Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 5, 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. Leading a new era of climate action
Climate change is a global emergency. It’s threatening crops, water supplies, infrastructure, and livelihoods. It’s damaging the broader economy and company bottom lines today, not in some distant future. In recent years AT&T has spent $874 million on repairs after natural disasters that the company ties to climate change. The reinsurance leader Swiss Re has seen large increases in payouts for damage caused by extreme weather events — $2.5 billion more in 2017 than it had predicted — a trend that CEO Christian Mumenthaler attributes to rising global temperatures. If we don’t move quickly toward action on climate, says Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, we’ll see company bankruptcies and raise the odds of systemic economic collapse.

2. The Steps CFOs Must Take to Lead a Digital Transformation
New and emerging technologies — including AI, robotic process automation, advanced analytics, and machine learning—are the catalysts of unprecedented change in today’s business climate. Digitalization is sparking the shift to customer-centric business models, putting greater responsibility on the finance function.

3. These 3 Numbers Explain Why Amazon Is Dominating Everything Right Now
Amazon reported earnings on Thursday, and clearly investors were happy. In after-hours trading, the company's stock was up 12 percent at one point, adding $100 billion in market cap and pushing the company past a $1 trillion valuation. That's a big number, but it turns out it's not even the most important number. In fact, there are three numbers that are far more important to understand why Amazon is dominating basically everything right now.

4. Getting practical about the future of work
What story will people tell about your organization over the next ten years? Will they celebrate an enthusiastic innovator that thrived by adapting workforce skills and ways of working to the demands of the new economy? Or will they blame poor financial or operational results, unhappy employees, and community disruption on a short-sighted or delayed talent strategy?

5. 5 Things Your Finance Team Needs To Do To Prepare for 2020
January 2020 marks the start of the busiest and most stressful time of the year for finance teams. With regular 40-hour working weeks being known to double just to meet core reporting and regulatory requirements; and pressure being piled on to ensure the business can make informed decisions for the year ahead. It’s no wonder that accounting professionals take more sick time in March than any other month of the year. But what can teams do to ensure they don’t get swept away in the stress?

6. Being ethical in the face of wrongdoing
Complex accounting procedures and mastering new technology are not the only challenges that finance professionals face at work. The #MeToo movement, growing environmental awareness, the spread of social media, and a series of fraud scandals at major companies have thrown the spotlight sharply on business ethics in recent years. FM magazine spoke to two experts about what steps financial managers can take to address — and prevent — unethical behaviour and activities in the workplace.

7. Corporates increasingly seek CFOs with proven track records
Corporates are increasingly seeking CFOs with proven track records at the divisional or regional level, despite the desire to create more diverse leaders. According to the European CFO Route to the Top survey by search firm Spencer Stuart, a growing trend across the continent’s leading companies is to hire finance leaders that have previously been divisional or regional CFOs.

8. Eight Management Ideas to Embrace in the 2020s
At the beginning of a new year (and a new decade), it’s natural to wonder what’s ahead. As technology and society continue to rapidly transform, it can also be overwhelming for managers and organizations to think about what to tackle next.

9. Research reveals attitudes towards automation
A study of finance and accounting executives has revealed attitudes towards automation and found they have high expectations for the technology, but current offerings fall short. Improving productivity, reducing human error and giving staff more time to focus on strategic work were the top expectations for a more automated workplace. The Financial Automation Imperative, a survey of 450 finance and accounting professionals, was undertaken by Invoiced, an accounts receivable automation software provider.

10. Kobe Bryant's Most Powerful Interview Reveals a Brutal Truth About Success Few People Are Willing to Admit
Most people believe they work incredibly hard. Most people claim they go the extra mile.  Most people say they're willing to pay the price for achievement (in whatever way they choose to define success. And then there was Kobe Bryant...