The Better Finance Podcast
The Better Finance Podcast
EY
The EY Better Finance Podcast explores the changing dynamics of the business world and what it means for finance leaders of today and tomorrow. Hosted by EY’s Myles Corson, this series offers insights from leaders on key topics affecting the world of corporate finance.
How businesses can maximize investor wealth for all stakeholders
In this episode of the EY Better Finance Podcast, Myles Corson is joined by Christopher Volk, business leader and author of the book, The Value Equation, a guide to wealth creation for entrepreneurs, leaders and investors.     Christopher’s distinguished business career has included taking three companies public, two of which he founded. Leading those companies, he evolved the ideas that inform the reader that wealth creation for shareholders was a more important measurement of business success than typical earnings metrics. His approach provides a roadmap to how successful companies can create wealth through strong business models.    With this approach, there are six key variables that combine to deliver equity return. The key for the CFO is to dissect the business model, understand where the variables are, and track them over time. The objective is to make the business and the equity worth more than it costs to create. The key stakeholders are customers and shareholders. If a business can deliver value for them, other stakeholders, such as employees, suppliers and communities will all benefit from the wealth created.   In a high-performing business, corporate culture is vital and strong communication should be at the heart of it. Employees should be empowered to put forward ideas and solutions, and not be held back by fear of disrupting positivity.    Finally, Christopher gives us a glimpse into a quote that inspires him and looks forward to a constructive future for finance as it exploits the potential of artificial intelligence (AI).     The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited
Oct 2, 2023
20 min
What finance executives can expect with integrated performance management and reporting technologies
This episode of the Better Finance podcast features Maria Montenegro, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Wolters Kluwer, and James Paterson, Vice President and General Manager, CCH Tagetik, North America. As organizations continue to drive change management and adopt behaviors that embed sustainability into their processes, the integration of ESG performance management with financial and operational reporting is quickly becoming the norm in driving improved business outcomes. However, it’s a complex task to harmonize financial, strategic, operational and sustainability goals. Finance executives may find themselves taking the lead to standardize and validate the accuracy of integrated financial and nonfinancial data. In this episode, podcast host Myles Corson discusses with Maria and James how leveraging their corporate performance and ESG technology platforms from Enablon and CCH Tagetik can help provide a centralized source of accessible and reliable data. They explore how this increases collaboration and integrates risk management and performance improvement with reporting. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited
Sep 21, 2023
35 min
How ESG went from the periphery to the heart of business discourse
This special ESG episode of the Better Finance podcast features Brian Tomlinson from Ernst & Young LLP, and Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School. The environmental, social and governance (ESG) space is at a remarkable phase of its development, having gone from being a niche part of corporate and capital markets discourse to being part of the mainstream. The trends that have been driving that include market participants making commitments around ESG, large corporations embracing aspects of ESG disclosure, and in recent years, the ESG disclosure ecosystem being adopted by regulators in key markets across the world. We appear to be at a high watermark for ESG, and Alex Edmans discusses how his paper, “The End of ESG,” highlights how ESG should be mainstream for executives and investors. There are many risk factors and opportunities with ESG that can affect the long-term valuation of a company. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited
Sep 6, 2023
34 min
How finance is important in the age of social media and AI
In this episode of the EY Better Finance podcast, host Myles Corson is joined by Tom Hood, Executive Vice President of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).   An early adopter of social media, Tom reveals how it has helped him engage with a new generation of finance professionals. Also, he provides advice for CFOs considering venturing into the world of social media.       The episode also explores Tom’s work with the AICPA and the future of the Finance Leadership Group — a community of senior finance leaders who meet to discuss major issues and the future of the industry.   Tom discusses how new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are beginning to have a significant impact on the finance profession. And how these new technologies could help finance teams to focus more time on adding value across complex finance matters. This is achieved by reducing the amount of resources needed to complete simple and repetitive activities.   The episode explores how mastering these new technologies could lead to the reverse mentorship, in which seasoned financial professionals could benefit from the capabilities and experiences of their younger counterparts. This collaboration with other departments and age groups could help financial professionals widen their perspectives and skill sets at all levels.    The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited  
Aug 10, 2023
35 min
How tax and finance are evolving to support business and talent
In this episode of the Better Finance podcast, host Myles Corson, Victor Casalino, Americas VP and CFO at Microsoft and Dave Helmer, EY Global Tax and Finance Operate Leader, discuss changes potentially impacting tax and finance today. Results from the EY 2022 Tax and Finance Operations Survey indicate that, of the 1,700 companies across 45 countries that responded, 85% are scrutinizing their existing finance and tax operating models for issues that can potentially weaken their future impact. Many are finding it necessary to make dramatic adjustments in some key operational areas to keep pace with our evolving post-pandemic workplace. Talent: Businesses are experiencing a short supply of finance and tax talent internally, particularly those with transformational skills in technology — e.g., AI, machine learning, data modeling — all of which can help drive speed and quality.  Legislative and regulatory changes: Dramatic changes globally sent companies scurrying to find skilled resources to identify and interpret myriad changes and make required adjustments within their company. Sustainable plans for data and technology: 50% of survey respondents cited the absence of formal, viable data and technology plans as the number one reason they could fail to achieve their mission and vision. Budget pressures and cost reduction: 74% of respondents said they had to institute cost reduction strategies due to the pandemic and economic downturn. To help address these and other functional and operational challenges, many large companies are exploring co-sourcing more strategic and value-add activities in their finance and tax functions and partnering with teams outside their organization with deep knowledge and commitment to certain areas of the business. Successful co-sourcing enables companies to streamline and develop consistent processes, automate when possible, and optimize technology to drive value and speed. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited  
Jun 8, 2023
25 min
Bringing the rigor of financial reporting to ESG
In this episode of the Better Finance podcast, Myles Corson talks to Prat Bhatt, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Cisco, and Ciara Lee, Cisco’s first ESG Controller, about the importance of financial rigor in ESG. Cisco’s stated purpose is to make the world a better place. So how does the company’s first environmental, social and governance (ESG) Controller make sure that happens? In a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion, they cover what the rigor of finance can bring to ESG, and the importance of finance’s unique ability to bring accountability, governance, control systems and formal processes to the ESG table. Together, they unpack the challenges of getting to net zero across scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2040, and the particular challenges of scope 3.  The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited
May 18, 2023
29 min
Market short-termism and its perceived impact on ESG investments
In this episode of the Better Finance podcast, Myles Corson welcomes Brian Tomlinson, ESG Reporting Managing Director at Ernst & Young LLP and Ariel Babcock, Head of Investment Stewardship at Fidelity Investments and formerly Head of Research for FCLT Global, a not-for-profit organization that develops research and tools to drive long-term value creation. FCLT’s research of short- and long-term business strategies has found that the pressure for quick projects and fast payoffs may trigger poor outcomes and investment value erosion. In fact, short-termism is experiencing some market pushback due to the constraints it places on decision-making relative to longer-term investments. It seems clear that short-termism does constrain companies’ appetite for investing in environmental, social and governance (ESG), primarily due to ESG’s inherent medium- to long-term (often times decades long) payoff.  ESG investments may be minimized or cut entirely to hit short-term earnings goals, possibly undermining shareholder rights as a result. Particularly in turbulent economic environments where companies tend to hoard capital, long-term goals may be weakened or overthrown. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited    
Apr 12, 2023
34 min
How to maximize the cloud for finance and tax transformations
Myles Corson, EY Global & Americas Strategy and Markets Leader, Financial Accounting Advisory Services, Dave Helmer, EY Global Tax and Finance Operate Leader, and Lyn Bird, VP, Cross-Industry at Microsoft, were guests on the EY Microsoft Tech Directions podcast. Together they discuss how technology is enabling modern finance and tax transformations. Talent shortages, legislative change, and technological transformation caused by the pandemic and geopolitical uncertainty are placing unprecedented pressure on corporate finance and tax departments. In-house finance and tax specialists are tracking a growing set of requirements that crowd their agenda. These developments are increasing the workload for functions that are facing budget cuts and unparalleled skills shortages. Many businesses are co-sourcing select activities to tech-enabled finance and tax specialists. The mounting complexity of modern finance and tax systems is leading corporate finance and tax departments to pass at least some of the responsibility for routine work to outside providers. Whether it’s in-house, managed services or a blend of both, co-sourcing routine tasks such as financial planning, tax and statutory accounting can help improve efficiency and give senior staff the breathing space to tackle answers to some of the big strategic questions facing businesses. In this podcast, our panelists share how businesses are taking action to adjust to these changing dynamics and how leaders can better position their finance and tax functions, leveraging data and technology, to add greater value to the organization. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official policy or position of EY or any other organization. © 2023 Ernst & Young Global Limited
Mar 22, 2023
38 min
Think ESG: a view of the EU Taxonomy
This special Think ESG episode of the Better Finance podcast features Brian Tomlinson from Ernst & Young LLP, and Nathan Fabian, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at the Principles for Responsible Investment. The discussion sheds light on the EU taxonomy: a system for reporting on sustainable activities. The taxonomy is expected to be a lasting reform, with significant implications for companies with operations in the EU. The EU has placed sustainable finance and the transition to a sustainable net-zero economy at the core of its growth strategy. Efforts were directed toward development of a taxonomy with standardized environmental performance criteria aligned with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. Communication and disclosure of progress toward alignment of companies’ economic activities with the taxonomy’s sustainability performance criteria was a priority.  The EU taxonomy creates the concept of “green by law” and provides an objective set of largely science-based criteria by which activities are measured in order to be labeled and marketed as “sustainable.” The taxonomy structure indicates when an activity makes a substantial contribution to one of six environmental objectives (climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, water, circular economy, pollution and biodiversity) with no significant harm done to the other five. A recent EY study examines the first-year results of the application of the taxonomy and the disclosure practices adopted by EU companies in the first wave of reporting. Visit ESG Reporting on ey.com for more. © 2023 Ernst & Young LLP
Feb 20, 2023
32 min
Think ESG: Finding the path to ESG-linked financial value
This special ESG episode features Brian Tomlinson, Ernst & Young LLP, and Tensie Whelan, Director, Center for Sustainable Business at NYU’s Stern School of Business, as they explore ESG reporting and the correlation between sustainability and financial performance.  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, and how it is reported has gained significant attention across the market — as investors continue to drive for more consistent and transparent ESG metrics that will help them better assess corporate health and long-term value. The EY Global Institutional Investor Survey found that 89% of the investors said they would like the reporting of ESG performance — measured against a set of consistent standards across the globe — to become a mandatory requirement. While many corporations are reporting on their ESG performance and financial performance, they are often not reporting on how the two relate. The challenge most businesses face is proving the monetary impact of their sustainability efforts. So, the Center for Sustainable Business at the New York University Stern School of Business developed a Return on Sustainability Investment (ROSI) methodology to bridge the gap between sustainability strategies and financial performance, helping to build a better business case for both current and planned sustainability initiatives. The pace of change in ESG reporting continues to accelerate. Corporate leaders across the organization should recognize and address the ESG needs of investors and all their stakeholders to create sustainable, long-term value. Visit ESG Reporting on ey.com for more. © 2023 Ernst & Young LLP
Jan 27, 2023
32 min
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