Expert Column: Software Upgrades to Improve Grocers' Business
August 21, 2015 by Kenneth Godin
As appears in Progressive Grocer on August 21, 2015, a common theme expressed by clients when struggling to find solutions to their internal software issues is that they need accurate information quickly to keep up with changes and stay competitive and profitable.
Other Recent Articles
FASB Purchase Price Accounting Change Should Reduce Cost and Complexity
August 18, 2015 by James M. Sausmer
Last December, based on a recommendation from the Private Company Council, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued a notable accounting standards update for intangible assets in business combinations.
7 Steps to Protect Your Company from a Data Breach
August 11, 2015 by Michael Pinna and Stuart Nussbaum
Millions of government personnel files were recently compromised as part of a malicious hacking of the federal government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Interior Department. As the human resources department for the federal government, the OPM maintains personnel files on all employees and also issues security clearances, which makes this cyber security breach particularly damaging.
Top Three Do's and Don'ts When Starting a Small Business
July 29, 2015 by Paula Ferreira, Theodore Westhelle and David Rim
Starting a new business can be a very exciting and stressful time. The decisions you make early in the process can be the deciding factor of whether your business succeeds or fails. There are a few sure-fire things you can do and/or avoid doing that will give your business a much better chance to succeed.
Cash Balance and Comparability Plans: What They Are and When You Should Consider Using Them
July 28, 2015 by Ralph Loggia and Rachel F. Efthemes
This article examines the characteristics of qualified retirement plans, including the advantages and disadvantages of using cash balance and comparability plans. Qualified retirement plans generally fall into two broad categories: defined contribution (DC) plans and defined benefit (DB) plans.
7 Ways Same-Sex Couples Can Plan Their Financial and Tax Affairs
July 27, 2015 by Accounting Web
On June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on a series of consolidated cases known as Obergefell v. Hodges, that the 14th Amendment guarantees the right of same-sex couples to marry. Obergefell will also likely affect the way same-sex couples plan their financial and tax affairs moving forward.
What's the Future of 421-a?
July 24, 2015 by Ron Lagnado
New York City's 421-a Property Tax Exemption Program, a measure meant to incentivize residential housing development, recently expired, only to be renewed with modifications for four years.
The First Steps to Starting a Small Business LLC
July 9, 2015 by Lauren Reo and Ryan Pederson
Starting a business sounds simple – take your idea, get a federal ID number and a bank account, and you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, that level of simplicity is a myth. There are many complexities and nuances when creating a business at the federal, state, and local levels.
Made in the USA - The Resurgence of American Manufacturing
May 2015 by Louis Osmont and Kevin Pianko
In the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a hotly debated topic. Proponents saw the benefits of less-constrained international trade; those opposed feared that U.S.- based manufacturing jobs would be lost.Now the landscape is changing—reshoring is beginning to bring manufacturing back home.
Revitalization Act: The Phase-In Stage
June 24, 2015 by Ethan Kahn
The implementation of New York’s NonProfit Revitalization Act (NPRA) has required careful thinking in an effort to best apply the law to nonprofits large and small, complex and simple. This article acquaints readers with issues that have arisen since the NPRA went into effect, discusses the changes that the NPRA has ushered in, and forecasts what nonprofits should expect in the coming months.>
Reflections on the National Football League
June 24, 2015 by Ron Ries
A lot has been said over the past several months about the National Football League’s (NFL) tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. There are more than 25 subsections under IRC section 501 (c) applicable to tax-exempt organizations.
How Your Firm Can Attract and Keep Millennial Talent
June 17, 2015 by Robert Cummings, Sheila Grice and Nicole Modzelewski
Attracting and retaining talent from the millennial generation has been a significant challenge for many organizations. By adapting to the new way of thinking that millennial bring to the workplace, staying attuned to the things they value, and creating career long learning opportunities, accounting firms can attract, develop, and retain skilled millennial talent.
Spotlight on Physicians: Meaningful Use 2015
June 5, 2015 by Marc Grossman and Jenna Barsky
The challenges physicians face in their efforts to meet meaningful use (MU) require focus and appropriately allocated resources that are often overlooked.
BEPS - A New Paradigm or Just More Complexity?
May 21, 2015 by Michael Schwartz
Praxity North America's tax team discusses the impact and implications of the OECD's action plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
How to Successfully Navigate the Stages of Technology Company Funding
May 14, 2015 by Nicole DiGiorgio
Startup companies may go through various stages of external funding throughout their lifecycle. Typically, the first stage consists of seed funding, which is usually earmarked for developing the company’s product or technology and achieving marketplace fit.
Made in the USA - The Resurgence of American Manufacturing
May 10, 2015 by Louis Osmont and Kevin Pianko
In the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a hotly debated topic. Proponents saw the benefits of less-constrained international trade; those opposed feared that U.S.-based manufacturing jobs would be lost. Both were right: NAFTA passed, jobs left, but U.S.-based manufacturers soon reaped bottom line benefits from lower labor costs - not just in Mexico, but across the globe.
Donor Advised Funds and How Nonprofits Can Effectively Work with Them
May 7, 2015 by Mitch Lewis and Ron Ries
At a time when nonprofits are scrambling to replace funding from cutbacks in government programs, some fundraising professionals have noted significant amounts of money sitting just beyond their reach in donor advised funds (DAFs).
Navigating Human Rights for CEOs + Executives
April 25, 2015 by Howard Dorman
How do CEOs and other C-level executives of large international companies view human rights? According to a recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and several companies including WeiserMazars LLP, 83% of executives believe that human rights is not only a central theme at the government level, but also a major focus for businesses as well.
Succession Planning with Manufacturing & Distribution, Ownership & Beyond
April 24, 2015 by Michael Rofman and Jeanette Gribbin
Succession planning requires goal setting, preparing a structure and a functional timeline, and having milestones in place to monitor and control the overall process.
WeiserMazars Third Annual Media Barometer Study
April 8, 2015 by WeiserMazars
WeiserMazars LLP and Mazars Group, announced the release of their third annual Media Barometer Study. This year's analysis covered the 100 largest North American and European media companies in Advertising & Communications, Broadcasting and Press & Publishing.
Transforming Today's High Performers Into Tomorrow's Leaders: The WeiserMazars Way!
March 25, 2015 by Chris Roberts
There has never been a more exciting time to join the accounting profession! The business environment in which CPAs operate today is increasingly complex as accounting standards and regulations continue to evolve while the marketplace becomes increasingly competitive.
Weak IT security programs may spell disaster for healthcare organizations' bottom lines
March 25, 2015 by William Ahrens and Marc Grossman
Recent successful cyber attacks against large, well-known healthcare organizations are forcing organizations of all sizes across the continuum of care (health systems, hospitals, physician practices, IPAs, and payers) to give IT security increased attention and investment.
HIPAA Compliance as it Relates to Healthcare Lenders and Other Examiners
March 24, 2015 by Gary Litvak
As a result of several recently completed examinations of healthcare practices and healthcare related entities, it has become apparent that there is a major lack of understanding of borrowers' and examiners' responsibility as it relates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's (HIPAA) privacy rules and compliance.
Trends and Issues for the 2015 Busy Season
March 20, 2015 by Al Colanero and Karen Marshall
Every year, some change in the tax law makes tax season difficult for tax professionals. Compliance with each of these changes will require diligence and effort.
The Trusted Advisor: Going beyond Expectations. For Good. - Collective Intelligence
March 19, 2015 by Jules Reich
A trusted advisor delivers benefits that make them sought out by decision-makers. They understand the challenges faced by their clients, from industry-specific features to unique day-to-day operational issues.
10 Steps to Help Accountants Navigate Today's Nonprofit World
March 19, 2015 by Ethan Kahn
The exempt organizations industry has found itself in a difficult, unreceptive business environment. While we were all hoping for an economic rebound leading to an era in which programs would be able to smoothly glide through their administrative duties, devoting most of their focus on furthering their missions, that bright horizon has receded due to many factors, from increased regulatory oversight to ongoing economic challenges.
The Challenges and Surprising Rewards of Professional Growth as an Accountant
March 4, 2015 by Jim Toto, Kristen Walters and Philip Culotta
Being an accountant can be challenging, but with a strong worth ethic and an inquisitive mind, may opportunities will be presented and you can build a solid foundation for success.
Five Hidden Items Critical to the Success of a New Business
March 2, 2015 by Kimberly Wirzman and Jeffrey Ratkowski
When starting a new business, there are several hidden costs, whether monetary or not, that many entrepreneurs do not take into consideration. Having an understanding of these five hidden costs can largely impact the success of the business.
What Does the Strengthening Dollar Mean to the Worldwide Economy?
February 2015 by Louis Osmont and Jules Reich
For nearly ten years, the U.S. dollar took a back seat to the euro. Record-high federal deficits, soaring commodity prices, and a weak economy all extracted their toll.
Technology presents possible solutions to major water industry challenges
February 1, 2015 by Water Technology
Respondents to the WeiserMazars LLP 2014 U.S. Water Industry Outlook, who came from both private and public companies, identified three key challenges for the U.S. water industry.
Profiting from Diversity
February 1, 2015 by Howard Dorman | Commerce Magazine
WeiserMazars LLP, has been successful in promoting a diverse workplace because we believe it is integral to having a productive, cooperative work environment. By combining different outlooks, backgrounds and ideas, we enhance firm creativity.
Top 10 Changes to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) 2014 Bank Secrecy Act /Anti -Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual
February 16, 2015 by Steven G. Lewis, CPA, MBA, CAMS
A number of changes were recently made to the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual. The attached presents the “Top 10” revisions to the Manual along with our analysis.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate
December 19, 2014 by Demetri Yatrakis | Real Estate Finance Journal
One need only walk on a major New York City avenue to witness explosive growth in commercial real estate. U.S. owners, operators, and developers are always in need of capital, and foreign markets are eager to supply it. Although the U.S. Treasury market may be more secure, it has no upside, and with the threat of rising rates from the tapering of quantitative easing, investors are savvy to seek a safe haven in U.S. real estate.
8 To-Do Items for Year-End Income and Estate Tax Planning
November 14, 2014 by Michael Rudegeair and Richard Bloom | Currents Magazine
Now is the time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the year to come. This article covers eight important income and estate tax planning items to consider before the year-end.
Israeli debt-based financing for real estate a growing market
January 6, 2015 by Shahab Moreh
Prominent real estate owners and developers are sourcing a new form of capital—bonds issued and traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). It’s a creative concept, with benefits for both sides of the transaction. The funding technique is also attractive to technology companies, looking for capital to expand with a less-onerous due diligence process that US securities funding often demands...
Accounting For Property Lease Incentives
December 2014 by James M. Sausmer
Lease incentives are common for commercial property. We discuss the importance of accounting for them properly and how they should be approached.
TTIP a Game-Changer for Trans-Atlantic Companies
December 2014 by Louis Osmont
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, commonly known as T-TIP, a proposal to banish regulatory barriers and improve the exchange of goods and services between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), is generating buzz on both sides of the Atlantic.
Special tax reporting rules for rental properties
December 3, 2014 by Audre Lukosevicius | Real Estate Weekly
Many people own rental property of some kind – whether they are renting out part of a primary residence or a vacation home. Regardless of the type of rental property, owners must make themselves acquainted with the various tax rules that apply to it, as these can differ significantly based on the degree to which the property is used for personal purposes.
7 Important Income Tax Tips
December 3, 2014 by Richard Bloom | CPA Practice Advisor
The end of the year is a time to reflect upon the past and plan for the future, including planning for income and estate taxes. Below, we present some important income and estate tax items to consider before the end of the year.
Key Challenges for the U.S. Water Industry
November 6, 2014 by Commerce Magazine
Aging infrastructure along with talent attraction and retention continue to be the key challenges facing the U.S. water industry, according to the 2014 U.S. Water Industry Outlook from WeiserMazars LLP. These findings mirror a similar survey conducted in 2012.
Understanding New and Emerging Credit Risks
October 30, 2014 by David A. Shaw | Bank Director
The crisis may be over, but the challenges of managing credit risk in a low interest rate environment and increasingly competitive marketplace are not. Traditional credit metrics improved significantly in 2013, including net charge offs and the allowance for loan losses.
Exploring Financing Options as Healthcare Reform Unfolds
October 15, 2014 by Gary Litvak | The Secured Lender
Among the Affordable Care Act's challenges, healthcare providers must find sources of funding for equipment, technology improvements, and working capital needed to succeed under emerging value-based payment models. While many opportunities exist for lending institutions to invest, they must be aware of potential pitfalls surrounding reimbursement deductions and penalties.
Accounting for property lease incentives
October 9, 2014 by James M. Sausmer | Real Estate Weekly
Lease incentives are negotiated into many commercial property leases as an incentive for the tenant to sign a long-term lease. Free rent, cash for moving expenses, renovations, video conferencing equipment, and elaborate conference rooms help close deals. Such incentives require specific accounting treatment under Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States (U.S.GAAP).
Industry Insights with WeiserMazars' David Weinstock
September 18, 2014 by WealthManagement.com
WeiserMazars Wealth Advisors' David Weinstock talks about the role of life insurance in the estate planning process given the current $5 million-plus exemption environment. Watch the interview to learn more.
HIStalk Interviews Marc Grossman, Principal, WeiserMazars
September 15, 2014 by HISTalk
"There’s a lot of frustration and lack of trust among a lot of the executive leadership at many healthcare providers due to the history of false promises and expectations that were not met in the industry over the many years. Look at how many failures we’ve had with just EMRs alone and how organizations have had to replace systems," says Marc Grossman. Read more on what can be done to secure the future of the industry.
Sooner is Better: Seven steps to get your retirement savings under control
June 24, 2014 by James Toto
You’re in your 30s - on your way, but not yet at the top of the heap. Maybe you’re recently married or have a couple of kids. Life is expensive! There are mortgages, cars, school costs, college funds, and a host of other things you must spend money on. But there’s a nagging voice in the back of your mind telling you that you need to save for retirement. Here's why you should listen.
Gaining Perspective on Estate Planning as a Women's Issue
June 20, 2014 by Joan Antoniello and David Weinstock | Published by Estate Planning
American women are an economic powerhouse. A study published by the Boston Consulting Group in July 2010 estimated that women in North America control $9 trillion in wealth — fully 50% of total wealth. They are living longer, inheriting wealth from spouses and parents, and owning their own businesses. Furthermore, many are the primary breadwinner or sole earner in their households. Why, then, are women so underserved by trusts and estate practitioners?
Foreign bank accounts and other foreign financial assets: What practitioners need to know
June 12, 2014 by Richard Barjon | Published by the AICPA
Due to the upcoming implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA, P.L. 111-147), with its large civil penalties and possible criminal sanctions, U.S. taxpayers must be more forthcoming in reporting their non-U.S. income and assets, whether voluntarily or when requested by a foreign financial institution (FFI). Learn about how practitioners can work to help taxpayers who may be reluctant to face the consequences of their nondisclosures.
What the affluent need to know about FATCA (page 21)
June 4, 2014 by Private Asset Magazine
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) begins penalizing non-compliant foreign financial institutions beginning on July 1, 2014. Therefore, any foreign financial institution that wishes to avoid the punitive 30% withholding tax should register with the IRS through its online portal prior to that date.
Not-for-Profits Are Big Business
May 21, 2014 by Ron Ries | Published in The CPA Journal
As the focus of donations, the subject of giving by both charitable and political action groups, and the source of misdeeds by certain management figures, not-for-profit organizations are facing a previously unknown level of scrutiny. And as the not-for-profit sector moves toward greater transparency, it is also at a tipping point in its relationship with the public, the government, and even the communities that individual organizations serve.
Affordable Care Act Gives Private Equity Good Reason to Invest
April 2, 2014 by Ira N. Gottlieb | Published by SmartCEO
As the overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system gets underway, private equity firms are looking to get in on the action. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates sweeping changes to payment and healthcare delivery models. As part of this change, the world is moving away from the fee-for-service model in favor of a value-based approach, with cost shifting of risk to providers. The emphasis is on delivering better quality healthcare at a lower cost.
A Different Approach: When Should a Company Consider Factoring?
February 28, 2014 by Howard Dorman
Factoring is when a business sells its accounts receivable (invoices) at a discount to a third party called a factor. This facilitates the immediate payment of the invoice, allowing a business to accelerate its cash flow and enhance growth. Therefore, factoring can be a valuable alternative to companies when used properly. WeiserMazars partner, Howard Dorman, explains.
Business Development - Top 10 Tips for Critical Success
January 7, 2014 by Julie Meyer and Beth More
"Business development is time intensive and takes effort. While development plans vary, the most effective focus on core business strengths, clients and contacts. It is important to have a clear understanding of the underlying business in order to help guide strategic focus in areas such as joining membership organizations, developing thought leadership and means of disseminating that material. A specific, attainable and measurable plan is required to ensure that your business development activities are meaningful."
Major Changes for Broker/Dealer Audits
December 15, 2013
With the SEC's approval of the final Rule 34-70073, auditing a broker/dealer under the PCAOB's auditing standards will be very different. Auditing under the new standards will be effective for fiscal years ending on or after June 1, 2014, but broker/dealers and auditors will benefit by planning now.
Understanding Tax Sensitive Design
December 1, 2013 by Joseph Strickland
Who wouldn't offer their clients lower project costs? The new building you are creating for your client may generate more cash flow benefits than you or your client realize, and tax sensitive design is the way to achieve these results. Learn more in this article by our own Joseph Stickland, published in Construction Today.
Social Compliance and Human Rights - A Lawyers Perspective
October 30, 2013 by Howard Dorman
"Until now most companies’ engagement with human rights responsibilities has been through voluntary codes and initiatives. However, over the past several years we are seeing a creep factor of regulation including the Dodd Frank Act as it relates to conflict minerals as well as the California Transparency Act dealing with issues in the supply chain. While voluntary initiatives still have a role to play they cannot be a substitute for global standards on business’s obligation to respect the human rights of individuals. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results – it is time to do something different!"
WeiserMazars’ Stephen Brecher Talks About The Progress Of The Good Bank Initiative
October 16, 2013
By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
“One of the things that was almost unanimous coming out of the panel was that we’ve had financial crises before and we’re going to continue to have them…” WeiserMazars recently co-hosted The Good Bank Debate* at New York University School of Law and Center for Financial Institutions’ Greenberg Lounge as part of The Good Bank Initiative where the firm’s Stephen Brecher is ambassador. The debate was part of an ongoing process exploring the elements that make a socially engaged bank a good business.
Can Banks be Good?
June 20, 2013 by Bridget Day
Can banks be "good?" Can a financial institution appropriately balance its fundamental role for the economy, its social conscience, goals of servicing clients and optimizing profits for its shareholders? For the Good Bank to demonstrate corporate social responsibility, it must to consider the environmental sustainability of its actions and that of its clients.
Prepare for the Next Real Estate Bubble
May 20, 2013
The most recent real estate bubble burst under the weight of a market saturated with overpriced properties and subprime mortgages. Unfortunately, this bubble likely won't be the last. When real estate values again spike to unsustainable levels, will your clients be prepared?
A Healthy Living
May 6, 2013
With the re-election of President Obama, it is clear the U.S. government will continue to support the healthcare initiatives he introduced during his first term. This means more than 20 million people will be eligible for access to government-subsidized healthcare.
WeiserMazars' Stephen Brecher talks with Big4.com about The Good Bank Initiative
March 28, 2013
WeiserMazars' Stephen Brecher recently talked with Big4.com about the origins of The Good Bank, the five month program that will stimulate a global debate around what makes a socially engaged bank a good enterprise.
Helping Clients Make the Leap to Exporting
March 15, 2013 by Timothy A. Burley
There are many important reasons for a business to export, among those are increasing and diversifying sales, expanding markets, spreading risk, taking on foreign competition on their turf, ensuring global adaptability of products and services, and extending product life cycles by entering less-developed markets.
CPAs and Employee Expatriation
March 15, 2013 by Anne-Mélaine Daly-Schveitzer
Along with exporting goods and services, expatriating employees is a key element of success in developing a business abroad, and CPAs can help clients of all sizes handle such transactions. Whether it is to enhance a presence in foreign markets or for the development of a workforce, companies can drive significant value by having a mobile workforce.
The Appeal of Asset-Based Lending in Europe
March 13, 2013 by David Rooney and Gary Litvak
Debt financing, using asset-based lending, is familiar to corporations in the United States, where the product is already well-established. However, in the UK and the rest of Europe, it is often seen as the preserve of small businesses or as a last resort for larger firms.
Investing in Finance Pays Off
January 1, 2013 by Michael Flagiello and Lou Brothers
Survey results strongly indicate that investments in financial infrastructure are directly correlated to improvements in profitability. Therefore, with the goal of improving ROC, finance executives should seek to wisely invest allocated infrastructure spending by focusing on projects that support growth in revenue.
Strengthening the US Banking Regulation for Foreign Banks
December 31, 2012 by WeiserMazars LLP
The Federal Reserve is proposing new regulation for foreign banks with significant US operations in an attempt to “level the playing field” between US and internationally domiciled banks. The proposed rules are now open for comment through March 31, 2013.
Measuring Environmental Sustainability
June 18, 2012 by Sam McClemont
Due to increasing environmental demands, businesses around the world are facing difficult sustainability discussions. This article addresses how companies should measure environmental sustainability and what role accountants might play in the process.
Priorities Today, Priorities Tomorrow - Monitoring ERM
March 29, 2012 by Alex Unterkoefler, Michael Flagiello and Daniel Jones
February’s survey question asked CFOs to indicate their company’s priorities for managing Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) challenges today and within the next two years. To view the results from this survey, please see our full article here.
The Gap Between Ideal and Actual Closing Periods
March 28, 2012 by Alex Unterkoefler, Michael Flagiello and Daniel Jones
For the 70% of CFOs that struggle to close the gap between ideal and actual, the biggest culprit remains an extremely heavy reliance on manual processes and spread sheets, followed by a lack of functionality in core data systems.
New Foreign Asset Report Standards Starting to Kick In
March 7, 2012 by Jill Misener
Under the new IRS Form 8938, individual tax-payers will be required to report certain foreign accounts and assets. Beginning with the 2011 income tax return, the penalty for failing to file can range from $10,000 to $60,000.
Is My Organization Addicted to Excel?
February 23, 2012 by Michael Flagiello and David Hurst
Many organizations underfund financial technology infrastructure development. They rely heavily on inefficient software, especially Microsoft Excel, creating opportunities for improvement. So how much Excel is too much?
FASB impact on investment property entities
February 6, 2012 by Michael Lamantia and Brian Nam
In October 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an investment property entity (IPE) update that requires IPEs to report their real estate investments at fair value. Read more about the details of this change here.
WeiserMazars LLP Insights - Changes to Accounting for Leases
January 19, 2012
As a result of a joint project between The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board, each Board has issued exposure drafts which propose substantial changes to the accounting for leases.
A Perfect Paradox - The Implementation of Outsourcing
January 16, 2012 by Alex Unterkoefler, Daniel Jones and Michael Flagiello
When asked if they are considering outsourcing or shared services as a near future strategy, our survey's CFOs reported that 50% of them will not outsource and 50% will. Read more about the reasons behind this perfect paradox here.
What Do Boards and CFOs Really Need From Each Other in 2012?
January 11, 2012 by Michael Flagiello and Alex Unterkoefler
The volatility of the 2012 economy requires greater innovation from CFOs. However, these CFOs lack the resources needed to effectively analyze their businesses. Read for more on how boards and CFOs can work together to benefit entire companies.
Where Does Your Company Rank with Regards to Finance Department Effectiveness?
October 14, 2011 by Michael Flagiello
WeiserMazars surveyed the leaders of top insurance firms to gain insight into industry practices regarding operational efficiency, regulatory preparedness, and the position of finance within the overall organization.