CFO Insider is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for chief financial officers and other finance experts.
The 4 biggest short-term concerns among CFOs (CFO.com)
As CFOs continue to move into forward-facing strategy roles, they are faced with many new challenges that must be addressed in the near future.
The four biggest short-term issues facing CFOs right now are “cyber security, developing and retaining talent, big data analytics and new technologies, and mobile platforms,” according to CFO.com.
Business Insider previously reported that cyber security is keeping CFOs awake at night.
The shift to data-based technology has also become a major talking point for CFOs.
“Understanding the vast amount of data analytics at your disposal is the first step in making informed decisions; and the faster you learn the better,” CFO.com writes.
“The quicker CFOs can uncover insights, the quicker they can make insight-driven decisions and take actions that can improve the company’s performance,” Brian McCarthy, managing director for Accenture Analytics, recently wrote in a column for CFO.com.
“Smart beta” was the most searched-for term on investing dictionary Investopedia.com in 2015.
Business Insider’s Myles Udland explains that “smart beta” is “more or less an investing strategy that calls for investing in indexes that are weighted differently than the traditional market cap method.”
“For example, an investor looking to replicate the returns of the S&P 500 — which many investors are — can buy an ‘index fund,’ which is simply an exchange-traded fund or mutual fund that seeks to replicate the S&P 500’s performance,” Udland writes. “These instruments will have a beta of 1, meaning this asset’s volatility will be the same as the market’s.”
“A smart beta strategy, for example, may involve buying a basket of 30 S&P 500 stocks weighted based on how much free cash flow these companies throw off each year,” he says.
“Smart beta strategies are also rule-based and designed to be transparent, meaning investors are supposed to know exactly what will happen with their basketed investment if certain other things happen.”
Economic sentiment has declined among CPAs (CGMA Magazine)
US finance executives are bearish on the state of their own businesses and the US economy.
“Economic sentiment — while still generally positive — has dropped four consecutive quarters to the lowest level in two years, according to the latest Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey released Thursday by the American Institute of CPAs,” reports CGMA Magazine.
The CPA Outlook Index is a nine-component measurement of sentiment.
The index “shows that CPA decision-makers in the US are less confident than they were a year ago, especially in the domestic economy,” CGMA explains. “Expectations for profits, revenue, and expansion also dropped. Declines are muted in some index components, but all are down from the fourth quarter of 2014, when overall sentiment rose for the fourth quarter in a row.”
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