Payments Views


What’s Your GPA?

As a biller or merchant, you are vitally concerned about your payments “back office”, that set of core functions involved with accepting consumer payments. Whether you are in Treasury or Technology, if you are concerned with payments, you are asking yourself, every day, questions such as: Is my organization optimized to manage payments? Am I […]

B2B Payments

Rescuing a Derailed Payments Project

Every now and then, I get brought in to trouble shoot a payments initiative gone awry. For the last week I was hunkered down in triage mode with a client team suffering from a derailed project. They were exhausted, drowning in user complaints, struggling to fix bugs, and disillusioned with their vendor. I’ve thought long […]


Corporate Complexity (an example)

The latest post at the Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger blog hints at the complexity involved in integrating the two banks' services, technology, and products. Let alone the people + organizational structure! I admire their honest, open approach.

Caught My Eye

Coordination and Communication in Modern, Complex, Multiunit Firms

My work often involves bridging gaps, resolving misunderstandings, and fostering collaboration between the finance department and other parts of large, complex organizations. So I was intrigued by this recent research from HBS on " interaction patterns in modern, complex, multiunit firms." Key findings: Communication is heavily constrained by formal organizational structure: the vast majority of […]


Attention Finance: Embrace Change!

Wise counsel from Cisco's departing CFO Dennis Powell: The best finance teams should "think strategically, work cross-functionally, and actually embrace change," says Powell, who spent 11 years at the San Jose, California-based computer networking giant, 5 of them as CFO. To lead successfully, he adds, "CFOs need to really evaluate what role finance is playing […]

Change Management

SEC Demonstrates Change Management Best Practices as XBRL Draws Closer

One of the key success factors in introducing wide scale change is to involve impacted stakeholders early and often. Open discussion of challenges and obstacles fosters collaboration to resolve issues. The SEC is welcoming criticism from financial managers which bodes well for it's XBRL effort. [excerpted from] The commission hopes to use such feedback […]

Change Management

Reminder re: Importance of Employee Training

Ace Hardware has painfully realized the importance of employee training. A mid-level employee in the finance department caused a $152 million accounting discrepancy between the GL and actual inventory. Journal entires were made that made it look like the ledgers were reconciled when they were not. Ace Hardware will restate earnings for fiscal years 2004-2006 […]

Change Management

Carly Fiorina on Leading Change

I recently attended a lecture by Carly Fiorina (in the magnificent Paramount Theater) on the topic of change. She made one point that I thought was particularly noteworthy (paraphrased): By the time you've got consensus that change is necessary it's too late – you've lost your opportunity to competitors. The biggest challenge in leading change […]