Perspectives

Deloitte Digest for Controllers

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Each month, Deloitte Advisory provides an easily digestible and regular stream of perspectives on the challenges facing controllers. In each issue we share our latest thought leadership and details about upcoming Dbriefs webcasts to help you stay on top of the latest accounting, financial reporting, regulatory, and business developments.

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Subscribe to receive the Controller Digest via email. Past issues appear below. 

August 2015

FASB confirms decision to defer effective date of new revenue standard by one year
This Heads Up publication discusses the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s recent decision to reaffirm the guidance in its April 2015 proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606): Deferral of the Effective Date, which defers for one year the effective date of the new revenue standard (ASU 2014-09) for both public and nonpublic entities reporting under US generally accepted accounting principles and allows early adoption as of the original effective date. (Additional information is found in this TRG Snapshot.)

Truths and consequences: Four drivers of change that threaten business as usual
Four new “truths” of the marketplace have combined to make what was once difficult, expensive, and complex now easy, cheap, and simple. Together, they’re lowering barriers to entry and increasing the likelihood of new competition—and business model disruption—for incumbent firms. This publication describes the trends behind the headlines to help your organization manage not just the threats to day-to-day operations, but the even more dangerous strategic risks that can potentially disrupt your business and your industry.

Business ecosystems come of age
It might be tempting to dismiss “business ecosystem” as another management buzzword, but the concept’s uptake points to a utility not to be underestimated. Deloitte’s latest Business Trends report explores how forward-looking leaders and organizations can thrive in a world of ecosystems.

A theory of relativity: Setting priorities and goals for financial performance improvement
Improving financial performance means asking at least three questions. Unfortunately, many managers answer them using assessments of relative performance. Instead, the focus should be on adopting a method that measures a company’s relative performance, sets targets, and estimates the probability of achieving specified targets over different time periods.

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July 2015

The cost of IT shared services: Shedding light into the black box
If you are looking at your organization’s operating models to better understand operating costs and the value that support services—like an IT shared service center—bring to the organization, you’ll want to read this paper before you do anything else today. It presents leading practices for consideration to improve the quality and transparency of the information provided to business unit owners on their allocated IT shared services costs.

Zero-based budgeting: Zero or hero?
A company wiping its financial slate clean and starting from scratch sounds like a nightmare. But some companies are doing just that—and seeing the value. What exactly is zero-based budgeting and could it work for your organization? Read this article to explore the advantages and disadvantages of this extreme method.

Cyber risk: Issues and opportunities for private companies
While most recent high-profile cyber attacks have targeted major organizations, all companies, regardless of size, must operate with the assumption that cyber attacks will happen to them. A distinct opportunity is emerging for private and middle-market companies that direct their innovation efforts toward cyber security, leveraging a risk-based approach.

M&A Trends Report 2015: Our annual comprehensive look at the M&A market
According to the findings of the Deloitte 2015 M&A Trends Report, an overwhelming majority of the 2,500 surveyed executives at U.S. corporations and private equity firms expect the robust pace of mergers and acquisitions to extend—or even accelerate—into 2015. This momentum is expected across the board, in private and public businesses, in multiple industry sectors, in companies and private equity firms large, small, and in between.

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June 2015

Overhauling Finance Operating Models for More Effective FP&A
As finance teams expand their support to others within the broader organization, it’s important for CFOs to make sure the structure is in place to operate effectively in an outward-facing role. This Wall Street Journal CFO Journal article discusses the importance of having the appropriate structure in place in functional areas such as financial planning and analysis (FP&A).

Better break-ups: The art of the divestiture
In their continuing efforts to unlock greater shareholder value from portfolio realignment, many organizations are increasingly turning to spin-offs, which create new public companies out of existing business units. While the transactions may be logical in concept, they are rarely easy in execution. This publication looks at four lessons to consider when separating an entity and how to get it right the first time.

Unmasking insider threats
As workplaces become more complex and insider threats become more difficult to detect, a program to mitigate those threats can bolster deterrence by providing an early-detection and response mechanism. This publication outlines actions to consider when designing, building, and implementing a formal insider-threat mitigation program.

Crisis leadership: Guiding the organization through uncertainty and chaos
The timeliness and effectiveness of an organization’s response in crisis often determines how it fares afterward. Learn how front-loading a crisis management approach with a strong emphasis on readiness and preparation can help you stay ahead of potential threats. And be ready should crisis strike.

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May 2015

Heads Up — FASB proposes to defer the new revenue standard for one year
On April 29, 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a proposed accounting standards update (ASU) to defer for one year the effective date of the new revenue standard (ASU 2014-09) for public and nonpublic entities reporting under US generally accepted accounting principles. Comments on the proposed ASU are due by May 29, 2015.

Cyber war-gaming: Prepare for the unexpected
How would your company respond in the event of an internal or external data breach? What are the sequential steps needed in response to an attack? What are the key departments/managers/executives to involve? How quickly you can answer these questions is often an indicator of your organization’s ability to respond with appropriate measures in the event of an attack. Find out about testing your company’s reflexes when it comes to cyber-attacks.

Audit Committee Brief
The latest issue of the Audit Committee Brief highlights various topics including: the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) tentatively defers new revenue standard; a report from the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Center for Audit Quality tackles how to enhance interactions among the internal and external auditors and the audit committee; the audit of the future; the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) speech that emphasizes important roles of internal audit and the audit committee; an update of Deloitte’s Audit Committee Resource Guide; the PCAOB updates its standard-setting agenda; and the FASB amends its consolidation model.

Currency risk a growing concern: CFO Signals survey
The strength of the US dollar raised concerns among CFOs according to Deloitte’s latest CFO Signals™ survey. Although a substantial proportion of surveyed CFOs said they do not have significant currency exposure, quite a few reported becoming more deliberate about their hedging strategies.

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April 2015

Finance operating model: Stop thinking near-term efficiency to help realize long-term value
Many finance organizations across various industries are being asked to provide more insights and proactive decision support while reducing costs. The order of the day seems to be to do more with less. In response, many business leaders seek new operating models to tackle the dynamic marketplace.

Are your conversations strategic?
Increasingly, many finance executives strive to be seen as strategic. However, making strategic decisions isn’t particularly suited for today’s frequently over-structured meeting formats. The process calls for a more thoughtful approach, with the right input, players and environment. Learn the what, when, why and how of having strategic conversations, and some leading practices for making decisions stick.

Post-merger integration report 2015: Putting the pieces together
This survey report focuses on the post-merger integration phase of the merger & acquisition (M&A) lifecycle, sharing the views of 800+ executives. The report dives into what drives successes, what foils deals, and what companies can do to increase the likelihood that their deals are successful. Additionally, the survey report reveals findings and success factors around synergies, integration readiness, organization, operating models and communication.

Focus on: Making crisis simulations matter
A crisis can potentially make or break your career. Are you confident that you and your organization can manage a crisis? Learn more about the importance of crisis simulations, how to manage a maturity-based approach, insights for getting started, and examples of simulations in action.

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March 2015

Finance operating model: Stop thinking near-term efficiency to help realize long-term value
A longstanding trend is outsourcing or creating shared service centers or centers of excellence for finance functions. Making this move is generally driven by the need for scale or productivity efficiencies that can translate into real, near-term cost reductions. These initiatives often take time, investment, and considerable organizational focus to realize the savings. To help unlock the full value of the retained organization, three key dimensions should be considered: capacity, capability, and collaboration.

The journey to exceptional performance
When it comes to corporate financial performance, we typically think in absolute terms, measuring ROA in percentage points. We are less accustomed to thinking of corporate performance in relative terms, but knowing a company’s relative performance is essential to setting and achieving performance improvement targets and, eventually, exceptional performance.

How CFOs Can Advance Their Organization's Innovation Agenda
Innovation is not a choice but a strategic necessity for companies, says John Levis, global chief Innovation officer and regional managing director, Americas for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Mr. Levis describes how innovator companies work to avoid the high failure rates that plague many organizations and explains how CFOs can help advance their organization's innovation agenda while managing the investment risk that comes with it.

Integration report 2015: Putting the pieces together
This report focuses on the post-merger integration phase of the merger & acquisition (M&A) lifecycle, sharing the views of 800+ executives. One interesting finding: 16.9% of allocated time is for finance activities. The report also dives into what drives successes, what foils deals, and what companies can do to increase the likelihood that their deals are successful ones.

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February 2015

Collateralized loan obligations
This publication provides an overview of the collateralized loan obligation (CLO) market, its participants and their roles, and a discussion of the accounting, tax, and regulatory rules and laws impacting their investment and role.

Analytics trends 2015: A below-the-surface look
Analytics momentum continues to grow, moving squarely into the mainstream of business decision-making worldwide. Put simply, analytics is becoming both the air that we breathe – and the ocean in which we swim. Take a below-the-surface look at eight significant analytics trends to watch this year.

COSO in the cyber age
Released by The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), in collaboration with Deloitte & Touche LLP, this report provides direction on how COSO’s Internal Control-Integrated Framework can help organizations effectively and efficiently evaluate and manage cyber risks.

2014 Global Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey
Read the survey results, which indicate that outsourcing as a business practice continues to see growth across all functions surveyed.

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January 2015

2015 Global Corporate Treasury Survey
More than 100 top corporations from around the globe – representing a wide array of global scales, industrial footprints and geographic headquarters – participated in this biannual survey. Click through to read key insights and make sure to forward the information to your company’s treasurer.

The Strategist CFO: Four orientations for engaging in the strategy process
CEOs and boards increasingly want CFOs to not only deliver a finance organization that gets the numbers right, but also partner with them in shaping the company’s strategy. But when asked what they want from a strategic CFO, their answers vary widely. This article explores the scope of a CFO’s role and means of involvement in the strategy process.

Global Economic Outlook: Q4 2014
The global economy continues to show a few signs of strength amid several signs of weakness. The greatest strength appears to be in the U.S. economy; meanwhile, big emerging markets are mostly struggling to recover from a series of troubles, some self-inflicted, that have caused a marked slowdown in growth.

CFO Signals™: 2014 Q3 Results
While CFOs have been mostly optimistic about the trajectory of the global economy and their own companies’ prospects over the past year, their expectations for sales, earnings, investment, and hiring have been on a mostly downward trend. This quarter’s findings seem to make the strongest case yet for the sustained economic acceleration that has previously been so elusive.

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December 2014

The Strategist CFO: Four orientations for engaging in the strategy process
CEOs and boards increasingly want CFOs to not only deliver a finance organization that gets the numbers right, but also partner with them in shaping the company’s strategy. But when asked what they want from a strategic CFO, their answers vary widely. This article explores the scope of a CFO’s role and means of involvement in the strategy process.

Global Economic Outlook: Q4 2014
The global economy continues to show a few signs of strength amid several signs of weakness. The greatest strength appears to be in the U.S. economy; meanwhile, big emerging markets are mostly struggling to recover from a series of troubles, some self-inflicted, that have caused a marked slowdown in growth.

CFO Signals™: 2014 Q3 Results
While CFOs have been mostly optimistic about the trajectory of the global economy and their own companies’ prospects over the past year, their expectations for sales, earnings, investment, and hiring have been on a mostly downward trend.This quarter’s findings seem to make the strongest case yet for the sustained economic acceleration that has previously been so elusive.

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November 2014

Heads Up: SEC staff suggests ingredients for effective disclosures
This issue discusses the SEC staff's thoughts and recommendations on steps registrants can take in the near-term to help improve disclosures and put better information into investor's hands. Relevance, applicability, and materiality are considerations for registrants before adding disclosures to their filings.

Using predictive analytics to improve capital allocation and other business decisions
In this Wall Street Journal CFO Journal article, Tom Davenport, a senior advisor to Deloitte Analytics and the President's Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, and Greg Swinehart, global and U.S. analytics leader for Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, discuss four areas where CFOs should be focusing their analytics efforts.

Global economic outlook: 4th Quarter 2014
The global economy continues to show a few signs of strength amid several signs of weakness. The greatest strength appears to be in the U.S. economy; meanwhile, big emerging markets are mostly struggling to recover from a series of troubles, some self-inflicted, that have caused a marked slowdown in growth.

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October 2014

CFO Signals™: What North America’s top finance executives are thinking – and doing
When asked how confident they are in their direct reports, CFOs generally express confidence in the capabilities of their staff, but Controllers rank the highest with more than 60% of the CFOs surveyed indicating they have very good confidence in the Controllers effectiveness.

Heads Up: Challenges and leading practices related to implementing COSO’s Internal Control – Integrated Framework
This publication outlines the implementation process and current challenges many companies are facing, along with providing additional insight on how to leverage the framework for operational and regulatory compliance purposes.

The SEC’s Social Media Guidance: Issues and Risks to Consider
More than a year since the Securities and Exchange Commission released guidance on disclosing investor information using social media sites, many companies remain uncertain about potential compliance risks. This article discusses the potential compliance risks companies may face and strategies to consider for mitigating some of the uncertainty.

The cash paradox – How record cash reserves are influencing corporate behavior
Financial conservatism served companies well in the downturn but in an economic recovery may be dragging many companies into a vicious circle of cash accumulation at the expense of investment in growth. New research suggests markets are more rewarding of companies spending astutely in the pursuit of growth.

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​September 2014

Revenue recognition from an industry perspective
Check out the Spotlight documents to learn how the final standard for revenue will likely impact your industry.

Compliance programs: What separates "good enough" from "great"?
This issue of CFO Insights looks at the building blocks of a world-class compliance program that not only protects an organization from internal and external threats, but also enhances its brand and strengthens its relationships with multiple stakeholders.

Ten types of analytical innovation
This article outlines 10 types of innovation that can be driven, supported, or measured with analytics. If you're not using analytics for all ten types, you may not be optimizing your analytical capabilities.

Moving to the cloud? Engage internal audit upfront to manage risks
Positioning the internal audit function at the forefront of cloud implementation and including it in discussions with business units and IT can help address potential risks.

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