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Do Social Networks Trump Résumés?

May 13th, 2011 Comments off

Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - Creative hire Resume T-shirt by BlackBirdTees A

For finance professionals, a carefully crafted résumé has always been vital to landing a job. Now some experts say that social-networking Websites have become just as important to a successful job search, if not more so. 

In the last 18 months or so, I’ve run across a lot of recruiting and job-seeking on sites liked LinkedIn.  This trend seems likely to continue as electronic tools take the place of paper-based documents even in the relatively traditional area of employment.  If online dating can be mainstream it makes sense that the job market would move that direction as well.

Do Social Networks Trump Résumés? – Careers – CFO.com.

R&D “Intensity” on the Rise

November 11th, 2010 Comments off

Here’s another piece that highlights increases in research and devlopement spending as we exit the recession. Similar to what I wrote about the other day in regards to Panera, smart companies realize that spending on R&D now translates to better earnings in the future. 

“A typical company view was, ‘I cut capital spending because I don’t need incremental capacity with demand down,’ and SG&A is a bit of a necessary evil,” says Booz partner and report co-author Barry Jaruzelski. “But they cut R&D last; that’s the future revenue stream that these companies are protecting.”

As recently as earlier this decade the Apple iPod was born during a downturn.  Companies are wise to remember the past as they focus on spending with the future in mind.

There’s no question that 2009 corporate spending overall represented “a brutal hit,” says Jaruzelski. “But remember that even in the Great Depression, innovation didn’t stop. In fact, some of our biggest innovations came then, from the jet engine to the chocolate-chip cookie. Television was just being rolled out, and, by the way, Hewlett-Packard was founded in the 1930s.”

Read more at this link: http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/14538872

Veritas Scores a Major “Transfer Pricing” Victory – Tax – CFO.com

December 25th, 2009 Comments off

As mentioned in class, transfer pricing is becoming an increasingly complex and confrontational issue as tax authorities around the globe are struggling to collect as much money as possible.  Companies, meanwhile, are increasingly operating in multiple jurisdictions and have certain leeway with regard to pricing internal transfers, which tax authorities (including the IRS) may disagree with.

CFO.com profiled a transfer pricing case earlier this week involving Veritas, a software firm that is now part of Symantec, and the IRS.

Veritas Scores a Major Transfer-Pricing Victory. The tax court sides with the software company against the IRS. Robert Willens – CFO.com. December 21, 2009

How to Save 11% of Your IT Spend – Technology – CFO.com

December 21st, 2009 Comments off

Budgeting has gained more importance in the recent difficult economic times.  When times are great, there is more room for error when preparing budgets and spending money, but most companies have not had the luxury of such a buffer in the past couple budgeting cycles.

An interesting article from CFO.com looks at the importance of budgeting and at ways to make the process more reliable and easier.  It seems that making things too complicated doesn’t add much effectiveness when it comes to budgeting and that simply starting from the prior year’s figures may also be a pitfall. The article focuses on IT budgets in particular, but the lessons are important in other areas as well.

The group estimated that some companies wasted 5% to 9% of their 2009 IT spending in missed cost-cutting opportunities, largely by revising the previous year’s budget rather than starting from scratch with a zero-based budget. Freshly scrutinizing every line item tends to unearth significant savings, says Andrew Horne, senior research director for the CIO Executive Board.

Overall, after doing the survey and interviewing the respondents, the CIO Executive Board concluded that some companies may be trying too hard to improve their budgeting process.

“If you try to make the process stronger — more elaborate and sophisticated — you’re likely to waste more effort,” says Horne. “The best customer-specific examples we found all pointed in the direction of being faster and more flexible, and thus able to respond to change faster, rather than trying to do more and more to predict change.”

How to Save 11% of Your IT Spend. New research suggests that zero-based budgeting and thorough scenario planning are keys to an optimal IT budget. David McCann – CFO.com. December 14, 2009

Companies make deals on transfer pricing

November 14th, 2009 Comments off

Here is another in recent pieces I’ve come across that deal with transfer pricing and taxing authorities.  This article explores the expanding use of “Advanced Pricing Agreements” where companies gain taxing authority approval of their transfer prices in advance of using those prices internally.  Theoretically it saves time/money to do this work on the front-end.

Indeed, tax authorities are increasingly insisting that they get their piece of the pie as they step up enforcement efforts over transfer pricing, or the pricing of sales and services between a company’s subsidiaries. These transactions in particular have caught the eye of international tax authorities whose coffers have dwindled as the global economic crisis shrunk the revenue of multinationals and, subsequently, their taxable income.

How to Get on the Same Page as the Taxman. More companies are looking to make deals with tax authorities on transfer-pricing terms to avoid unexpected penalties, tax advisers report. Sarah Johnson – CFO.com. October 20, 2009

Sara Lee Shells Out to Save Suppliers

June 19th, 2009 Comments off

I mentioned this situation in class Thursday night this week in the context of qualitative factors affecting decisions, one of which was the health/reliability of suppliers.  Sara Lee has taken active steps to ensure that their key suppliers remain in business and are able to function efficiently during the economic downturn.  Recognizing that suppliers are key to the success of an enterprise is a relatively new phenomonon since in the past suppliers were looked at in a more adversarial manner, but these days  cooperation is expanding in both directions (suppliers and customers) as people realize the value of strong value chains.

To compensate, the food maker has reached deals with some of its critical suppliers that they can literally take to the bank. For instance, Sara Lee may promise in writing to give certain sow and turkey farmers up to two years’ worth of business in order to encourage those suppliers’ bankers to lend. To be sure, the act isn’t a selfless one: “One supplier can really change not just the availability of your product but the price of that product,” Chappelle told a roomful of finance executives at the CFO Core Concerns conference in Boston today.

Sara Lee Shells Out Sales to Save Suppliers. The food maker may give sow and turkey farmers up to two years’ worth of business to encourage their lenders to loosen credit. By Sarah Johnson – CFO.com. June 17, 2009