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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

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.

01/09/2014

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.

01/09/2014

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.

01/09/2014

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.

01/08/2014

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.

01/08/2014

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.

01/08/2014

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.

01/07/2014

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?

01/07/2014

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.

01/07/2014

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.

01/06/2014

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.

01/06/2014

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.

01/06/2014

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?

01/06/2014

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.

01/03/2014

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.

01/03/2014

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.

01/03/2014

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.

01/02/2014

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.

01/02/2014

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.

01/02/2014

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?

12/24/2013

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.

12/19/2013

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.

11/06/2013

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.

04/11/2013

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.

04/04/2013

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.

02/12/2013

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.

10/24/2012

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.

07/16/2012

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. 

06/15/2012

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.

02/15/2012

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).

02/08/2012

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