Articles

Why Agility Matters to Finance
The term agility implies a mindset open to change, the ability to rapidly assess the environment and the capability for action that effects change. The importance of agility is often seen in adapting capabilities of working toward goals, while resilience is a complementary term often phrased as the ability to achieve goals in the face of difficulties, such as COVID, supply chain disruptions and instability.

10/19/2023

Liquidity Planning: Cash Forecasting 2.0
APIs allow data to be collated from multiple sources, both internal and external, eliminating much of the manual process traditionally associated with forecasting. AI can be used to identify patterns in payments to better forecast future cash flows. And data analytics is developing over time, such that it is possible to not only forecast the most likely future cash position but also model alternative scenarios too.

10/18/2023

Global AFP Service Codes Committee Review
In collaboration with the SWIFT CGI-MP, the Association for Financial Professionals has published an updated version of the AFP Global Service Codes used in all ISO 20022 bank fee reporting files. Recognized as the global standard by more than 30 of the world’s largest commercial banks, the AFP Global Service Codes, when included in bank billing camt.086 or TWIST file formats, provide transparency into their costs for cash management, trade, and card services across their banking network.

10/06/2023

Bridging Data Science and FP&A
By building relationships and changing mindsets, a Director of FP&A was able to flip a siloed work culture and skills deficit in a newly formed FP&A team, elevating the entire team to award-winning and vital business partners.

10/05/2023

43% of Treasury Professionals Cite Macroeconomic Risk as One of the Most Challenging Risks to Manage
Forty-three percent of treasury professionals consider macroeconomic risk (pace of GDP growth, inflation and interest rates) to be one of the most challenging risks to manage, according to the 2023 AFP Risk Survey, supported by Marsh McLennan. This figure is up 24 percentage points from 2021 when only 19% cited macroeconomic risk, as the most challenging risk to manage.

10/05/2023

Major Shifts in Investment and Money Fund Reforms Top of Mind for Treasury Professionals
In a webinar on topics from the 2023 AFP Liquidity Survey, underwritten by Invesco, treasury professionals discussed several aspects of the current market, including a shift in allocation from bank deposits to money market funds, money market fund reforms from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), and where the Fed is headed next.

09/26/2023

4 Insights on Corporate Financial Analysis
The corporate finance function conducts detailed examinations of business and operational data to determine how well our enterprise is functioning and to derive insights to make it better. This financial and operational analysis is part of an information supply chain that aligns with the enterprise's mission and objectives, then gathers and converts data into insights that can be communicated. CFOs and the business rely on converting financial understanding to actionable insight through the skills of financial analysis, modeling and performance management.

09/25/2023

The Role of AI in Forecasting and Where It Falls Short
AI has the ability to process vast amounts of data at unprecedented speeds that uncover patterns and insights. Practitioners have focused this powerful technology on reshaping how businesses approach forecasting, where the fusion of AI as cutting-edge technology with financial practices has unlocked new levels of accuracy and efficiency that make traditional methods more robust.

09/18/2023

Developing Efficient Payment Routing
The emergence of multiple new payment rails provides treasurers with much more choice when effecting payments. With more payment rails to choose from, there are multiple rules to follow and different cut-off times to meet.

09/12/2023

4 Tips for Boosting Operating Capital Using Procurement E-Auctions
These are uncertain financial times for many enterprises. Economic indicators are mixed and inflation has driven up costs, while high interest rates have created the toughest environment in decades for securing outside funding. Many finance leaders are being asked to prepare for the worst by trimming budgets and reducing headcount.

09/07/2023

AFP 2023 Pinnacle Awards Finalists: Casey’s General Stores, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Ultradent Products, Inc.
Casey’s General Stores, Delta Air Lines, Inc., and Ultradent Products, Inc. are finalists for the AFP 2023 Pinnacle Awards, sponsored by U.S. Bank. Established in 1997, the AFP Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in treasury and finance.

09/07/2023

Why Cash Flow Forecasting Is Important to Treasury
Making sure a business has enough cash to meet its obligations over a set period of time is the primary goal of treasury, and cash flow forecasts help treasury professionals meet this goal.

08/23/2023

10 Quick Tips for Effective Communication in Finance
At an AFP MegaCap roundtable discussion, we asked finance professionals, “What is your secret sauce for effective communication? Here’s what they said.

08/21/2023

Virginia Tech Students Discover Significant Role for Big Data in Commercial Real Estate
A team of finance and IT professionals from Carr, a privately held real estate investment trust, teamed up with students from Virginia Tech’s Calhoun Honors Discovery Program (CHDP) in fall 2022, through an introduction by AFP, to develop algorithms and utilize machine learning to identify areas of cost savings for Carr and improve customer engagement, and validate Carr's investment in big data and illustrate the effective use of the technology when it comes to decision-making.

08/15/2023

Increase Performance: Create an Analytics Scorecard for the Right KPIs
When a global cybersecurity company organized a Center of Excellence within its Global Operations Division, it decided to improve its key performance indicators reporting by implementing a reporting model that applied analytics to test the strength and magnitude of business drivers.

08/15/2023

Understanding Cash Concentration and How It Can Help Your Company
Cash concentration is a key aspect of liquidity management and treasury operations. Utilizing this practice serves to improve organizational liquidity and reduce potential losses emerging from acts of fraud.

08/10/2023

Standard Chartered Joins AFP DEI Initiative
Standard Chartered has joined AFP’s DEI Initiative for Treasury and Finance, which introduces treasury and finance careers to college students and early career professionals and helps them further develop their careers.

08/08/2023

4 Steps to Getting the Information You Need to Build a Financial Model
When it comes to skills that are critical to success in finance, being able to build a model tops the list. Finance professionals are confronted with a multitude of problems every day; each problem has a unique solution — and in many cases, requires a custom-built model.

07/31/2023

Sustainability Reporting Is Coming to Corporate Finance
2023 is going to be a pivotal year for Chief Financial Officers and corporate finance as sustainability (or E.S.G.) metrics are integrated into financial reporting packages.

07/27/2023

Your Questions About Payments Fraud Answered
In part two of a two-part article, experts from a companion webinar to the 2023 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, underwritten by J.P. Morgan, answer treasury professionals’ questions about payments fraud.

07/25/2023

Far From Over, Payments Fraud Keeps Pace with Modern Tools and Methods
Payments fraud is still a serious threat to every organization. Wherever fraudsters can find relaxed controls within an organization, they have a scheme designed to penetrate it. In a companion webinar to the 2023 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, underwritten by J.P. Morgan, experts shared their perspectives on the latest fraud trends and offered solutions that can help you respond to ever more sophisticated threats.

07/25/2023

Navigating Budget Season: 5 Essential Strategies for Building Finance Team Resilience
Budget season is a critical time for finance teams. The pressure is on to deliver accurate forecasts while meeting tight deadlines. To thrive during this challenging period, finance leaders must employ strategies that promote resilience and empower their teams to perform at their best.

07/19/2023

Treasury and Finance Professionals’ Salaries Rise as Employers Face Talent Shortage
Nearly 60% of treasury and finance functions report that they are facing a talent shortage, according to the 2023 AFP Compensation Survey. Not only does talent scarcity impact business leaders and human resources — given the substantial time and cost it takes to hire and onboard a new employee — but it also negatively impacts existing employees.

07/18/2023

Overrated or Underrated: Zero-Based Budgeting, Data Science, Forecast Accuracy and Beginner Excel Modeling Skills
We asked finance professionals on AFP’s North America FP&A Advisory Council to discuss what they think is overrated or underrated in finance. Here is what they had to say.

07/17/2023

The SEC’s Money Market Reforms: Balancing Regulation and Execution
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made an announcement on July 12, 2023, regarding Money Market Fund Reforms, highlighting their continued and ongoing goals, according to Chair Gensler, to implement “rules [which] will make money market funds more resilient, liquid, and transparent, including in times of stress.”

07/14/2023

Overcoming the Loss of Receivables Transaction Data
Working with a legacy system that was largely manual, Shearer’s Foods used to rely on the knowledge of long-time employees to match imprecise payments with invoices outstanding. After incorporating advanced automation, the treasury team was able to strengthen working capital and create more efficiencies in their processes.

07/11/2023

FPAC Profile: Data Analytics and Financial Modeling Are Vital Skills in Her Role in the Automotive Industry
After graduating from The German University in Cairo, Egypt, Sarah Badawy, FPAC, strode right into the field of financial planning and analysis with her very first job as Budgeting and Planning Deputy Section Head for Bank Audi. She spent two years there before moving on to Senior Financial Analyst for The Roots Holding Company, where she served for just over a year before accepting the position of Senior Pricing and Financial Analyst with her present company of Al-Mansour Automotive Company.

07/05/2023

AFP Survey Illuminates Key Factors of Successful DEI Policies
Sixty-eight percent of organizations have either instituted or are actively working on creating a DEI policy, according to the 2023 AFP Compensation Survey. Of those treasury and finance professionals who said that their organizations have a DEI policy in place, 47% reported that the DEI policy at their organization is successful, while 12% said it is unsuccessful and 41% are unsure.

06/30/2023

Organizations’ Cash and Short-Term Allocation to Bank Deposits at Lowest Level in 4 Years
Forty-seven percent of organizations’ cash and short-term allocation are maintained in bank deposits, according to the 2023 AFP Liquidity Survey, underwritten by Invesco. This figure is down 8 percentage points from 2022 and is the lowest recorded in four years.

06/29/2023

An Urgent Revamp to Reporting
After a private equity firm acquired a professional services company, a VP of FP&A came on to overhaul the monthly reporting for the new management and owners. The VP was tasked with bolstering the technical ability to get the reporting out and the challenge of designing reports that meet the different needs of various stakeholders.

06/27/2023

The Final Days of LIBOR as We Know It: What to Do if You’re Not Ready
USD LIBOR, the floating rate benchmark representing the rate at which banks borrow and lend to each other in the Eurodollar markets, will cease being published after June 30, 2023. While a rate, “Synthetic LIBOR,” will still be published by LIBOR’s administrator and will appear on a Reuters Screen, it will not “be representative” of the underlying markets.

06/26/2023

7 Essential Investment Considerations for Short-Term Cash
With institutional money market yields now greater than 5% in several instances, corporate cash managers may need to reassess their short-term investment strategies. Our current yield environment is significantly higher than the prevailing rates observed in recent years. Indeed historically, short-end rates have never climbed so far so fast.

06/22/2023

The Financial Rewards of Sustainable Strategies
At the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business (CSB), we believe companies that embed sustainability into their corporate strategy and decision-making processes will deliver positive social impact and higher business value as seen through revenue growth, increased profitability and higher valuations.

06/15/2023

Advice from a Treasury Recruiter on Achieving Career Success
How can treasury professionals stand out to recruiters? What career opportunities are there for treasury professionals outside of standard nine-to-five roles? And how can treasury advocate for its value?

06/06/2023

Advice from a Treasury Recruiter on Networking
The career benefits of networking are numerous, including gaining more exposure to career opportunities and learning from peers with similar interests. How can treasury professionals expand and maintain their network?

06/06/2023

Advice from a Treasury Recruiter on Building a Personal Brand
There are many benefits to building a strong personal brand, including expanding your network and gaining more exposure to career opportunities. What can treasury professionals do to build their personal brand?

06/06/2023

Advice from a Treasury Recruiter on Finding a Mentor
A mentor can have an incredibly positive influence on your career by providing feedback and encouragement and helping you identify and achieve career goals. But how do you find a mentor, particularly if you’re in treasury?

06/06/2023

How We Tamed the Budget Monster
An AFP member explains how a siloed work culture and time-consuming annual budget process created a rift between finance and the business at his company, and how creating a culture of forecasting promoted collaboration.

06/05/2023

The Journey from FP&A to CFO
Many of the skills that make FP&A a strategic partner to the business lead well into the skills that make the CFO a trusted advisor. It’s no surprise then that FP&A has become a career stop for many on the path to CFO. At an AFP FP&A roundtable, one CFO shared his story of how he went from working almost exclusively in FP&A to becoming a CFO.

06/05/2023

Bringing the Best of FP&A to the Organization
Nikita M. Miller, FPAC, has kept an FP&A lens on her work since her first job, before FP&A was even in her job title. Her interest in looking at the business as a whole ultimately led to her current role as Director of Facilities plus FP&A at The Kresge Foundation in Detroit.

05/24/2023

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