more-arw search

Recommended Reading: The Best Stories on Proformative from April

Recommended Reading: The Best Stories on Proformative from April

One Year Later, Is the JOBS Act Smoothing the IPO Path?
April marked the one-year anniversary of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, a piece of legislation that was passed unusually quickly by Congress in hopes of helping more young companies get the capital they need to grow. In many ways, the legislation continues to raise more questions than it answers. So far, it hasn’t generated a measurable increase in the number of IPOs that have come to market, and many of its rules remain to be written by the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those that would allow crowdfunding for true startups to take off in a meaningful way. But over the year, one thing has become clear: The JOBS Act is very good news for smaller companies on the IPO path.

The Challenges of Moving to a Big-Data Mindset
“Big data” is everyone’s favorite buzzword today — from the office parks of Silicon Valley to the hallways of corporate America. And indeed, the emergence of a slew of new types of data about customers promises to revolutionize how companies do business while letting them slash marketing costs, better target the right customers, and essentially reinvent how products are built. This is good news for those working on the finance side of the house. CFOs and controllers have always been data-conscious. Now their colleagues in other departments, like marketing and product development, are shifting their decision-making processes to base them as much on empirical factors as on less tangible bases.

A CFO on the Go: Which Apps Are at His Fingertips
Today’s strategy-minded finance heads attend to their wide-ranging responsibilities anywhere but in a back room, typically with a smartphone in hand, perusing one of the several business apps they have installed, to keep in tune with what’s going on in their department and company, all while increasing their own productivity. Take, for example, Patrick Renna, CFO at Boloco Inc., a Boston-based chain of 22 higher-end burrito restaurants. He relies on a variety of apps to enhance how he gets his job done.

How to Enhance Employee Performance Reviews
Executives have differing opinions on employee performance reviews. While some devote time to them and see the activity as a way to help workers grow and develop, others feel they are pointless and don't do much to enhance an employee's work. 

Seamless’s Finance Chief Takes on a Peer-to-Peer Strategy
As vice president of finance at Seamless, which helps companies manage their corporate food expenses, Ted Pastva has a pulse on the habits of his peers. They have invested in Seamless services to gain better visibility into how much their entire company spends for food delivery and catering and, possibly, to expand the benefits they offer employees. Pastva recently shared with Proformative the insights he has picked up while at Seamless, which was spun out of Aramark last year.

How CFOs Are Freeing Up Their Finance Staffs
Mark Linden, CFO of cloud accounting software company Intacct, spoke at ProformaTECH 2013, Proformative’s corporate finance, accounting, and treasury technology conference in San Francisco, about how finance departments can boost productivity, lower costs, and reduce hiring. He gave examples of companies that experienced triple-digit ROIs without extra headcount. The common theme: They all changed their core financial account management systems. “It may seem scary to install, but it does pay off,” Linden said.

What Is Bitcoin, and Should You Be Using It?
Currency risk takes on a whole new meaning for companies that have been willing to accept or process Bitcoin, the virtual currency that crosses borders and, according to its proponents, could one day be a threat to credit cards and popular money-transferring services. For now, the currency is more of a novelty for the small number of businesses that have either agreed to accept it as payment or have changed their policies or systems to enable their customers to use it. But its fans believe it’s worthwhile for companies to pay attention to Bitcoin as they predict the currency will evolve from its starting days as a buzzed-about term by computer programmers and tech enthusiasts to a mainstream tool for making and accepting payments.

7 Tips for Surviving a Major ERP Implementation
While the processes for ERP implementation at startups and at Fortune 500 companies may be very different, they are similar in a very important way: CFOs need to know what they’re getting into from the start. At ProformaTECH, Scott Smith, a consultant and interim CFO, had a main piece of advice to finance departments of any size about to experience their first ERP implementation: “Be afraid. The horror stories you hear are there for a reason.”

Have You Misclassified Your Workers? IRS Will Help, But There’s a Catch
As part of an effort to close the tax gap and generate revenue, audits of employers on employment issues are increasing. Of particular interest is whether workers have been properly classified as employees or independent contractors. “There absolutely has been an increase in audit activity in this area,” says Evan White, a partner at White Harris LLP. “In a tough economic time where governments, both state and federal, are trying to increase revenues, this is one way they are looking to do so.”

CFOs Challenged by Growth-Risk Balance
Risk is a powerful, complicated four-letter word. No doubt, it’s the topic of much debate in the C-suite and board room. “The biggest business challenge of the 21st century is how to exploit opportunity while managing downside risk. It’s easily said, but very difficult to do,” says Sridhar Ramamoorti, chair of Financial Executives International’s (FEI) Committee on Governance, Risk, and Compliance. In the middle of this task are CFOs, who, depending on the extent of their role at their organization, oversee risk management.