CFOs Can’t Afford to Opt Out of Social Media

[W]hen organizations dip their toes into the social-media pool “without establishing business requirements or identifying their target markets,” said Slemp, their efforts don’t get the proper funding and don’t achieve good integration with the business’s IT infrastructure. Consequently, the well-known risks of social media — including reputational damage and the inadvertent exposure of critical and private business information — can quickly overwhelm its benefits and any hoped-for return on investment.

Accounting for Social Media

What are generally accepted accounting standards for Tweets?

LinkedIn, the professional social-networking site, reported yesterday that its profits jumped 30% and its revenue more than doubled in its last quarter (from $81.7 million last year to $167.7 million), strongly suggesting there’s a financial reality underpinning the buzz and hype surroundingsocial media.

That reality was reflected in last week’s PricewaterhouseCoopers “4th Annual Digital IQ Survey” of nearly 500 U.S. business and technology executives, which reported that 80% of PwC’s “top performers” (defined as companies in their industry’s top quartile for annual revenue, growth, and profitability) expected to increase their use of Twitter to engage with customers, and 62% planned to invest in social media for either internal or external communications. Sixty-six percent of those companies also said they’ll be collecting more customer data this year, presumably via channels that include social-media feeds.

The question of how to account for all that data is, of course, the CFO’s to answer.

Cowboy Accountants – The Lawless Frontier

No laws. No jail.

Can you imagine accountants as American cowboys of the Wild, Wild West in the 1800s? I can. And they can be dangerous. Yeehaw! Yippee-i-o-i-a!

In place of guns in their belt holsters the cowboy accountant may be carrying a smartphone. Their rodeo rope that cowboys use to catch running steers may be their audit controls manual. The cowboy accountant would like to use a red hot branding iron to mark those managers who excessively sandbag their department’s annual budget amounts, but they will resort to just remembering who those budget busters are to pester later. Cowboy accountants also wear well-shined wing-tipped dress shoes as their cowboy boots.

EPM View: An Interview with John O’Rourke, Vice President of Product Marketing, Oracle Corporation

John O’Rourke, one of the most seasoned veterans of the EPM industry, offers his perspective in this candid interview with Susan Serven. John shares his views on the future of EPM, the merger of Hyperion and Oracle, the most common misconceptions of EPM, his advice for a company just starting to consider implementing a performance management system, why Balanced Scorecard may have fallen out of favor, and many other insights.

Is Excel the Most Dangerous Piece of Software in the World?

Microsoft’s calculator is partially to blame for JPMorgan losing $9bn, and a lot more besides.

Is Excel the most dangerous piece of software in the world? Baseline Scenario’s James Kwak reports on a little-mentioned aspect of the notorious “London Whale” debacle at JPMorgan, where Bruno Iksil headed a proprietary trading team which made losses of up to $9bn.

The Importance of Liquidity

Global cash visibility has been a mantra for companies for many years.

No doubt it is a worthy goal, but then business has a lot of goals. Why should this one be treated as more important than others, say one like “global profitability”?

As the last few years have shown liquidity is as important as profitability; low profitability hurts, but lack of liquidity kills. If your company has been told by its counter parties that it has no / restricted access to the external capital markets then negotiating a price or terms will not be the key issue. In other words, not having “enough” liquidity (e.g. bank borrowing) could doom a company to becoming a second class one.

Top 10 Reasons to Use Treasury Technology

1. Man is a tool-using animal, and treasury technology is a tool that allows more work to be accomplished 2. Properly used, Treasury technology allows a company to operate in 3 dimensions, simultaneously managing profitability, liquidity and risk 3. Improperly used technology allows a company the opportunity to make its mistakes faster 4. Today’s technology (spreadsheets, emails, multiply…

Dashboard Reporting Tools: Gauging Accounting Relevance

While simplified graphical reporting solutions are beneficial to the business, providing more insight into historical business performance, they don’t do much for the client on a daily basis if the accounting data isn’t up to date. Accounting professionals should recognize that these dynamic reporting solutions, tools which can provide business owners with real-time information on business activities and performance, can go a long way towards increasing the relevance of the accountant’s involvement in the client business.

Historians versus Futurists – Who is More Valuable?

Futurists enjoy taking out their crystal ball and projecting future innovations, but they are typically wrong. For example, George Orwell’s book, “1984,” which was published in 1949, did not come close with its projections. And in the 1960s, I recall a Walt Disney television show describing automobiles that required no driver and were guided by a magnet-like strip imbedded in the street’s or highway’s roadbed. Nice try.

In contrast, historians research the past to determine what lessons might be learned and applied today. For example, historians examine the judgments, policies and actions of past U.S. Presidents and international government leaders to assess what actions may best serve citizens today. The recent movie “Lincoln” is an example.

But which group — futurists or historians – provides more useful information?

Finance 360 Degree Insight Survey

EPM Channel recently completed a 360 degree survey of the Finance function in both large- and mid-sized companies, with 40% of the respondents coming from marketing, operations, and other non-finance fields. This 360 degree view enabled analysts who worked on the survey to compare the responses of both finance and non-finance professionals in order to…