders.

5. New Belgium Brewery’s employees think like owners. Because they are
The maker of Fat Tire beer has always been innovative, but lately, it’s the company’s employee-ownership model that’s intoxicating capitalist reformers.

6. Those Unfulfilled Childhood Dreams? They May Still Be Driving You
Some call it advancing their careers, others say seeking purpose. A growing number of people across all age groups believe they should change jobs every few years for better pay, promotions or to develop new skills, according to a 2018 survey by Robert Half, a global recruitment firm. And it’s far from a phenomenon dominated by millennials.  Many older workers are leaving established careers to take the leap into new ones; one famous example is Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway, who left behind three decades of journalism to become a teacher at the age of 57.

7. Preparing Your Firm for AI
It seems that every week, AI technology has learnt to do something humans do, but faster and better. From detecting cancers and eye conditions to predicting floods or analysing the language, tone and facial expressions of candidates during recruitment processes, AI is now at the stage where it not only supports human judgment, but makes increasingly more complex and accurate decisions.

8. Bridging the Gaps in GAAP
Here are eight critical considerations for combating the creativity crisis in accounting.

9. The numbers behind successful transformations
"What gets measured,” Peter Drucker famously observed, “gets managed.” One might add a corollary that what goes unmeasured—or gets measured only superficially—risks being mismanaged or, at least, undermanaged. So it is with transformations.

10. Ethics IQ: A quiz for finance professionals
Take this quiz to test your knowledge of all things ethics in honour of Global Ethics Day.