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  • Value Added Tax in the GCC

    Details on the new VAT established in the region covered by the GCC, including implementation best practices and documentation requirements. By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA

  • Members Only: A Room for Robots in Hospitality

    Realistic uses for artificial intelligence are increasing, making way for machine-based assistance in accounting, marketing, customer service and more. This feature details current scenarios where robotics is used in the business environment, such as for accounting tasks.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: A New Year Equals New Possibilities

    Written By: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE - We are officially in the year 2018. Now is the ideal time to reflect on the successes of the old year, and prepare to make this new year the best one ever. Just as we set goals for ourselves to make us healthier, happier and more successful, HFTP as an organization sets goals each year to better meet the needs of our members and the hospitality industry.

  • GDPR in Hospitality: Vendor Compliance Query Template Available to Industry

    As a professional association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) created a group of hospitality industry experts to develop hospitality-specific guidelines to assist with preparation for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

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Companies Share Tax Savings With Workers

CFO Magazine·11 January 2018
It’s a burning question in corporate finance early this year: What are companies going to do with the cash windfall they’ll be reaping because of the reduced corporate tax rate? Shareholders likely will get some of it, via dividend increases or share buybacks. Perhaps acquisition activity will pick up a bit. It’s probable that some companies will do nothing at all with the new money other than toss it atop their already big pile of cash reserves.
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CFO Job Decision Tree

CFO Magazine·11 January 2018
CFO job decision tree
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Is It Time to Seek a New CFO Job?

CFO Magazine·11 January 2018
For a CFO, deciding whether to take an opportunity with a new employer involves not just how much the compensation will be, but also what the company is all about and what the job responsibilities will be. Before seeking new employment or evaluating offers, a more fundamental question should be addressed: Is it the right time in my career for a job switch?
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'Taxpayer Friendly' IRS Guidance Could Ease Offshore Worries

CFO Magazine·10 January 2018
Barely a week after President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued a guidance that could ease the confusion CFOs might have had about how corporations should calculate the act’s “transition tax” on offshore earnings.
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Hospital CFOs Struggle to Keep Up With the Times

CFO Magazine· 4 January 2018
Anyone who has spent more time than they care to waiting in an emergency room or doctor’s office — and who hasn’t — probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that hospitals and medical groups don’t operate very efficiently. The shortcoming extends to these organizations’ finance operations, new research suggests. Medical-industry CFOs report that they’re struggling to keep pace with the demands placed on their organizations by the transformation the industry has been undergoing for the past decade.
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Lenders Now Taking Bitcoin As Collateral

CFO Magazine· 4 January 2018
Would your business accept bitcoin as collateral? Would it feel confident that an obligation would be paid in full if the price of bitcoin fell 20%, 25%, even 30% from its current level of $15,200? Would it feel comfortable with murky laws that do not clearly define what it means to be custodian of a digital asset? Would it be OK with accepting bitcoin despite the fact that in the last few years billions of dollars of the cryptocurrency have been filched by online thieves?
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Are Rising Dividend Payouts Backed By Cash?

CFO Magazine· 3 January 2018
Do public companies have enough free cash flow to cover the burgeoning dividends they’ve been serving up to shareholders over the last half-decade or so? dividendsIn general, the answer is yes, according to a recent Georgia Tech study of free-cash-flow coverage of dividends and stock buybacks among the non-financial, dividend-paying companies in the S&P 500 from 2012 through 2016.
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New Tax Law Raises Exec Comp Questions

CFO Magazine· 3 January 2018
Among the many aspects of corporate finance affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, executive compensation has received relatively little attention from the mainstream media. Yet the new law raises a number of questions with respect to performance-based incentives.
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No Finance Experience? No Problem

CFO Magazine· 2 January 2018
Can someone land a job as CFO of a Fortune 500 company without much finance experience? Sure. Deanna Strable Deanna Strable Last February, Principal Financial Group — which ranked 227th on the iconic list in 2017— elevated to the top finance role Deanna Strable, an employee of the firm since 1990. Her previous post was president, U.S. insurance solutions. She hadn’t had a role that was primarily financial in nature since 1995, when she was an actuary for the firm.
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Counteracting a 'Can't-Do' Attitude

CFO Magazine· 2 January 2018
“I’ll never hit those numbers—I don’t have the ability, and I never will.” “Sure; I earned the promotion one time, but it was pure luck.” “What’s the point in trying? Just face it: I’m cursed.” If this is the kind of “can’t-do” attitude you hear colleagues expressing — not just on a bad day, but every day — it may be that fellow employees in your workplace have become afflicted with “learned helplessness.”
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The Problem with Pie Charts

CFO Magazine·29 December 2017
Eighteenth century Scottish engineer and economist William Playfair was one of the founding fathers of presenting data visually. He is credited with inventing the ubiquitous line and bar charts. That’s more important than it sounds, given that research since shows humans process visual information faster than verbal information. And we do it with a part of the brain that requires less energy.
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How to Avoid Cross-Border M&A Tax Pitfalls

CFO Magazine·20 December 2017
Those handling international M&A tax planning are facing two sets of challenges that require more proactive tax planning across the board. The first is the tightening fiscal net around the structure and financing of cross-border acquisitions. Countries are requiring multinational corporations provide more substance, economic support, and transparency when entering into tax-advantaged transactions.

What Should CFOs Expect from the New Tax Bill?

CFO Magazine·19 December 2017
With the House’s passage of the final version of the Republican tax bill today and with the Senate’s thumbs-up expected to follow it, the broad outlines and many of the details of the new regime for corporate taxes (as well as taxes for individuals) starting on January 1, 2018, is in focus. Indeed, many CFOs might start plotting their companies’ responses starting Tuesday night. Both houses will be voting on the version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act released on December 15 by a joint House and Senate Conference committee that resolved the Congressional conflicts that lead up to it.

Investors Speak: Down With GAAP!

CFO Magazine·18 December 2017
Will there come a time when accounting regulators bow to the inevitable and finally acknowledge that generally accepted accounting principles...
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Metric of the Month: Cash-to-Cash Cycle Time

CFO Magazine·15 December 2017
Whether your organization manufactures a product or sells a service, it takes time for an investment you make in raw materials or employee brainpower to flow back into your company as cash. The most commonly used metric for gauging that time is the cash-to-cash cycle, also known as the cash-conversion cycle.
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Investors on Rev Rec Changes: Who Cares?

CFO Magazine·13 December 2017
Amid all the consternation plaguing companies about getting up to speed on the new revenue recognition rules, there’s one thing they don’t have to worry about: investor reaction to any resulting changes in their financials. Amid all the consternation plaguing companies about getting up to speed on the new revenue recognition rules, there’s one thing they don’t have to worry about: investor reaction to any resulting changes in their financials.
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Pending Tax Cut Sends CFO Optimism Soaring

CFO Magazine·13 December 2017
Business optimism among CFOs in the United States and some other countries has reached record levels, according to the more than 800 CFOs responding to the latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey. The quarterly survey’s CFO optimism index in the United States increased to 68.6 on a 100-point scale, the highest recording of 2017. Among the CFOs who responded to the late-November-to-early-December survey after the U.S. Senate passed its version of the tax cut bill, optimism spiked to 73, which is the highest U.S. CFO optimism level ever recorded. (The survey, in partnership with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, has been conducted for more than two decades.)

Tech Upgrade Commands CFO's Focus

CFO Magazine·12 December 2017
The privately held financial-market utility that settles and clears transactions for all 15 U.S. option exchanges and 3 futures exchanges has a problem: Its technology is woefully outdated. That’s not quite the disaster it may seem. Options Clearing Corp.’s existing, 20-year-old system is “incredibly stable and still manages our processes on a daily basis, well within the [service-level agreements] we’ve set with our clearing members,” says Amy Shelly, OCC’s finance chief.

Big Data Doesn't Require Big Dollars

CFO Magazine·12 December 2017
By now every CFO understands the value of big data. Big data allows organizations to obtain valuable insights to close sales, reduce operating expenses, avert cyber attacks, and asses business tactics.The goal is to process massive amounts of information to make more informed, rapid decisions. Hindering that objective is the accelerating growth of data. As data volume continually expands, the cost to extract value from this storehouse of business intelligence expands with it. The Internet of Things (IoT) alone is expected to produce 600 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2020, up from 145 ZB in 2015. One ZB is equivalent to the amount of data stored in 250 billion DVDs, or about one billion terabytes.
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Using Tax Savings to Pare Supply Costs?

CFO Magazine·11 December 2017
The economic impact that will follow President Trump’s presumed approval of the tax bill that congressional Republicans are working to finalize will surely generate a diverse collection of winners and losers. Some of them might not be immediately obvious, however. For example, one company hoping to cash in is C2FO, which provides an online working capital marketplace. Through the marketplace, companies pay suppliers earlier than the contractually agreed date in exchange for discounts.
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FASB Leasing Tweak Offers 'Big Relief'

CFO Magazine· 6 December 2017
The recently proposed tweaks to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s new leasing rules represent a big breather for the many public companies racing to comply with the standard by its January 1, 2019, deadline, a lease accounting expert says.
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Shedding Surplus Real Estate Should Be Prioritized

CFO Magazine· 6 December 2017
CFOs of large industrial companies may be sitting on a gold mine that they rarely think about. As counterintuitive as that may sound, such companies are likely to own real estate properties that are ripe for disposal — from a few dozen to hundreds or, in extreme cases, even thousands of them. And with demand for industrial facilities rising, it’s a sellers’ market.
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Mobile App Spending to Top $110B Next Year

CFO Magazine· 6 December 2017
Mobile app monetization will continue to grow next year with worldwide consumer spend across all app stores increasing about 30% to more than $110 billion, according to a new report. App market researcher App Annie also highlighted several signs that the app economy is maturing, with, as of October 2017, iOS App Store and Google Play offering more than 2 million and more than 3.5 million apps, respectively.

How to Prevent 'Visual Hacking'

CFO Magazine· 5 December 2017
When it comes to data security, social-engineering — psychologically manipulating people into divulging confidential information — targets what may be a company’s most exploitable assets: its employees. In “The Human Factor Report 2016,” security and compliance company Proofpoint reported social engineering as the No. 1 attack technique in 2015. Likewise, European security technology firm Balabit put social engineering at the top of its list of the 10 most popular hacking methods. Phishing is the social-engineering tactic that gets the most attention. Rarely a day goes by when there isn’t news about a data breach where a remote hacker gains access to sensitive corporate information — or worse, private customer information. A form of social engineering that gets less attention is “visual hacking.” It’s a low-tech attack technique in which bad actors — either employees or visitors to a corporate work site — access sensitive information for unauthorized use by, for example, physically viewing open computer or mobile-device screens or watching keystrokes to determine a user’s password. This can easily happen without a company even noticing.
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Top CFO Priorities for 2018: Taking Aim

CFO Magazine· 4 December 2017
Next year promises to be an exciting (and, possibly, very critical) year for many companies. Interest rates may finally head higher, workers may be tougher to find, valuations pricier, and consumer spending more robust. Or, as CFOs know all too well, none of that may happen. Unforeseeable events and market conditions will intervene, as they always do. Excessive leverage may finally get the better of the credit markets. An asset bubble could pop. Or populist politics could cause a Western nation’s economy to seize.
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Revenue Recognition: Here at Last

CFO Magazine· 4 December 2017
This month, the converged standard on revenue recognition from the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board finally takes effect for publicly held companies. The standard, called ASC 606 in the United States and IFRS 15 elsewhere, will be a headache for many issuers. How much do you know about ASC 606?

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