Strategy and governance

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

Boot the budget? Why rolling forecasts might make more sense

When it comes to budgeting, accountants should stop presenting the numbers and letting others analyze what those numbers mean. If accountants don’t change, warns consultant Steve Player, CPA, CGMA, they’ll lose relevance and possibly lose jobs. “It’s our process that’s broken,” Player said. “We’ve got smart people in finance doing

A nontraditional approach to finance management

Tom Steiner would like to get CFOs to stop thinking so logically all the time. He contends that the world is emotional, not logical, and that “linear, logical people that concern themselves with numbers” are too focused on tasks instead of the people performing those tasks. Steiner, nicknamed “Dr. Tom”

Key factors cited as discussion of audit quality indicators nears

An effective definition of audit quality should encompass two key factors, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) told the PCAOB in a comment letter dated May 13. The CAQ, which is affiliated with the AICPA, has been working over the past several months to develop perspectives that could help define

8 steps to update internal control

Here is how organizations can implement the newly updated, principles-based internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), which was released May 14 (visit ic.coso.org). The original 1992 framework has been sharpened and refreshed to reflect the current business environment. Create a team and

How audit committees can meet risk management oversight challenges

Risk management oversight is one of the most challenging areas for audit committees across the globe, according to a new report issued Tuesday by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), the Federation of European Accountants (FEE), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA). The report summarizes the results

From CGMA Magazine: Flexing the strategy muscles

Finance teams have long been tasked with gazing into the past. They were the ones with the answers about how the company has performed over time, how it did in the past month, and how it just did compared with how it used to do. But now finance professionals are

How to do business abroad

Infragistics is a 21st-century pioneer. The midsize New Jersey software developer has built its business by expanding into emerging markets—wherever it could find sales potential and outstanding software development talent. “If there’s a strategic business opportunity, if it’s kosher, we’ll go there,” said Chris Rogers, CPA, CFO of Infragistics, which

SEC approves PCAOB standard on communication with audit committees

The SEC has approved PCAOB Auditing Standard No. 16, Communications with Audit Committees, and related amendments to PCAOB standards that were designed to help external auditors communicate effectively with audit committees during public company audits. All U.S. public companies, including emerging growth companies as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business

New tool aids in evaluation of external auditors

With interactions between audit committees and external auditors a focus of a steady stream of news recently, a new tool has been developed to assist audit committees in annual evaluations of external auditors. The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), which is affiliated with the AICPA, is one of seven organizations

SPONSORED REPORT

Building client loyalty with payroll services

In this report, CPA experts detail their tactics for performing successful payroll services, how to mitigate risk in the process, and the impact payroll can have as a value-added service.

PODCAST

Using drones to enhance audits

Hermann Sidhu, CPA, global assurance digital leader at EY, walks us through EY’s exciting new project to use drones to help audit large warehouses and outdoor inventories.