Dan’s Security: The finance function

The finance function is absolutely critical to the organization’s long term success.

This week’s resources provide some excellent best practice information regarding this important corporate function. Have another great week.

Dan Swanson

1. Value Through World-Class Financial Management
A world-class finance organization can best be defined in terms of the business outcomes it produces–outcomes such as improved business analysis, innovative solutions to business problems, reduced operating costs, increased capability to perform ad-hoc analysis, and improved overall business performance. To build a world-class finance organization and help achieve better business outcomes, each of the organizations we examined set an agenda for transforming the finance organization by defining a “shared vision”—i.e., a mission, a vision for the future, core values, goals, and strategies—geared toward making the finance organization a value-creating, customer-focused partner in business results. http://www.gao.gov/archive/2000/ai00134.pdf

2. How CFOs are Adapting to Today’s Realities
This publication provides an overview of the challenging business environment facing CFOs and suggestions to respond to the needs of their organizations. Boards and executives will find it useful to understand how to get the most out of their relationship with the CFO.

3. 20 Internal Audit Questions for Directors
The internal audit function plays a key role in assessing and reporting on an organization’s risk management, internal controls and management information systems. Directors of companies that have an internal audit function should have a general understanding of its role and contribution.
In addition, the audit committee should confirm that the internal audit function is properly constituted, has the necessary resources, and operates professionally. Boards of medium to large organizations that do not have an internal audit function should assess the need at least annually.

4. Expressing an Opinion on Internal Control Resources
A variety of papers regarding this critical finance activity.

5. Internal Control over Financial Reporting – Guidance for Smaller Public Companies
This small business guidance takes the concepts of the 1992 Internal Control – Integrated Framework and demonstrates their applicability for achieving financial reporting objectives of smaller publicly traded companies.

6. CICA & CCAF: Two Sides of the Same Coin
CCAF-FCVI has published its ‘twelve attributes of effectiveness’ in Effectiveness Reporting and Auditing in the Public Sector. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) has published its ‘twenty criteria of control’ in Guidance on Control. How do these two frameworks relate to each other? Which should be used when? This paper provides a basis for answering these questions by describing the historical background to the two initiatives, and how they complement each other. http://www.cica.ca/multimedia/Download_Library/Research_Guidance/Risk_Management_Governance/e2sides.pdf

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