This month, financial planning and analysis professionals from all around the world are testing their knowledge in the first global exam for the Association for Financial Professionals’ FP&A Certification. Brian Kalish, AFP’s FP&A practice lead, has been meeting with corporate practitioners for the past two years about FP&A and has found no shortage of interest in the field and the upcoming certification.
Launched a year ago in London, the FP&A Club has seen major developments in Europe and the Middle East. Larysa Melnychuk, founder of the London club, recently spoke with gtnews about the progress the club has made over the past year, and where it is headed in 2014.
The year has got off to a shaky start for several of the world’s emerging market economies. Turkey, India and South Africa all raised interest rates last week to counter their weakening currencies.
Recent regulatory developments relevant to treasury and finance professionals are reviewed in the AFP Reg Report. In this issue: monetary policy, payments risk, ACH, borrowing costs, swap data recordkeeping, EMIR, corporate lending, money-market fund reform, FBAR, corporate tax reform, and data security.
Spot trades are transactions that are settled “on the spot,” as opposed to a pre-determined future date. This method is utilized by many smaller firms who engage in FX transactions and whose smaller volume renders other options too costly or difficult to implement.
This month, we cover AFP's recent trip to the Middle East, with the goal of promoting the FP&A certification to global markets. AFP met with finance practitioners in Dubai and Saudi Arabi. In other AFP news, the recent released Crucial Conversations in Finance Survey (a collaborative effort with VitalSmarts) features 101 insights from financial professionals describing how they handled sensitive or critical situations at their organizations. Also this month, the AFP Advisors Network provides advice for aspiring consultants as well as social media tips for building your professional brand, the CFO Coach makes the case for neutral third-party assessments, and we profile AFP Board Member Adrienne Urban.
The Federal Reserve issued the next wave of reductions in its bond-buying program, reducing monthly asset purchases to $65 billion. On the back of weak December U.S. job numbers, a reactive jolt from emerging markets to the initial taper and shaky currency markets, the Fed’s decision to support continued reduction sets the tone for Fed sensitivity to short-term market fluctuations.
This week, Michaels investigates a possible data breach, Neiman Marcus admits that 1.1 million of its customers may have been compromised, and Target faces scrutiny from Congress.
While not structurally risk susceptible, money market funds continue to pose systemic vulnerabilities through the short-term liquidity they afford to banks, says recently-appointed SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar.
Every sport has a coach that serves as a neutral third-party assessor who can see what the player on the field cannot see. It is the same for a job search candidate. A good, neutral third-party assessment is an excellent idea if you truly want to be effective.
Just when we started thinking it might be safe to go back into the water, we can begin to discern the opening notes from the movie “Jaws” drifting in from the horizon. We experienced a classic flight-to-quality as investors dumped stocks around the world, and plowed that money into ultra-safe government securities.
U.S. business confidence remained even in the final quarter of 2013, with organizations holding steady amounts of cash and investing those balances slightly more aggressively, according to the January 2014 AFP Corporate Cash Indicators™ (AFP CCI), underwritten by State Street Global Advisors.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon denounced Bitcoin earlier this week, and even predicted its demise. "It's a terrible store of value," he said.
Canada has leaped to the No. 2 spot on a world ranking of the best business environments, according to a new survey by Bloomberg. Canada’s place on the 2014 list is likely due in large part to its acclaimed banking system.
The Chinese renminbi was one of the top 10 most-used currencies for payments in both November and December 2013, according to SWIFT. It currently resides in eighth place.
This month, we take a look at AFP’s new Payments Decision Guide, which focuses on developing a payables strategy. The guide, underwritten by Fifth Third Bank, explains the goals and drivers of a payables policy, and then advises corporate practitioners on the best ways to create and implement it. Also this month, we attempt to determine the catalyst that will finally cause corporates to leave checks behind and use electronic payments for business-to-business transactions.
The global economic recovery could hit a roadblock thanks to a few hundred corporations hoarding copious amounts of cash, according to a new study from Deloitte. Fully 32 percent of the world’s top nonfinancial companies are stockpiling 82 percent of their total cash holdings.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a filing extension for Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) to June 30, 2015. This extends a prior extension notice from December 2012 for Form TD 90-22.1, applied to “certain individuals with signature authority over but no financial interest in one or more foreign financial accounts.”
Despite a slowly improving economy, finance executives haven’t relaxed when it comes to risk management because a new set of threats is keeping them up at night, according to the The 2014 AFP Risk Survey, produced in conjunction with Oliver Wyman. U.S. corporations expect earnings uncertainty to continue this year and they are focused on how potential political/regulatory risks and competition could potentially destabilize corporate performance.
The increased pressure of market volatility following the financial crisis led to a growing awareness of the need for expert insight to adequately managing financial risk beyond traditional approaches. But a recent study of 1,075 publicly listed corporations found a pervasive lack of financial risk management within certain asset classes and industries.
While the price of the virtual currency Bitcoin hasn’t reached that height, its rapid increase has caused a few central bankers to remark on its bubble-like rise. A Dutch central banker was recently quoted as saying, “This is worse than the tulip mania.”
The massive retail breach that occurred over the holidays has prompted some retailers—including the National Retail Federation and the CEO of Target, the main victim in the breach—to call for the U.S. to speed up its migration to EMV chip cards.
More information has come to light about the massive retail breach that occurred over the holidays. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has explained that the cause of his store’s breach was malware that infected POS terminals. Meanwhile two reports have emerged, revealing details on the malware used and its author.
Is this the elusive Goldilocks economy we are experiencing? An economy that is neither growing too fast or too slow, but just right? Since the employment report’s release, stocks are mostly higher, bond yields are lower, and inflation is nowhere on the horizon. Only time will tell.
Manufacturing production increased 0.4 percent during the month, lifted by continued strength in the auto industry.
Adrienne Urban, CTP, vice president and treasurer, World Fuel Services Corporation, has been a member of AFP since 1997. Urban has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010, serves as a member of the Audit Committee and the Ethics Special Committee.
Both the French Senate Committee and Well Fargo held meetings this week with various parties to discuss the risks surrounding Bitcoin. Attitudes at both meetings were cautious, but optimistic.
The net quarterly impact from currency volatility in Q3 2013 totaled at least $3.96 billion in losses, according to research by FiREapps. The average currency impact to earnings per share (EPS) was $0.03—three times higher than the industry standard benchmark of less than $.01 EPS.
Deviations from forecast aren’t necessarily problematic—they should lead to a root-cause analysis, better understanding of business drivers and, over time, better forecasts. What is worrying, however, is having only one model to help forecast. One model means one point of view, one set of biases and calculations.
What’s ahead in 2014? What should treasury and risk professionals prepare for in the New Year? A new FiREapps study offers advice on foreign currency while Chatham Financial advises greater financial risk management measures and AFP’s members offer their insights from the corporate practitioner perspective. Also, a case study from Toyota Financial Services.
A proposed amendment to the NACHA Operating Rules has major implications for corporates who originate consumer transactions. According to the proposal, the rule would establish economic incentives for originating depository financial institutions (ODFIs) and their originators to improve the quality of the ACH transactions.
Treasury and finance executives still have time to claim tax benefits from the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act for their organizations, but the window to do so is quickly closing. Companies may claim up to a $6,621.60 credit for each eligible employee.
Corporates have a little less than a month left to comment on proposed changes to part II of the Federal Reserve’s Policy on Payment System Risk (PSR policy). The proposed changes concern automated clearing house (ACH) and commercial check transactions.
The Royal Canadian Mint is looking to launch its own digital currency, called MintChip. What makes MintChip unique is that it is pegged to the Canadian dollar, which should allow it to avoid the drastic swings Bitcoin has undergone.
In finance, there are contracts for banking services, information services, financial services, investment services, business processing outsourcing services and more. Financial professionals should be aware of the common hazards that exist when drawing up contracts.
Overstock.com, the second-largest online retailer in the U.S., has begun accepting Bitcoin as payment for all purchases. Overstock sidestepped the challenges surrounding Bitcoin acceptance by using a third-party payments provider to convert Bitcoin payments to U.S. dollars at the point of transaction.
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.
NACHA is accepting comments on two proposed amendments to its Operating Rules through Monday, January 13, 2014. ACH Network participants are encouraged to respond.
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.
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.