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The CFO 411: Focus on Your Team’s Strengths to Spur Profits

Unity is strength - teamwork concept, group of fish faces shark

Forget fixating on an employee’s weakness. To get the most from your finance team, new research shows it may make more sense to play to an employee’s strengths rather than trying to correct a soft spot. A recent Gallup study of more than 1.2 million employees found that when managers used strengths-based developmental coaching, the benefits rippled out to include better employee engagement and turnover but also better customer engagement, sales, and profits.

What is top of mind for the modern CFO? Download our CFO Indicator Q2 2016 report to find out!

4 need-to-know headlines

1. Financial forecasting speeds up

When it comes to financial strength, what’s more important today: budgeting or forecasting? CFOs still take a deep dive on asset management and financial strategy during the annual budget planning process. But as the pace of business picks up, CFOs expect real-time data, and more finance leaders are relying on frequent forecast updates.

2. Higher-ed finance leaders brace for possible unionization

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate students working as teaching or research assistants are entitled to collective-bargaining rights. For finance teams at higher-education institutions, approaching possible negotiations with the right level of nuance and accuracy means having the right tools in place. Using a platform like Adaptive Planning, for instance, allows the finance team to model multiple versions and compare the potential impact of each union demand. As talks unfold, updating the model requires a few keystrokes—rather than plodding through the process of manually updating an Excel spreadsheet

3. GAAP figures getting greater weight with regulators

When it comes to sharing finances with investors, there’s been a long trend toward touting custom metrics. But that’s changing—fast. The SEC issued new guidance in May that requires companies to put more emphasis on GAAP figures. And companies are now following suit. The nitty-gritty guidelines cover everything from font size to sentence order, when both GAAP and non-GAAP numbers are included.

4. Tax avoidance takes center stage

All eyes are on Apple, as the European Union’s executive commission ordered Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in taxes. The EU has accused the consumer tech giant of creative tax sheltering, while Apple maintains that it’s paid the taxes Ireland says it owes in full. CFOs at multinationals, take note! Whatever the result for Apple, financial leaders predict that the public scuffle could bring greater scrutiny to international tax law.

Product tip: Making the most of personnel data

From monthly salary and benefits expenses to departmental headcount and future personnel planning, Adaptive Planning can track a wide range of personnel data. But before you dive in with entering personnel info, consider who will need access to this data. If HR will plan headcount for the entire company, create your sheet as a user sheet to restrict access by user. If each department will manage new hires directly, create your sheet as a level-dependent sheet.

4 Top Stories + 1 Leadership Lesson + 1 Product Tip = The CFO 411
The CFO 411 is our biweekly news roundup that brings you top headlines, insights, and tech tips to keep you in the know. Follow our updates on LinkedIn for more finance must-reads.

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