Singapore Government

CFO Insights

Original SAC Research Publications on Strategic Financial Management


Communicating Your Value Proposition & Business Model

To recognise the growing appetite for implementing Integrated Reporting, the SAC, the Singapore CFO Institute and Black Sun agreed to host a series of workshops aimed to help senior executives of listed corporates consider and address the practical application of the Integrated Reporting framework. 

The first event was held in May 2015, with participation from CFOs and senior finance executives from 12 of some of the largest organisations in Singapore, both from the private and public sectors. In this White Paper, we review the event and some of the insights and contributions from the workshop participants on how organisations can enhance the communication of their business models.

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Social Media Monitoring & Analytics for CFOs

In an age of constantly-evolving social networks, organisations look to social media monitoring (SMM) not only to understand perceptions of their brand presence across the digital landscape, but also as a way to make informed strategic decisions. Against this backdrop, marketers are no longer privy towards knowing and understanding social media trends. CFOs are increasingly required to understand the major opportunities that SMM can create for their organisations, especially in knowing their stakeholders and to generate greater returns.

Together with Waggener Edstrom Communications, the Singapore CFO Institute hosted a roundtable discussion in November 2014 on the topic of SMM and its application for CFOs. Gathering views from a diverse group of industry leaders, the white paper highlights the key discussion points, observations and outcomes of utilising and wielding SMM as an effective tool to make impactful business decisions.

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Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Performance Management

PwC Consulting, in collaboration with the Singapore CFO Institute, hosted a CFO roundtable on 16 September 2014. Moderated by former Starhub CFO Mr Kwek Buck Chye, the two-hour roundtable discussion involved eight CFOs from various industries, who came together to raise concerns, learn and share perspectives on a range of topics concerning Strategy, Budgeting, and Performance Management. The issues discussed and their solutions were robust and applicable across many industries, reflective of the industrial-diversity of the participants present.

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Adopting Digital Currencies - What a CFO needs to consider

Digital currencies are far more ubiquitous than many people realise, with most used in specific communities. However, some, such as Bitcoin, have become far more widespread and are used as a medium of exchange by multiple communities.

In this collaborative research project by the Singapore CFO Institute, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Startups Singapore, views from the roundtable and resulting white paper defines the advantages (and disadvantages) of digital currencies as well as outlines their startling growth and gradual acceptance as a trusted currency in the wider business and finance community. It also helps CFOs dissect the various risks and opportunities associated with digital currencies and decide how to go about considering and adopting them for implementation.

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Demystifying Integrated Reporting

Integrated Reporting is a topic that has climbed up the agenda at leading industry events worldwide over the past few years. This trend is certain to continue as companies strive to provide a deeper understanding of their business, performance, long-term prospects, governance and how they deliver value to their stakeholders.

At the roundtable held on 25 June 2014, participants gathered to discuss what encompasses Integrated Reporting and how it can help CFOs communicate effectively to their stakeholders. The whitepaper details the frank exchanges and conclusions from the roundtable, concisely outlining various views on whether the corporates and investors of Singapore and the region are ready to embrace Integrated Reporting.

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CFO & International Tax

Every discussion with the tax function or senior tax executives of a Multinational Enterprise (MNE) will almost inevitably include Transfer Pricing issues. Following the draft action plan on BEPS by the OECD which identified six major areas of concern also featured transfer pricing prominently as one of these areas, Transfer Pricing has been elevated in priority in the board rooms of MNEs and governments of major countries of the world.

The two-hour roundtable of candid discussion sprinkled with a generous dose of humour was focused on blue sky thinking meshed with practical experience and pragmatic expectations to better manage this global development, providing clarity in anticipating the upcoming tax risks and opportunities for CFOs.

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Predictive Analytics in Finance

The days when "getting the numbers right & quickly was all a job well done enough" are long gone. With increasing market volatility & uncertainty, shareholder & internal stakeholder demands for forecast accuracy & dynamic strategy alignment – the CFOs role just in terms of analytics has become much more demanding. Throwing in new disruptions such as big data, social and mobile – there are now a lot of red herrings being chased in the pursuit of deeper insight & more accurate & actionable foresight.

But to what extent are we able to really predict the future in a way that is relevant to the CFO – the guardian and arbiter of what the state of the business is? And how can the CFO make himself or herself more relevant by taking this lead?

The roundtable on 21 May helped to connect the dots for CFOs, the insights of which were culminated in a whitepaper that shared the current challenges, opportunities and emerging leading trends and future best practices in CFOs, bringing crystal ball gazing to business as usual analysis.

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Response Paper to the IFAC discussion paper on “The Role and Expectations of a CFO”

The Singapore CFO Institute advocates an IDEAL CFO (C) Framework to engender the growth and development of the contemporary CFO.

The Singapore CFO Institute issued a formal response paper to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) discussion paper on “The Role and Expectations of a CFO”.  The Singapore CFO Institute organised a roundtable session on 8th January for 27 CFOs and senior executives, coming from companies from a board range of industries.  Their views on the five principles listed in the IFAC discussion paper are represented in the response paper.

As the statutory body for CFOs in Singapore and a centre for thought leadership on issues that affect the contemporary CFOs, the Singapore CFO Institute is acutely aware of how the CFO’s role has broadened in scope and multi-faceted dimensions over the last several years.  The Singapore CFO Institute’s mandate is to advance the role of CFOs as strategic partners in the business community, and the Institute has thus developed the IDEAL CFO © Framework to engender the growth and development of the CFOs.

IFAC’s 5 Principles

The Singapore CFO Institute is of the opinion that the five principles outlined in the IFAC discussion paper are a good reflection of the guiding principles for engendering the growth and development of the contemporary CFO. They are very important for defining a CFO's responsibilities and will be of great use to employers, CFOs and potential CFOs. The exact role and effectiveness of a CFO, and by extension the application of the principles, depends on several factors. Industry type, size and nature of organisation, and business strategy, make a great difference to a CFO's responsibilities and the requirements placed on him or her. In some cases, CFOs may not have the opportunity or even the need to exercise all the principles.

Read more on the Response Paper to the IFAC Discussion Paper

In Pursuit of Better Quality Financial Reporting

Financial reporting summarizes economic transactions of a firm and serve as an important information source for users to understand the firm’s fundamentals.

There are several challenges faced by management to ensure or improve the quality of financial reporting.  For example, the adoption and implementation of fair-value accounting complicate the preparation of financial reporting and may increase the volatility of reporting quality. 

To pursue this further, the Singapore CFO Institute has organised a rountable discussion to gather CFOs in sharing and contributing their insights. 

Read more on In Pursuit of Better Quality Financial Reporting

Technology and the CFO

Data, on its own, has limited value. Only in analysing and interpreting data can its value be of use. Understand how CFOs can maintain the delicate balance between business analytics and data security in today’s business environment and exponential data growth.

In collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Singapore CFO Institute delves into the emerging challenges faced by CFOs in capturing newer streams of data to produce more accurate business forecasts and mitigate the risk of data exposure.

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Stakeholder Communications

Good stakeholder communications is critical in building trust and confidence in a company’s performance. As a company’s key communicator of financial information and related reporting to stakeholders, CFOs face a unique set of challenges when considering how to communicate with their stakeholders.

In this study, the Singapore CFO Institute, CPA Australia and KPMG aim to bring some clarity to the issues and provide a starting point for discussion about stakeholder communications as it relates to CFOs.

This publication includes a quantitative analysis of the communication methods of about 700 Singapore-listed companies, as well as a quantitative analysis of both listed and non-listed entities in Singapore.

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Read more on the Toolkit for Stakeholder Communications

Capital Raising and Management

Capital Raising and Management - Resorts World Sentosa Singapore

This case study, commissioned by the Singapore CFO Institute, is developed and published by the Asian Business Case Centre, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University.

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State of Play: CFO & Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) is not a foreign concept and has always been part of business operations and part of prudent business strategy.  However, after changes and revisions to the SGX-ST Listing Manual (effective September 2011) and the Code of Corporate Governance, there has been a renewed focus on Enterprise Risk Management.  Board Directors, Chief Executives and shareholders are anxious to know where the responsibility resides and how companies are actively managing risks.  Many have been looking to the CFO for solutions to ERM.

To provide clarity on this topic, the Singapore CFO Institute worked with PwC and invited CFOs from listed companies and multinationals to share their insights.

Read more on State of Play: CFO & Enterprise Risk Management

The Ideal CFO Framework

Drawn from roundtable discussions with leading C-suite executives, the Ideal CFO Framework is an essential guide to the qualities and skills that every CFO should ideally possess in order to negotiate and surmount tomorrow’s challenges. The Framework has been validated by CEOs, CFOs and Board Directors'. The Framework serves as a guide to the type of activities and programmes organised by the Singapore CFO Institute.

Read more on the Ideal CFO Framework

IVAS-IVSC Business Valuation Conference 2017


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