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AFP Fraudwatch: Retail Breaches Part of One Big Holiday Hack?
Neiman Marcus admitted last week that it had been breached. At about the same time, it was revealed that the recent Target breach was larger than expected. Some analysts insist that there were even more retailers who were breached over the holidays that have yet to come forward.


Deadline for Comment on Proposed NACHA Rules Approaching
NACHA is accepting comments on two proposed amendments to its Operating Rules through Monday, January 13, 2014. ACH Network participants are encouraged to respond.


Another Setback for Bitcoin in China: Alibaba Applies Ban
Bitcoin has suffered a further setback as China’s internet retail giant Alibaba said it would impose a ban on its use. Taobao, Alibaba’s online shopping platform and China’s equivalent of Amazon, was ordered to shut down Bitcoin trading by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) after a growing number of merchants began to accept the digital currency.


January 2014 FP&A Newsletter
We kick off the New Year with analysis on what financial executives can look forward to in 2014. Bryan Lapidus contributes thought leadership on why FP&A should use three forecasting models instead of one. Plus, there’s plenty of FP&A news, including a historic agreement in the Middle East, the employment outlook and more.


EC Extends SEPA Deadline Due to Low Adoption Rates
The European Commission has adopted a proposal to grant an extra six-month transition period for businesses to make their systems ready for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), given that market participants are having trouble meeting the formal deadline of February 1, 2014.


Crucial Conversations Define Financial Professionals’ Careers
The Crucial Conversations in Finance Survey, produced by AFP and VitalSmarts, features 101 insights from financial professionals describing how they handled sensitive or critical situations at their organizations. These insights reveal a clear pattern for success and dialogue skills that can help any financial professional can use in a defining moment.


Next Fed Chair: Senate Confirms Janet Yellen
In a 56-26 U.S. Senate vote Monday, Janet Yellen, former vice-chair of the Federal Reserve Board, was confirmed to be the next Fed chair. Yellen, who is the first woman to lead the Fed, will take office following current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s final day on January 31.


SWIFT to Help Banks Manage Compliance with KYC Registry
SWIFT has created the global Know Your Customer (KYC) Registry, a centralized utility intended to help banks manage compliance challenges and reduce the high costs of implementing KYC-related regulations. Currently under development, the service is slated to go live later this year.


New AFP Guide Focuses on Creating a Payables Strategy
The AFP Payments Decision Guide to Creating a Payables Strategy, Part I, presents corporate practitioners with the foundation for developing a comprehensive payments strategy. The guide, underwritten by Fifth Third Bank, outlines the rationale for having a payments strategy in place, implementation guidelines, best practices, and insights from business practitioners.


Checking Out of the Comfort Zone and into E-Payments
The 2013 AFP Electronic Payments Survey, underwritten by J.P. Morgan, found that about 50 percent of treasury and finance professionals still use checks for B2B payments. Is there any one thing that will finally push corporates over the threshold and prompt them to move on to electronic payments?


Bitcoin Tops $1,000 Again Following Zynga Announcement
After weeks of sitting in the $700-$800 range, Bitcoin’s value is back over $1,000 on Mt.Gox, thanks to an announcement by Zynga. The social gaming giant revealed that it would begin accepting payments via Bitcoin, sending the virtual currency soaring to a high of $1,093.


AFP Caps Successful Visit to Middle East with FP&A Agreement
In early December, AFP CEO and President Jim Kaitz embarked on a one-week trip to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. In Dubai, he met with Mohammed El-Fadel, chairman of the Money Experts Institute for Training, and gave a presentation to the inaugural meeting of the Dubai FP&A Club. Kaitz also spoke at the Middle East CFO Alliance meeting.


Canadian Mobile Payment Activity Expected to Increase in 2014
More Canadians are expected to use their mobile devices to make payments in the new year, according to a new report from Rogers Communications. The Canadian telecommunications giant polled more than 1,000 consumers and found that 68 percent expect to use mobile devices to make online purchases in 2014.


Retailers Appeal $5.7 Billion Interchange Settlement
The National Retail Federation is appealing the $5.7 billion settlement with Visa and MasterCard over interchange, which District Judge John Gleeson approved in December. The retail trade group is concerned that the ruling will do nothing to prevent hikes on interchange fees in the future.


This Week in Corporate Finance: 2014 Begins on a High Note
The stock market is at all-time or multi-year highs; interest rates, while rising are at historical lows; the employment and housing markets seem to be recovering; and there is no inflation on the near-term horizon. What could possibly go wrong?


Indian Bitcoin Exchanges Close Following RBI Warning
Bitcoin exchanges in India are closing down, following a warning issued by the country’s central bank.In a public advisory, the Reserve Bank of India advised users to be cautious, given virtual currencies’ potential use in money laundering and terrorist activities.


Case Study: Ohio State’s Investment Strategy
Convinced that interest rates would remain low for a protracted period of time, The Ohio State University's treasury department implemented a new investment strategy for the university’s operating cash balance. The project resulted in a three-layer investment portfolio.


Top 10 AFP Articles in 2013
As we begin the new year, AFP is taking a look back at the most-read articles of 2013. We have compiled the most popular articles among all readers, as well as those that were most popular among corporate practitioner readers.


SWIFT Users to Receive 10% Rebate on Messaging Fees
SWIFT announced Thursday that it is providing users with a 10 percent rebate on its 2013 messaging fees. The rebate, which will return approximately €33 million (US$45 million) to users, is set to begin in March.


Best Practices: Accepting Payment Instructions
When you receive payment instructions in emailed PDF documents, should you call to confirm authenticity? Recently on AFP’s discussion list, corporate treasury and finance professionals discussed authorized signatures in PDFs.


New Taxes May Chill Multinationals’ Shift to Mexico
Mexico has long sought to become the production site of choice for multinational corporations, in part by providing a friendly environment for corporate treasury. Those efforts have paid off handsomely in recent years, but tax reform may dampen some corporates’ enthusiasm.


Looking for a Finance Job in 2014? Try FP&A
Many organizations are planning to expand payrolls next year, but few are expected to add more positions to treasury and finance. Which begs the question: Are there any areas where companies will add positions?


VIDEO: Pinnacle Grand Prize-Winning Strategies
Sarah Knapp, assistant commissioner for the New York City Department of Finance, discusses winning the Pinnacle Grand Prize. The department created the first city agency solely responsible for payments, providing guidance and services for 36 individual agencies.


Bloomberg Exec: Sustainability Disclosures Are 'When, Not If '
The Executive Institute at last week’s 2013 AFP Annual Conference concluded with a look at a very specific brand of leadership—spearheading an effort to make a business more sustainable. In a luncheon address, Curtis Ravenel, Director, Global Sustainability Strategy Group, Bloomberg, L.P., discussed how he reshaped his company’s internal sustainability efforts.


SEC Commissioner Hints at Money Market Fund Proposal Near
In a recent interview SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher said he expects new rules governing money-market mutual funds to be proposed within two months. The proposal would include a floating NAV, Gallagher said.


Congress and White House Divided on Corporate Tax Reform

Back in 2009, the White House, Congress and Corporate America seemed to agree that corporate tax rates should be set in the range comparable to other developed nations and that lowering the basic tax rate was likely the best approach. Now, as policymakers begin to discuss specific details associated with lowering general rates, Congress and the White House appear to be on different tracks.


Big Data is in the Forecast

Senior financial professionals consider big data their greatest challenge to accurate forecasting, according to the 2013 AFP Risk Survey, sponsored by Oliver Wyman, to be released on February 27.


General James Conway’s 10 Tips on Leadership
At the Executive Institute luncheon at the AFP Annual Conference in Miami, the 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps, General James Conway, gave a talk on leadership. The general provided the corporate treasury and finance executives in attendance with 10 “tweaks” to leadership.


Visa, MasterCard Agree to $7.25B Antitrust Settlement
Visa, MasterCard and 13 banks agreed to the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history late last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The effort could put to rest a seven-year antitrust lawsuit with retailers related to interchange fees.


Ex-Bear Stearns Exec Blames Economic Woes on Inflation, QE2
The former chief investment strategist for Bear Stearns told attendees at the AFP of Canada Treasury Management Forum in his keynote speech that the eurozone crisis was not as big a threat to the global economy as inflation in the U.S. 


FP&A Newsletter is looking for Editorial Advisory Board Volunteers

Want to be part of the most popular financial planning and analysis publication? FP&A newsletter is seeking volunteers to serve on its Editorial Advisory Board—and you are invited to join.


FBAR Individual Reporting Requirements Coming for Treasurers
Corporate treasury and finance professionals need to review the Q&A on AFP’s website to see if they have an individual reporting responsibility regarding Financial Bank Account Reporting, or FBAR. Treasury and finance professionals with signatory authority over their corporation’s foreign accounts and who have the ability to direct the flow of cash in those accounts, alone or in conjunction with another person, may be scoped in the guidance (e.g. initiate wires transfers).


Trending Now: Your Job References
References can determine whether a top-tier job candidate lands a new position, or gets his/her resume thrown in the trash. Your experience, education, resume and interview skills are all important - but if that potential employer gets rubbed the wrong way on a reference call, it could be lights out for your dream job.


2011 AFP Annual Conference Wrap-Up
Another AFP Annual Conference is in the books, and AFP staff already is hard at work for next year’s big event in Miami. As usual, this year’s annual conference was informative, valuable and fun—in other words, the most important event in treasury and finance. In case you missed some of the action, here is a rundown of some of the biggest moments at AFP 2011.


Clinton, Slaughter Discuss ‘Occupy’ Movement at 2011 AFP Annual Conference
Former President Bill Clinton and Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter address the Occupy movement, its origins, and why it has moved beyond a simple protest into a worldwide phenomenon at the 2011 AFP Annual Conference.


This Week in Corporate Finance: Too Big to Rescue?
The markets, having survived last week’s brush with death in regard to Greece, were roiled again this week in response to the news out of Italy. The great apprehension with Italy is the fear it is TBTR (Too Big to Rescue).


U.S. Congress Warms to Repatriation
Since the start of the 112th Congress, both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have introduced an unprecedented number of repatriation bills, aimed to grant multinational businesses the opportunity to bring their foreign earnings to the United States at a reduced tax rate.


Today's Forecasting Technology: Boon or Bane?

With modern budgeting, forecasting and planning technology, re-forecasts can be produced, sliced and diced faster than ever before. What kinds of trade-offs exist when forecasts are created at such a frenetic pace?


Irrational Numbers
Amid the financial market turmoil in August, exchange rates shifted rapidly and substantially. As investors turned pessimistic on global economic prospects, they bought into safe havens such as the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, while selling growth-oriented currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars.


IFAC Issues New Documents on Quality Control, Sustainable Success
IFAC recently released an updated version of its Guide to Quality Control for Small- and Medium-Sized Practices (QC Guide) and a white paper titled, Competent and Versatile: How Professional Accountants in Business Drive Sustainable Organizational Success.


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