The CFO Knowledge Network, founded by Bill Bardani and Alan Hurwitz, is a network of peer CFOs from small and middle market companies who share ideas and experiences about common challenges and current trends. Bill and Alan created the group to address the knowledge-sharing needs of financial executives who lack an internal peer network within their companies. Membership consists of senior financial executives who work in CT and NY.
In addition to Vision Search Partners, The CFO Knowledge Network recognizes the following sponsors who help support the funding and planning of our sessions:
Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina LLP is a full-service regional accounting firm with headquarters in Glastonbury, CT, along with an office in Stamford, offering an array of assurance, tax and business advisory services to both public and private companies across a diverse industry spectrum. The firm, founded in 2002, is focused on providing exceptional client service and practical business solutions by leveraging the expertise of its partners, directors and senior professionals to help clients achieve their goals.
Robinson+Cole is a law firm with nine offices throughout the Northeast and Florida, serving regional, national, and international clients. With over 200 attorneys, it is ranked among the 200 largest law firms in the U.S. Clients range from Fortune 500 to start-up companies, as well as nonprofit and governmental organizations. Since 1845, the firm has established a rich history of community involvement, pro bono service, celebration of diversity, and a well-recognized dedication to client service.
Preparing for Revenue Recognition
March 2, 2018 – Norwalk, CT; March 9, 2018 – Rocky Hill, CT
The FASB’s new revenue recognition standard, which incorporates principles-based concepts, represents one of the more sweeping changes to financial reporting in years. Under this new standard, companies will recognize revenue from customer contracts using a five-step model that will require significant management judgment. It will also require the accumulation of data that may not have been necessary under the previous standard. Companies will have to determine whether their systems are configured to collect and analyze the information needed to produce adequate disclosures. This new standard will impact companies in all industries.
While private companies do not need to adopt this standard until 2019, most public companies spent significant time in 2017 preparing for their 2018 adoption. The good news is that there were many lessons learned that private companies can benefit from. As their implementation stories will demonstrate, complying with this new standard can be a time-consuming and costly process that extends beyond the accounting and finance department. Companies that have a late start implementing the changes may be in for some unwelcome surprises.
In this session, Preparing for Revenue Recognition, there was a panel discussion that provided perspectives on the standard and its implementation challenges from the FASB, a public company financial reporting professional and a financial systems executive. Attendees left the session with a greater understanding of the standard and its implementation challenges, as well as newfound urgency to prepare their companies to be compliant by 2019.
Panelists: Mary Mazzella, Senior Project Manager – Revenue Implementation, Financial Accounting Standards Board; David Furth, President, Leap the Pond; William Doherty, VP, Financial Reporting and Accounting, World Wrestling Entertainment (Norwalk Session); Brian North, Assistant Corporate Controller, Providence Service Corp. (Rocky Hill Session)
Moderator: Frank Milone, Partner, Assurance & Advisory Services, Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina LLP
Tax Credit and Incentive Triggers
October 2017 – Rocky Hill, CT and Norwalk, CT
As we all know, Connecticut’s economy has been better. With high-profile corporate departures like GE and Aetna, the state is making every effort to attract and retain companies. Connecticut is not alone. Neighboring states, such as New York and Massachusetts, are also going to great lengths to provide incentives and credits to lure companies or entice them to stay.
As CFOs set their sights on planning for 2018, they need to be cognizant of the various business transactions and events that can trigger tax credit and incentive opportunities. Not all of these will be obvious. At this session, Tax Credit and Incentive Triggers, our discussion leaders explored some of the common and often overlooked initiatives that can yield significant tax savings. They also addressed the process CFOs can employ to take full advantage of these credit and incentive opportunities. While much of the discussion was focused on Connecticut, comparisons were drawn to programs offered in neighboring states.
Discussion Leaders: Bill Claffey, Partner, Tax Services at Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina LLP; Ryan V. Leichsenring, Counsel at Robinson & Cole LLP.
The CFOs’ Role in Data Privacy Risk Management
April 2017 – Rocky Hill, CT and Norwalk, CT
Significant data breaches have become a common occurrence. In a recent survey of 100 senior financial executives from Fortune 1000 companies, it was noted that approximately 60% of the responding companies have suffered a data breach or cyber-attack. Consequently, investors and potential acquirers are evaluating data privacy and security issues as part of their standard due diligence process. Failure to have adequate data privacy and security measures can devalue a company’s brand, expose it to costly litigation and potentially impact its ability to conduct a major transaction.
Unfortunately, this is no longer just your CIO’s problem. At our session, The CFOs’ Role in Data Privacy Risk Management, we explored why CFOs need to take this risk seriously and steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of data breach. Participating financial executives had the opportunity to engage their peers in an open and free-flowing dialogue intended to educate them on these vitally important matters, share best practices and develop strategies to confront these issues.
Discussion Leaders: Linn Freedman, Partner, Chair of the Privacy & Data Security Team at Robinson & Cole LLP; Kyle Lai, Founder of KLC Consulting
Deal-Breakers: What Can Derail a Deal and How a CFO Can Keep it on Track
September 23, 2016
You’ve spent a significant amount of time and money over the course of a lengthy due diligence process. You’ve addressed what you thought were the significant issues and have assured your Board that the deal will close. Unfortunately, everything that can go wrong often does, and you may find yourself saddled with a multitude of issues that have come out of nowhere and threaten to derail your deal. Could these issues have been foreseen and prevented?
At out session Deal Breakers: What Can Derail a Deal and How a CFO Can Keep it on Track, we explored the common, yet often overlooked, issues that arise in corporate M&A and venture capital & growth equity financing. A panel including a portfolio company CFO, a private equity investor and a head of corporate development shared their experiences and insights. CFOs engaged in dialogue with their peers and panelists to better understand how they can minimize derailment risk while successfully navigating a deal to closure.
Trends in Lawsuits, Enforcement Actions and Tax Implications from Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors
May 6, 2016
Fines and penalties of $250,000 or more related to misclassification of employees are not just issues for the Fortune 500. Enforcement actions and tax penalties are on the rise and are impacting companies of all sizes who misclassify employees as independent contractors. Is your company prepared if every single person performing work for your company is an employee and not an independent contractor? The U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service, as well as their state counterparts, are on the offense and independent contractors continue to file complaints with wage and hour enforcement agencies, alleging that they are misclassified. Partners from Robinson & Cole and Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina addressed current trends in lawsuits, enforcement actions, and tax implications.
Following this discussion, Alan Hurwitz led an open forum discussion about issues relevant to CFOs in attendance. This was an opportunity for CFOs to leverage the expertise of their peers by broaching a wide range of subjects in a confidential and casual setting. Topics discussed included: capital raising strategies, Board collaboration, service providers, financial systems options, staffing challenges, and career guidance.