Resources & Publications

Strategic Finance July 2008

July 2008
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Return Driven: Lessons from High-Performance Companies
Mark L. Frigo
Much of the research conducted in relation to the Return Driven Strategy has focused on the strategies and practices of high-performance companies—those that achieve superior return on investment and sustain that performance for 10 consecutive years or more. Learning what enables these businesses to achieve long-term, sustained success can help managers and executives at other companies identify possible avenues for improving the profits and growth of their own organizations.

Fair Value Accounting from Theory to Practice
Ronald L. Campbell, CPA; Lisa A. Owens-Jackson, CPA; and Diana R. Robinson, CPA
SFAS No. 157, “Fair Value Measurements,” is intended to provide more consistent, clear definitions of fair value, fair value measurement, and fair value disclosures, but applying it is still difficult in many cases. Since fair value accounting has become a hot topic again, accounting and finance managers need to have a better understanding of the underlying complexities and difficulties in implementing the Standard.

The Coming of XBRL. Now?
Ramona Dzinkowski
Not everyone agrees with the SEC’s thinking that the time has arrived for XBRL in the United States, and several questions remain. How much will implementation and adoption cost? How will it affect audit fees and the role of auditors? And what about the convergence of IFRS and U.S. GAAP? Regardless, finance executives in the U.S. need to start getting ready to file using XBRL; the wake-up call has been delivered.

The Conflicting Roles of Controllership and Compliance 
Angella Sutthiwan, CPA, and B. Douglas Clinton, CMA, CPA
U.S. controllers are often responsible for fulfilling both compliance accounting and controllership duties. This not only involves an overwhelming amount of work, but it can lead to the need to serve two bosses with conflicting interests. Organizations should ensure there’s a distinction between the controller, who performs management accounting functions, and the compliance accountant.

The Impact of Certifications on Accounting Education 
Martin Coe, CMA, CPA, and John Delaney, CMA, CPA
As the need for skilled accounting and finance professionals continues to grow, a professional certification demonstrates to employers that a candidate has advanced skills and knowledge of the field. But what effect does the increased importance of certification have on accounting curricula? A survey of accounting department chairs finds that while many accounting certifications are often considered during the development of the curricula, a bias toward public accounting continues.

Manipulating the Balanced Scorecard 
Natalia Mintchik and Jennifer Blaskovich, CPA
Winner of the Carl Menconi Case Writing Competition Mary Brown, CMA, CPA, is a 29-year-old senior accountant at a branch of IFS, a global financial services holding company. When it’s time to summarize the branch’s performance for the year and submit the results to corporate management, she’s concerned that her newly promoted boss may have the wrong motives for choosing which balanced scorecard metric they report. After sharing some of her concerns with him and being rebuffed, she seeks the advice of a fellow IMA member.


A shared vision.

Horror vacui.

High rates of misconduct at all levels of government.

Who needs “young” professionals?

Expansion of the kiddie tax.

Performing two-way lookups using MATCH and INDEX.

A new column for changing times.


New guidance for accountants in business
COSO wants your comments
Letters: Tone from the top
SEC moves forward on XBRL
Books: Insights for effective scorecard use.


Looking elswhere.

TED—TV for lateral thinkers.


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