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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.