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CFO Techniques: A Hands-On Guide to Keeping Your Business Solvent and Successful

Book Description

CFO Techniques: A Hands-on Guide to Keeping Your Business Solvent and Successful is a comprehensive and instructive working manual for multitasking chief financial officers and controllers working in the fast-paced commercial environment. Every senior financial professional with an ever-broadening span of control will benefit from this complete outline of the core activities—with specific descriptions of individual tasks—comprising the daily agenda of a successful CFO or controller. It covers everything from traditional responsibilities like budgeting and financial reporting, to more innovative tasks like performance analytics and business strategy development.

While emphasizing specific guidelines on what it takes to excel as a company's head of finance, the book refrains from overwhelming dryness by using cultural references, real-life examples, and a casual tone. With its bite-sized, easy-to-read chapters, CFO Techniques serves as both an invaluable desktop reference handbook and a good bedtime read. Whether you need a quick recommendation on treasury procedures, adhering to GAAP, keeping funds safe from embezzlers, or advice on dealing with the CEO, you will find the answers in this book.

  • Guides you through CFO/controller core responsibilities, function by function

  • Serves as a reference manual on financial matters specific to the small and mid-size commercial environment

  • Goes beyond finance and accounting, addressing the administrative and behavioral issues all CFOs occasionally must address

What you'll learn

You will learn to:

  • Identify best practices for each CFO/controller function

  • Select tasks crucial for survival and growth of the company

  • Formulate processes and procedures

  • Organize daily, weekly, monthly, and annual routines

  • Identify reporting and analytical requirements

  • Establish internal and external working relationships

  • Keep the organization on the right side of the law and regulation at all times

Who this book is for

CFO Techniques: A Hands-on Guide to Keeping Your Business Solvent and Successful is for professionals who have built their careers in accounting and finance and reached—or are nearing—the top level. It's for chief financial officers, controllers, financial directors, and vice presidents who work in small and mid-size companies characterized by flatter organizational structures and wider scopes of responsibilities. CFO Techniques is equally useful for those charting their functions and tasks for the first time, as well as for those who have been in their positions for some time and want to make sure that nothing is amiss.

Table of Contents

  1. Title
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. About the Author
  5. About the Technical Reviewer
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
    1. What It Takes to Succeed as a CFO, or How Long Is Your Hat Rack?
  8. PART I: Scouting Your Surroundings and Defining Your Mission
    1. CHAPTER 1: What Is Special About Smaller Businesses?
      1. Flat Organizational Structures
      2. High Concentration of Duties
      3. Hands-On Management
      4. The Owner's Proximity
    2. CHAPTER 2: Titles vs. Job Descriptions
      1. Accounting/Finance Manager
      2. Director of Accounting/Finance
      3. Controller
      4. Vice President of Finance
      5. Chief Financial Officer
    3. CHAPTER 3: The CFO's Mission and Aspirations
      1. Your Mission
      2. Your Aspirations
    4. CHAPTER 4: Eight Balls You Must Keep in the Air
      1. Policies, Procedures, and Controls
      2. Capital Resources and Banking
      3. Cash Management
      4. Information, Analysis, and Reporting
      5. Accounting Management, Financial Statements, and Audits
      6. Risk Management and Compliance
      7. Strategic Planning
      8. Administration and HR
    5. CHAPTER 5: The Essential Knowledge Prerequisites
      1. Study of Corporate Structure
      2. Study of Operational Flow and Value Chain
      3. Study of the Organizational Chart and Functional Distribution
      4. Study of Existing Policies and Procedures
  9. PART II: Enforcing the Law: Policies, Procedures, and Controls
    1. CHAPTER 6: System of Internal Control and Company Policies
      1. Employee Policies
      2. Business Policies: Operations
      3. Business Policies: Finance and Administration
    2. CHAPTER 7: Generally Accepted Fiscal Policies
      1. Segregation of Duties
      2. Principles of Information Processing
      3. Physical Controls
      4. IT Security and Data Recovery
      5. Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    3. CHAPTER 8: Procedures for Quintessential Tasks
      1. Typical Procedure Layouts
      2. Notable Procedures
      3. Documenting Procedures
      4. The Importance of Scheduling
    4. CHAPTER 9: The Weakest Link
      1. Watch and Listen
      2. Common-Sense Tests
      3. Control Accounts vs. Transactional Totals
      4. Did You Lose Something?
      5. Cutoff Tests
      6. Company Performance Reviews
    5. CHAPTER 10: Budgeting as a Control Mechanism
    6. CHAPTER 11: Controlling Commerce
      1. Cost Center Control
      2. Transactional Profitability Control
      3. A Few Words on Commissions
  10. PART III: Deep Pockets: Your Capital Resources
    1. CHAPTER 12: Options for Capital Financing
      1. Equity Investments
      2. Debt Financing
      3. Sales of Financial Interests
      4. Curious Financing Disguised As Revenue
    2. CHAPTER 13: Business Nature vs. Financial Resources
      1. Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, and Construction Companies
      2. Trading Companies
      3. Logistics Companies
      4. Content Producers and Distributors
      5. Information
      6. Real Estate and Other Rentals
      7. Services
    3. CHAPTER 14: Soliciting Investors and Lenders
      1. Investment Bankers
      2. Angels and Venture Capitalists
      3. Private Equity Firms
      4. Lenders
    4. CHAPTER 15: Nurturing Financial Relationships
      1. Investor Relations
      2. What Makes Lenders Comfortable?
      3. Love Thy Banker
      4. Credit Line Renewal
  11. PART IV: Cash Must Flow: Treasury Management
    1. CHAPTER 16: The Gist of the Treasury Function
    2. CHAPTER 17: Cash Flow Projections
      1. Structural Concerns
      2. Inflows and Outflows: Principle of Conservatism
      3. Cash Forecasts Generated by Accounting Systems
    3. CHAPTER 18: Daily Cash Position
      1. Examples of Cash Position Reports
    4. CHAPTER 19: Managing Receivables and Payables
      1. Credit Receivables
      2. Credit Payables
    5. CHAPTER 20: Treasury Management Services
      1. Demand Deposit Account Services
      2. Receivables Solutions
      3. Merchant Services
      4. Payables Solutions
      5. Foreign Currency Management
      6. Payroll Management
  12. PART V: Data Mining: Information Management, Analysis, and Reporting
    1. CHAPTER 21: Information Technology Decisions
      1. Software: Weighing Pros and Cons
      2. Popular Software Packages
      3. Final Considerations
    2. CHAPTER 22: Ode to Excel
      1. A Big Calculator
      2. Database and Analytical Functionality
      3. Visualization Tools
      4. Integration and Beyond
    3. CHAPTER 23: Executive Reports and Performance Analytics
      1. Theory of Executive Reporting
      2. Key Performance Indicators
      3. Dashboards and Other Visualization Concerns
    4. CHAPTER 24: The Importance of Segmental Analysis
      1. Principles of Segmental Analysis
      2. Segmental Chart of Accounts
      3. Allocation Hurdles
      4. To Shut Down or Not to Shut Down
    5. CHAPTER 25: Ad Hoc Reporting
  13. PART VI: Accounting by the Book
    1. CHAPTER 26: Clean Books and Compliant Statements
      1. The Fundamentals
      2. Incoterms: The Recognition Tool
      3. Ever-Evolving Body of Regulations
    2. CHAPTER 27: Accounting Cycles and the Structure of Financial Statements
      1. Balance Sheets
      2. Income Statements
    3. CHAPTER 28: The Most Important Statement: Cash Flow
    4. CHAPTER 29: Choose Your Auditors Wisely
      1. Accounting Firm Selection Criteria
      2. Teach Them Everything You Know
    5. CHAPTER 30: What Guarantees Fast and Painless Audits
      1. The Audit's Timing
      2. Preparation Is Key
      3. Instructions for Your Staff
      4. Make Auditors Feel Welcome
  14. PART VII: Risk Management
    1. CHAPTER 31: Insurable Risks
    2. CHAPTER 32: Commercial Risks
      1. Hedging
      2. Hymn to Diversification
    3. CHAPTER 33: Tax and Regulations Compliance
  15. PART VIII: Ensuring Your Going Concern: Strategies, Plans, and Forecasts
    1. CHAPTER 34: Principles of Strategic Planning
      1. Theory of Strategic Planning
      2. Practical Applications of Future-Planning Methods
      3. Get Your Voice Heard
    2. CHAPTER 35: Practical Modeling and Forecasting
      1. Cost/Benefit Analysis
      2. Modeling and Forecasting Simplified
      3. Emphasis on Sensitivity
    3. CHAPTER 36: New Ventures
      1. Checklist for a New Domestic Entity Setup
      2. Foreign Entity Concerns
    4. CHAPTER 37: Exit Strategies
      1. Business for Sale
      2. Family Business
      3. Winding Up
      4. Face the Reality
  16. PART IX: Administration: The Organization of People
    1. CHAPTER 38: Acquisition of Human Resources
      1. Procurement Practices
      2. The Search Process
      3. The Interviewing Process
      4. What Am I Really Looking For?
    2. CHAPTER 39: Managing Human Resources
      1. Organizing Human Resources
      2. Development and Evaluation
      3. Employee Retention
    3. CHAPTER 40: The Behavioral Approach
  17. Index