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11/02/20 • 21 min
About Brad Ledford: https://www.dhg.com/people/userid/278?filter=bledford
Contact Brad Ledford: [email protected]
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:
Welcome back to episode 95 of Count Me In, IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. This is your host Adam Larson, and I'm here to preview today's conversation and introduce our featured guest speaker, Brad Ledford. My cohost Mitch talked to Brad about the changing job market and the new norms and job seeking, interviewing and hiring. Brad is the President of DHG Search, where he provides advisory and recruiting services for candidates in finance, accounting, audit and tax. In this episode, he explains what recruiting looks like today and describe some new opportunities in the workforce to hear a great career-related discussion, keep listening as we head over the conversation now.
So Brad, to start in broad terms, from what you've seen, how has the job market really changed over the last six months? How did companies change their approach for hiring? What did the overall job availability look like? You know, just from your perspective, what has this last few months done for the job market?
Yeah. Great question, and there's no doubt, it looks different. The one thing the unemployment rate has jumped from 2.4% approximately now up to 8.4%, and that's down to slightly where it was maybe just just a few weeks ago. So that, that right there in itself is a very good indicator of some significant change in the job market. And what I saw during that window, as COVID-19 started to impact the marketplace, were companies really pushing the pause button or, in some cases, opportunities just drying up. And really from that, I'd say that March to May or February to June window is where that started to really show,and of course, unemployment rates started to spike. You then saw in that same window of times, companies starting to lag their process or slow their process significantly. Even if they already had just started a search or recruiting process. So a lot of times individuals would be, in the beginning stages and all of a sudden feel like, Hey we're where did that search go? Where does that process, end up and companies were kind of, Hey, wait and see mode during that window. And then some just really were not interested at all in hiring, during this last six months. So you've seen a little bit of pockets in both areas where, you know, some companies are starting to come back, but, you know, from that last six months, we've, we've seen a big change and, and how, the market has been impacted. And then part is your second question, I guess, how the companies approach hiring and what does it mean to overall job availability? You know, I think companies started to realize there are some candidates coming on to the marketplace and then they started looking at their job profile and their role and what they needed. And what I saw was companies starting to add more boxes to the checklist that they needed. So instead of it being, Hey, at 2.4, under 3% unemployment, and if these people had these couple of things and then this good accounting skills or certification or background, it jumped to, wow, I need these 10 things checked and their background to consider them for the position. So it really did change how companies were approaching, hiring, and then also, you know, availability, job availability changed. Now I'll also say it was interesting that there was, there was some organizations that looked at this as a scenario of, hey, there's an opportunity to add resumes to their database or add connections or contacts. And so you may have still saw some folks, I guess, taking candidates, but it just, it just slowed significantly.
So our listeners, accounting and finance professionals, they span many industries, and I'm just curious again, from what you've seen, are there particular industries that remain more active or even successful in hiring through this? And then I'd like to get your thoughts on the opposite as well. Are there any roles or industries that really suffered more because of the change in the hiring process and the availability and everything you just mentioned?
Yeah. Great, great question. At the firm, I'm part of Dixon Hughes Goodman, and the team I lead within DHG Search. We go to market as an industry and service specialists, of course. And so that industry piece was very important that we had a wide...
11/02/20 • 21 min
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10/29/20 • 19 min
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome back to Count Me In. IMA’s podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. I'm your host, Adam Larson, and I'm pleased to bring you another bonus episode for my co-host Rouba Zeidan. For this conversation, Rouba talks with Asha Merugu, senior manager at EY. Asha explains her career journey in the finance industry and shares her perspective on how gender parody is being driven in many private and government sectors in India. Let's head over and take a listen to the full conversation now.
So according to the Global Findex database released by the World Bank, roughly one out of two bank accounts in India remain inactive, which is about twice the average of other developing economies. What is the worst, you know, is notable in terms of the gender gap when it comes to this amount? So for example, 54% of women account holders report not actually using their accounts as opposed to 43% of male holders. Do you think that there's a need for financial education amongst women in order to render the more financially savvy?
No, it's a great question. Obviously, yes, right. So there has to be a financial education amongst women. There is no secondary view about it, but if you look at like in today's era, what is very important, is it just not awomen, like, even men need financial education, but of course they are considering, you know, I have gone in a very small region India and you know, so my mother is a working professional. She was, she is a doctor, and then I have seen as a kid, how challenging it is for working mothers to manage a finance and a home and a work. So finance was always in the hands of the father, right? Like the major decisions were made by fathers and anything to do with the major investments in India is always made by of, you know, father of the family. So that's how the most Indian families, which are traditionally like, you know, middle class and maybe a little bit higher upper middle class families would do except for some exceptions. But, but I agree with you, I think considering the way, you know, the India is going on. Oh, you're right. Like most of the wommen in India does not have active bank accounts. You know there could be majority of the reasons, like, for example, if you take working women, they do have bank accounts, right? So because salary gets credited to bank, but look at the number of transactions that happens in the account. Oh, I mean the service here sees that most women are not very, very, investment savvy. They don't really want to invest and take risks. This is like a majority of the mindset because it's, it's always a protective or culture that we have grown up. Right. We have been grown up as a kid that, okay, you have to save, you have to take care. You know, you have to, or you have to secure yourself, and this is how I think the education system in India works too. And this is what makes women very conservative, especially I feel in India. And most of the women though, they earn salaries and their bank account would be limited to the salary account. You don't find them making the investments, which meant there to make it aggressively. Right. They don't actually spend the portfolios aggressively. Now coming to the question of, you know, like how do you give this education to your question that, do you think there's a need for financial education? Yes. I think there's a very, very, very important need for financial education, especially amongst I think the middle class families and, you know, the working woman category, the Indian government is also doing quite a few things to get this education spread amongst the communities. In fact, I think if you look at Jonathan Yogendra that India, God, which makes every household to have an account bank account, you know, compulsory for the purpose of getting the pension or maybe for the purpose of getting any of the amenities, which our government is passing on, the government made it mandatory. I think that was a great initiative from a government perspective to get women data, at least as a concept of saving. And there's a concept of you having an account to get your money. That way the woman doesn't just take all the money and put it in the hands of men. In some families, I think it's very unfortunate that this will happen so that the government has done some initiatives by having this agenda huge now. And I think bringing some education, bringing all the schemes through which the small amount of the money reaches, right. It reaches through an account itself. So even though I think the report says a lot, gradually my view is that is India speaking up. You know, the people are becoming extremely, you know, now savvy about using the bank accounts, you know, using digital means and more so because of the COVID right. In the last six months, I think we have seen a great tran...
10/29/20 • 19 min
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10/26/20 • 16 min
Contact Neta Meidav: https://www.linkedin.com/in/netameidav/
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome back for episode 94 of Count Me In, IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. I'm your host, Adam Larson, and today I'll be bringing you right up to a conversation between my cohost Mitch Roshong and Neta Meidav. Neta is the Co-founder and CEO of Vault, a reporting platform designed to resolve workplace misconduct incidents. In this episode, she discusses the pitfalls with traditional internal reporting or whistleblower policies within organizations, and how technology such as her platform can enhance internal, ethical reporting moving forward. So without further ado, let's hear their conversation now.
So we're here today to talk about alternative and innovative solutions to traditional whistleblower policies within organizations. I'd first like to set the stage for our listeners and kind of explain the why for our conversation. So can you share some examples of activities that would require employees to act as whistleblowers?
Sure, of course. I'm happy to do so. Maybe first it would be helpful to distinguish for the purpose of this conversation, between whistle-blowing and internal, reporting. I think it's important to explain that, the way we see it, whistleblowing is the act of reporting misconduct or ethical breaches externally. For example, to an enforcement agency of sorts like the SEC, whilst, internal reporting is really what, we want to be talking about today and the process which we want to fix and optimize, for, for everyone's benefit. So when we talk about kind of activities that would require employees to act as whistleblowers, I think that the past year showed how that category for internal reporting has it has expanded. So, we of course consider the traditional corporate and financial fraud and corruption issues that require people to, come forward and report, and only today, I, woke up to, the interesting article on the Wall Street Journal about, Volkswagen, which I'll, I'll come back to, later on in this conversation, because I think it's, it's crucial, but the things that happen in every organization, that require, to kind of surface up concerns and, and make management aware.
So then in response to these activities and the various things that go on within an organization, what are some of the traditional solutions or policies that companies have in place, whether it is the internal or the external, like you mentioned, and what are some of those normal outcomes in your opinion?
Sure. So I think, you know, I think company’s are largely trying to do the right thing by saying, come forward to us internally. Speak to your manager speak to someone in the organization, speak to our compliance office, but if you cannot, here's a hotline for you, right. And that's the, the traditional mechanism that we've seen for decades that was, you know, became specifically popular, due to, the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the requirements on, on a third party operated whistleblowing platform that was put in place back in 2002. The issue with such legacy solution such as, third party hotlines is that number one, they don't really do much to build trust, right? They're not helping with building the internal trust that we need to see today, in every modern organization, because essentially what they're saying is if there's an issue, well, call this call center and report a problem, and the company will communicate with this call center and pick it up. But here's an intermediary for you and this is how you need to come forward because the act of reporting is just so scary and difficult, and so here's, here's a route for you. The second thing is if you look at the data and the statistics, they actually tell you that hotlines are in many cases, not only are there not the solution, but I would say that they're part of the problem, because if you look at, the global business ethics survey that was published this year, it talks about, the fact that only 6% of all cases that are reported internally in corporate America are reported to the hotline. In other cases, you find, so one of the biggest providers of hotlines in the world, I was talking about 11% of reporting happens to its platform. So that's a very low number, and that comes to show that people essentially do not really trust that option, and do not find it as a, as an optimal solution for when they are experiencing something that is in fact very difficult, to come forward and speak up about. And I think that is perhaps one of the reasons that we're seeing, the Department of Justice just published its guidelines a few mo...
10/26/20 • 16 min
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10/21/20 • 11 min
Contact Jolene Lampton: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jolene-lampton-b40127164/
IMA's Ethics Center: https://www.imanet.org/career-resources/ethics-center
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome back to Count Me In. IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. This is your host Mitch Roshong, and today you'll be listening to a bonus episode featuring a conversation about Global Ethics Day. Jolene Lampton, Professor of Management, Accounting, and Area coordinator for MBA and Accounting Programs at Park University, joined Count Me In cohost, Adam Larson, to talk about the significance of ethics and values. Jolene is also a member of IMA's Committee on Ethics and was kind enough to share her perspectives with us on this very important day. To hear more, keep listening as we head over to their conversation now.
Since we're releasing this podcast on Global Ethics Day, I wanted to start out by asking why is this day important, And what does it mean to you?
On this global ethics day, I believe it is a day for all of us to search within ourselves, our beings, to bring our values to the surface as we think about a common set of values. People with high self efficacy have conviction within their beings to do the right thing. This in turn gives them confidence. They do not second guess their own intentions. They act in accordance with their convictions. People with high self efficacy can speak about it. They can articulate their values. This is called efficacy. It means you have the ability to produce an intended result. It is intrinsic. It comes from within one's being, your persona. With conviction, you feel willing or even compelled to speak your beliefs. This is a point where you can exude confidence to others, and this will show in your behavior. On the other hand, people with low self efficacy cannot do this. Rather, they doubt themselves. They are intimidated. When speaking with others about a situation, they do not feel confident on how to act on their own convictions. So you want to achieve high self efficacy. You want to feel good about yourself and be motivated and confident to take action accordingly. On this global ethics day, I hope you will examine your own values and start to speak about them.
So when we look at ethics from an organization perspective, how important is it for an organization to have its foundation rooted in those ethics?
Your values are rooted in your internal beat. They come from within. Even before you go to work for an employer, you should check on their websites to see if their values align with your own. And if you can't find the employer's core values on their website, it's a great interview question. You should ask them what their core values are. When this alignment is achieved. That is the best fit for both the organization and the individual. It's an ideal cultural fit. You want to work for an organization with your same core values, your intrinsic values.
So you just mentioned that, you know, you want to work with an organization that has your same values and organizations are made up with lots of different people, and how can someone build the confidence to do the right thing and to speak up when they need to? So let's say they've done all that legwork that you said the organization meets up, but then they notice something that doesn't, that doesn't match up with their values. How do they build that confidence to do the right thing?
Human beings have special abilities related to learning that sets him apart from other species. Social cognition theory says we learn by modeling and imitating others. Think about it. This is how your own youngster learn to walk and talk. They looked at you as a role model. Then you grew up and you mastered performance, gaining some morals and we acquire the ability to function independently, which is a good thing, and we gain the unique ability to self reflect, which gives us the ability to have self efficacy, which gives you confidence to do the right thing. Giving Voice to Values is an approach that will let this happen more readily. Giving Voice to Values was created by Mary Gentilly in 2010. This approach advocates that you will speak your mind when you know what is right. What you really should do is prepare and practice for actions and not just any action, but the difficult, hard, and risky intricate values-based actions. This is a first step to building ethical muscles, which will give you confidence to act on your own values. The habit of voicing one's values takes practice to make our values just come out instantaneously. So start by crafting y...
10/21/20 • 11 min
10/19/20 • 20 min
Contact Loutfi Echehade: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loutfi-echhade-5b3601/
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hi everyone. Thanks for listening to another episode of Count Me In. I'm your host Adam Larson, and this is the 93rd episode in our series. Today's conversation is between my cohost Rouba, and IMAboard member and financial advisor, Loutfi Echehade. Loutfi is a seasoned financial advisor to family businesses in Saudi Arabia and the region and joins Count Me In to talk about the implications of COVID-19 and the current economic landscape. For advice and how such owners can maneuver their businesses. During these times, keep listening as we go to their conversation now.
So, let’s get straight into it. I’m excited to get your insights on the family business segment in the region. So analysts and economists consider family businesses to be the lifeblood of the Middle East region, and crucial to the region’s economic prosperity and stability. Why do you think that is?
Well I mean, you know, family businesses, as you indicated, I mean it represent at least 80 percent, some statistics say 85 to 90 percent of the economy is driven by family businesses. In our region, the largest family businesses are the most critical. They play e a critical factor not only in employment and number of employment, but in contributing to the local economies. So, they drive the whole business, you know, and this is not only in our region. Globally, family businesses really are the main drivers of economic developments, in most of the world.
According to the Middle East family survey conducted last year, they found that 78 percent of family businesses report economic environment as their top challenge. How does such a limitation play out when you are facing one of the biggest challenging moments in the economic history since the 1930s, COVID-19?
Family businesses are just like any other businesses. They go through, of course, cycles and they face these kinds of challenges every once in a while. We had a financial crisis in 2007 and in 2008, before that we had the September 11 events, and before that there were a lot of events and major developments in the world. Family businesses, just like any other business, they were able to sustain and maintain their structure and business, primarily because they have certain features that allow them to do that. The flexibility, transparency, level of commitment, long term commitment. But still, they face external pressure, just like everybody else. I work on a number of family businesses in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia, and the pandemic, COVID-19 has a significant impact on their operations. So they face the same thing just like any other business. If they are one structure, they can manage to go through these events, major events, and heavy burdens in the future, you know.
How equipped are regional family businesses for this huge task and what are some of the best practices you have noticed from your practice?
By their nature, family businesses are family-oriented, family-directed. They have a clear strategic planning, they commit to the family values, the family culture. So there weree ups and downs for most of their lives, business lives. They go through a lot of turmoil, roadblocks, headaches, pressures. If they are really well managed, and have proper structure, and that’s where comes family governance. If they really have proper family governance, that unites them, that puts them together. As I said, they are not like the corporate world, like businesses for profit. They don’t focus just on the short term, they focus on the long term. There is also the level of loyalty. In family businesses you find a lot, of course, a lot of family members being united and being committed, but at the same time, there a lot of non-family members aligned, committed and work aggressively, even sometimes more than the family members. So, you have that combination of commitment to the long term, not to focus on the short term, the willingness, the desire, the interest, and the commitment to continue to the following generation. And then they have the loyalty part which also drives them into the future, and into the long term. The way I see family business, just to give you an example, there are a lot of companies now in our region and globally they are firing people of course. They put people on furloughs or extended long leaves and they cut salaries. The family businesses that I deal with face the same problems, but they manage, you know, in a way, to keep these employees with them because they have been with them during tough times, difficult times, as well as in good times. So they look at them as really p...
10/19/20 • 20 min
Ep. 92: Liv Watson & David Wray - Digital Transformation: Business Reporting in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
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10/12/20 • 18 min
Contact Liv: https://www.linkedin.com/in/livwatson/Contact David: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-w-29627882/
IMA's Paper - "A Digital Transformation Brief: Business Reporting in the Fourth Industrial Revolution": https://www.imanet.org/-/media/e8faf3260e904bf5984fff9c9cf70382.ashx
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome back to Count Me In. IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. I'm your host, Adam Larson, and I'm here to bring you episode 92 of our series. Today's conversation features two guest speakers, Liv Watson and David Wray. They joined my cohost, Mitch to talk about a paper they coauthored with others about digital transformation. The paper, A digital Transformation Brief Business Reporting and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, highlights the staggering compliance costs and boldly calls for digital transformation across businesses. Liv and David share their perspectives with Mitch as they share many facts and examples of what businesses should do to maintain compliance through the data revolution. Let's listen to their conversation now.
From the research paper, you classify six reg data ecosystem challenges that are contributing factors to the material costs and risk in global compliance that you discovered during the Workiva research. Is that correct?
Yeah, not that the paper really was exhaustedly addressing all of the spectrum, but some of the key challenges for companies to produce regulatory reporting is obviously set in their reg data. The regulatory data, they got it captured that sits in silos in different types of systems throughout the organization, and then sometimes as a reporting goes beyond just financial systems, they are integrating non-financial data. That data is not hardly accessible in any system. So the data processes being able to access data is kind of key to be able to digitize that data. Some of the challenges are the data types, right? You have different data types, different formats of data. So they sit locked up in documents. So the data, even if it's stored digitally, it's not accessible. Standards and supporting documents. I mean, you have many standards to follow many frameworks to follow multiple regulators, asking for multiple data points that are aligned with different supporting documents and regulation. We need to digitize these documents and they need to be machine readable. They need to be discoverable. They can't just be digitized into a word document. Technical standards. There are XBRL. There is XML, there is Excel, there is Word, there is PDF. When regulators ask for data, they need to start considering one data format because, and in machine readable way, because just aggregating all of this data and then try to create documents and report both internally and externally. There's some mission marbles. There are many different ways. Some allows the software vendor to directly connect to these digital repositories, but some you have to upload some, you have to fill out an online form. We need one way or connecting, and then the digital way and data definitions. Let's not forget that. Data definitions is just an issue all around standard sharing many data definition are the same, but mean something different. Some are the same, but describe the front. We need the digital transformation in a central place, just like a library to register these data definition into taxonomies so they can be discoverable machine readable. So during this paper, we discovered some of the key points that is costing industry today. IFAC recently said over $780 billion a year costing the industry just to address many of these problems that we discovered in our research. So yes, quite a technical challenge that we still have today, Mitchchell, thank you.
Well, thank you for that, and with this whole data revolution, you know, I'd like to direct this question to David as the seasoned finance leader, I know you were both in a publicly traded and privately held Fortune 500 companies. What is your personal observation on the willingness of compliance teams to really embrace this whole digital transformation?
Thanks, Mitch. It's a great question. I mean what I've noticed throughout my career, and I think it's really accelerating the last few years is that users on the ground are really beyond crying and now screaming out for digital transformation. And that's now being echoed in a very loud way by CFOs. In fact, in 2018, Accenture conducted a study, which is called From the Bottom Line to the Frontline, and they found that about 80% of CFOs said that control co...
10/12/20 • 18 min
Count Me In®
10/08/20 • 20 min
Deepika Chawla is a business woman, presently serving as Vice President of a Fortune 100 company. With 27+ years of rich and diverse work experience in Financial Shared Services and Banking Industry, Deepika believes She believes “Your legacy is in the leaders you create and the knowledge you share”. She is a Qualified Chartered Accountant who is extremely passionate about supporting women and the community she serves. Deepika has won various recognitions for promoting Diversity in the workplace & society. She has been named as one of the 25 most inspiring women in the Coffee Book ‘Big Dreams Bigger Achievement’s and has also been decorated with the Champion Award from ‘We Are The City, Organization in collaboration with EY, for her passion, resilience and tenacity in supporting diversity. She is actively involved in mentoring youth / next generation leaders across organizations & colleges and has attended a number of events at various universities and colleges as a speaker and panelist. A TEDx speaker, Deepika supports multiple NGO’s of Cancer, Education & Thalassemia and is also on the advisory board of two of them. A mother of two children - boy 24 and girl 20 - she recently celebrated 27 years of marriage.
Contact Deepika Chawla: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepika-chawla-181a319/
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:
Welcome to episode 90. One of Count Me In, IMA's a podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. I'm your host, Adam Larson, and I'm here to introduce you to our next featured guest Deepika Chawla. Deepika is a senior finance professional and qualified chartered accountant in India. She currently serves as the vice president of a fortune 100 company and has over 27 years of diverse work experience in financial services and the banking industry. In this episode, she speaks with my cohost Rouba Zeidan about her journey to the top, and the challenges she and other women face in the finance industry to hear Deepika’s, perspective on how women can make the most out of their careers and finance, keep listening as we head over to the conversation now.
So good afternoon, Deepika, thank you so much for joining us.
Hi Rouba, thank you so much for having me here to talk something, which I am so passionate about.
Same here. I'm looking forward to your thoughts and your experience. So, women in Asia occupied just 1.1% of CEO and CFO positions and country held positions, according to a 2012 capitalist study, why do you think that is?
Yeah, good question, and really close to a lot of women's heart. So, most of the people feel that women spend more time performing unpaid work in childcare and housework and may not be able to handle a senior position. Remember they feel that they may not be able to handle this a senior position. Not to shatter the unconscious bias that assumes women should be the sole caregiver or associated with housework organizations should really create a safe and inclusive workplace where men feel comfortable being with [inaudible] and do duties and household activities, giving both men and women an equal opportunity to look at their by supporting each other. Now, really from that perspective, it is so very important that that comfort should be there to the women that they can go and work or, you know, they could be CEOs and CFOs because somebody else can do the caregiver job. Now, secondly, as you go higher women themselves have self-doubts and this will come into our conversation very often because whether they can do the job or not, and they hold back because that is very, very important. They have this self-doubt. Should I be perfect before I applied to a job? While men, at the same time even if they are at a 60% at that job, they convince you that they're the right candidate. And thirdly, and lastly, in my mind, you know, unless the top leadership does not drive the message, this may still go on as these numbers, only what you shared with me. Whichever news you're hearing today, whether it is Uber, Fidelity, lots of companies or, you know, otherwise senior women positions are coming up. When you open the LinkedIn these days, you would see one announcement or the other coming. Now that's primarily because the top, you know, the top leadership approach is to focus on the, the women candidate on the CEO positions. So, I think that's really important. And in my early career, I have seen women having children and taking promotions in the same year. So, you need both the women and the company, and of course the men to believe in that they can do it. So really that is what I think.
Makes a lot of sense, actually. I mean, that's, that was a, I'm going to ask you a bit more about your personal exp...
10/08/20 • 20 min
10/05/20 • 19 min
Contact Andy Kettlewell: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andykettlewell/
"Reimagining Supply Chains to Navigate a Pandemic and Beyond" with the Chicago Council of Global Affairs: https://youtu.be/zAGPc9vlaxU
Andy Kettlewell video for Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, Inventory Management: https://youtu.be/vkSNW6CJN7Q?t=570
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome to episode 90 of Count Me In, IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. I'm your host Mitch Roshong, and I'm here to introduce you to our featured guest speaker for today's conversation, Andy Kettlewell. Andy is the Vice President of Inventory and Analytics for Walgreens after serving many years prior in various supply chain and inventory management roles with the company. He spoke to my cohost, Adam, about all the disruption across business and how he has managed to handle the volatility in the marketplace. Andy addresses the impact of supply and demand budgeting for these unexpected factors and how technology has enabled him to make better business decisions. Keep listening as we head over to their conversation now.
Andy, COVID-19 has been disruptive across all aspects of business. How have you handled the demand volatility in the marketplace, and then in turn its impact on operations?
It's a very important question for where we are in a post COVID-19 economy. So we've seen dramatic changes in not only the magnitude of demand changes and demand volatility, but also the frequency and the pace of those changes. And, and to make that real and what we've all experienced in our lives, it's everything from, you know, the run on toilet paper, and you've probably experienced those shortages firsthand and how the news media kind of helped to extrapolate and share that story widely, thus creating a run in a panic situation to other commodity items like hand sanitizer and masks and other items that were needed for a shift in consumer behavior, right? With, with COVID-19 that the marketplace has had to respond to, but what we're also seeing is a shift, in everyday items. So with the traffic patterns and how, how's it impacted all of our lives. So likely you're not going to your office right now. So that means you're not passing the convenient Duane Reade in Manhattan, or your Walgreens, you know across from your office in downtown Chicago and that's changed our consumer behavior away from maybe those instant consumption items to more of those take-home items, right? That as we shift our behavior. There's been a couple of other interesting transformations here across all aspects of the business. So Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, in their last earnings call, likened the digital transformation of two years of digital transformation that happened in two months. McKinsey and Company's research has shown that we've seen 10 years worth of growth in eCommerce penetration in only three months. And so we're, eCommerce penetration is now North of 30% across all of retail. These are dramatic shifts in consumer behavior that, you know, our organization at Walgreens and every retailer is having to accommodate to. So in the reaction and the operationalization of that, right first and foremost, every firm is having to keep their team members safe and so when within a global supply chain, right, that means, you know, new protocols, new efficiency measures, but everything from how we keep our distribution center team members safe, to our truck drivers, to our store team members to keep operations moving was, was point number one. And that means everything from personal protective equipment to new policies, procedures, different shifts in labor management, to help keep our employees safe, to then keep the product moving. And then from there, very tactical impacts within our supply chain that we've had to address including, we've redesigned all of our demand, forecasting and replenishment algorithms. Now what that means is right, all those consumer behaviors, the systems that go behind that, that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify what you're going to buy in Walgreens tomorrow, have to be much more dynamic. I liken this to a, for most firms like a sand mandala, if you're familiar with that term.The Tibetan Buddhist monks, you know, spend hours and days, you know, building the perfect sand mandala and then they have to wipe it away and then start fresh. That's exactly what most firms are doing with their forecast models across their entire end to end supply chain to become more adaptive and responsive to consumer demand. And then sourcing, right. you know, at the heart of COVID-19, we found areas within the end end...
10/05/20 • 19 min
09/28/20 • 15 min
Contact Mai Luu: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mai-luu-693596168/
"Small Business Planning During COVID-19": https://www.imanet.org/insights-and-trends/risk-management/small-business-planning-during-covid19
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Thanks for coming back for another episode of Count Me In this is your host Mitch Roshong, and I'm here to bring you episode 89 of our series. We all know small to medium sized enterprises are a huge part of our management accounting profession, and COVID-19 has greatly affected the way these businesses are run along with the economy as a whole. In this episode, my cohost Adam talks with Mai Luu. Chief Operating Officer at Commonwealth Capital, LLC. She has also funded businesses and is very familiar with the small to medium sized business landscape. While talking with Adam, Mai discusses various cashflow activities, venture capital funding, and other ways these businesses can obtain funding to renew themselves while still staying true to their original business purpose. Keep listening as we head over to their conversation now.
Small- medium sized enterprises have been affected greatly by COVID-19. How can businesses find a way to renew themselves and become new all over again?
COVID-19 has a far reaching economic impact in so many areas. Most every industry in every state has experienced the impact of COVID-19. Second quarter GDP job, 9.5%. To put it in perspective, since record keeping began in 1947, quarterly job has never been more than 3%. With so much spending, making up two thirds of the US economy declines 12% percent between April and June, 2020. National debt and monetary policy for coronavirus stimulus packages are added to the national debt. With the Fed loaning money and buying financial assets, 1.41 million daily, the money supply, and two has recent sharply despite the injection of money into the system. Inflation stays close to zero, which could be a signal of a looming deflation in a near future. Disrupted supply chains and shortage of products, especially PPE products. Employment has been heavily affected. Job losses were worse than in the Great d\Depression, 50 million people out of a job. As many businesses closed, permanently and restrictions continue in several parts of the country. How business reinvent themselves in the wake of COVID-19 requires serious reevaluation of their business models, product and service offerings and financing methods to adapt and thrive in the new normal. Some of the old way of doing business are no longer effective and some products and services are no longer relevant. So understanding the renewed needs for both customers and service providers should play the central role in researching for the new business models, strategies, and product and services. While the pandemic reveals business weaknesses, it also presents opportunities for resetting strategy and business residents. With working from home businesses, adapt and embrace flexibility. So work life balance becomes work life integration, automation, core self-service portals, virtual help desk, and the use of productivity tools increase efficiency and adaptation. So this set of changes in our lifestyle transform how we consume products and services and how business operates. One thing that I can think of is cashflow and liquidity. This is one of the most important areas of business continuity. I can think of a few basic principles in managing cash that include one, reduce cost as much as possible and seek alternative financing, including the use of government support policies and working with landlord vendors and suppliers for favorable payment terms. Two, focus on generating cash, also turning a profit. Three, be transparent and fair to employees and share resources in case you end up having to cut staff.
I think you gave some great advice as people are looking to start new, and one thing I didn't hear you mentioned was something like venture capital. what are some of the considerations that SMEs should look at when seeking venture capital funding if they are trying to use that as starting new
A traditional venture capital VC business model is built based on hitting a few home runs to make up for many losing backs. Due to the high-risk nature of startup and early stage companies, VCs are extremely selective, only 0.1% of new ventures receive venture capital in any stage that leaps 99 point 99% of startups not receiving VC funding. Ofthose that seek VC funding only 1.5% receives it. Even at this level of selectiveness, the majority of VC investments have attractive returns. VCs prefer to fund high potential disruptive...
09/28/20 • 15 min
11/05/20 • 30 min
Contact Amir Tabch: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amir-tabch/
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome back to Count Me In, IMA's podcast about all things affecting the accounting and finance world. In this special new episode, my co-host Rouba dives into the world of FinTech in the Middle East region through an elaborate discussion with Amir Tabch. Amir has close to two decades of experience as a finance professional advisory board member for multinational companies in various FinTech and wealth tech initiatives. This conversation features the state of the sector in the region, and Amir explains how finance and accounting professionals can leverage these technologies to better support their organizations. Keep listening as we head over to their conversation now.
I mean, you're someone who's acquired a successful career mainly because of your ability to read the trends and the patterns with passion. I mean, looking at the chart, I remember it, one of the stories was that whether it was your wife's contraction monitor or a financial chart, you have an eye for seeing the patterns behind the, when they manifest. So you pride yourself on looking past the complexity to see the certainty. How does one develop such an outlook, especially at a critical time, like now where God knows where the global economy is headed and trends are being accelerated or even annihilated , in some cases overnight?
Well, as much as I'd like to claim that identifying trends and patterns and forecasting is an inherent skill, it really isn't. Of course, on the other hand the creation is. Now there are essentially a lot of things that can take credit for being responsible when it comes to analyzing these prices and trends and patterns either when one's inspecting them in isolation or in totality. So, first of all, when it comes to looking at trends and patterns, it goes without saying that these analytical skills need to be honed. So one has to be in touch with market realities. We have to also look at human behavior industry changes, social and economic forces, and no amount of experience in the industry can make up for constant and consistent research. To be ever updated and in touch, not just with the events they can place in our industry, but all other events, whether it's culture, whether it's fashion. And the point I mentioned earlier, which is inclination. So being inquisitive by nature allowed me to always look beyond the final results and really go into these matters of causation behind those results. That being said, all who believed that being a man of numbers, someone like me, boring is not really accurate, To be able to analyze these trends and immediately place the ones that are not in tandem with the market environment, which requires an extremely creative bent of mind. You have to be able to think outside the box when predicting matters of extreme relevance. And one also needs to be very well versed with consumer behavior and producer behavior trends that are a consequence of human psychology. And you have to have an approachable and inclusive outlook to things which allows you more room to acknowledge the possible mistakes and even benefit in detecting trends that would otherwise go unnoticed. And like you said, in such uncertain times, the only thing we can be certain of is the constant, unpredictable nature of things. And that's when we look at these trends and these patterns and these price formations, we can only doing so by living in the moment. And that is something I learned from, from Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda, one of my son's favorite movies. He said, yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present. So Master Oogway a fantastic follower and really good at pattern. So basically living in the moment.
If we were to look at this particular area, which is your area of expertise and, you know, something that's been on an evolutionary scale for the past three decades, we see most of e-trading online banking and wealth tech driving it, but there's a recent report by KPMG that stated that over $135 billion were invested in FinTech last year globally. And, that the transactional transaction value is expected to grow to some $10 trillion in 2023. The Middle East financial services revenue will account for 8% of these figures. So experts find that this growth is directly related to the increasing number of FinTech, startups, growth of the Islamic banking sector and the high mobile penetration, which is above the entire planet. I mean the UAE loan has 173% So the UAE also accounts for one third of the total number of FinTech startups. We talk about 46% in the world, but in your opinion, what is really driving such an exponential growth?
Well, the underlyin...
11/05/20 • 30 min
How many episodes does Count Me In® have?
Count Me In® currently has 281 episodes available.
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The podcast is about Blockchain, Management, Accounting, Podcasts, Finance, Technology, Education, Business, Artificial Intelligence and Strategy.
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The episode title 'Ep. 95: Brad Ledford - What Does the Job Market Look Like Now?' is the most popular.
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The average episode length on Count Me In® is 20 minutes.
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Episodes of Count Me In® are typically released every 7 days.
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The first episode of Count Me In® was released on May 15, 2019.
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