In the life of a CFO, technology falls somewhere between an enormous opportunity and an enormous migraine. There’s the perennial question of whether tech investments ever deliver their promised ROI (or whether information technology personnel even understand the term). And, in 2006, CFOs dealt with a raft of technology headaches from a new source: regulators.
Top among them, of course, was the question of how to evaluate IT when assessing internal controls as part of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Auditors (who, after all, are accountants, not technologists) so angered the finance world with their indiscriminate testing of IT controls that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board felt compelled to specifically address the issue in its rewrite of AS2.
The year also saw a remarkable effort by Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox to breathe new life into the sluggish effort to make financial data more easily manipulated by computers. As we described in our special report, XBRL: You Can’t Ignore It Anymore, finance executives must now become familiar with how financial data is tagged and what that will mean to analysts and finance statement users.
Below is our roundup of the year in finance technology. The articles have been selected by our editors from the stories that ranked most popular among your peers and competitors. For your convenience, it is divided into five categories: Bits and Bytes, Gadgets, Financial Reporting and XBRL, IT Controls, and Security.
To see all of our technology coverage, check out the technology section of our archive.
Bits and Bytes
• Angry and Bored? You Must Be a Customer
Finding out what customers really think is a crucial first step toward an improved bottom line. New technology may help.
• Future Office
The very near future, that is, for six areas where technology is transforming business in dramatic fashion. CFO Asia examines what finance executives can do to manage the change.
• Spreadsheet by Google?
First there was Visicalc, then Lotus 1-2-3, then Excel, now . . . Google?
• Due Diligence, Quick and Clean
Using “virtual rooms,” merger targets can meet a bevy of far-flung suitors with little muss and fuss.
• Park Anywhere
Thirteen gizmos that will keep harried executives cool, calm, and connected.