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Analytics and Business Intelligence: One in the Same?
Applying analytics is now mission-critical due to increasingly thinner margins for decision error. Yet analytics often is confused with business intelligence, or BI.

04/23/2014

CFO Career Trends
There are some very interesting trends in a recent academic study among Fortune 100 companies. These trends could impact your career trajectory and therefore, might be worth understanding.

04/23/2014

Moving U.S. Payments Forward: What’s the Holdup?
Treasury and finance professionals who are focused on payments are looking for ways to modernize the United States payments system, if discussions at the recent NACHA Payments conference in Orlando, Fla. are any indication. The question is, will it ever actually happen?

04/23/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: 3 Million Cards Hacked in Michaels Breach
Michaels Stores has admitted that two security breaches it incurred over an eight-month period might have compromised more than 3 million customer credit and debit cards. Also, the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed that attacks at the point of sale have actually declined significantly in 2013.

04/22/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: Investors Look to Revive Mt. Gox
A U.S. investor group is attempting to revive the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox before it is liquidated by a Japanese bankruptcy court. Creditors who owned more than 70 percent of the bitcoins that the exchange lost when it went belly-up in February reportedly support the effort.

04/22/2014

Bank Fee Analysis: Hard Work but Worth the Effort
Bank fee analysis is one of the most mundane tasks in treasury and one of the most sought after. Done correctly, bank fee analysis can save your company tens of thousands—or even millions—of dollars off the annual cost of bank services.

04/21/2014

Back to Square One: Startup Contemplating Sell-Off
Despite high-profile financial backing, generous media coverage and a growing customer base, Square is learning the hard way what traditional third-party providers have known for years: payments is a competitive and unforgiving industry. Following a year of big losses, Square is in talks with several of its rivals about potentially selling off its business.

04/21/2014

April 2014 Payments Newsletter
This month, we begin with a look at the results of the 2014 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, sponsored by J.P. Morgan. While corporate fraud decreased overall, card fraud spiked. The good news is that companies are recognizing the threat and adopting additional security measures. Also this month, we bring you our exclusive coverage of the recent NACHA Payments conference in Orlando, Fla.

04/17/2014

Fed Wants Treasury, Finance Pros to Partake in Fraud Survey
Federal Reserve Banks are conducting a survey addressing payments-related fraud, and treasury and finance pros are being asked to participate. The survey aims to help the Fed better assess current challenges to mitigating payments fraud, as well as common methods used to reduce fraud risk.

04/17/2014

Can Regulation Save Bitcoin?
Can virtual currencies be regulated in a manner that protects consumers, merchants, our payment systems and national security, while at the same time not “killing the golden goose” through overly burdensome or unfeasible regulatory requirements? The answer may be yes, however, such regulation should be imposed with a light hand and reasonable steps must be taken quickly.

04/16/2014

London FP&A Club: Using Tech to Support FP&A
The London FP&A Club recently held its sixth meeting and examined the thorny issue of specifying a financial planning and analysis system. Presenter Michael Coveney, a consultant with STW Consulting, shared the 10 capabilities users should look for.

04/15/2014

AFP Releases New FP&A Guide on Risk-Adjusted Forecasting
AFP’s latest FP&A Guide, sponsored by Wdesk, outlines how risk-adjusted forecasting can work in practical terms. The guide includes interviews with over a dozen practitioners and experts, as well as eight case studies that demonstrate different companies’ approaches to risk in their forecasting process.

04/15/2014

How Businesses Can Hedge Cross-Border Balance Sheet Exposures
This article addresses one particular category of currency risk: the risk associated with carrying financial assets or liabilities denominated in a currency other than the functional currency. Such assets and liabilities are reported on the balance sheet in the functional currency at values that reflect spot exchange rates at the end of each accounting period.

04/15/2014

Why Treasurers Must Embrace – and Finance – Sustainability
Sustainability is no longer about corporate citizenship or philanthropy. It’s absolutely critical to the life of companies—and sustainability starts with treasurers. That’s the message Andrew Winston will deliver at the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum. Winston, author of the “The Big Pivot,” will explain why it makes financial sense for companies to embark on sustainability projects right now.

04/15/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: How Treasury Should Respond to Heartbleed
By now, you have probably heard about the Heartbleed bug—a serious vulnerability in recent versions of OpenSSL, software that millions of websites use to encrypt communications with users. Making matters worse is the fact that an easy-to-use exploit that allows criminals to abuse the vulnerability is being widely traded online.

04/14/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: Pros and Cons of Accepting Bitcoin Payments
As the buzz over Bitcoin has grown, corporates have taken notice and are looking at how it can apply to their businesses. Could Bitcoin eventually disrupt traditional B2B payments?

04/11/2014

Mobile Payments: Why Merchants Have the Power
Many mobile payment apps and mobile wallets fail to connect with consumers because they focus too much on the payment and not on the customer experience. However, some retailers have had success with their own mobile apps because they understand what appeals to the customer. There may be mobile payment opportunities for other retailers as well, if they are able to discern what would make their customers want to pay with their phones.

04/11/2014

Former Canadian Finance Minister Flaherty Dies
Former Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty passed away Thursday afternoon at the age of 64. Multiple reports said he suffered a heart attack.

04/10/2014

April 2014 Risk Newsletter
Currency devaluations across the globe are challenging multinationals. John Hintze examines how MNCs are dealing with this latest FX hurdle. Meanwhile, new AFP research finds that credit card fraud is up—as is security spending to fight it, while Ira Kawaller explains how businesses can hedge cross-border balance sheet exposures. There’s an enterprise planning case study from Crate & Barrel, plus more news and best practices.

04/10/2014

Durbin Amendment Isn’t Helping Retailers Much, Study Finds
When Congress passed the Durbin Amendment back in 2010, their intent was to lower retailers’ interchange fees from accepting debit cards. But a new survey by the Richmond Fed found that, since the rule took effect in 2011, debit acceptance costs for sales $10 or less have actually increased.

04/10/2014

The 4 Leadership Traits Spencer Stuart Seeks in Treasurers
Philip Murphy, consultant at executive recruiter Spencer Stuart’s financial officer practice, believes treasurer candidates can differentiate themselves as effective leaders in four ways.

04/09/2014

Third Time’s a Charm: Same-Day ACH to Settle 3 Times Daily
NACHA President and CEO Jan Estep revealed more details on her organization's new, phased-in approach to same-day ACH.

04/09/2014

Industry Group Outlines New Project to Speed E-Payments

The Remittance Coalition, a group of payments industry players that works to increase the efficiency of B2B payments made and reconciled by U.S. businesses, shared more details of its much-anticipated B2B Directory project.

04/07/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: Economy Seeing Gradual Improvement
We continue to live in an interesting world where we can’t quite gain enough evidence and insight to clearly see the path we are on, but the general feeling is one of gradual improvement. This week’s employment report continues to reinforce this Goldilocks narrative; not too hot but not too cool.

04/07/2014

Derivatives End-Users Fear Margin Requirements Could Hurt Capex
A survey administered by the Coalition for Derivatives End-Users—a partnership of organizations representing corporate end-users of OTC derivatives, including AFP—analyzed corporate practitioners on how margin requirements could affect their businesses. More than 67 percent of surveyed CFOs and corporate treasurers responded that margin requirements could hurt their companies’ capital expenditures.

04/04/2014

NACHA Requests Comment on Addenda Record Expansion
NACHA is requesting comment on the possible expansion of the number and types of addenda records available for use with ACH payments. The electronic payments association is considering expanding these records to make it easier for more end-users to receive and interpret payment related information on a timely basis.

04/03/2014

April 2014 FP&A Newsletter
FP&A professionals can never get enough spreadsheet tips. In this issue of FP&A newsletter, data visualization expert Randall Bolten offers no less than 19 tips for short- and long-term payoffs.

04/03/2014

AFP Fraud Survey: Card Fraud Up, As Is Security Spending
Credit card fraud increased last year despite heightened interest in reducing security risks, according to the 2014 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, sponsored by J.P. Morgan. In response, companies appear to recognize this growing threat and are gearing up for the shift in credit/debit card liability from issuers to merchants.

04/03/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: FBI Takes Down ATM Skimming Gang
The FBI has indicts 17 people for their involvement in an international ATM skimming and money laundering scheme. Also, Sally Beauty admits its recent breach was larger than anticipated, and two banks drop a lawsuit against Target and Trustwave just a few days after filing it.

04/03/2014

Mosaic's Treasurer Reveals His 6 Crucial Skills for Leading
Cris Barros was named assistant treasurer and later treasurer of Mosaic, though he had virtually no previous experience in treasury. But what he did have was the right combination of people skills and management experience that allowed him to lead the team effectively.

04/02/2014

Survey: Budgeting Processes Generally Costly and Ineffective
Planning, budgeting and forecasting is still too costly and ineffective at most organizations, according to a new Deloitte survey. The survey found that companies take up to six months to a year on their main budgeting processes but make changes at the last minute.

04/02/2014

Case Study: Becoming a Finance Business Partner
In 2011, Maersk Drilling USA's finance team designed a specific strategy on how they could become the business partners they needed to be to add value to the bottom line. The team also made it a point to execute the strategy without adding more resources.

04/01/2014

Report: SEC to Finalize Money-Market Fund Final Rule by May
The Securities and Exchange Commission is a few steps closer to completing new rules for money-market funds (MMFs), with a vote expected by the end of April. However, the SEC is reportedly considering complaints it has received from the MMF industry and is looking into exempting certain MMFs from having to float their share price.

04/01/2014

Trial and Error: Developing a Managerial Style for Treasury
How Sarah Schaus, assistant treasurer and assistant vice president of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America developed her managerial style.

04/01/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: IRS Declares Bitcoin a Property
The Internal Revenue Service said last week that it will treat Bitcoin as a property for tax purposes, rather than a currency. The classification means that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies will now be subject to capital gains taxes. Meanwhile, Mt. Gox claims to have discovered about 200,000 bitcoins in an old digital wallet.

03/31/2014

Wal-Mart Accuses Visa, Banks of Colluding over Interchange Fees
Wal-Mart is suing Visa for $5 billion for allegedly colluding with some of the largest U.S. banks to fix interchange fees for retailers. The suit claims that banks have agreed to not compete with each other for merchant acceptance.

03/28/2014

Case Study: How Crate & Barrel Put Enterprise Planning to Work
Enterprise planning brings the high-level, long term strategic goals of an organization in line with the operational forecasts. Crate & Barrel implemented an enterprise planning solution by connecting these pieces.

03/28/2014

RMB Payments Surge in Australia
Renminbi payments are booming in Austrialia, according to SWIFT data. Nevertheless, the RMB fell behind the Swiss franc as payments currency in February. RMB payments have increased by 248 percent in Australia over the past year.

03/27/2014

March 2014 Futures in Finance Newsletter
This month, we have a report from the first meeting of the Stockholm FP&A Club,which brought together Swedish financial planning and analysis professionals and provided them with an outlet to discuss the latest trends in FP&A. AFP has also recently partnered with Villanova University and Rice University to offer prep courses for the FP&A Certification.  Also, the AFP Advisors Network looks at how independent consultants can set their pricing, CFO Coach Cindy Craft provides tips on creating a resume that works, and more.

03/27/2014

Hancock Holding Company Becomes Accredited Provider of AFP Service Codes
The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) announced that Hancock Holding Company has become an accredited provider of the AFP Service CodesTM ––the standard that corporate treasury departments use for comparing bank services.

03/26/2014

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