Just like we heard last week during CFO’s travels up and down the East Coast, technology, in all its forms, is driving a wave of innovation that finance leaders may be unsure of how to approach. From unprecedented ten-figure acquisitions of technology companies by legacy industries like NASDAQ to behemoths like Salesforce making a half-billion dollar investment into furthering their AI offerings, finance leaders must be aware of where they are in the midst of this run for tech and strategically plan for the future of their companies, and possibly own careers, accordingly.
Fortunately, human beings still work at the Fed, and they will meet this week to decide whether to continue their hawkish stance on monetary policy. As the banking industry has had its fair share of hiccups in part due to the Fed’s actions, conversations around how CFOs manage capital are becoming more prevalent.
Diversifying deposits and managing the logistics that come with that diversification has become a priority again for finance chiefs and a focal point for tech companies that are improving their technology in areas like bank network products, according to CFOs who attended the CFO Leadership Council’s Boston event last week.
(Trial Balance is CFO’s weekly preview of stories, stats, and events to help you prepare.)
Part 1: CFOs Talk Tech
This week, reporter Adam Zaki reconnects with Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) CFO Kevin Bueso about his new role. The former McHenry County finance chief is now six months into running the finances for the entire public transit system for the city of Chicago.
Bueso talks about how CFOs can address work-life balance concerns in the interview process, how ridership morale plays into his job, why taking on serious challenges is good for leadership, and how emerging technology plays a role in the public sector. (June 16)
Contributor Sandra Beckwith will also field a Q&A with Robert Leibrock, CFO of software developer Red Hat, one of the pioneers of Linux open-source development that is now developing AI tools with parent IBM. (June 15)
Part 2: Economic Calendar
Still plan to hit those 2023 goals? We’re two weeks away from the halfway point of the year.
Monday — The Forbes Iconoclast Summit occurs at Pier Sixty in New York. Speakers include Ray Dalio, Michael Strahan, David Solomon, and Jim Chanos.
This year’s IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) Annual Accounting and Finance Conference kicks off in Minneapolis. Agenda topics include digital transformation, economic uncertainty, ESG, and cybersecurity.
Tuesday — The small business optimism index is expected to have fallen again when the NFIB reports its May survey. April’s reading of 89 was the lowest in more than 10 years.
May’s consumer price index report falls on the first day of the June Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The median projection is for another 0.4% rise in the core price index for urban consumers. Year-over-year numbers are expected to fall some.
Wednesday — Will they or won’t they? The FOMC’s decision on interest-rate policy hits the wires at 2 p.m. The prices of 30-day Fed funds futures imply a 71% probability that the Fed pauses at the current range of 500-525 basis points. But don’t relax just yet. There’s a 53% chance of a 25-basis-point hike in July.
A meeting of the SEC’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee takes place in Washington, D.C. It is viewable on the SEC website. Topics include small business capital raising and remedying the funding gaps for underrepresented founders.
The producer price index — representing selling prices received by domestic producers — has been easing for months. Economists expect May’s numbers to continue that trend.
Thursday — Pick your economic data day: accompanying the usual initial jobless claims numbers, releases include U.S. retail sales, the import price index, the Empire State manufacturing survey, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey, U.S. industrial production, capacity utilization, and business inventories.
The Future of Macroeconomic Policy is held today and Friday in Oslo, hosted by the International Monetary Fund. Speakers include James Bullard, CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The U.S. Open golf tournament begins at the Los Angeles Country Club.
Friday — Consumer sentiment has been yo-yo-ing for the past few months. After falling to 59.2 in May, the University of Michigan index could push back above 60 for June. But that’s still just 10 points above June 2022’s all-time low.
Earnings this week — Kroger, Jabil, John Wiley & Sons, Oracle, Sotheby’s, PetSmart, Lennar, Adobe, H&M, and others.
Part 3: Working Capital Benchmarks
This week, CFO digs into the results of the 2023 CFO/The Hackett Group Working Capital Scorecard, the annual study of how efficient the largest U.S. companies are at managing receivables, payables, and inventory. Last year's story is here. (Update: see the 2023 story and results here.)
Coverage will include which industries improved the most in 2022, what caused the fall in days payable outstanding, and why inventories were still a problem for some industries.
Stat of the Week
How much Nasdaq will pay to acquire financial-software firm Adenza from Thoma Bravo.