Resources & Publications

Strategic Finance October 2008

October 2008
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Features

After the Acquisition
Barbara Tarasovich, CPA; Bridget Lyons; and John Gerlach
Though the flurry of M&A activity has slowed down of late, many companies still face the prospect of effectively integrating the business processes from a recent acquisition or merger. This article highlights seven steps that can lead to a successful integration of the finance and accounting functions of the involved companies. Detailed planning, effective communication, and transparency throughout are all critical factors in achieving the hoped-for growth, value, and synergies that originally spurred the action.


How Safe Is Your Data?
Brian Cleary
Compliance with all applicable regulations isn’t enough to ensure that your company’s data is being protected adequately. The recent events at Société Générale demonstrate how one person gaining inappropriate system access can have a devastating effect on a business. Managing the business risks related to user access begins with the principle of least-privileged access and continues with a strategic approach to governing access that involves constant monitoring, management, and mitigation of risk.


Implementing a Target Budget for Prattville, Alabama
Marco Lam, Mike Carver, and David Miller
For city governments, the budget often serves as both a planning tool and daily operations guide. Having built up a deficit over five years and faced with an upcoming annexation that would increase its size by 30%, the city of Prattville approached the Alabama Productivity Center for help in improving its financial position. The result was the implementation of a Target Budgeting process that ensured city departments had realistic budgets and placed budget responsibility back in the hands of the city council, where it belonged. The mayor and council now have a useful tool for making effective planning decisions and a transparent platform for communicating operations to the public.


SBA Helps Small Businesses Think Big
Henry Wichmann, Jr., CPA; Kenneth Abramowicz; and H. Charles Sparks, CPA
The Small Business Administration has provided financial, procurement, and management assistance to almost 20 million small firms in the United States. Nearly 99.7% of all U.S. businesses potentially fall under its purview. This article discusses the SBA’s four major financial assistance programs as well as additional valuable information for small businesses and the accountants who serve them.


Can We Detect Fraud Earlier? 
Natalie Tatiana Churyk, CPA; Chih-Chen Lee, CPA; and B. Douglas Clinton, CMA, CPA
Most fraud research is focused on numbers and ratios, which often don’t indicate fraud until long after the consequences are realized. Detecting fraud earlier can help prevent the catastrophic financial losses faced by victims in scandals such as Enron, WorldCom, and others. The researchers used content analysis techniques to search for grammatical indicators within the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) section of annual reports that might suggest attempts to cover up fraud. They found distinguishing communication characteristics that could indicate deception or some other action that could, at the least, lead to a restatement.

Columns

PERSPECTIVES
Career risk management.


TAXES
Reinflating real property values.


ETHICS
Can truly independent auditors be co-opted?


YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
The CMA distinction for young professionals.


FINANCIAL REPORTING 
The other c-word.


EXCEL
Referring to a variable range with OFFSET.

Departments

STREETWISE
How to survive a job loss
Staff enrollment program is available
IFRS proposal from SEC likely to hit headwinds
Books: China’s competitive advantage


TOOLS OF THE TRADE


TECH FORUM
The Kroll Global Fraud Report—Part 2.


END NOTE
Everything begins with a pencil.


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