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November 21, 2012
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  Letter from Arleen R. Thomas, CPA, CGMA 
  • One finance: Building strong teams and future leaders
    Outsourcing has been a hot-button issue in the media this fall, particularly with regard to manufacturing. However, many companies are outsourcing the finance team as well. We are seeing increasingly more organizations decentralize the finance department, outsourcing many transactional and operational areas to shared service centers in places such as India or Sri Lanka, while retaining the management-accounting function domestically.

    A new CGMA report, "One finance: Building tomorrow's talent strategy," focuses on the increasing difficulty of providing future leaders in the finance department with the well-rounded experience they need to lead their team on to continued success. Case studies in the report suggest that leaders need to consider sending their top finance talent on assignment to shared service centers to expand their knowledge and skill set.

    Does your organization outsource to shared service centers? If so, how do you make sure your top talent is getting the well-rounded experience needed to support your finance department? I would love to hear from you. E-mail me at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Accounting and Reporting Update 
  • FASB makes decision on "going concern" requirement
    The Financial Accounting Standards Board has voted to require that management assess whether a public company is able to remain in business as a going concern. The auditor still plays a role in this process, deciding whether management's call was appropriate. This assessment would be made every reporting period. A revised exposure draft on going concern is expected in mid-2013. (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Emerging Trends 
  • Why Disney put its CFO in charge of CSR
    Walt Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo is also the company's sustainability chief -- and he says combining the two positions makes perfect sense. Selling sustainability initiatives to investors is never easy, Rasulo says, but it's much easier to make the case for CSR when you're already in charge of the company's financial side. (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CEOs need to view lean as a culture, not a tool
    When lean-manufacturing expert Art Byrne asked workers at Wiremold in the 1990s to cut one of their machine setup processes from 14 hours to under 10 minutes, they said it was impossible -- but then cut it to six minutes with a few changes. That kind of improvement happens when CEOs treat lean management as a part of company culture and actively get out and promote it, Byrne said. Dan Ariens, the CEO of lawn and garden equipment producer Ariens Co., said he takes regular "gemba walks" through the company's five plants to monitor and praise employees' lean efforts. "I have to be the guy who holds the stake in place and not let it slip back," Ariens said. IndustryWeek (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Foreign risks make CFOs more cautious about investment
    Chief financial officers are less optimistic about the success of international expansion, according to a BDO International survey, with 72% expressing optimism this year, compared with 95% in 2011. Their concerns include growing competition abroad, bureaucratic hurdles, currency fluctuation and geopolitical risk. Such obstacles are leading companies to invest in safe havens. CGMA Magazine (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Leadership Lessons and Tips 
  • What controllers need to know to become CFO
    Controllers who want to become chief financial officer must learn to be forward-looking in their approach and analysis of a company's operations because that is the language of the executive suite. Developing such "softer" skills can be difficult at first, but most controllers are able to make the switch. CGMA Magazine (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Debunking myths about small-business growth
    To understand how small businesses contribute to economic growth, several myths about small business must first be debunked, John Horn and Darren Pleasance write. These myths include the notion that all small businesses want to expand, that all small businesses are equally important to job creation and that taxes and regulation are small businesses' main obstacle. McKinsey Quarterly (free registration) (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 7 changes companies must go through as they grow
    The goal of startups is to grow, often into a big company of $250 million annual revenue or more, but doing so brings numerous shifts in culture, strategy and organization, writes Daniel McCarthy. This includes a shift from the technical to the personal. "Leaders need to start spending less time on the technical aspects of the business and much more time on coaching and developing employees," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  AICPA News 
  • Attend the 2013 AICPA CFO Conference
    The AICPA CFO Conference, scheduled May 15 to 17 in Marina del Rey, Calif., is an intensive, two-day event that covers key issues and provides information and tools you need to engage and prosper in the global economy. Industry experts will guide you through profound changes shaping our world and help you improve risk-management capabilities, leadership skills and the ability to make the best decisions for your organization's future. Plan to build your personal network with peers, speakers and committee members during interactive sessions, open forum discussions, two networking receptions and daily networking luncheons. Register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them."
--Brendan Francis Behan,
Irish writer

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