Resources & Publications

Strategic Finance November 2003

November 2003
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Features

Developing Strategic Boards of Directors
By Susan F. Shultz
Boards of directors can make or break the company they serve, says this expert. That is why staffing a board is just as important as staffing the company that it oversees. Do appoint candidates demonstrating competence, diversity, experience, and independence. Do not appoint more than one corporate employee, vendors, or business partners to your board. Enron's demise illustrates what can happen to a company that installs a management rubber stamped board.


Reaching for Financial Success
By Jim Gahagan
Today's companies must bridge the gap between fast-moving business operations and the tortoise-like pace of the traditional financial planning and budgeting process. To achieve this objective, corporate executives should align budgeting with planning, involve line managers, and integrate planning/budgeting with the ERP system.


Goodbye "Pro Forma" Earnings
Mark P. Holtzman, CPA; Robert Fonfeder, CMA, CPA; and J.K. Yun, CPA
During the bullish days of the 1990s, pro forma earnings looked pretty good to investors, especially when expenses such as depreciation, goodwill amortization, and unusual gains and losses were omitted. Now the SEC has ruled that pro forma numbers cannot be misleading and must be reconciled with GAAP figures.


Kevin Conway on the EU/U.S. Export Subsidy Debate 
By Ramona Dzinkowski
American exporters may take a big hit because of the World Trade Organization ruling that the U.S. has been illegally subsidizing these companies. Kevin Conway, senior vice president of Tax at Vivendi Universal, clarifies the issues involved and alerts financial executives to potential Congressional legislation designed to comply with WTO rules and, at the same time, help exporters.


CFO as e-Business Architect, Revisited 
By Marlene Piturro
CFOs are under immense pressure to show ROI from their e-commerce investments at a time when their professional trustworthiness and credibility are on the line. As a result of the dot-com collapse, the cautious CFO who sticks to a sound and sustainable business model is back in demand.


How U.S. Companies Can Profit from Drawback 
By Lucinda L. Van Alst, CPA, and John Ledbetter
Exporters who pay duties on imported goods and then subsequently use them in manufactured products to be exported can receive refunds on these costs. Originated in the early years of the American republic, this tax benefit called drawback can lower costs and increase competitiveness for U.S. companies marketing internationally.


Buy or Lease? 
By Paul B. Weiss
CFOs who have to analyze the best method to acquire new equipment discover that it isn't an easy decision. The answer may depend on whether the company is public or private or how much cash the company has or what shape the balance sheet is in. This leasing expert describes five considerations that bear on the optimum solution.

Columns

PERSPECTIVES
Member interest groups and e-mail exchanges.


STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
Guidelines for strategic financial analysis.


BEST PRACTICES 
The leader's gift.


CAREERS
Managing employee performance issues.


TAXES
Depreciation after the 2003 Tax Act-Part 2.


XBRL
Eye-Popping Accelerators for Office 2003.

Departments

STREETWISE
Finance transformation: making progress
Earnings statement practices
More evidence of better financial performance
Congress reviews Sarbanes-Oxley
Books: Books on M&A and real options


TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Easy note-taking.


TECH FORUM
Spam wars - the litigation begins.


TRENDS IN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
WorldCom reforms trump Sarbanes-Oxley.


STRATEGIC FINANCE QUIZ
Successfully answer 70% or more of the questions based on selected articles from this month's issue, and you will earn three CPE credits.


END NOTE
The money museum.


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