Resources & Publications

Strategic Finance July 2005

July 2005
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Features

Enterprise Risk Management at UnitedHealth Group
By Patrick J. Stroh, CMA, PMP
Recent corporate history has demonstrated very vividly that unforeseen "surprises" can be a death knell for companies operating on a precipice - but not aware of it. That's why enterprise risk management is a hot topic and why Stroh, senior director of Business Risk Management at UnitedHealth Group, urges CMAs and other finance professionals to become risk management champions in their companies.


Carol Tome: "No Winking, No Blinking" at The Home Depot
By Terri Thornton
"We are a better company because of Sarbanes-Oxley," says Tomé, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the world's largest home improvement retailer. The right tone at the top is essential, as exemplified by her boss, CEO Bob Nardelli, who insists on "no winking, no blinking" when it comes to compliance. She urges financial managers to hone their forecasting skills so bad news doesn't come as a shock to management.


Unraveling the Marketing Mystique
By Naras V. Eechambadi
The allocation of dollars for marketing projects can get very emotional and territorial. A more objective method is the portfolio approach to this decision process, described here. It employs the same type of analysis and tracking rigor that finance managers use to determine resource allocations rather than treating marketing expenses as one huge black hole that's a crapshoot at best or a spending sinkhole at worst.


ERP Lockup: Planning Successful Data Jailbreaks 
By Bonnie K. Klamm, CPA, and Marcia L. Weidenmier, CPA
Today's enterprise resource planning systems contain enormous quantities of data, but if you don't know how to unlock these "data jails" and produce coherent reports for forecasting and strategy, your company's growth potential will stay locked up, too. Freeing up data involves knowledge of business processes, transaction cycles, and modules and tables. One caveat: Don't free up data that has no clear purpose or answers to specific questions.

Columns

PERSPECTIVES
The importance of IMA's certification programs.


STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
Overcome the dangers of commoditization.


BEST PRACTICES
Courage.


CAREERS 
Counting the benefits of association involvement.


TAXES 
Social Security: the topic du jour, Part 1.


ETHICS
Is there financial value in corporate values?


XBRL
Combating everyday data problems with XBRL.

Departments

STREETWISE
Improve your corporate governance practices
"I should've been a cowboy"
The CMA is relevant
FEI fights CEO certification
Books: Examining the "new" audit committee


TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Mobile manager, sleek and chic, and creating databases.


TECH FORUM
An Apple for the prof-an iPod for the frosh.


END NOTE
Two systems — one ancient, one in beta.


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