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April 18, 2012
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Letter from Arleen 
  • A message from Arleen R. Thomas, senior vice president of management accounting
    Source: AICPA
    What is management accounting? Most of us studied it in our college accounting curriculum. When I was in school, I learned about cost accounting and optimizing inventory -- I still remember that blue textbook. Out of the classroom and worldwide, management accounting has become so much more. It expands upon our financial experience and encompasses relationships we've built with business owners to create sustainable success for organizations. Last week, I was monitoring products in a sales pipeline, considering the risks and developing contingencies -- not only one, but several -- so the AICPA can effectively react to multiple changes in the market. That's management accounting in action, and it's one of the ways I can bring value to the AICPA every day.

    As you approach your employer about the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, consider the value you bring to your organization. Find examples of how you're connecting the dots between all areas of the business and providing key insight that informs the decision-making process. Let your employer know how your broadened knowledge base, plus the ability to present and communicate information to stakeholders -- in addition to your CPA -- uniquely position you as a CGMA helping set the course for the future of your organization.

    The CGMA might be new to your employer and colleagues, but your understanding of financial and nonfinancial business value is where you have proved you are a true asset to your organization. With the CPA, CGMA, you can showcase your skill set, highlight your experience and access tools, reports, news and resources and the CGMA community to learn and promote best practices, develop skills and network with peers. Visit to take advantage of these valuable resources. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Accounting and Reporting Update 
  • Variance analysis can improve planning
    Variance analysis gives finance chiefs a better way to measure and manage their company's financial performance, writes Thomas Conine Jr., president of TRI. The approach allows decision-makers to compare performance against their expectations in a range of categories. Learn more about financial-performance analysis at the AICPA Financial Planning & Analysis Workshop, scheduled July 12 and 13 in New York City. (4/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Emerging Trends 
  • Regulation reshapes duties of CFOs worldwide
    Sixty percent of companies have adjusted their chief financial officer's role in the past year in response to legislative and regulatory changes worldwide, according to a survey by KPMG. Companies should monitor and coordinate compliance across business units to stay abreast of changes, KPMG said. Learn more about the changing role of the CFO at the AICPA CFO Conference, scheduled May 17 and 18 in New Orleans. CGMA Magazine (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Corporate treasurers reflect on recession's impact
    Cash-flow management and liquidity have became top priorities for companies since the recession. Hammerson Chief Financial Officer Timon Drakesmith and Jones Lang LaSalle Global Treasurer Joe Romenesko discussed how corporate treasurers have responded to the challenge. "With deposit rates being so low and margins on borrowing increasing, it has become increasingly important to efficiently manage our cash to minimum levels to save interest costs," Drakesmith said. CGMA Magazine (4/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How Pinterest can benefit nonprofit organizations
    Social network Pinterest could open opportunities for nonprofits to promote their mission, Nell Edgington writes. The website allows users to upload and share images. Nonprofits are especially good at communicating through pictures, Edgington writes. Plus, about 70% of Pinterest users are women, who are more likely to be interested in philanthropy. Social Velocity Blog (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Executives discuss effective business strategies
    Rio Tinto finance chief Guy Elliott and Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies CEO Andreas Kramvis provided insight into how to tap into effective business strategies. Achieving growth requires matching performance to investment, they said. "You need to turn the problem on its head and say there really never is a shortage of capital -- there is a shortage of returns," Kramvis said. "If you achieve high returns, money will chase you." Meanwhile, research shows that companies that are willing to shake up their investments achieve higher results over time compared with those that pursue a consistent strategy. The McKinsey Quarterly (free registration) (4/2012), The McKinsey Quarterly (free registration) (3/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Measure your way to CSR success, General Mills exec says
    General Mills is working to measure corporate social responsibility across a range of metrics, including water, waste, packaging and employee engagement, CSR Director Catherine Gunsbury writes. That helps keep the company focused on sustainability goals and deadlines. "We like measurements," she writes. "What is measured generates results." CSRwire Talkback blog (4/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Corner 
  • IRS slowdown affects transfer-pricing agreements
    Some companies are turning to the Internal Revenue Service to develop transfer-pricing agreements governing transfers and sales between business units. However, a report shows that the IRS is issuing fewer agreements and taking longer to do so. Companies that pursue such agreements might do so to mitigate audit risk, a lawyer said. Learn about other important topics that affect your international business at the AICPA International Business Conference, scheduled June 11 and 12 in Washington, D.C. (4/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Leadership Lessons and Tips 
  • 6 habits of true strategic thinkers
    Strategic thinking is a skill that can be learned and practiced, Paul Schoemaker writes. He describes six habits that leaders can cultivate to make themselves a strategic asset to their company: anticipating, thinking critically, interpreting, deciding, aligning and learning. Inc. online (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • It's time to stop hemorrhaging talent
    Workers leave companies because they're sick of their bosses, former Honda Motor executive Tim Garrett writes. That means it's vital to train managers at all levels to treat talented workers well, help them add skills and build authentic relationships with people. "Teach your managers to discover and tap into all their potential. ... Or teach them to love sourcing and interviewing candidates to replace them," Garrett advises. HR C-Suite (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tech Topics 
  Regulatory Developments 
  BIG News and Events 
  • "20 Questions Businesses Should Ask About Privacy"
    Privacy has become a significant business risk to organizations. As a result, businesses are looking for guidance. Business brief "20 Questions Businesses Should Ask About Privacy" covers key questions a business should ask with the aim of understanding privacy risk, implementing a privacy program, managing privacy risk and obtaining privacy assurance. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA News 
  • Call for nominations for Outstanding CPA in Government Award
    The AICPA recognizes CPAs working at the federal, state or local level of government who contribute significantly to increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and the growth and enhancement of the profession through the Outstanding CPA in Government Award. The nomination period for 2012 is open. Download an application, and submit it by May 11. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AICPA submits comment letter on GASB's financial-projection proposal
    In a March 16 letter, the AICPA's State and Local Government Expert Panel strongly encouraged the Governmental Accounting Standards Board to categorize proposed components of information intended to assess a state or local governmental entity's fiscal sustainability as supplementary information rather than required supplementary information. The AICPA recommended that GASB provide criteria for when such supplementary information would be voluntarily included. GASB released the document "Economic Condition Reporting: Financial Projections" on Nov. 29 for comment. AICPA members testified at a GASB public hearing March 29 on this topic. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
--André Gide,
French author

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About the AICPA and Business, Industry & Government
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 377,000 members in 128 countries and a 125 year heritage of serving the public interest. Members in business, industry and government make up a significant portion of the AICPA's membership. The AICPA provides financial professionals practicing in business, industry and government with the tools and resources needed to move their organizations forward. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation to elevate management accounting globally.

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