Strategy and governance

Regulation: A moving but immovable target

Compliance requirements related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, are just one example of the regulatory changes keeping finance departments busy these days.

David E. Lechner, CPA, CGMA

David E. Lechner, CPA, CGMA, senior vice president and CFO of the University of Nebraska, says finance executives play a critical analytical role in strategic decisions in higher education.

Strategic planning for NFPs

Following these steps can help not-for-profits develop strategic plans that maximize effectiveness as they pursue their charitable missions.

Staying focused at the top

Olivia Kirtley, CPA, CGMA, an accomplished corporate director with almost 20 years of experience serving on boards, talks about strategic, risk, and compliance issues that keep board members up at night.

Ingredients of an effective audit committee

The audit committee is a fundamental part of the corporate governance structure. But with changing demands being placed on it, what steps can companies take to ensure that the committee effectively safeguards stakeholders? A popular panel at the 2014 World Congress of Accountants in Rome explored the issue. Here are

Examine clichés in approach to innovation

Spot-and-react strategies are better than no strategies at all, but organizations should have a “rebellious instinct for change” in approaching innovation, entrepreneurship expert Luke Williams said. Williams, speaking Monday at the AICPA’s fall Council meeting in Boston, said entities should challenge their common practices in order to be leaders in

Nimble thinking takes the lead

Finance must, in certain cases, spend less time focusing on the past and more time seeking better predictions about the future.

The four D’s of better strategic planning

Instead of approaching business as a series of problems to be solved—say, how to cut down on spending, or how to keep employees from getting bored at work—organizations should take a more appreciative look at themselves.

More transparency sought from audit committees

A consortium of U.S. governance organizations is calling on public company audit committees to enhance reporting about their activities. Increasing transparency about the audit committee’s roles and responsibilities could increase investor confidence, according to the organizations’ new Enhancing the Audit Committee Report: A Call to Action. The Center for Audit

Strategic planning leads list of finance priorities

Harnessing data for strategic planning, streamlining processes, and bracing for heightened regulatory concerns are the top priorities for CFOs and the finance function, according to a new survey report. Finance executives were asked to rate how different issues and capabilities ranked among their priorities in business consulting firm Protiviti’s 2014

Six techniques for building a strategic finance department

Finance teams want to perform strategic duties in their organizations, but new research shows many of them are not building the right competencies to fulfill these duties. Typical finance teams are weak in the nontechnical competencies that matter the most, according to a white paper reporting results of a survey

How finance and accounting can boost innovation

Five years ago, Jimmy Keeter, CPA, was concerned about what he saw after performing a worst-case scenario analysis on the trucking operations of Daylight Donut Flour Co. of Tulsa, Okla., which he serves as CFO. The company, which provides ingredients and equipment to licensed doughnut shop operators in 38 states

The global finance function: Five focal points

Finance teams at large multinational companies can expect more and increasingly sophisticated tasks to come their way. The majority of those teams will have to perform those tasks with the same or fewer resources. Companies are focusing more on reducing overhead costs and improving operating margins, cash flow, and customer

Internal audit oversight

One of an audit committee’s most important responsibilities is to oversee the organization’s internal audit function. Here are 10 steps audit committees can take to facilitate proper oversight and direction of internal audit: Evaluate the current and projected scope of internal audit coverage of risk management and governance. Internal auditors

Embrace uncertainty to develop more business acumen

A mere accounting professional is not the same as a full-fledged finance professional. At least that’s how consultant David Axson sees it. The more evolved finance professional, Axson says, considers the business environment, embracing its volatility, and then adapting to it. “Being comfortable with uncertainty is, to me, the difference

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