“Recommended Reading” is a resource for financial executives, chosen by financial executives. The list below features the 100 articles that were most in demand by our readers during 2003 — original articles from CFO.com, stories drawn from the pages of CFO magazine, as well as articles from CFO Europe,CFO Asia, and others.
Our weekly list of “Recommended Reading” will return on January 12.
Wondering whether you have what it takes? Here are ten signs that you’re never going to make it to the big chair.
Snares, pitfalls, and trapdoors: Sarbanes-Oxley is full of surprises. These five top the list.
How do you know if you’re working for the right company? Here are ten markers that all point to the same thing: a great workplace for finance managers.
Not certain how your finance department stacks up? Here are ten markers of mediocrity.
Thinking about accepting that offer? Here are ten signs you’d be better off taking a pass.
Experts say put a little more vitae into your curriculum vitae.
The hallmarks of a great workplace for finance professionals aren’t necessarily what you’d think.
When Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, it didn’t worry about how much it would cost companies. Today, CFOs are totting up the compliance bill — and they don’t like what they see.
Helpful hints for hitting a curveball out of the park.
Guidelines to help you prepare for a major shift in the interviewing process.
Auditors face more pressure to find fraud.
With the passing of Sarbanes-Oxley — and the advent of the PCAOB — audits may never be the same again.
Asked by her bosses to make false accounting entries, a midlevel accountant balked, then caved. Her solid career took a sudden turn in a very sorry direction.
Employees have grown increasingly dependent on search firms to fill managerial posts. But not all search firms are up to the task.
Treasurers and controllers often get passed over when their employers are looking for new CFOs. The trend isn’t likely to change soon.
Economist Philip Arestis warns that recent signs of revival are largely illusory.
Is fair-value accounting the best way to measure a company? The debate heats up.
CFOs say complying with Sect. 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley is a real tussle. Software may help with the struggle.
Which companies created the most wealth for shareholders last year? Enter MVA — or market value added.
How do you build a strong finance department? Motivate, stimulate, and innovate.
Sarbanes-Oxley may bring new risks to the CFO’s office, but it’s raising the profile of the once-faceless company controller.
Many companies think the whistle-blower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley will spark nuisance suits by disgruntled employees. The truth is far more complex.
New certification and internal control requirements are heaping new hazards on finance chiefs.
Outsourcing business processes hits much closer to home than simply outsourcing IT. Here’s how some executives balance the risks and rewards.
Ten commandments for successful leaders.
The largest of the Group B accounting firms are facing new challenges and enjoying new opportunities.
Can Vanessa Wittman help bring scandal-wracked Adelphia out of bankruptcy — and back into investors’ good graces?
U.S. companies are beginning to outsource technology research and development to India and China. Will a meltdown in tech jobs follow?
On the eve of its silver anniversary, the electronic spreadsheet remains golden. Co-creator Dan Bricklin explains why.
Take one or two years off to earn an M.B.A., and changing professions may not be too difficult.
Technology is already reshaping the human-resources function, mostly through cost-cutting. Some say it can do more.
The finance chiefs at Bank of America, Bear Stearns, and John Hancock scored high in this year’s survey of best-paid CFOs. Their income from cashing in stock options? Zero.
Eager to focus on the things they do best, companies have turned to business process outsourcers for virtually everything else.
A full-blown rolling budget isn’t practical at many companies. But some finance executives have found that a scaled-back approach suits them just fine.
What a difference a few words can make, especially when those words change financial reporting requirements.
Executives often feel overwhelmed by an employer’s perceived power during job-offer negotiations. But by stressing the long-term benefits of the marriage over the wedding, you can maintain parity and keep the interaction positive.
A new study of the largest issuers of corporate debt shows that recent gains in creditworthiness are more fragile than you think.
”All things to all companies” isn’t always the way to go. Here’s how Staples, Trimac, and Deltek applied business intelligence software exactly where it was needed.
The secret to making a C.V. stand out in a crowd? Hook the reader early — and trumpet results.
Congress muscles in on FASB — again.
Recipes for IT success from three companies that go well beyond mere numbers-crunching.
The SEC put much of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act into effect by passing a slew of new rules. Here’s what was proposed and what was disposed.
Rather than invest in technology, more companies are outsourcing HR — sometimes with one provider.
Why tough ”360” reviews and employee ranking are gaining fans.
Some experts contend that options-pricing models give a better view of cost of capital than CAPM.
Disillusioned investors are demanding stronger links between executive pay and long-term performance.
GE and American Express have developed fast-track programs for the top talent in their finance teams. But is the star system the best approach?
We examined the operating cash flow of the S&P 100. Our findings? Surprisingly, there’s reason to be optimistic about America’s blue chips.
Some companies have learned how to reduce working capital without punishing customers or suppliers. But the alternatives aren’t totally pain-free.
New regulations will require companies to put in complaint systems for employees. But CFOs say setting up good lines of communication can be a real pain.
A flood of corporate data, intensified by Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, threatens to overwhelm business managers.
Selecting the proper technology is a start — but for a successful implementation, don’t ignore these four important steps.
MTV’s explosive growth prompts a substantial financial reengineering effort, one that even the most buttoned-down companies can learn from.
With a welter of new reporting requirements coming, controller skills are suddenly a hot commodity.
Customer financing seemed like a smart move when times were good. Now, it’s wreaking havoc on corporate balance sheets.
Our annual survey of senior finance executives finds them bullish on the value of IT and prepared to raise budgets accordingly.
Little negotiating power in a tight job market? Maybe, but there’s always some degree of wiggle room. Here’s some tips that will help you get a better deal.
A new study of operating cash flow and earnings for the 87 nonfinancial companies in the Standard and Poor’s 100 suggests that the recent upturn in corporate profits may not be sustainable.
Sarbox is just one of many new regulatory requirements companies face. Can IT help?
Regulatory interest in vendor allowances has put CFOs on high alert.
Companies squeezed more cash from their businesses this year — but not much. Was it the economy, or too much focus on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance?
The latest industrial revolution isn’t emerging on the assembly line — it’s focusing on the bottom line. But the long-term gains don’t come without some short-term strains.
New budgeting-and-planning software offers increasingly sophisticated visual aids: dashboards and scorecards.
Why companies have been slow to adopt the valuation technique.
Corporate insolvencies are testing whether securitization is a stable structure or a flimsy facade.
Once again, problematic ERP installations are making headlines. It’s time to ask, How much of the problem is really the software?
A strong SCM system is essential to a strong bottom line. Here are ten signs that some part of your supply chain isn’t pulling its weight.
Whether your career seems to have gone adrift, or whether you’ve run afoul of some reputational mishap, here’s how you can set your ship in order.
IT ”governance” may enable companies to drive technology strategy, not just steer it.
Wal-Mart presents its vendors with an offer they can’t refuse.
Are companies properly valuing and assigning acquired intangibles to business units?
When your accounting firm sets up software to help monitor your internal controls, are you implementing solutions — or risk?
What’s behind the unsolicited bid for PeopleSoft — and what the hostility means for the ERP industry.
Questionable moves, plus the rise of the PCAOB, have some wondering if the institute needs a new direction — and a new leader.
Companies have wrung out plenty of costs. But it will take time to see the full impact.
CFO Lee Wilbur explains how Jackson Laboratory is dealing with the challenges of installing its new ERP system.
Insurers’ woes are mounting — and your company’s coverage may be at risk.
The company that triumphed by selling ”good enough” technology wants to challenge IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Is it good enough?
As mentoring and ethics training evolve, finance learns how to boost team spirit.
CFO magazine’s 2000 compensation survey reveals that stock options are under scrutiny, and that companies are once again seeking the elusive link between pay and performance.
CFOs who don’t understand technology may want to consider another career.
Sarbanes-Oxley offers one more reason to tackle enterprise risk management.
Federal investigators are on a crusade to elevate corporate misdeeds to criminal offenses.
”Performance” is its middle name — can new software help companies link past, present, and future?
Ask for adjectives describing a finance chief, and ”charismatic” doesn’t normally leap to mind.
Survey finds monthly close still a five-day deal for most; lots of data correction going on, too. Elsewhere: Barrick promotes former CFO to CEO, Vail Resorts being probed, and report says Enron creditors could get back as much as $5 billion.
Why do employees file lawsuits over their 401(k) plans? Extended blackout periods, perceived conflicts of interest — or maybe they’re just mad at the markets. Here’s how to keep your company in the clear.
After bankruptcy, companies often teeter between encore and final curtain call.
Detractors say current accounting lets companies distort the picture they present of pension plan performance.
U.S. General Accounting Office looks into consolidation and competition among public accounting firms. Also: Execs unimpressed with Sarbanes-Oxley; resignations at Impath amid accounting probe; SEC settles with former Andersen partner; and more.
In the eyes of the investing public, off-balance-sheet financing has fallen into disgrace. Will it deserve another look after the SEC and FASB have their say?
In a world gone Sarbanes-Oxley, have finance and IT found common ground?
Some employers see health reimbursement accounts as a cheaper alternative to HMOs.
The SEC pushed through new rules to meet the Sarbanes-Oxley deadline; FASB added some guidance of its own. For the rulemakers, it’s a case of ”give a little, get a little.”
How can companies rein in escalating benefits costs? Get in on the action.
Despite a torrent of interest in ROI calculations, truly workable solutions are just beginning to emerge.
Small companies will be forced to make tough decisions if they are to survive another round of health-care cost increases.
New standard would provide guidelines for audits of internal control over financial reporting. Also: SEC proposes new proxy rules; Coke settles with whistle-blower; who deserves to go to jail the most?; and more.
The new accounting watchdog may consider banning audit firms from providing tax work to clients. Plus: bad assumptions about pension fund returns, Peregrine’s ex-CFO pleads guilty to fraud, and IRS extends guidance deadline.
Purse strings are loosening ever so slightly, but that won’t slow the quest for better metrics.