Articles

Preparing for Uncertainty in 2023
By any measure, 2023 is shaping up to be a challenging year for businesses both in the U.S. and across the world. Markets remain volatile. Interest rates are expected to continue to increase, although the timing and level of the final increases remain uncertain. FX rates and commodity prices continue to experience heightened volatility, driven by the threat of recession and ongoing supply chain problems.

02/02/2023

Dr. Simone Ahuja on Driving Everyday Innovation
Dr. Simone Ahuja is a global innovation expert, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of Jugaad Innovation and Disrupt It Yourself. Her keynote address at AFP 2022 challenged financial professionals at all levels to innovate within their roles, using resources they already have.

02/01/2023

How to Build Trust and Be a Better Finance Business Partner
Effective business partnering begins with trust. It is the foundation on which everything else is built, including the ability to develop strong business relationships and drive the business forward.

01/30/2023

Decisions at a Distance from HQ
Developing budgets and targets is a messy process. Top-down expectations collide with bottom-up estimations, compensation is on the line, and everyone sees something different. Communication is compromised as corporations grow larger; regions are far from headquarters, some businesses get less attention, and owners have different goals than managers. This case study explores these challenges.

01/26/2023

What Are the Characteristics of a Successful Cash Forecast?
Forecasting remains one of the key areas treasurers continue to evolve and refine. But what are the characteristics of a successful cash flow forecast? AFP’s Tom Hunt, CTP, director of treasury services and payments and Mina Nasif, CTP, managing director, partnerships and MEA, Beacon FinTrain with AFP, recently met with a group of treasury professionals from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region to get their take on it.

01/23/2023

A Problem with Standard Costs
The problem with a “well-run” business is the false sense of security that takes hold and leaves a company unprepared to handle volatility. In this example of an extended planning and analysis (xP&A) challenge, the vagaries of operational forecasting challenge a manufacturing company to define “normal capacity” for production, as the basis for calculating standard rates, booking charges and creating a forecast.

01/17/2023

Reflecting on 2022 With an Eye Toward 2023: The North America FP&A Advisory Council
Members of AFP’s 2023 North America FP&A Advisory Council represent a broad cross-section of industries, organizational sizes and ownership structures, and were selected based on their contributions to the FP&A practice, expertise in specific areas, and desire to contribute to the advancement of their peers.

01/17/2023

4 Issues That Will Impact Treasury Management in 2023
The economic outlook for 2023 is less than rosy, steering the focus of most companies’ leadership toward preparation and planning. Treasurers are helping to develop strategic plans and update the various liquidity and risk management policies and procedures.

01/12/2023

Manual to Automatic: Cash Pooling in the APAC Region
How does an international professional services firm, positioned in a highly regulated environment such as the Asia-Pacific Region, go from a manual process of centralizing its funds to an automated solution where it can access its liquidity daily? In the following case study, we’ll reveal the approach they took, challenges they faced, and the benefits of their automated solution once implemented.

01/11/2023

Why We Need to Get Comfortable with Treasury Automation
As treasury evolves from an operational department to a strategic business partner, automation is playing an increasingly important role. With the expanded use of real-time payments, we are moving ever nearer to a world of real-time finance, an environment of constantly changing data. Without more automation, treasury practitioners will simply not be able to make decisions quickly enough.

01/03/2023

Preparation: The Key to Managing Cash in Uncertain Times
Treasury’s role is to protect corporate assets, even during the most uncertain times. And, as we look forward to 2023, there is plenty to be uncertain about. Interest rates are on the rise, the foreign exchange and commodity markets remain volatile, and economic forecasters are predicting a recession.

01/03/2023

Financial Professionals Are Cautiously Optimistic on Outlook for 2023
The current business environment is fraught with uncertainty. The global economy is challenged with record-high inflation coupled with the threat of a recession and a very tense situation in Eastern Europe due to the war in Ukraine. Still, financial professionals are cautiously optimistic about their organization’s financial performance in 2023, according to findings from the 2022 AFP Annual Conference Survey.

12/22/2022

How to Build a Professional Network
Building a network is important for your career for numerous reasons: excellence in your current role, identifying future roles, attaining those opportunities, and identifying talent. It can help you to be visible in multiple places while simultaneously receiving inputs from many sources.

12/21/2022

AFP’s Best of 2022
Want to know which topics were the most popular among treasury and finance professionals in 2022? We’ve compiled a list of the top research and guides, articles, training and podcasts, as well as conversations on AFP Collaborate with the most activity.

12/19/2022

Introducing the AFP Corporate Treasury and Finance Marketplace
The Corporate Treasury and Finance Marketplace, created in partnership with MediaBrains, is an online directory where you can identify service providers, read peer reviews and make critical purchase decisions — all in one place.

12/19/2022

Goals for 2023 from Finance Professionals
As we head into the new year, we asked finance professionals on AFP’s North America Emeritus and Asia-Pacific Advisory Councils to share some of their goals for 2023.

12/16/2022

What Finance Professionals Learned in 2022
As we head into the new year, we asked finance professionals on AFP’s North America and Middle East and Africa FP&A Advisory Councils to share what they learned in 2022. The lessons that they have learned reveal trends and challenges for the entire finance community to keep in mind.

12/16/2022

The Metrics of Change Management
This is part two of a two-part article about getting your data right. In part one, we covered the importance of shared organizational goals and how to work with “imperfect” data with the help of Najeeb Uddin, senior vice president and CIO at AARP. In part two, we talk about change management with the help of Ed Cook, president of The Change Decision and consultant with the Association for Change Management Professionals.

12/13/2022

Working with Imperfect Data
We are continuing our effort to help the finance community get their data right. We began in June with the first FP&A Series, continued with a guide in September, and now, with a recent webinar, we present points of view from outside finance on this important topic. To help us do that, we enlisted the help of Najeeb Uddin, senior vice president and CIO at AARP, and Ed Cook, president of The Change Decision and consultant with the Association for Change Management Professionals.

12/13/2022

What Are the Risks of Cryptocurrency?
Managing cryptocurrency is not the same as managing traditional currencies, such as the U.S. dollar or the euro. While traditional currency is held in and processed via bank accounts, cryptocurrency is managed via cryptocurrency wallets. Treasurers need to pay close attention to understanding the risks as they develop crypto strategies for their organizations.

12/12/2022

The Gap Is Widening: Digital Payments for B2B Transactions See Measurable Increase in Recent Years
The gap between paper checks and ACH credits is widening, according to the payments experts who recently met up for an AFP webinar. At least in North America. “Checks really aren’t used much on an international basis,” said Tom Hunt, AFP’s director of treasury services and payments.

12/06/2022

Automation Provides Business Continuity Protection
It can be easy to overlook the importance of staffing in a regular business continuity plan. The focus is often on the “what, where and how” — what needs to be done, where the decisions will be made, and how processes and procedures can be followed. The “who” is more difficult to plan for, as each staff member is an individual, with particular, and changing, skills, knowledge and experience, complicating the task of ensuring the people side of the business continuity plan is kept up to date.

12/05/2022

7 Steps on an EPM Transformation Journey
The AFP FP&A Mini Case Study series is designed to help you build up key FP&A capabilities and skills by sharing examples of how leading practitioners have tackled challenges in their work and the lessons learned. In this case study, a consultant advising a genomic testing services company shares their seven-step approach to successfully establish a new enterprise performance management (EPM) reporting & planning platform, foundational business process changes, and the operational benefits it provides.

12/02/2022

The Road to Treasury Optimization
The treasury landscape is transforming in the Asia-Pacific region. In a special three-part series of the AFP Conversations podcast, we take a deep dive into questions such as, how has the pandemic accelerated finance and treasury transformations? What should you consider when you’re looking to enhance liquidity management? And what does the future of digital treasury look like?

12/01/2022

APAC Treasury Advisory Council Profile: Joris Chevaux
Joris Chevaux, CTP, works for a global cosmetic retailer, a company that is part of a French Group listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange. He is the Regional Treasury Manager for Southeast Asia and Oceania. Chevaux is also a member of AFP's Asia-Pacific (APAC) Treasury Advisory Council. "It’s a great way to network with other treasury peers and great treasury minds all over Asia.”

11/30/2022

Top 5 Tasks of a Treasury Analyst
Treasurers help shape the future of a company’s financial strategy. Most importantly, they make sure there’s enough money to pay the bills. Beyond that, treasurers manage the financial risks of an organization and ensure there’s funding for new ventures. How do you get started? The entry-level position for treasury is that of treasury analyst. Below, we’ve compiled the top five tasks of this position to give you an idea of what it entails.

11/29/2022

Improving Finance Agility to Support the Business
The AFP FP&A Mini Case Study series is designed to help you build up key FP&A capabilities and skills by sharing examples of how leading practitioners have tackled challenges in their work and the lessons learned. In this case study, the regional head of FP&A at an international nonprofit organization shares how Finance collaborated cross-functionally to help the organization rapidly deliver a new digital product during the pandemic when the old format was no longer viable.

11/28/2022

Understanding the Finance and Accountant Careers Website
Whether you’re looking for a job in finance or trying to hire for an open position, recent, relevant data about similar roles can make all the difference in the process. For hiring managers, it means making sure what they’re offering is competitive in the talent marketplace. For professionals, it means making sure they have the necessary skills and certifications to stand out.

11/21/2022

Treasury Job Descriptions
Treasury job descriptions, from the Treasurer through Assistant Cash Manager, with suggested experience, job knowledge and skills outlined.

11/21/2022

Rate Increases and Working Capital: An Update from the APAC Region
In a meeting with treasury professionals from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Tom Hunt, AFP’s director of treasury and payment services, gathered some interesting takeaways about their current challenges and strategic focuses around foreign exchange and working capital management.

11/21/2022

Corporate Finance Job Descriptions
Corporate finance job descriptions, from the CFO through Financial Analyst, with suggested experience, job knowledge and skills outlined.

11/21/2022

6 Technologies That Will Transform Corporate Treasury: Thanksgiving Edition
The momentum toward a digital-first strategy continues to accelerate, as companies look to stay competitive and relevant in the current business environment. At the same time, the technology landscape continues to grow with innovative technologies that are available now or just on the horizon.

11/18/2022

5 Ways to Visualize Data: Thanksgiving Edition
While there is no one right way to visualize data, pairing a method that complements your message is key to effective delivery. As a fun exercise leading into Thanksgiving in the United States, we invited four data visualization experts to create charts related to the holiday and explain the choices they made in their visualization.

11/18/2022

MEA Regional Update: Global Challenges to Working Capital, FX, and Forecasting Accuracy, Plus AFP Visits Egypt
Like the rest of the globe, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is facing economic challenges in the form of increased interest rates, absence or scarcity of credit and working capital, and trying to build an accurate forecast in the midst of it all. To better understand the effects of the current economic environment on the MEA region, we spoke with treasury professionals in the region, via a discussion led by Tom Hunt, AFP’s director of treasury services and payments.

11/18/2022

CTP Profile: Helping to ‘Bring Good Things to Life’
It was an internship with the Nestlé Regional Treasury Center in Singapore, as part of their FX and Risk Department, that first introduced Shawn Xu, CTP, to the world of corporate treasury. “The team was very forthcoming and gave me a good overview of the role a corporate treasury department plays in an organization,” said Xu.

11/17/2022

One Source of Truth for Metrics Provides True Picture of Company’s Performance
The AFP FP&A Mini Case Study series is designed to help you build up key FP&A capabilities and skills by sharing examples of how leading practitioners have tackled challenges in their work and the lessons learned. In this case study, a senior-level FP&A practitioner at a leading global provider of insurance shares how creating one source of truth for metrics, from one data source, using one platform, allows the company’s managers to compare themselves against their peers, making change management occur at a much faster rate.

11/14/2022

Accounting to FP&A: A Career Path of Continuous Learning
The career path of Scott Corvey, FPAC, is a compelling lesson in the value of continuous learning throughout a career. Scott, a member of AFP’s North American FP&A Advisory Council, shared with AFP the story of the rise of his career in accounting, his decision to transition to FP&A, and how accounting and FP&A skill sets work so well together.

11/14/2022

8 Steps Companies Should Take When Managing Cryptocurrency
For most treasurers, having to manage cryptocurrency is a question of timing. While only a small proportion of companies already accept cryptocurrency, most recognize that this will change, perhaps in the very near future. And when it does, companies that are crypto-ready may have a competitive advantage over those that are not.

11/07/2022

Getting Your Data Right Requires FP&A
It has been almost two decades since we were introduced to the phrase, “data is the new oil.” And while data permeates every facet of life and work, many of our AFP members tell us they still struggle to get their data right.

11/07/2022

Creating a More Diverse Workforce in the Finance Profession
What does a career in treasury and finance look like to students or people who are just starting out in the workforce? If they’ve never been exposed to that world, it is a complete unknown. In fact, it’s likely not even on their radar.

11/04/2022

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