CFOs Pumping Out Free Cash-Flow

CFO Magazine - 14 July 2017
On the heels of last year’s economic recovery, U.S. companies have improved brilliantly this year as generators of free cash flow, mostly by tying up less cash in working capital, a new study finds. “CFOs as a group have once again demonstrated their ability to improve on the generation of cash,” says Charles Mulford, an accounting professor at Georgia Tech and co-author of the study. “And they’ve done it across the board, in terms of the levers they have to pull and the metrics that we have to measure their performance.”

Restaurants challenge NYC's plan to enforce menu labeling

Restaurant Business - 14 July 2017
The legal arm of the National Restaurant Association has filed a lawsuit seeking to block New York City from enforcing menu labeling requirements while a federal hold on disclosure rules remains in effect until next May. The move has implications that extend far beyond New York City. The industry fears that other jurisdictions might follow New York City’s lead and begin enforcing the rules themselves, leaving restaurant chains with a patchwork of requirements and potential penalties from coast to coast.

Are hotel brand dotcoms the new Amazon?

Tnooz - 14 July 2017
Here’s the great news for hoteliers: travelers love you more than you know. Recent research fielded by Phocuswright indicates that travelers want to book as much as possible through hotels: sightseeing tours, museum and event tickets, dining and other in-destination activities. This means your greatest competition – OTAs – haven’t won the battle for heart, mind and wallet. Current research also shows that 18-34-year-olds prefer to see extra travel-related offers through Google.

The New Machine-Learning Booking Tool for Road Warriors: Travel Startup Funding This Week - Digital - 14 July 2017
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. The companies we note this week have together raised more than $17 million. Comtravo, a Berlin-based startup, has received $9.7 million (or 8.5 million euro) in a Series A funding round after two years of development. The venture capital firms Project A and Creandum led the round.

Article: Listen In: The Ins and Outs of Data Management

eMarketer - 14 July 2017
In the latest episode of eMarketer's "Behind the Numbers" podcast, analyst Lauren Fisher outlines the issues involved in data management, and the ways that marketers can think about, organize, integrate and analyze data to shift their focus from channels to audiences.

Foreign Governments On Notice To Share Security Data or Face U.S. Travel Sanctions - Transport - 14 July 2017
The clock has started to tick on a 50-day deadline for foreign governments to meet new U.S. standards for passports and sharing information about their citizens. Failing to meet the deadline risks having some categories of nationals banned from traveling to the U.S. The State Department on Thursday sent a cable to all U.S. embassies and consulates instructing U.S. diplomats to inform their host governments that the 50-day period has begun for them to meet the new criteria, devise a plan to meet them or face the possibility of travel sanctions. The seven-page State Department cable was obtained by The Associated Press.

Falling Global Tax Rates Make U.S. Less Competitive

CFO Magazine - 13 July 2017
The ayes have it. Our panel of tax and accounting experts, whose opinionated essays are gathered here, voted 3-1 in favor of a major cut in the federal corporate income tax rate. But whether congressional Republicans will have better luck fashioning a new corporate tax structure than they’ve had coming up with an alternative health-care scheme remains to be seen. Many of their opinions are reflected in this package of essays.

Why Lawmakers Are Seeking Greater Transparency on Foreign Landlords

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 13 July 2017
Commercial real estate in the U.S. has always been—and likely will always be—open to foreign investors. In some cases, however, the federal government believes foreign ownership’s details are not transparent enough, at least when foreign entities end up owning buildings where federal agencies conduct high-security affairs and handle sensitive information.

RLH Corporation Files Lawsuit Against Hard Rock Cafe International

Hotel Interactive - 13 July 2017
RLH Corporation (NYSE:RLH) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Hard Rock Café International in federal court in New York. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Hard Rock copied RLH Corporation’s distinctive trade dress for its Hotel RL brand, which is protected by federal trade dress law.

The 4 Top Application Trends from HITEC 2017 - 13 July 2017
HITEC, the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference brings together industry leaders, vendors and decision makers annually. It is the place to be to understand new developments and trends in hospitality technology. During July we will be featuring a series of articles highlighting our perspective on the top trends in technology beginning with this feature on applications. We hope to provide some insight into a few of the key trends and look forward to meeting you at HITEC 2018 in Houston, if not before in Dubai or Amsterdam.

SEC Chair Says Disclosure Burden Excessive

CFO Magazine - 13 July 2017
The new head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission believes its fundamental regulatory approach is sound but is concerned that disclosure burdens may be deterring some companies from going public. In a speech Wednesday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton noted that the commission, lawmakers and other regulators “have slowly but significantly expanded the scope of required disclosures beyond the core concept of materiality,” while the total number of U.S.-listed public companies has declined about 50% in the past two decades.

Creating a Cognitive Audit

CFO Magazine - 12 July 2017
It’s likely that over the next several years, substantial portions of public and private company audits will be augmented by cognitive technologies. In fact, much of the audit profession is exploring, experimenting, and moving forward with efforts to use various cognitive technologies in the audit. To be clear, it’s unlikely that the profession will arrive at a fully automated audit with no human intervention on the horizon, and it continues to hire more auditors each year. But there is a consensus within our organization, at least, that cognitive technologies can bring substantial value to the audit process for auditors, clients, and the investing public.

Hawaii Travel Ban Motion Opposed by U.S. Lawyers - Destinations - 12 July 2017
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys are urging a judge to deny Hawaii’s renewed attempt to expand the list of relatives exempt from President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson last week denied Hawaii’s request to clarify which relatives are exempt from the ban. Hawaii appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed the appeal and said while the judge can’t clarify the Supreme Court’s order, he can interpret it.

How travel marketers can avoid awkward ad placements and protect the brand

Tnooz - 12 July 2017
For years, the online advertising industry has become so fixated on trends such as ad fraud and ad blocking that equally crucial issues – such as brand safety – have remained on the back burner. That is, until now. Following the recent revelation that a whole host of household names have inadvertently appeared alongside extremist content, brands and their agencies are suddenly beginning to realize that without careful consideration for brand safety, no one is immune from the potential risks of programmatic advertising.

What to consider before, during and after terminations Featured Articles - 11 July 2017
Legal, human resources and management experts share their advice to employers on how they can avoid legal and safety issues when terminating an employee. While terminating troublesome employees might solve problems in the workplace, the act of letting them go can create issues for the employer if not done carefully. Sources said companies need to have established policies about terminating employees and they should follow them. That said, not every situation is the same. “Terminations are not cookie-cutter experiences,” said Chuck Conine, founder of Hospitality HR Solutions. “They should be styled to the individual while still adhering to the basic guidelines the company requires.”

Microsoft Launches Azure Local Cloud Solution

CFO Magazine - 10 July 2017
Heating up its cloud competition with Amazon and Google, Microsoft has launched a long-awaited platform for organizations that prefer not to use the public cloud. Azure Stack offers the same management tools, straightforward provisioning, and usage-based licensing as the public Azure cloud, but can be run on a company’s own servers. At its Inspire conference, Microsoft announced Monday that partners like Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo will start shipping hardware that has been certified to run Azure Stack in September.

Trump Administration Blocks Startup Visa Program Tech Companies Supported - Digital - 10 July 2017
The Trump administration said it plans to rescind an Obama-era program that would allow foreign entrepreneurs who launch startup companies in the U.S. to live in the country, in the president’s latest effort to constrict immigration flows. Known as the International Entrepreneur Rule and favored by many in the technology industry, the program would allow non-U.S. citizens who launched companies that won $100,000 in government grants or received $250,000 in venture capital investment to stay in the U.S. for a renewable 30-month term. Finalized in the last days of the Obama administration, it was set to take effect July 17.

The CFO as 'Chief Commercial Officer'

CFO Magazine - 10 July 2017
Like many finance chiefs who work for startups, Lukas Wickart, the CFO of AutoGravity, a fintech firm launched in 2015, must improvise his role, rather than fit himself into some preconceived set of functions. lukas wickart Lukas Wickart “There is no handbook or training on [the job] out there. As a startup, we are writing the book as we go along,” he told CFO recently. “We make our mistakes and we learn. For example, with us having this interview here today, I’m talking off the cuff about what I’m experiencing.”

Modern Finance Feat: Stay Stable, Be Dynamic

CFO Magazine - 10 July 2017
At the recent “CFO of the Future Summit” — an Accenture Strategy-sponsored gathering of 33 CFOs and future CFOs at Harvard University — the increasingly bifurcated aspects of the job came up again and again. Christian Campagna Christian Campagna CFOs are being asked to live simultaneously in the present and the future tending the traditional areas of profit while nurturing future areas of growth. “How do we optimize our current model and at the same time transform?” asked a major retailer’s vice president of commercial and operations finance.

Royal Jordanian Becomes the Latest Airline to Have U.S. Laptop Ban Lifted - Transport - 10 July 2017
Jordan’s national airline has joined other Middle Eastern countries in lifting a ban on laptops in airplane cabins after complying with U.S. security guidelines. Royal Jordanian said Sunday it has implemented “enhanced security measures” in line with U.S. Department of Homeland Security requirements. The airline did not describe the new measures. The U.S. imposed the ban in March over concerns Islamic State fighters and other extremists could hide bombs inside of laptops.

Trump Travel Ban Restrictions Remain in Place As Hawaii Loses Decision - Destinations - 7 July 2017
A U.S. judge in Hawaii denied the state’s request for clarification on the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban and said the matter should be taken up with the Supreme Court. The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu means the restrictions on entry for visa applicants from six mostly Muslim nations and refugees worldwide that were imposed June 30 will probably remain in place until the Supreme Court revisits the dispute in October.

The U.S. Laptop Ban Is Winding Down - Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report - Travel Services - 7 July 2017
Some good news for international business travelers: It looks like the initial laptop ban on flights from select Middle East and Africa airports to the U.S. is winding down. Qatar Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and Etihad Airways have been let off the hook after instituting new security screening procedures as dictated by the U.S. A handful of other airlines and airports remain affected, but many of those are working on solutions.

Qatar Airways Gets Its U.S. Laptop Ban Exemption - Transport - 6 July 2017
The move will be welcome news for Qatar Airways, which is also suffering from a rift between Qatar and its near neigbours. The original reason for the ban and the security measures put in place to combat it are both a mystery.-Patrick

Customs and Border Protection officers will be key players Trump's revised travel ban - 4 July 2017
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will be key players in putting President Donald Trump's revised travel ban that went into effect Thursday, affecting visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. They are the officers dressed in blue who are stationed at airports and border crossings and screen people coming into the U.S.� They stamp passports, inspect travel documents, confiscate drugs and other illicit items and make sure belongings and purchases are properly declared.   What is Customs and Border Protection? The agency was created as part of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 after attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Abu Dhabi Gets Laptop Ban Reprieve

Business Travel News (BTN) - 3 July 2017
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lifted its laptop ban on flights from Abu Dhabi after a "successful validation of security measures," according to Etihad Airways. Of the 10 airports affected by the initial onboard electronics ban that began in March, Abu Dhabi is the only one that houses U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance, which allows passengers to clear customs and immigration inspections in Abu Dhabi, before boarding, rather than upon arrival in the U.S. Last week, the DHS announced new security requirements for all airports serving the U.S., saying that those requirements, if followed, override the need for a laptop ban. Expanding the number of Preclearance sites was among the DHS's goals.

Travel Ban Has Arbitrary Restrictions Meant To Be as Exclusionary as Possible - Destinations - 29 June 2017
President Donald Trump’s administration has issued guidelines through the State Department for who will be exempt from the travel ban from six majority Muslim countries, which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Monday to partly go into effect. The guidelines are highly arbitrary in defining what counts as a family relationship that merits exemption. For example, your mother-in-law is close enough to come into the U.S., but not your grandmother, a blood relative without whom you wouldn’t exist.


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