The CFO'S Perspective

Email: An Essential Business Tool, and a Direct Conduit for Thieves

We’ve all heard about “phishing” – malicious emails. As Microsoft notes below, they’re hugely popular among cyber thieves. They also happen to be hugely lucrative (which is why they’re so popular!).  

Topics: Security Risk Management Cybersecurity

Managing Nonprofit Cash Reserves: Don’t Sit on that Pile of Cash!

While some nonprofits have been dealing with cash deficits over the last few years, others have experienced the opposite – too much cash! Granted, this “problem” is a much better one to have! However, it still poses a question that needs to be answered strategically to ensure a healthy future for the organization: “What do we do with the cash we’re sitting on?”

Of course, nonprofit leaders can choose to do nothing and just hold onto that cash until their hand is forced and they need to use it. Unfortunately, this approach poses two threats:

  1. Not utilizing available cash to make strategic moves can cause an organization to miss out on key opportunities for growth, reducing its long-term effectiveness.
  2. Sitting on cash gives the impression that the organization does not really need the money, which can diminish future giving from donors. Afterall, if an organization already has more than they need, why would donors keep writing the big checks?

How a CFO Selects and Manages Vendor Relationships Using the 3 P’s

Among a CFO’s many duties is selecting and managing the company’s key vendors. Typically, these include banks and other capital providers, investment advisors, key software vendors, insurers, benefits and retirement services brokers, HR/payroll service providers, and audit and tax experts. Other than client relationships, these are often among a company’s most important business relationships. How does a CFO look at these key business partners, and how does he decide whether and when to make a change?

Topics: Leadership Vendor Management

Tesla Lost their CFO – How and When this Will Happen to You

According to news reports, Tesla’s CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn, has unexpectedly stepped down after 13 years with the company. This came as a shock to many because he was widely viewed as a possible successor to Elon Musk for the CEO role. He announced that he will remain on until the end of the year to help with the transition, but that the company’s Head of Accounting would replace him within the week in an interim capacity.

What happened? And could this happen to you as well? Let’s dig in to understand more.

Topics: CFO Leadership

Danger Ahead – What are the Future Business Risks? And what can we do about it? (From a CFO’s Perspective)

Uncertainty, a term frequently mentioned by business leaders today, essentially refers to business risk - an area CFOs often focus on. Let's delve into the various types of risk a business may face.

Topics: Planning Forecasting Risk Management

How do Financial Controllers Add Value?

Last year had been dubbed The Year of the Controller by financial recruiters because demand for the position dramatically increased amid uncertain economic times and increased accounting needs at many organizations. This year has seen continued interest in the role and there is no indication that the buzz around the Controller role is slowing down, which means that going into 2024 many companies are still inquiring about how a Controller differs from a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and how a Controller can benefit their organization.

Topics: Controller Controller Responsibilities

The Fallout from Silicon Valley Bank: Evaluating the Implications for CFOs

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was a sudden jolt to the banking system. SVB was a leading financial institution founded in 1983 that catered to the tech industry. This unexpected development has had far-reaching consequences, particularly regarding risk evaluation for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) tasked with assessing and mitigating potential risks within their organizations.

I am pleased to note that First Citizens Bank (Nasdaq: FCNCA) announced on March 27, 2023, that it entered into an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to purchase all of the assets and liabilities of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, N.A. The transaction is structured as a whole bank purchase and assumption agreement with loss share coverage. Silicon Valley Bank is now a division of First Citizens Bank.

While the acquisition of SVB by First Citizens is a successful one, there are lessons to be learned from the original event. In this article, I will explore the fallout, identify the emerging risks, and discuss what I think it means for CFOs as they navigate an increasingly complex risk landscape.

Topics: Risk Management Banking Bankruptcy

What Amazon’s Theft Ring Teaches about Fraud Prevention

In early July it was released that Amazon had fallen victim to a fraud scheme perpetrated by one of its Operations Managers, Kayricka Wortham, at its Smyrna, Georgia location. In just 19 months, Wortham managed to steal almost $10M before getting caught.

How did this happen?

Topics: Fraud Business Controls