Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 48, 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. Audits Are Broken. Here’s a Radical Way to Fix Them.
First Under Armour and then Mattel recently confirmed that they are the subject of federal probes of their accounting practices. This is yet another in a series of examples that suggest the auditing process for U.S. public companies requires a significant overhaul.

2. Creating a Meaningful Life in Turbulent Times
Whether we are nomadic or geographically rooted, our lives need to feel meaningful over time. The questions “What does my life mean? What am I all about?” are crucial for psychological health. Given the turbulent times that we live in – marked by economic uncertainty, rising nationalism and looming climate crisis – these questions are becoming even more pertinent as our sense of global security erodes.

3. What Companies That Are Good at Innovation Get Right
Innovation labs, technology scouting outposts, and accelerator programs to invest in startups have become ubiquitous in large companies, as have regularly-scheduled hackathons or idea challenges that invite employees to develop and pitch new ideas. Yet, in some companies, all of that activity adds up to nothing more than “innovation theater.” In others, it actually yields a stream of internal improvements; new products and services; experiments with different business models; and investments in fledgling companies that are connecting with new customer segments.

4. Video: ‘Most’ finance teams are not ready for RPA and AI
The CFO of Hitachi Europe, Guillaume de Pommereau, says that many finance organisations are not yet large enough or mature enough to be suitable for an RPA or AI transformation.

5. Should You Be a Career Lifer?
As experts in disruptive career change, we have at times wondered: What about those professionals who stay put? Is it by choice? Is it good luck? Is it a cop-out? Since very few careers are for life these days, we sought out executives who have stayed with one company for the bulk of their career to answer our questions. What drew them in? Why did they stay?

6. 6 lies you probably tell yourself about giving feedback at work
As a manager, you know that it’s your job to coach your team and help people improve. You know that it’s up to you to set the tone of the relationship that you have with your employees, and that you’re responsible for cultivating an environment that allows them to do their best work.

7. The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Africa
Gender inequality in Africa remains high, and progress toward gender parity has stagnated. This is a large missed opportunity for African societies and for the continent’s growth prospects.

8. How to speak to a nonfinance audience
When explaining complex financial concepts to an audience from outside the finance world, focus on key points, take things slow, and answer questions.

9. Supplier negotiation doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game
What kind of supply-chain partner are you? If you work mainly on the buy-side, you might feel pressure to win at all costs. If that means taking a tough line, maybe even at the expense of crushing your rival, so be it.

10. The 10 Best Business Books of 2019
These aren't just self-help or how-to guides about how to launch your startup for the umpteenth time, or advice about networking with someone you really have no interest in conversing with ever again. These are articulate, well-researched works with concrete and valuable lessons that can be applied to your professional life.