• The Art of Pitching: Is it Overrated - or Essential?

    Pitching… that thing we force notoriously introverted geeks to do for funding. The main idea is that an entrepreneur — unless his name is Elon Musk or Tony Stark — has limited resources and needs the financial support of pockets that are substantially deeper than his own.

  • What to Expect: New Changes Coming to Lease Accounting Standards

    The upcoming revision to lease accounting standards was one of the topics discussed by the HFTP Hotel Advisory Council in their February 2018 meeting. The surprising conclusion from the council: The hotel industry in general is not prepared for the changes, and there is no viable off-the-shelf software that any of the members were aware of that would assist with the accounting for the new standard.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

    This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control.

  • Job Description Template: Club Accounting Positions

    The HFTP Americas Research Center has developed example job descriptions for club accounting positions. The process involved reviewing sample job descriptions, and compiling the information into standardized job descriptions.

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Total World Debt Reaches $164 Trillion in 2016

CFO Magazine·20 April 2018
Global debt climbed to a record high in 2016, the International Monetary Fund reported, urging countries to act fast to build “fiscal buffers” ahead of the next economic downturn. In its half-yearly fiscal monitor report, the IMF said total debt reached $164 trillion in 2016, or 225% of global gross domestic product. Compared with the previous peak in 2009, the world is now 12% of GDP deeper in debt, the fund said.
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Procurement Lacks Tech Prowess

CFO Magazine·18 April 2018
Digital technologies may be taking over a broad swath of corporate processes, but the procurement function is lagging far behind in that respect, according to a new Deloitte report. A meager 3% of chief procurement officers (CPOs) said they believe their staffs possess all the skills required to maximize the use of digital capabilities, according to Deloitte’s global survey of 504 CPOs.
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Will Treasurers Ever Dump Their Spreadsheets?

CFO Magazine·18 April 2018
More corporate treasurers in small-and-midsize enterprises are replacing their “basic personal accounting system” (read: “spreadsheet“) with a more robust treasury management system (TMS), or at least contemplating it, according to a new report from The Aite Group. What’s pushing them along?
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How Unclear Tax Footnotes Can Create Value

CFO Magazine·17 April 2018
Transparency in financial statements has few, if any, public detractors. For their part, though, investors appear to like some things more than transparency — like difficult-to-read tax footnotes. Investors are, of course, in the game to make money. According to new research, they think they’ll make more of it if companies they invest in practice high levels of tax avoidance — in other words, engage in aggressive tax planning. And opaque tax footnotes are a signal of aggressive tax planning.
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Add Supply Chain Expertise to the C-Suite

CFO Magazine·13 April 2018
In many — perhaps most — companies, no one has been given the title and role of chief supply chain officer (CSCO) and there is no supply chain expertise in the C-suite. By default, the chief financial officer often takes on that responsibility. The CFO probably does not have the time nor the expertise to also function as CSCO, but seldom is there anyone else to turn to. Certainly there is no one who has any comprehension of the full scope of what supply chain management (SCM), or the lack of it, represents to the company.
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Four Ways Forecasting Goes Wrong

CFO Magazine· 5 April 2018
“Doc, about the future…” “No! Marty! We’ve already agreed that having information about the future can be extremely dangerous.”
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Don't Let Blind Spots Ruin Your Finance Career

CFO Magazine· 2 April 2018
This article was originally published by FEI Daily. It is republished here with the permission of Financial Executives International. Kevin McCarthy says he was blindsided by a conspiracy that resulted in him being charged with mail fraud and sentenced in 2004 to four years in prison. Today, he says, he tells his story to help leaders recognize their biases and blind spots before it’s too late.
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Metric of the Month: Shared Services

CFO Magazine· 2 April 2018
A growing number of organizations are choosing to move common or repetitive finance processes from far-flung corners of their organization to a centralized shared services center, aiming to reduce cost while improving productivity and efficiency. This month’s metric comes from the Financial Shared Services Benchmarking Study, performed by APQC and sponsored by ScottMadden. Of the 302 survey participants, about half were based in North America, with the next-largest segment based in Europe. For most of the participants, services were distributed across multiple regions.
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How CFOs Can Better Support Board Directors - and Vice Versa

CFO Magazine·30 March 2018
Has there ever been a time when boards of directors were more in need of the sharp, fact-based counsel of a value-savvy CFO? With market forces intensifying, technology creating broad-scale digital disruption, and systemic threats looming in the form of cyber and geopolitical shifts, even the best-positioned board directors can benefit from a strong relationship with the head of finance. That is even truer for directors selected more for their industry, product, or technical expertise, for example, than their financial acumen.
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Lease Accounting: What's the Holdup?

CFO Magazine·30 March 2018
With about nine months to go before the new lease accounting standard for publicly-traded companies must be adopted, only about one-fifth of finance leaders surveyed by the Deloitte Center for Controllership say they are “prepared” or “very prepared” to comply with it. (See infographic, “Lease Accounting: A Lack of Urgency?” below.)

Controller Charged in Revenue Recognition Scheme

CFO Magazine·27 March 2018
Are a disproportionate amount of your company’s sales taking place in the last days of a quarter? Are sales credit limits being frequently overridden? Are some customers being granted significantly extended payment terms, as long as 180 days from the invoice date? While this was happening at Maxwell Technologies a few years ago, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, finance was asleep at the wheel.
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Tech Priorities for CFOs: Data Management, Analytics, RPA

CFO Magazine·26 March 2018
CFOs have a lot on their plates, but some tasks matter more than others. This year, it seems, the enterprise is relying on finance to deliver some critical objectives. And first among the objectives is supporting the enterprise’s need for information and analytics, according to to The Hackett Group’s Key Issues Study, released last week. That priority is even ahead of “maintaining a competitive cost structure.” The two digital technologies that finance departments will adopt most broadly the next three years, according to finance leaders, will help meet that objective: master data management (MDM) and advanced analytics.
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There's No Legal Limit for AI Development

CFO Magazine·26 March 2018
As noted in last week’s report from Allianz, AI offers both great potential and an assortment of business risks. Some of the latter are legal in nature and suggest a number of questions that corporate executives may reasonably ask. For example, what types of new laws or regulations should there be for companies that create or sell artificial intelligence software? Are there any current laws in place that govern the latest advances? And if so, are they keeping pace with this rapidly growing field?
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AI: Revolutionary Technolgy but a Big Business Risk

CFO Magazine·23 March 2018
That machines are destined to become smarter and smarter as the years roll by, and that businesses will increasingly use them in attempts to differentiate products and boost profits, are not matters of debate.
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Conagra Boosts Guidance Despite Rising Costs

CFO Magazine·22 March 2018
Rising supply chain costs apparently aren’t fazing Conagra Brands, which on Thursday reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and raised its full-year profit outlook. The maker of Hunt’s ketchup and Slim Jim meat snacks said it has been able to counter higher commodities and freight costs by cutting back on discounts and other expenses. It has also been modernizing some of its brands, particularly in the frozen food portfolio.
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How Audit Committees Can Help with Non-GAAP

CFO Magazine·21 March 2018
Companies’ use of non-GAAP metrics remains under close scrutiny by regulators, while investors and analysts lean ever-more heavily on the measures. With that backdrop, the Center for Audit Quality undertook a mission to educate audit committees on leading practices for exercising their roles as overseers of companies’ financial reporting.
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U.S., Coca-Cola Partner on Blockchain Project

CFO Magazine·21 March 2018
In the first blockchain project of its kind, Coca-Cola is teaming up with the U.S. State Department to use the digital ledger technology to help combat forced labor. The new venture aims to create a secure registry for workers and their contracts with Coca-Cola and other multinational corporations using blockchain’s validation and digital notary capabilities, according to Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA), a non-profit organization involved in the project.
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Sustainability Should Be on the Mid-Market CFO's Agenda

CFO Magazine·21 March 2018
For large multinational corporations, sustainability is now an accepted part of doing business, and companies are starting to recognize the meaningful business value that sustainability can offer. But for mid-market companies that typically don’t have the resources to dedicate to such projects, it can be challenging to translate sustainability initiatives into business value. The time has come for that to change. Being smaller and more nimble can actually be an advantage — and technology may open up new opportunities for middle-market companies to adopt sustainable strategies in the future.

Inside the Fight for More Female CFOs

CFO Magazine·13 March 2018
With talk of gender equality in the workplace becoming commonplace, from the red carpet to the Ford production line, female finance executives are also getting in on the conversation. They’re scanning the C-suites of large companies and wondering why so few women are CFOs. Jenna Fisher of Russell Reynolds. The reason is certainly not a supply shortage. In the United States, women now earn 51% of bachelor’s degrees in accounting, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. These degrees are being put to good use: Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 61% of U.S. accountants and auditors are women.
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Metric of the Month: Cycle Time for Monthly Close

CFO Magazine· 5 March 2018
When fewer days are devoted to the month-end close, more days can be spent providing finance expertise to organizational initiatives and decisions. By getting a grip on data quality, troubleshooting process glitches, and working ahead, finance teams can save time and put it to good use on higher value projects.
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So Far, Only 6% of Tax Savings Going to Workers

CFO Magazine· 2 March 2018
Once 2018 began, it became the single biggest question the wider public wanted to know: How did large U.S. corporations plan to spend the windfall bestowed on them by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Two months and about 90 company announcements in, the discussion hasn’t died down. Indeed, firms like JUST Capital, a nonprofit that ranks companies “based on the issues Americans care about most,” won’t let it. JUST is closely tracking what Russell 1000 firms are pledging to do with their nearly $150 billion in found money. What has it discovered so far?
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Core Inflation Measure Jumps 0.3% in January

CFO Magazine· 2 March 2018
A gauge of underlying U.S. inflation posted its largest gain in 12 months in January, while consumer spending growth slowed after a robust fourth quarter. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the personal consumption expenditures price index rose 0.4% in January, following a 0.1% gain in December. It was the biggest increase in the PCE since September.
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Advice to CFOs: Strike While Bankers Are Optimistic

CFO Magazine·28 February 2018
The time is ripe to tap your company’s relationship bank for that credit-line increase or business expansion loan you’ve been contemplating. Why? Three reasons. First, bankers are in a good mood. The Bank Confidence Index from Promontory Interfinancial Network for the first quarter tallied 50.5, a 2.4-point improvement over the pervious quarter and the highest rating since the second quarter of 2016. (The index tracks bankers’ expectations of access to capital, loan demand, funding costs, and deposit competition.)
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Auditor Rotation Rules Miss Their Mark

CFO Magazine·28 February 2018
Last year, in a pointed footnote to the scandal enveloping Wells Fargo, two major pension funds opposed ratification of the company’s external auditor and called on Wells Fargo to explore changing audit firms. Yet, the bank’s 85-year relationship with the auditor continues today despite the objections of the two large shareholders, not to mention protests from two U.S. senators over the audit-firm’s “failure to publicly identify the Wells Fargo scandal or its risk to investors.”
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Digital Disruption Fueling Divestment Plans

CFO Magazine·28 February 2018
More than 80% of companies are planning divestments by 2020 as they confront the disruption to their business models by digital and other technologies, according to an EY report. In its Global Corporate Divestment Study 2018, EY surveyed 1,000 executives worldwide, finding that the number of respondents planning to complete a divestment in the next two years more than doubled to 87% from 43% last year.
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Be Wary of Promoting Top Sales Reps

CFO Magazine·26 February 2018
For those who thought the Peter Principle was an old wives’ tale, three university professors want to set them straight. A new working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research finds evidence consistent with the Peter Principle, which holds that companies prioritize current job performance in promotion decisions at the expense of characteristics more relevant to the open position. In its most extreme construction, the principle states that competent workers will be promoted until they become incompetent managers.

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