Date posted: 1/08/2019 5 min read

CFOs and cybersecurity, payroll software and more

The Aug-Sep 2019 issue of Acuity puts CFOs and cybersecurity under the spotlight – and some of it is frightening.

In Brief

  • The Aug-Sep 2019 issue of Acuity will be in mailboxes from 1 August.
  • The cover story explains why cybersecurity should be part of a CFO’s job, even though it’s IT that puts in the firewall.
  • Also in this issue, Cindy Hook CA talks about her role as Deloitte Asia Pacific CEO, we look at what you should know about payroll software, business valuation and more.

It’s not a case of ‘if’ your organisation will come under cyberattack, but when. And if you’re a finance leader who thinks cyber risk is someone else’s problem, it’s time you changed your mind.

The truth is cyber risk is a business risk, and should be on the radar of every CFO and company board. A cyberattack can interrupt a business’s activity and damage its reputation, potentially shrinking both customer numbers and the share price.

As Macquarie University CFO Robin Payne observes: “Even if some of the cyber threats are not financial in the first instance, they nearly always end up having a financial impact somewhere along the line.”

“The era of the cyber-resilient CFO” article in the Aug-Sep 2019 issue of Acuity looks at how and why CFOs need to step up their cybersecurity game.

Respected technology journalist Beverley Head talks to CFOs and experts about what sort of role CFOs should take, and Geraldine Magarey FCA outlines key findings from CA ANZ’s Cyber and the CFO report, produced in collaboration with the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub.

When it comes to cyber risks, CFOs don’t have to become tech experts (and that’s probably a relief to many CAs), but they need to show leadership on cybersecurity spending and governance decisions related to it.

“I see [managing cyber risk] as a governance role, just a non-negotiable,” says Lorna Raine CA, the CFO of George Weston Foods. “No way can you say, ‘this is the problem of the CIO’. I’d be fired if I said that.

“If things go wrong, people tend to look to the CFO. As custodians and managers of risk in the enterprise, we can’t point the finger at anyone else.”

“If things go wrong, people tend to look to the CFO. As custodians and managers of risk in the enterprise, we can’t point the finger at anyone else.”
Lorna Raine CA

Getting payroll right

Getting the right payroll software for the job is exercising the minds of CAs and their clients with the advent of Payday Filing in New Zealand and Single Touch Payroll in Australia.

Accountants need to help their small-to-medium enterprise (SME) clients comply with the new rules, but it’s also a chance to switch to software that makes SME owners’ lives easier and frees up time for them to concentrate on growing their businesses. There’s also the option of outsourcing the payroll function entirely.

Our “Choosing the right payroll software” feature in this issue lists essential questions to ask and breaks down the pros and cons of 12 of the most popular payroll solutions.

Talking to Deloitte’s Cindy Hook CA

Financial services are not only about numbers and technology, however; culture and people also play a big part. Just ask Cindy Hook CA, who took up the new post of Deloitte Asia Pacific CEO in September 2018 and is interviewed in this issue.

The former CEO of Deloitte Australia faces the challenge of building a cohesive strategy spanning 19 vastly different countries, 2900 partners and 48,000 staff (that’s without India, which is scheduled to come onboard in 2020).

Hook has found she is challenged to adapt the way she works to suit different cultural expectations, but says the diversity of Deloitte Asia Pacific is not a limitation when servicing multinational clients, but an enabler.

“Asia is so diverse, and you start to admire different things about different countries and different teams,” Hook says. “You go to Japan and they’ve got this proud heritage and deep relationships. Then you go to China and they’ve got this competent determination. And in South-East Asia you have young upstarts and there’s this momentum building.”

She says she is building a “united, but unique” culture by getting people across this giant footprint working together on projects, and drawing on common strengths to fill knowledge gaps and tackle challenges.

Also in the issue

Other articles in the Aug-Sep 2019 issue include:

  • getting governance right in small not-for-profits
  • what you really need to know about business valuation
  • a chat with seven CAs turned app developers, and
  • Ian Bennett FCA’s top 10 tips from PwC’s latest Global Financial Modelling Guidelines

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