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Giving It Away

Readers write to discuss the meaning of "shareholder value" and the need for CFOs to incorporate new "hard numbers" into human-resources analytics.
CFO Readers, CFO Magazine
October 1, 2009

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The article "Undue Diligence" (Topline, September) ends with an interesting comment from one CFO: "If you're going to end up writing the value down, you're basically giving away shareholder value."

We give away shareholder value if we have to write something down under the new rules; does that mean if we were under old rules where we didn't have to write it down — but just overpaid — we wouldn't have given away shareholder value?

James L. Fuehrmeyer Jr.
Associate Professional Specialist
Department of Accountancy
Mendoza College of Business
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana


Objective, Not Subjective, Metrics

Your article on the complexities of human-resources analytics ("The Metric System," July/August) clearly identified the biggest problem with HR in the corporate world today: how to put objectivity and numbers around what has always been vague and subjective. As you stated, "Company executives are all over HR saying, 'Give me something that will impact quarterly results now.'"

What are needed are quarterly management statements that end up being a true "leading indicator," exposing productivity anomalies before they show up in the financials or traditional lagging indicators. Whether or not HR recognizes the opportunity to steward a new metric and move from being compliance officers to true performance counselors should not deter CFOs from incorporating a new set of "hard numbers" into their quarterly dashboard.

We spent several months vetting various software products (ultimately choosing XySync); the right software can help companies convert the traditional "soft side" of an organization into "hard" metrics that provide dashboard diagnostics for immediate performance improvement.

Michael L. McVey
Chief Executive Officer
ClearView Management Resources
Worthington, Ohio




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