About John McLeod

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So far John McLeod has created 19 blog entries.
25 04, 2018

Low Cost Money Taking A Toll On Corporate Finances

2018-11-08T11:10:16-04:00April 25th, 2018|Blog|

The High Cost of Low Interest is the title of The Hackett Group’s US Working Capital Survey. The survey is available here. The survey is free to download, but registration is required. Hackett’s 2017 survey will be available later this year. James Daly, CEO of Euler Hermes Americas, published an article in CFO.com based on the earlier survey. Since we know that the Fed’s intent is to keep raising interest rates, left unchecked current practices are going to grow increasingly costly. Both the survey and the CFO article are worth reading. The survey’s conclusion is that “lax working capital management habits learned in easy credit years are starting to take a toll.” The survey calculates working capital based on the latest publicly available annual financial statements of the 1,000 largest listed non-financial companies in the United States, according to statistics gathered by FactSet. The study reveals that in 2016, the Read More

28 02, 2018

The Future of Operational Finance

2018-11-08T11:08:12-04:00February 28th, 2018|Blog|

A recent promotional piece from Deloitte describes how Operational Finance should be the epicenter of upheaval. But Deloitte’s experiences with companies around the world leads it to believe that most companies are “sleepwalking” into this future of inevitability – with nearly 50% of the time currently still being spent on data extraction and modelling, leaving precious little time to support decision-making and change management. Deloitte’s cross- industry benchmarks indicate that more than 60% of the time spent within the entire Finance function is spent on operational Finance activities. Many of these activities are still manual, where the median performer: Processes 23% of accounts payable vendor invoices automatically Processes 59% of accounts receivable customer remittances automatically Has automated 19% of total key controls   Sound familiar? Deloitte says each organization should ask where it sits on the evolutionary spectrum. Today, the role of the CFO is under greater scrutiny, internally and Read More

19 11, 2017

The Deloitte Working Capital Series

2018-04-09T15:43:50-04:00November 19th, 2017|Blog, Save Time and Money|

Deloitte has published its Working Capital Series, that includes Strategies for Optimizing Your Accounts Receivable; Strategies for Optimizing your Accounts Payable; Cash Management; and Strategies for Optimizing Your Inventory (read report here). I enjoyed the Strategies for Optimizing Your Accounts Receivable. It is a short and worthwhile read. The series argues that given the cost of new capital, no business can afford to let its existing capital go to waste. However, often a business doesn’t realize how much cash is trapped on its own balance sheet. Freeing up that cash – by optimizing its working capital – delivers more than improved operational efficiency. It also gives a company the added liquidity it needs to fund growth, reduce debt levels, lower costs, maximize shareholder returns and even outperform its competitors. The article notes that most businesses have AR policies that dictate when to bill, how much to bill and when to Read More

1 09, 2017

Improving the B2B Customer Experience

2018-04-09T15:44:06-04:00September 1st, 2017|Blog, Make Customers Happy|

An article published by McKinsey correctly argues that adopting a customer-centric mindset is just as critical in B2B dealings as it is when serving retail customers. The article, Improving the Business-to-Business Customer Experience says that more and more executives are developing B2B customer-experience strategies with striking results. McKinsey says that B2B customer-experience index ratings significantly lag behind those of retail customers. “B2C companies typically score in the 65 to 85 percent range, while B2B companies average less than 50 percent. This gap will become even more apparent as B2B customer expectations rise.” Driving these expectations are digitization and the increased use of smartphones. This is establishing new standards for fast, seamless customer service in all settings. “Real-time responsiveness and easy-to-use apps for daily banking chores or ordering groceries are setting a high bar for speed and ease of doing business in B2C industries, and these expectations are migrating to B2B.” Read More

15 06, 2017

The Great ReWrite: Leverage It Or Lament

2018-04-09T15:45:18-04:00June 15th, 2017|Blog, Uncategorized|

I recently had the pleasure of listening to business and technology visionary Leonard Brody at the Gartner CIO Summit. What a fascinating session. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and two-time Emmy-nominated media visionary. Brody is now a partner with Creative Artists Agency among other interests. He was previously Co-CEO and a Director of NowPublic which was one of the pioneers in citizen journalism and quickly became one of the largest news agencies in the world. He is also a Venture Capitalist and acts as an advisor to venture capital funds in the US, Europe and Asia. So when Brody spoke, I listened. He has one over-riding message: Move away from the idea of a singular innovation … and toward the idea of The Great ReWrite … it is what we are living right now, in real-time. Everything is undergoing dramatic transformation … individuals and companies have Read More

23 05, 2017

The creative destruction of accounts receivable

2018-04-09T15:45:25-04:00May 23rd, 2017|Blog, Get Paid Faster, Make Customers Happy|

When Joseph Schumpeter coined the expression "creative destruction" in 1942, he had no idea how creative the marketplace would become and how swift the destruction would be. Today’s corporate world, already in unprecedented turmoil, will only get stormier. According to a report released last spring, half of S&P 500 companies are expected to be replaced over the next ten years. The report, entitled Corporate Longevity: Turbulence Ahead for Large Organizations, was developed by the global consulting firm Innosight*. The company’s analysis of S&P shows that the 33-year average tenure of companies on the S&P 500 in 1965 narrowed to 20 years in 1990 and is forecasted to shrink to 14 years by 2026. We are seeing record M&A activity and the growth of startups with multi-billion dollar valuations. These are just two indicators that a period of relative stability is ending and that an increasing number of executive suites will Read More

24 04, 2017

Safe and Fast Payments are Major Trends in B2C and B2B

2018-04-09T15:45:30-04:00April 24th, 2017|Apply Cash Easily, Blog, Get Paid Faster|

In my last post, I wrote about a PwC report entitled Blurred Lines that forecasts new market entrants and start-ups in financial services could attract more than $150 billion globally in investment during the next 3-5 years. As a result, all aspects of financial services will be disrupted. PwC says that new digital technologies are in the process of reshaping the value proposition of existing financial products and services. While the capacity of incumbents to assimilate innovative ideas should not be underestimated, the disruption of the financial sector is clearly underway. The report says that banks are adopting new solutions to improve and simplify operations. This fosters a move away from physical channels and towards digital/mobile delivery. Open development and software-as- a-service (SaaS) solutions have been central to giving banks the ability to streamline. The incorporation of APIs (application program interfaces) enables third parties to develop value-added solutions and features Read More

3 04, 2017

Technology Drives Financial Services Upheaval

2018-04-09T15:45:37-04:00April 3rd, 2017|Blog, Gain Insight Into AR|

A PwC report entitled Blurred Lines captures how the traditional financial services industry is grappling with the constant innovation of new market entrants and start-ups. These companies are now commonly referred to as “FinTechs”, and they are causing relentless change within the financial services industry, and within the finance department in businesses of all sizes. PwC estimates that within the next 3-5 years, cumulative investment in FinTech globally could well exceed $150bn. These new players seize the opportunities offered by ubiquitous internet and mobile. While the financial services industry has evolved along with digital technologies, “the constant penetration of technology-driven applications in nearly every segment of financial services is something new.” These innovators are attracting investor attention. Funding of FinTech startups more than doubled in 2015 reaching $12.2 billion, up from $5.6 billion in 2014. FinTech companies and new market activities are redrawing the competitive landscape, blurring the lines that Read More