Boosting Finance’s Efficiency, Budget Battle, Wunderkind’s CFO Tom Kaeding: Trial Balance


The Trial Balance is CFO’s weekly preview of stories, stats, and events to help you prepare.

Part 1: Savannah Bananas and Wunderkind’s CFO Tom Kaeding

This week, reporter Adam Zaki will publish the first part of a three-part series on the organizational transformation of the Savannah Bananas baseball team. Bananas’ general manager Jared Orton discusses how to lead through organizational changes and preserve culture during growth. He also shares some of the out-of-the-box tactics the team uses to attract fans and sustain success. (9/29)

Zaki will also publish a Q&A this week with Tom Kaeding, CFO of Wunderkind. Kaeding shares why he didn’t expect to take on the CFO role, how his company deals with data, and why the CFO needs to lead through capital raising and growing initiatives. (9/28)

Part 2: This Week

CFOs know what pain budgets can cause. The U.S. Congress will be busy this week, as without a budget for its new fiscal year the federal government will shut down on October 1. Expect the rhetoric to heat up as the tension mounts. The House of Representatives and the Senate are independently working on stopgap measures, but a bipartisan agreement is not in sight yet.

This Friday, after last week’s projections by the Fed of one more interest-rate hike in 2023, the Bureau of Economic Analysis releases the August personal consumption expenditures price index as well as data on personal income and spending. The consensus is that the 12-month headline PCE may rise to 3.5%, with core PCE dropping slightly to 4.0%. With consumers still feeling the sting of inflation in groceries, gasoline, and insurance prices, Fed funds futures imply rate cuts won’t arrive until the back half of 2024, if at all, next year.

A series of modern houses and apartment buildings on a suburban street in Denver, Colorado.

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georgeclerk via .


Interest rates are weighing on segments of the housing market, too. Mortgage rates (30-year) last week were well above 7%. Low home inventory (half of what it was pre-COVID-19) is also depressing sales. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index arrives Tuesday, as does data on new home sales. While new home sales are up over 20% this year, existing home sales are down as much as 25%. Case-Shiller is expected to show a fifth straight month-over-month price increase in all major metro markets. The pace of increases in rental prices has slowed, but they are still up 55% since July 2020.

The CFO Survey, from Duke University and the Richmond Fed, publishes on Wednesday. 

Costco, H&M, Paychex, Accenture, Nike, Carnival, Micron Technology, and CarMax report earnings this week.

In sports, the 44th Ryder Cup golf tournament begins on Friday at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy.

On October 1, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, born in 1924, turns 99.

Part 3: How CFOs Can Strengthen Their Finance Team

CFOs with a forward-thinking attitude and no fear of challenging the status quo of how finance operates set the framework for efficiency and productivity. CFO Consulting Partners’ Tim Jung offers a companion piece to his column, 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Finance Team. This followup piece outlines a three-step process to strengthen finance teams. (9/26)

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