Accounting & Finance Roundup – December 2017

What did you miss in December 2017?

The team at ApprovalMax likes to keep its finger on the pulse of accounting and finance news, with particular emphasis on how technology has an impact on our industry. With this in mind, we plan to release a monthly roundup of the articles that caught our attention.

This is the first in our series, which will run throughout 2018 and hopefully beyond. In this edition, we feature insights on what it takes to be a great CFO, opinions on why spreadsheets should be a thing of the past, and news of a big Intuit acquisition. And there’s more, too!

A caveat: These are the opinions of the writers themselves. We don’t necessarily agree with every argument presented in these articles, but we do think you’ll find the stories interesting!

1. CFOs & product strategy: much more than just numbers

By Francois Badenhorst for AccountingWeb

In this piece, Francois Badenhorst interviews Tim Wakeford, CFO of Cushman & Wakefield and VP of financial product strategy at Workday. He reflects on challenging times after the 2008 crash, and the doubts that arose about his role as a CFO delivering bad news. Tim provides excellent insight on how financial expertise can integrate with product, and how these perspective complement each other within a business. He talks about “avoiding innovation for innovation’s sake” and anchoring product-based innovation into core financial goals.

Read the full article here

2. Say no to the spreadsheet!

By Colin Timmis for Xero Blog

Ah, the trusty spreadsheet. Or not so much? In this opinion piece for Xero, the South Africa-based Colin Timmis argues that it’s time to move on from spreadsheets. He presents the use of spreadsheets as a major barrier to business growth and workload management, and that accountancies should be moving to cloud-based practice management software instead.

Read the full article here

3. Intuit’s acquisition of TSheets is a potential ‘game changer’

By Carrie Kahn for Accountex Report

Intuit have signed a $340 million deal to acquire TSheets, and it has caused quite the stir. The two companies are not strangers; they have enjoyed a strong partnership for some time, with 12,000 customers using both products. In this report, Carrie Kahn muses over how this acquisition is likely to impact the QuickBooks job costing

Read the full article here

4. UK loses £190bn due to fraud

By Joel Muckett for Economia

This will be hardly surprising to some in the industry, but it’s still powerful to hear such a colossal figure mentioned in the same breath as “fraud”. The opening paragraph of Joel Muckett’s report sums it up shockingly; “fraudulent activity costs the UK £190bn annually, which is equal to £7,200 per household and more than the GDP of 148 countries”. These figures were calculated by Crowe Clark Whitehill, Experian and University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies. It mentions the role of tech in opening up new avenues for criminals, and discusses its impact on the private and public sectors.

Read the full article here

5. The age of cryptocurrency in accounting

By Dennis Najjar for Accounting Department

Cryptocurrency is in the news, but it’s not just hype. People across the world are diving into this amazing phenomenon head-first, and the finance and tech industries need to keep up. In this article, Dennis Najjar explores (in some depth) how cryptocurrency is moving through the waves. He notes that an increasing number of retailers are accepting this form of payment, and addresses the “recordkeeping and regulatory challenges” that have arisen as a result. This is an essential read for those who wish to understand the broad issues around cryptocurrency for finance and accounting.

Read the full article here

6. Gibraltar launches world’s first licence for fintech firms using blockchain

By Huw Jones for Independent

Continuing the blockchain theme, it has emerged that Gibraltar has formally recognised the use of blockchain as “an accepted mechanism for transmitting payments”. This being seen as part of a bid to attract fintech business to the area in a post-Brexit Europe. Gibraltar’s law is similar to the method whereby regulators authorise banks, and is set to give further legitimacy to companies utilising blockchain technology in their operation.

Read the full article here

Thank you for reading the update for December 2017. Happy new year to our readers and customers, and we hope that you begin 2018 with success. For the experience of how ApprovalMax will enhance your approval workflows, register for a free trial.


Have we missed anything great? Please do let us know, and if you’d like to submit your article for consideration, get in touch with