Resources & Publications

Strategic Finance January 2004

January 2004
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Features

Grab Your Picks and Shovels! There's Gold in Your Data
By Raymond Landry, Jr.; Roger Debreceny, CMA; and Glen L. Gray, CPA
The huge quantities of data that companies accumulate for legal, tax, and audit purposes represent a gold mine for accountants and financial managers. With the sophisticated tools available today, this data can be mined to identify strong patterns that can be generalized in order to improve future decisions - and the bottom line.


What's the Future of Defined Benefit Plans?
By Milton Zall
Will the defined pension benefit plan go belly up? The total number of defined benefit plans has decreased from a high of approximately 170,000 in 1985 to about 56,000 in 1998. Such plans, according to experts, are increasingly expensive and complicated to administer. Despite lax funding rules, companies seem reluctant to be tied down to a defined benefit plan and, as a result, are moving toward defined contribution pension plans.


Managing for the Next Quarter (Century)
By D. Scott Davis
The CFO of UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, describes the six key growth principles that have worked for more than 96 years. The principles are designed to ensure that your company is still around, not just for the next quarter but for the next quarter century.


Evaluating the Corporate Board 
By Mary Allen, CPA; Celia Renner, CPA; and Denise English, CPA
In the wake of large company audit and accounting failures, several organizations are now keeping score on boards of directors. These evaluations, like the traditional scorecard, are designed to improve performance, not of company managers but of the directors that oversee the company. New scorecards, or yardsticks, evaluate boards and offer a benchmark for rating and comparing companies' boards of directors and their practices.


Driving Auto Accident Costs Down
By Thomas Coghlan, CMA, and Tod vonMechow
Costs for insurance companies and Philadelphia city agencies were rising because of the time lag between when auto accidents were reported and when claims were actually settled. A partnership among insurance companies, Philadelphia city agencies, and a technology consulting company devised the city's first e-commerce application over the Internet that reduced costs and time for all involved in the system.


Do Audit Charters Need a Reality Check?
By William J. Cenker, CPA, and Albert L. Nagy, CPA
What's the internal auditor supposed to do? The professional organization defines the position as moving toward more risk-based audit and consultative practices. The Securities & Exchange Commission, however, in order to improve the quality of financial disclosure, is calling on the internal auditor to help the audit committee and the external auditor. What companies need to do is to ensure that audit charters actually describe the functions of internal audit.

Columns

PERSPECTIVES
See you at the annual conference.


STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
Focusing strategy on fulfilling customer needs.


BEST PRACTICES 
Good grief!


CAREERS 
Creating an effective recognition program.


TAXES
Should you donate your car?


XBRL
XBRL and Metcalfe's rule of technological change.

Departments

STREETWISE
FASB issues exposure drafts to support global accounting standards
IASB welcomes FASB releases
An incredible man
Toward a corporation with conscience
Corporate tax shelter growth decried
Books: Mastering alliance strategy


TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Tax season help.


TECH FORUM
Real-time. Really?


TRENDS IN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Something to cheer this new year: the economy.


STRATEGIC FINANCE QUIZ
Successfully answer 70% or more of the questions based on selected articles from this month's issue, and you will earn three CPE credits.


END NOTE
It's over - we lose.


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