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New FP&A Club Launches in Stockholm
Last week, Swedish financial planning and analysis professionals gathered for the launch of the Stockholm FP&A Club. Practitioners discussed the latest trends in FP&A and the new FP&A Certification from AFP.

03/12/2014

Foreign Exchange: The New Rate Rigging Scandal
The largest global financial market is at the center of a mounting international investigation into alleged currency benchmark rigging. Investigations opened by over a dozen regulators in United States, Asia and the United Kingdom, have implicated trading desks of some of the largest banks who reportedly position their own trades to profit from client orders and distort foreign exchange rates.

03/11/2014

Canada Reaches Free Trade Deal with South Korea
Canada has reached a free-trade deal with South Korea, which is expected to provide exporters with a better chance to compete with the U.S., Europe and other nations. South Korea is phasing out virtually all tariffs on Canadian imports, which could add C$1.7 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 15 years.

03/11/2014

Analytics: A Competitive Advantage for Corporates
Once considered a “nice-to-have,” applying analytics is now mission-critical for organizations, due to increasingly thinner margins for decision error. Yet analytics often are confused with business intelligence.

03/11/2014

Villanova, Rice Universities Offer FP&A Certification Prep Courses
Villanova University and Rice University are partnering with AFP to offer FP&A professionals an opportunity to prepare for the Certified Corporate FP&A Professional™ in a new, interactive facilitator-led courses. Villanova’s course begins this month, while Rice’s begins in May.

03/11/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: ATMs Soon to Be Highly Vulnerable to Cyberattack
This week, the PCI Security Standards Council issues a warning to banks that after April 8, 95 percent of the world’s ATMs will be susceptible to cyberattacks. Also, Target's chief information officer resigns after the retailer's massive security breach, and thousands of Sally Beauty customers appear to have been compromised.

03/10/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: An 'OK' Employment Report
The two big stories of the week were certainly the U.S. employment report and developments in Crimea. The employment report was stronger than expected. Tensions in Crimea led to a brief flight-to-safety before the markets largely discounted them by week’s end.

03/10/2014

Budgeting: Boon or Bane?
If you want to get a group of financial planning and analysis professionals talking, then ask them what they think about budgeting.

03/07/2014

AFP Reg Report: Tax Plans, MMFs and Basel III
Recent regulatory developments relevant to treasury and finance professionals are reviewed in the AFP Reg Report. The latest report looks back at February, which saw six congressional hearings on cybersecurity, rule changes to EU money market funds, movement on the Basel III leverage-ratio requirements and long-awaited tax overhaul legislation.

03/06/2014

March 2014 FP&A Newsletter
What’s the best way to get financial planning and analysis talking? Ask them about budgeting. The cover story for March FP&A is a wide-ranging conversation on annual budgeting – some hate it, some don’t, and some see it as a necessary evil.

03/06/2014

Why FP&A Teams Should Measure Their Own ROI
Chances are your financial planning and analysis team spent a good chunk of 2013 measuring the value of departments, projects and initiatives throughout your company. However, there’s one group in your company that most likely has never received such attention: your own FP&A team.

03/06/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: Another Bitcoin Site Goes Belly-Up
Less than a week after Mt. Gox admitted to losing all of its money to cybertheft, Bitcoin site Flexcoin has found itself in the same boat. Also, Japan prepares to regulate Bitcoin as a commodity, and the CEO of Bitcoin exchange First Meta is found dead.

03/05/2014

Closing the Risk Communication Gap between the C-Suite and the Board
The majority of financial professionals expect their ability to forecast risk to remain difficult for the foreseeable future. In a new whitepaper, AFP, the National Association of Corporate Directors and Oliver Wyman examine how companies can develop effective risk communication between the C-suite and the board.

03/05/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: AFP Treasury Advisory Group Confronts Cybersecurity
When a group of treasury executives meet nowadays it should come as no surprise that cybersecurity tops the list of conversation topics. That’s what happened when AFP’s Treasury Advisory Group (TAG) met in Washington, D.C.

03/04/2014

The Treasury Career Path
Following the financial crisis, the treasury role has been elevated to a higher profile in many organizations. Tighter regulatory measures from the banks have led to challenges in obtaining funding for businesses. Hence the priority role of a treasury professional—funds management and cash flow—has been heightened to a business critical function.

03/04/2014

What Would the Camp Tax Overhaul Mean for Treasurers?
Last week, U.S. Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) released the most detailed plan for overhauling the federal tax code since its last major restructuring in 1986. The plan broadens the taxable base and flattens out of the tax rate structure in an effort to down the marginal corporate rate.

03/03/2014

Molding Talent in Treasury
The members of AFP’s Treasury Advisory Group (TAG) met last week in Washington, D.C. Members discussed developing and retaining talent, which has been popular topic of discussion among many treasury and finance professionals at recent events like the AFP Annual Conference and the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum.

03/03/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: The Demise of Mt. Gox
This week, Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy, admitting that it has lost approximately all of its Bitcoins—or nearly half a billion dollars. Also, researchers discover 146 different types of Bitcoin malware.

02/28/2014

Attracting and Retaining Treasury Staff in a Time of Uncertainty
Several factors are contributing to the current state of uncertainty in the U.S. economy. How can corporates navigate those challenges as they attempt to develop and maintain an effective treasury staff?

02/28/2014

Why the RMB is Having Trouble Catching On with Corporates
Many corporates are eschewing using the Chinese renminbi (RMB) due to the complications and rules surrounding it. Now a top 10 payments currency, SWIFT reported this week that the RMB has overtaken the Swiss franc in the no. 7 spot. However, a lack of awareness among Chinese importers and exporters and slow corporate adoption will keep it from cracking the top five—where it belongs.

02/27/2014

February 2014 Futures in Finance
The month, we take a look at the Corporate Treasury Council's new guide, Attracting and Retaining Talent. Sponsored by Reval, and part of the CTC's Leadership in Treasury series, the guide delves deep into the unique challenges treasurers face in talent management, including practical examples from eight companies in different industries. Also this month, we look at preparing for the FP&A Exam, the characteristics of an optimized close, and more.

02/27/2014

Bitcoin Bombshell: Mt. Gox Closed After Apparent Cybertheft
Is this the end of Bitcoin? Troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox suspended trading and was offline Tuesday amid reports that a security breach resulted in the loss of more than $350 million in bitcoins.

02/25/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: Fraudsters Are Developing Virtual Currencies
This week, fraudsters eschew Bitcoin for their own virtual currencies, crooks offer a discount on cards stolen in the Target breach, and a Barclays branch employee is accused of stealing millions.

02/25/2014

Bitcoin’s Applicability to Corporate Treasury
As companies like Overstock.com embrace bitcoins, corporate treasurers are increasingly interested in this virtual currency. But will interest lead to adoption? More importantly, should it?

02/25/2014

What Are the Characteristics of an Optimized Close?
What would an optimized financial close, attainable within a year, look like? Most treasury and finance professionals have never asked this question and even fewer have answered it. Here are the top 10 attributes of an optimized close.

02/24/2014

10 Predictions to Help Your Business Process Outsourcing
The world of business process outsourcing (BPO) is evolving. Application integration, an emphasis on service, and increased government involvement will all impact BPO in the next year. Here are 10 predictions on what to expect.

02/24/2014

CFO Coach: All Upgrades Are Not Created Equal
Upgrade has become a relative term when speaking about social media platforms. And venues like LinkedIn and Facebook come immediately to mind whenever “social media” and “upgrade” are used in the same sentence. And maybe you’ve even noticed that the word upgrade is often a misnomer, since many of them only seem to ratchet up the level of frustration of users.

02/21/2014

Bitcoin Breakdown: BMO Gets Out of the Bitcoin Business
Bank of Montreal is closes all Bitcoin-related accounts following disparaging comments from the Canadian Finance Minister, Bitcoins on Mt. Gox tank as the exchange tries to work out its problems, and the Winklevoss twins launch the Winkdex.

02/20/2014

February 2014 Payments Newsletter
This month, Payments reviews recent Senate hearings on cybersecurity, a major topic of discussion in Washington following the recent breaches at Target and other retailers. Overall, the sentiment at the hearings was that stronger standards are needed to stave off future attacks. Also this month, the Federal Reserve announced that it is taking steps towards updating the U.S. payments system. Following responses from corporates and other industry participants to a recent consultation paper, the Fed said it is working to implement faster retail payments. Also in this issue, Michael Alfonsi, CTP, makes 10 predictions for business process outsourcing in 2014, we review the new cybersecurity framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), plus all the latest payments fraud and Bitcoin news.

02/20/2014

Managing the Risks of a Fractured Geopolitical Environment
Today’s fractured geopolitical environment threatens to undermine corporates' ability to deal with global issues. Success will require flexibility, foresight and fresh thinking about risk management.

02/19/2014

AFP Fraudwatch: Would EMV Have Prevented the Target Breach?
In the wake of the massive Target breach, retailers and policymakers are calling for faster migration to EMV chip technology at the point of sale. But just how safe is EMV? Would chip technology have prevented Target customers’ data from being compromised?

02/18/2014

Leadership in Treasury: Cris Barros, Treasurer of Mosaic Company
A candid conversation about leadership and management with Cris Barros, treasurer of The Mosaic Company.

02/18/2014

Alternative Payments Come of Age in Africa
ChildFund International has many operations in regions of the world that are extremely remote, or in places where the indigenous cultures prefer to be unbanked. The organization has found that in developing countries, people frequently resist well-established commercial banks, but readily embrace newer technologies such as mobile money.

02/18/2014

This Week in Corporate Finance: Economy Improving at a Slow Pace
Here on the East Coast of the United States, we continue to dig out from our worst winter storm in four years. For the economy this week, the general consensus is we continue to improve, although at a slower than desired pace. The stock market was up, U.S. Treasury prices were down, and oil and gold were up with new price handles.

02/17/2014

Yellen: No Change on Forward Guidance, Labor Markets Hurting
In her first public appearance on Capitol Hill as confirmed head of the Federal Reserve Board, Chair Janet Yellen spoke before the House Financial Services Committee.  Delivering the Fed’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Yellen took questions from all committee members, lasting just short of six hours—an arrangement she agreed on beforehand.

02/14/2014

AFP Releases New FP&A Guide on Capital Allocation Decisions
With companies sitting on vast reserves of cash, capital allocation decisions can have a major impact on individual company performances, as well as overall economic growth. AFP has released a new guide that explores how firms calculate their capital cost and how FP&A professionals can partner with senior management in making important capital allocation decisions.

02/14/2014

FASB May Follow IASB on Hedge Accounting
Some, but not all, companies following accounting guidelines from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) can now account for hedges more accurately—and indications point to U.S. hedge-accounting standards converging on a similar approach.

02/14/2014

Bottom Line: Winning Through Thinking
AFP members are thinking of risks differently. The 2014 AFP Risk Survey, underwritten by Oliver Wyman and summarized in this issue, shows that businesses are worrying more about new competitors and the changing tastes of customers than they are about the global economy

02/14/2014

Federal Agency Sets Cybersecurity Framework for Critical Groups
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) finalized its final cybersecurity framework for the critical infrastructure community. The voluntary guide is intended to make financial, energy, healthcare and other critical industries more resistant to cyberattacks.

02/13/2014

Best Practices for Check Language
Recently on AFP’s discussion list corporate treasury and finance professionals discussed best practices for check language.

02/13/2014

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