April 2019: What We’re Reading

By The Center Team on April 26, 2019

News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—emerging research on AI, corporate spend culture, what it takes to be a transformational leader, and more.

We’re here to help you make your business spending more intelligent, connected, and strategic. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.

AI: New Risks and Rewards

Mark Nickerson for Strategic Finance | @SFMagazineIMA

Many companies and CPA firms are investing in artificial intelligence as an efficient alternative to complex, human-powered audits and data analytics. While the benefits are clear, developing AI research raises issues to consider for successful implementation.

“Machines have substantial benefits over humans in areas such as processing large volumes of data quickly, providing consistency in decision making, and identifying complex or changing patterns in data much faster than individuals. AI also provides opportunities to reduce human errors, produce better predictive or forecasted results, and increase profits through specifically identified AI initiatives.”

The Founder’s Guide to Discipline: Lessons from Front’s Mathilde Collin

First Round Review | @firstround

Every entrepreneur has a story of determination and discipline, which is often described as big dreams and lofty ambition. Front CEO Mathilde Collin tells a different story: focus.

“At a high-level, discipline is focusing on just a handful of things, which is incredibly challenging because you’ve got so much to do and you’re pulled in so many directions — everything seems important. But discipline comes down to focusing on the right thing, which means you need to be crystal clear on what success looks like and how to measure it.”

Corporate Spend Culture Shows The Limits Of Data Analytics

PYMNTS | @pymnts

There are many policies and best practices that companies can put in place to control spending—but the greater change may stem from a more mindful corporate spend culture.

“The sweet spot of spend management is to enable employees to make their own decisions about spend, and trust that those professionals are familiar and aligned with an understandable corporate spend policy.”

How To Be a Transformational Leader

Francesca Cassidy for Raconteur | @raconteur

The modern evolution of company culture highlights the importance of motivational leadership and cross-hierarchy collaboration. For today’s leaders to be truly transformational, they need to be storytellers—and open to taking risks.

“Transformation doesn’t come from bullet points and rational financial data, but from a sense that the organisation is changing in a way which employees can feel positive about.”

Numbers Don’t Lie, Until They Do

Therese Tucker for CFO | @CFO

A recent survey illuminated the frequency of inaccurate financial reporting at many companies and the negative impact it has on subsequent business decisions. As automation takes on a significant role, the data accuracy becomes increasingly crucial.

“According to a survey…of more than 1,100 C-level executives and finance professionals, 71% of C-level executives completely trust the accuracy of their financial data. However, only 38% of finance professionals — the people preparing the statements and reports — share that opinion.”

Navigating from T&E to ROI

Adam Perotta for BTN | @btnonline

Determining ROI on business travel is notoriously difficult to calculate. Instead, financial leaders are using other metrics and questions to consider the impact of travel spending.

“Travel ROI is a very valuable measure, so even if there’s no perfect answer yet, we’re asking the right questions and we’re getting closer by asking those questions.”