CFO Insights

Bem-vindo ao CFO Insights, uma seção que aborda as questões que os Chief Financial Officers e os executivos financeiros enfrentam atualmente. Os conteúdos (em inglês) também trazem as perspectivas e os desafios do CFO no dia a dia.

Whether they want to or not, CFOs routinely interact with government on the local, state, and federal levels. After all, their companies have to pay taxes, comply with ever-changing regulations, and be in tune with public policies that impact their organizations. But actually working withgovernment to affect change for your company or industry is far from routine: it demands solid relationships, political astuteness, and the ability to be heard.

Gaining those attributes is no easy task. But given mounting regulation—something CFOs routinely name as a worrisome risk in Deloitte’s CFO Signals™ surveys—and the need to manage political risk, it behooves CFOs and their companies to make the time investment. Some already have. In fact, in the Q1 2013 CFO Signals report, about 40 percent of finance chiefs reported initiating or ratcheting up their public-policy advocacy efforts in response to the prevailing economic policy activity (see, “How companies are addressing public policy activity”).

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Shared Services: Creating a working model for emerging markets

For decades, significant labor savings, process standardization, and improved controls have been achieved by centralizing transactional finance activities. And for the most part, locating shared service centers in developed markets has made sense both logistically and from a risk perspective.

With more and more business emanating from emerging markets, however, companies are increasingly asking if – and how – they can extend their shared services footprint further into Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

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Special Edition: 2014 Q4 Global CFO Signals

In fact, in the Q4 edition of Global CFO Signals, CFOs’ optimism about their own companies’ prospects remains positive in all but one of the 11 surveys featured. But those sentiments are somewhat relative.

Ira Kalish, chief global economist for Deloitte, notes CFOs globally are “enjoying the fruits of lower energy prices at this time.” And with many of the major economies, such as the US and the UK, on solid footing, 2015 could shape up to be a good year for businesses despite the risks.

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Effective IR - Lessons from the trenches

But what does it take to have a truly effective IR team, and how can IR provide value to CFOs and management, as well as investors? To answer those questions, we’ve asked five leaders of large-company IR departments to share their views on some of the most difficult aspects of IR.

In this issue of CFO Insights, those leaders discuss IR excellence in the following areas: working with the C-suite, addressing “value gaps” between management and analysts, communicating strategic changes, disclosing bad news, and dealing with activist shareholders.

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Energy & water: A market reality check

No matter your industry, your business prospects depend in some way on energy. And while the energy landscape in the United States has changed dramatically over the last decade, now is not the time to be complacent about energy usage or costs.

For CFOs, now may be the time to take stock of your energy portfolio, rebalancing and derisking it for the future. Why? The favorable energy supply and price environment enjoyed currently in the U.S.—like all competitive advantages—will likely erode as domestic and global markets adjust to new energy supply and demand realities.

In this issue of CFO Insights, we make some key observations related to the energy and water markets and discuss why CFOs should take advantage of an energy future that has been largely reshaped over the last few years

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The cash paradox: How cash levels can affect corporate behavior

During the financial crisis, many CFOs served their companies well with financial prudence and by stockpiling cash. Now that many companies are refocused on growth, market commentators frequently cite these record cash figures as a key indicator that capital expenditure (capex) and M&A activities will increase and accelerate expansion. But the truth of the matter is far more nuanced.

According to a recent analysis by Deloitte LLP, (see “The Cash Paradox: How Record Cash Reserves Are Influencing Corporate Behavior”), there is an uneven distribution of cash levels. “Large cash-holding” companies tend to be more conservative in their spending habits compared with their “small cash-holding” counterparts, which have been spending more aggressively in the pursuit of growth and appear to be reaping the benefits.

While it is important to note that the terms “large” or “small” cash-holding companies do not imply they are also large or small by market capitalization, there are lessons in the research for companies of all sizes.  And in this issue of CFO Insights, we discuss the findings and their potential implications for corporate cash strategies.

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The Strategist CFO: Four orientations for engaging in the strategy process

Based on practice observations, discussions with numerous CFOs, and knowledge gained from more than 500 Deloitte CFO Transition Lab™ sessions, we have framed the four orientations of a strategist CFO model to help guide better alignment between CFOs’ actions and CEO and board expectations. Beyond the well-established four faces of the CFO as operator, steward, catalyst, and strategist, the orientations bring greater clarity to the strategist role and the capacity of an organization to reorient and execute a new strategy.

In this issue of CFO Insights, we outline the orientations and examine how each is a choice regarding the scope of a CFO’s role and means of involvement in the strategy process.

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Reassessing IP strategies in a disruptive age

It wasn’t that long ago that protecting intellectual property or IP was primarily the purview of technology and pharmaceutical companies. But because of accelerating technological advances, patent activity and the patent wars are expanding their domain into previously untouched sectors. At the same time, the United States also has experienced a fundamental shift in how IP is managed and monetized.

The convergence of these two forces–technology acceleration and patent reform–has created an urgent need for business leaders, including CFOs, to reassess their IP strategies.

In this issue of CFO Insights, we look at how technology has disrupted the patent process, discuss the current legislative responses, and outline the nine dimensions of a robust IP management process.

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Talent: Building the team you need now

Whether you are a new or veteran CFO, having the right team in place is essential to your success. When we asked CFOs in the Q2 2014 CFO Signals™ survey for their top insights around building a strong finance function, they resoundingly said retaining top performers is worth the effort – and recruiting talent that is not only top-notch, but also fits the long-term needs and culture of the organization is paramount.

It is obviously a tall order. But while there are no simple answers to decisions pertaining to people, knowing critical trade-offs and how to effectively gauge skills may help you better navigate these decisions.

In this issue of CFO Insights, we discuss ways to review your current staff and strategies for shaping the team you need to achieve the priorities you’ve set.

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Workplace Redesign: Turning your Environment into a Productivity Machine

Corporate real estate is undergoing a revolution. Companies are tearing down their walls, and the result is that shared spaces like “huddle zones” are crowding out individual workspace – including the corner office, in some cases.

Such overhauls tend to yield big cost savings in the form of rent and construction costs. What many companies fail to take into account, however, is that physical space is just one component of today’s workplace. Two other components, namely virtual interactions and management practices, also play critical roles in shaping how people work and how productive they can be.

In this issue of CFO Insights, we look at why it’s important for companies to create a unified strategy across the three workplace elements and how CFOs can foster the practices that achieve it, based on research and case studies developed by the Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge.

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