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Washington Calls for Tougher Cybersecurity Standards
Two Senate hearings this week focused on the multiple data breaches that have erupted across the retail sector. Politicians, regulators, law enforcement agencies, retailers and banks agree that stronger standards are needed to prevent future incidents. Any new legislation or regulations arising in the wake of the retail data breaches likely will hit all corporates in the form of increased spending on cybersecurity compliance.

02/04/2014

Preparing for the FP&A Exam: Hands-On Experience Is a Must
Think you can take the examination to be a Certified Corporate FP&A professional without using spreadsheets? Think again.

02/04/2014

FP&A: A Growing Profession
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.

02/04/2014

FP&A Club Update: One Year Later
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.

02/04/2014

Emerging Market Volatility Paints a Murky Picture for 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.

02/03/2014

AFP Reg Report: 2014 Begins with a Flurry of Activity
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.

02/03/2014

Four Ways to Execute FX Spot Transactions
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.

01/30/2014

January 2014 Futures in Finance
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.

01/30/2014

Fed Holds Steady on Taper as Bernanke Era Ends
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.

01/29/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: Retail Cybersecurity Woes Continue
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.

01/28/2014

New SEC Commissioner Takes Aim at FSOC on MMF Regulation
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.

01/28/2014

CFO Coach: A Good Third-Party Assessment
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.

01/28/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: The Flight to Quality Resumes
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.

01/27/2014

Cash Reserves Hold Steady in 4Q13, but Investment Increases
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.

01/27/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: JPMorgan’s Dimon Predicts Bitcoin’s End

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon denounced Bitcoin earlier this week, and even predicted its demise. "It's a terrible store of value," he said.

01/24/2014

Canada Ranks Second on List of Best Business Environments
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.

01/24/2014

RMB Cracks Top 10 Payments Currencies as Corporate Adoption Grows
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.

01/23/2014

January 2014 Payments Newsletter
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.

01/23/2014

Study: Hoarded Corporate Cash Threatening Global Recovery
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.

01/23/2014

FinCEN Issues FBAR Filing Extension
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.”

01/22/2014

AFP Survey: Finance Execs Focused on Competitors, Customers
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.

01/22/2014

Report: More Financial Risk Management Needed
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.

01/21/2014

Bottom Line: Growth of a New Currency
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.”

01/21/2014

Target Breach Prompts Call for Faster EMV Migration
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.

01/20/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: Further Details on Massive Retail Breach Emerge
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.

01/20/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: Economic Growth 'Just Right?'
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.

01/20/2014

AFP EconWatch - January 20, 2014
Manufacturing production increased 0.4 percent during the month, lifted by continued strength in the auto industry.

01/20/2014

AFP Board Member Profile: Adrienne Urban, CTP
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.

01/17/2014

French Senate, Wells Fargo Positive about Bitcoin
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.

01/17/2014

Study: Nearly $4B in FX Losses in Q3 2013
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.

01/16/2014

FP&A: 3 Forecasting Models are Better than 1
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.

01/16/2014

January 2014 Risk Newsletter
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.

01/16/2014

Proposed NACHA Rule Amendment Has Implications for Corporates
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.

01/15/2014

Window is Closing to Claim HIRE Act Tax Benefits
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.

01/15/2014

Fed Seeking Comment on Changes to Payment System Risk Policy
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.

01/14/2014

Virtual Loonie: Canada to Test its Own Version of Bitcoin
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.

01/14/2014

Common Financial, Legal Issues with Contracts
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.

01/13/2014

Bitcoin of the Realm: Overstock.com Accepts Virtual Currency
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.

01/13/2014

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.

01/13/2014

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.

01/10/2014

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