(This article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2012) By ROBERT A. HOWELL It’s time to change the way we think about CFOs—and the way they think about themselves. The current view—which gets pushed by business schools and carried into the executive suite—sees finance officers as little more than number crunchers. They settle the books and look after regulatory compliance, without taking any bigger role in steering company strategy. CFOs analyze the financial impact of a company’s moves after they’re made—not when they’re still being planned. But that approach just doesn’t work anymore, for CFOs or the companies they serve. The world is changing too fast and economic uncertainty is too great to leave finance officers out of executive decision-making. The risk of disaster from an ill-advised move is greater now than ever; think of megamergers that end up costing the acquiring company too much and ultimately destroy shareholder value. Simply put, the people who have the strongest grasp of a company’s finances need to be part of the strategic thinking from the ground up. Not only should they crunch the numbers on potential moves like mergers, but they should also generate strategies themselves, by analyzing the likely financial impact of industry trends and other big issues. Strategy and finance should be like two sides of a coin—inseparable. Certainly, some CFOs have already moved in that direction and have been rewarded for it, including succeeding to Continue Reading
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CFO Enterprise, LLC is a professional services firm providing part-time, interim and project Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Controller solutions Profit Enhancement consulting and Executive Search in finance & accounting.
At CFO Enterprise, we believe in partnering with clients, not just accepting assignments. CFO Enterprise provides strategic expertise, technical accounting experience and flawless execution. Working closely with the CEO, President and senior management, CFO Enterprise provides insight and strategic direction appropriate for the stage and growth plans of your Company.
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Beginning for Form W-2s due to employees by January 31, 2013 (for tax year 2012), many employers now must report the cost of employer-provided health insurance to employees. The health care costs should be reported in section 12 of the Form W-2, using code “DD.” The reporting is intended for informational purposes only since employer-provided health care currently is not taxable. The information is required however so that the IRS can verify that individuals have health care coverage as required beginning in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act and to make it easier for the IRS to impose the 40% “Cadillac tax” that takes effect in 2018. For certain employers, however, the IRS has delayed the health care costs reporting requirement for an indefinite period. Accordingly, these affected employers will not have to report the costs for future calendar years until the IRS publishes additional guidance. The transition relief applies principally to employers filing fewer than 250 Forms W-2 for the previous calendar year and multi-employer plans. See IRS Notice 2012-9 for further information.