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Economist to Canada: Get Over the U.S. and Get Friendly with China
The chief economist for HSBC Bank Canada urged Canadian treasury and finance executives to help their companies become stronger business partners with China and look beyond their traditional relationship with the United States.

06/27/2014

FP&A Pros Reluctantly Embrace Technology
Financial planning and analysis professionals widely use Excel and technology systems to do their jobs, but nobody is particularly happy about it. That was the theme survey respondents kept repeating in the 2014 gtnews FP&A Technology Survey, underwritten by WDesk.

06/26/2014

June 2014 Futures in Finance Newsletter
This month, we bring you exclusive coverage of the career-related sessions at the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum in Chicago and the AFP Canadian Forum in Toronto. Also, one of the first applicants to pass the beta FP&A Certification exam discusses his process in taking the test, the AFP Advisors Network looks at the business skills required to become a successful independent consultant, and more.

06/26/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: Canada First Nation to Regulate Bitcoin
Canada gave royal assent to Bill C-31 last week, becoming the first country to regulate Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Some nations have weighed in on Bitcoin on a case-by-case basis, including a recent ruling by the Internal Revenue Service, while others, including Japan, are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Not Canada.

06/24/2014

AFP Releases New Guide on FP&A Organizational Structures
The AFP Guide to FP&A Organizational Structures: Trends & Best Practices, sponsored by Wdesk, explores the various approaches to an FP&A organizational structure. The guide provides an overview of different companies’ approaches and emerging trends, delves into the pros and cons of each approach, and offers a list of best practices.

06/24/2014

AFP Reg Report: Cybersecurity, MMFs and Faster Payments
Recent regulatory developments relevant to treasury and finance professionals are reviewed in the AFP Reg Report. In this issue: Cyberthreat data sharing legislation, the SEC MMF reform stalemate and the Fed’s push for a new U.S. payments network.

06/23/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: Bright Second Half to 2014?
We sit on the cusp of Dow 17k and S&P 2k and even though are a few bumps on the horizon, we prepare for what looks to be a bright second half of 2014. The Dow recently climbed to a new all-time high of 16,978.02, and the S&P 500 seems to hit a new high every day.

06/23/2014

CFO Coach: Are You a Credible Candidate?
Are you credible? It’s a serious question. You might be a credible job candidate, but unless you appear credible you probably aren’t… at least not in the minds of those in a position to hire you.

06/20/2014

Corporate Online Banking Systems Due for an Upgrade
A substantial portion of North American banks believe the online banking capabilities they offer their corporate clients are inadequate and those clients agree, according to a new report from Aite Group.

06/20/2014

June 2014 Payments Newsletter
This month, Payments turns its attention toward fraud and cyber risk, as recent events have caused quite a shakeup. We recap a session at the CTC Corporate Treasurer’s Forum, in which FBI Special Agent Kory Bakken provided an insider’s view of the GameOver Zeus botnet. We also look at the recent security breach at P.F. Chang’s, which is now believed to have compromised up to 7 million cards.

06/19/2014

Fed Eyes Exit Fees on Corporate Bonds to Prevent Panics
Fueled by concerns about bond-fund runs after an eventual tightening of interest rates, Federal Reserve Board officials are reportedly discussing charging investors a fee for accessing bond funds, according to the Financial Times.  

06/18/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: P.F. Chang’s Cyberbreach Lasted 9 Months
Last week, P.F. Chang’s Chinese Bistro confirmed that it had undergone a massive security breach that compromised customer credit and debit cards. Though details of the breach were initially sparse, it is now being reported that the breach may have compromised up to 2 million cards and lasted for at least nine months.

06/18/2014

Treasury’s Growing Role Brings Staffing Challenges, Execs Say
As treasury’s role continues to grow, and new responsibilities are added, one unintended consequence is a growing challenge over hiring and retaining staff. Many treasury groups now must develop leaders not only for treasury but for the entire organization.

06/18/2014

One Military Leader’s 3 Keys to Great Treasury Leadership
Most leaders understand the importance of focusing on people and inspiring them. Retired Canadian Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Rick Hillier, who keynoted the seventh annual AFP Canadian Forum last week, believes great leaders need to take those two steps one step further: “Focus on people, inspire them, and draw inspiration from them.”

06/17/2014

19 Actionable Spreadsheet Tips for FP&A Professionals
If you’re a financial planning and analysis professional who is not a skilled spreadsheet user, you can’t do your job effectively. Here are 19 tips that will make you a faster and better spreadsheet user.

06/17/2014

Portfolio Reconciliation is the OTC Market’s New Obsession
When new regulatory requirements in Europe and the United States mandated portfolio reconciliation, there was an explosion in the number of market participants looking to comply. In America, only swap dealers and major swap participants are required to comply; however, because of these obligations many corporate end users also are affected.

06/16/2014

Senate Mulls One-Time Tax Repatriation Holiday
Faced with the reality that comprehensive tax reform will not happen this year, key lawmakers are pinning their hopes on a one-time tax repatriation holiday on U.S corporate overseas earnings that could return as much as $2 trillion -- giving treasury and finance executives more cash to deploy.

06/12/2014

June 2014 Risk Newsletter
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) deadline is less than a month away. Risk managers need to move quickly to comply, or face the consequences. Also this issue, Sun Chemical reveals how it mitigates FX volatility.

06/12/2014

Where Should Treasurers Store Bank Account Data?
Recently on AFP’s discussion list, corporate treasury and finance professionals discussed where they store bank account data.

06/12/2014

Bottom Line: Quiet Border Crossings
Last month, the United Nations issued a lengthy report on the possible impact of climate change on municipalities and businesses. TD Bank followed with a similar report that focused on Canada. Although the reports were full of doom and gloom, they prompted news articles speculating that a potentially warming climate might benefit Canada in several ways.

06/12/2014

One CFO’s Challenge: Post-Recession, More Duties and Demands
Credit unions—nonprofit, member-run financial institutions—felt more economic pressure in Canada during the 2008-09 recession than banks. AFP recently spoke with Rod Ancrum, chief financial officer of Credential Financial in Vancouver, British Columbia, to get his perspective on the financial crisis.

06/11/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: A Closer Look at GameOver Zeus
Treasury and finance professionals who attended the 10th Annual CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum last week received an in-depth look at GameOver Zeus, the botnet responsible for stealing at least $125 million, including routine $1-million wire transfers. Kory Bakken, Special Agent of the FBI, Chicago Division, discussed how law enforcement brought the botnet down.

06/11/2014

BI & Analytics: Key Tools for FP&A Professionals
The role of the FP&A professional encompasses such activities as planning, forecasting, budgeting, controlling, variance analysis, scenario analysis, communicating goals and results, and decision support. While spreadsheets have been a huge advance and will continue to be a mainstay tool in the FP&A toolkit, modern BI and analytics represent the next generation of FP&A tools.

06/10/2014

Treasury, Finance Get Proactive About Climate Change—Or Else
Treasury and finance professionals who focus less on short-term earnings and more on big environmental and social challenges will be the ones who come out ahead in the long run, argued author Andrew Winston, opening keynote speaker of the 10th Annual CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum.

06/10/2014

Treasury: A Change Agent for the Organization
The concept of treasury functioning as a change agent within the organization was the theme of last week’s 10th annual CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum. With so many treasurers taking on additional responsibilities, it’s no surprise they are seen increasingly as change agents, and this shift was the focus of an opening panel discussion at the forum.

06/09/2014

June 2014 FP&A Newsletter
AFP is pleased to officially launch its Certified Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis Professional (“FP&A”) credential, the first accreditation specifically for FP&A professionals. Also this issue, read how Maersk Drilling USA’s finance team transformed themselves into business partners, and how finance executives find good employees.

06/05/2014

How Sun Chemical’s In-House Bank Mitigates FX Volatility
When Sun Chemical revamped its treasury group, integrating an in-house cash bank with its long-time notional pool was a key component, helping to manage FX exposures.

06/04/2014

AFP Survey: Treasurers’ Strategic Role Continues to Grow
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, corporate boards are paying close attention to liquidity and risk exposures, which have elevated the strategic role of corporate treasurers. This trend that is expected to continue over the next five years, according to a new survey by AFP. Oliver Wyman provided insights and financial support for the 2014 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey.

06/04/2014

Prospects for Canada’s RMBS Market: Will Issuance Decline?
Canada has made several significant changes to its housing finance system in recent years. A new report by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) examined how these changes may affect the market for residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS).

06/04/2014

U.S. Surpasses Taiwan as Offshore RMB Clearing Center
Renminbi payments value in the United States increased 327 percent between April 2013 and April 2014, according to the SWIFT RMB Tracker. That puts the U.S. at third in the world for RMB payments value, excluding China and Hong Kong.

06/03/2014

Canadian Treasurers Report a Buyers’ Market for Borrowers
Low interest rates, strong bank balance sheets and attractive debt and equity markets have combined to help Canadian companies access cheaper funding over the past six months. Treasurers have had much success in negotiating revolvers and issuing various types of debt to reset their capital structure and help fund business operations.

06/03/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: Game Over for Botnet, Ransomware Operators
The U.S. Department of Justice teamed with Europol, the UK’s National Crime Agency, the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, Dell SecureWorks and others to take down the GameOver Zeus botnet and Cryptolocker ransomware.

06/03/2014

FP&A Professional Tells How He Passed the Certification Test
Travis Lockhart, manager of financial planning and analysis with IMC and one of the first applicants to pass the beta FP&A Certification exam, gives his thoughts on the test-taking process.

06/02/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: Market Shrugs at U.S. GDP Contraction
As we wrap up the fifth month of 2014, we certainly are not in nirvana, but the economic situation in the U.S. certainly continues to improve. We have come quite a way since the nadir of early 2009 when we can post a quarterly GDP number of -1.0 percent and the market merely shrugs and says, “Who cares? That is backward looking. Things are looking pretty good on the horizon.”

06/02/2014

How Treasurers and CFOs Can Set Up Their Teams for Success
Workers are happiest—and most motivated—when they feel that they accomplish something meaningful at work. These accomplishments do not need to be major breakthroughs, but making sure your team is set up to succeed is the mark of a good manager in just about any field.

05/30/2014

May 2014 Futures in Finance Newsletter
This month, AFP officially launched the Certified Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis Professional (FP&A) credential and introduced the first class of certified FP&A professionals. This new certification program is the first of its kind and specifically designed for the FP&A function. Also this month, we review the results of the 2014 AFP Compensation Survey.

05/29/2014

DOL Postpones Conflict of Interest Proposed Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) expects to re-propose the “Conflict of Interest Rule-Investment Advice” in January 2015. Also in January 2015, DOL expects to issue notices of proposed rulemaking about the safe harbor for the selection of annuity providers for individual account plans, as well as including lifetime inco

05/29/2014

New Booz Allen CFO Discusses Upcoming Challenges
On July 1, Kevin Cook is set to become the chief financial officer of Booz Allen Hamilton. Currently Booz Allen’s senior vice president and corporate controller, Cook will take the reins from current CFO and Chief Administrative Officer Samuel Strickland, who is retiring.

05/29/2014

Mobile Deposit Usage Surges in Canada
Canadians have deposited more than one million checks via mobile phones since the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) approved the check image rule last year, according to data from NCR. The rule allowed for mobile remote deposit capture (RDC).

05/28/2014

AFP Survey: In Finance Profession, Good Raises Reach Staff Level
Finance salaries continue to rise in North America, even among non-executive staff. According to a survey released Wednesday by AFP, average salaries in finance departments of corporations increased in 2013, reflecting continued modest growth in the U.S. economy. Financial professionals at the staff level reportedly saw the biggest bump in compensation.

05/28/2014

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