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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> CFO
Dec 01
2010

CFOs must better communicate global risk management strategy

Posted by dbedell in risk mitigationrisk managementRiskcompliancechief financial officerCFO

dbedell

 

Although chief financial officers, risk managers, and other corporate executives recognize the importance of strategic risk management, many are as yet unable to put it into full practice and linking it effectively with overall corporate strategy is a still-elusive goal.

Nov 17
2010

Managing the perils of hoarding excess cash

Posted by dbedell in Financecorporate governancecontrolCFO, cash management, CashAFP

dbedell

A recent piece of research by academics Nils Backhaus and Luc Soenen looking at how to determine if a company is holding excess cash and what the impact is of that, which appears here on AFPOnline, made a very good case for some of the potential pitfalls that companies face when retaining extra cash.

Given the tremendous focus by much of the US business sector on stockpiling cash in recent years, understanding not just the benefits, but also the issues that could arise as a result, is an important exercise that should help finance execs to ensure that cash is put to best use.

Nov 12
2010

CFOs reap rewards of superior treasury professionals

Posted by dbedell in treasurycycle timeCFOAssociation for Financial ProfessionalsAFP

dbedell

Finance chiefs whose treasury staff are top tier reap significant cost and efficiency savings versus their less stellar peers, according to a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).

The AFP’s third annual Treasury Benchmarking Survey, the result of which were released this week, surveyed around 500 companies worldwide to look at how benchmark treasury offices compared with average and poorly-performing corporate treasuries in terms of the efficiency of staff, the cost of operations, cycle times for treasury functions, and the like.

Nov 11
2010

What boards expect from their CFOs these days

Posted by annearf in risk managementRiskFM GlobalCFOcareerboard of directors

annearf

Attention finance executives: The relationship between CFOs and their boards is changing significantly from what it was a few years ago. And to be effective, you'd be wise to prepare yourself to address the questions and issues boards are focused on.

That's according to Jeff Burchill, CFO and senior vice president of FM Global, the Johnston, RI, insurance giant.  Burchill says that after the economy tanked in 2008, boards switched from a focus on top-line growth and winning market share to an emphasis on cost containment--whether to close facilities, for example, or which assets to dispose of--for obvious reasons. But now, the interest is swinging back to strategy and top-line growth. (Burchill plans to discuss these observations in more depth at the MIT Sloan CFO Forum in Boston later this month).

Oct 29
2010

Public sector CFOs worry about reporting under ARRA

Posted by dbedell in Risk and ComplianceRiskGrant ThorntoncomplianceCFOAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act

dbedell

In a survey of public sector CFOs by consultancy Grant Thornton, along with the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), and the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT), finance executives expressed deep concern over effectively managing changing reporting requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

This not only affects the public sector finance execs that must report under the ARRA, but also affects all levels of businesses that received funds under ARRA programs by requiring more data and reporting—some of which they may not easily be able to provide.

Sep 15
2010

CFOs want quick ROI on IT spend

Posted by dbedell in working capitalSAPreturn on investmentinnovationdays' sales outstandingCIOschief financial officerCFOCashbiztechAT Kearney

dbedell

CFOs and CIOs have very different priorities when it comes to IT spend, and that dichotomy is not likely to change any time soon, even as IT budgets are starting to once again increase.

After being slashed to almost nil during the height of the crisis for many corporations across sector and size, IT budgets are beginning to rise.

Aug 20
2010

CFO in running for top spot at Sara Lee

Posted by dbedell in UnileverSara LeeEuropean CommissionDealsCFOCareers/Managementantitrust

dbedell

Marcel Smits, CFO of food products company Sara Lee, is in the running for the top job at the firm after CEO Brenda Barnes announced her resignation last week.

Smits has been building his resume for the permanent post as acting CEO while Barnes was on leave. He took over the responsibilities when Barnes left on medical leave in May—after suffering from a stroke.

Jul 27
2010

Job swap at Alcoa could be CFO prep

Posted by dbedell in promotionscontrollersCFOCareers/Managementcareer advancementAlcoa

dbedell

Multinational aluminum producer Alcoa is building the experience and knowledge-base of some of its top finance executives by having them swap jobs. Although it is hardly a new trend for companies to groom finance executives for the top position by putting them through their paces in various different functions and departments, it is an interesting twist for the two execs to simply switch jobs.

On August 1, Alcoa Vice President and Controller Tony Thene will take over as CFO of Alcoa's engineered products and solutions business group (EPS). Taking his place will be current EPS CFO Graeme Bottger. Thene will stay a vice president and will join the company’s executive council. Bottger—already on the council—was elected an officer of the company.

Jul 25
2010

How CFOs can ease the transition into a new job

Posted by SherylNash01 in turnovertransitionCFOcareer/management

SherylNash01

Last year, 13 percent of chief financial officers changed jobs. Although this was down from 18 percent the prior year, Deloitte's CFO Programs predicts CFO turnover will rise again this year.

The ramifications of turnover are huge. Tom Bonney, founder and managing director of CMF Associates, which offers temporary CEO, COO and controllership services, estimates that when a CFO leaves, efficiency in the finance department is automatically cut in half and exposure to risk increases. When a new CFO joins the company, the ramp up period is longer than other key executive roles, due to the CFO's broad array of responsibilities.

Jun 08
2010

More than half of finance execs got no raise

Posted by Stephen Taub in financial professionalscompensationCFOcareer/management

Stephen Taub

A majority of CFOs are sharing the pain of their rank and file...sort of.

According to a new comprehensive survey, more than half of all finance executives (57 percent) said they did not receive a salary increase in 2010.

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