Resources & Publications

Strategic Finance May 2005

May 2005
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Features

Using Six Sigma to Improve the Finance Function
By Peter C. Brewer, CPA, and Jan E. Eighme
The Six Sigma methodology - define, measure, analyze, improve, and control - proved successful in the manufacturing arena so now companies are applying it to other functional areas, including finance. A $750 million company initiated a project, described here, that reduced the cycle time of the quarterly financial reporting process from 109.3 hours to 31.7 hours.


Insuring Business Continuity
By Bruce B. Thomas, CMA, CFM, CPA, and L. Ware Preston, III
Recent high-profile debacles have taught corporate CEOs the value of the Boy Scout axiom, "Be Prepared." That's why companies are looking into a new insurance product called "Transurance," which is designed to help company officials pay business continuity expenses that aren't covered by traditional property and casualty insurance.


Effective OEC Management Control at China Haier Group
By Thomas W. Lin, CMA
Taking a nearly bankrupt Chinese refrigerator factory to a global market success required a focus on the Overall picture by Everyone and Everything Everyday with a drive toward Control of all these factors. The firm developed three strategies - brand building, diversification, and globalization. Employees received an object lesson in the first when they were required to pound 76 defective refrigerators into scrap metal.


Achieving Growth in the Luxury Market 
By Peter A. Maresco and Bridget Lyons
Catering to an affluent and most discriminating clientele, Leading Hotels of the World had grown to penetrate the luxury hotel market almost everywhere in the world. Further growth, CEO Paul McManus realized, might dilute its brand. In effect, the firm had to expand its bottom line by forming partnerships and leveraging its well-known brand name into new profit-generating ventures. Management's ability to think outside the box by crafting a competitive strategy based on careful analysis of market conditions and industry trends led to a successful transformation of its core business.

Columns

PERSPECTIVES
Iconoclasm in the accounting profession.


BEST PRACTICES
The "I" in team.


CAREERS 
The importance of staff - continuity for regulatory-compliance.


TAXES 
International provisions of the Job Creations Act.


ETHICS
Politicians need ethical financial managers.


IMA
William L. Brower, Jr. named IMA chair-elect: IMA adopts new governance structure.


XBRL
Why XBRL is a "business" reporting language.


FINANCIAL TRENDS
Divine dividends.

Departments

STREETWISE
SEC amends SFAS No. 123R compliance dates
Fourth IMA member helps COSO
Impressed with IMA
Sarbanes and Oxley nix changes
Books: Developing e-commerce.


TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Handy information and security.


TECH FORUM
It's April 16 - do you know where your tax return is?


END NOTE
It's all relative.


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