The Trial Balance is CFO’s weekly preview of stories, stats, and events to help you prepare.
Part 1: The 6 a.m. CFO
This week, Coupa’s Tony Tiscornia explains the importance of teamwork, his passion for music, and the crucial phrase to instill in your finance team.
Tiscornia also shares his favorite leadership lesson: “When teams brainstorm together and challenge each other’s viewpoints, they’ll almost always come up with a better solution than any individual — as long as the group is solution-oriented, addresses the challenge deliberately and thoughtfully, and shows patience when needed and can be afforded.” (10/19)
Part 2: This Week
“This may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades,” JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said last week. If it isn’t, it is undoubtedly rife with political risks abroad and at home. While the stock market had a good start to the week, the Israel-Hamas war and turmoil in the House of Representatives over electing a speaker, among other events, may lead to market volatility.
Data on U.S. retail sales hits the wires Tuesday morning. With some bellwether earnings reports (see below) coming, businesses may better understand consumers’ financial health. On the Chase earnings call last Friday, CFO Jeremey Barnum said consumer spending growth had “reverted to pre-pandemic trends,” with nominal spending relatively flat year-over-year. He also noted that consumers’ cash buffers from the pandemic continued to “normalize.”
Federal Reserve governors and presidents have numerous speaking engagements this week. On Thursday, Chair Jerome Powell will give a speech on the economic outlook at an Economic Club of New York luncheon. Powell’s appearance comes just before the Fed’s “blackout period” that precedes the October 31-November 1 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. As of Sunday night, Fed funds futures pricing implied only a 7% chance of a rate hike at that meeting. Powell’s talk can be viewed live on the Fed’s YouTube channel.
The SEC’s division of trading and markets has been busy passing new rules governing the equity markets and investor disclosures. Last week, the SEC adopted final rules introducing transparency to securities lending transactions and short selling. This week, it meets on Wednesday, October 18, to discuss a potential new rule governing volume-based transaction pricing on national securities exchanges.
Third-quarter earnings kick into gear this week with earnings releases from Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Netflix, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Philip Morris, Union Pacific, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, American Airlines, United Airlines, and American Express. — Vincent Ryan
Part 3: Inspiring Trust
Last year, CFO columnist Steve McNally wrote an opinion piece on defining an organization’s values, operating philosophy, and standards of conduct — “creating ethical guardrails.” Nearly exactly one year later, he tackles what may be even a larger issue — inspiring trust among the finance team members and across the organization.
McNally’s advice comes along at a critical time. The employer-employee relationship is more tenuous than in quite some time, as are cross-functional connections within the organization, as remote work exacerbates the isolation of departments.
How do you get employees to re-engage? In this climate, McNally offers some practical tips for CFOs who want to build relationships, earn respect, mend interdepartmental ties, and energize employees. As often is the case, the solution starts at the one-to-one level. Look for McNally’s column on Tuesday. (10/17)